We all know that hearing often declines with age. In the United States, about 33% of adults over 65 experience some kind of hearing loss. Hearing loss can affect our lives at many levels: from impaired communication, lessened enjoyment of music and other entertainment, and a less active social life. Hearing loss can also affect us at the workplace, resulting in lower productivity, lower income, and even loss of a job. All of this can sometimes ultimately cause depression if it is not dealt with at the early stages.
Since there is no cure for hearing loss and no way to reverse it, prevention becomes paramount in order to head off all of these potential disadvantages to social, mental and emotional health. Though there are different types of hearing loss which each have different causes, the best and easiest way to fight hearing loss is to prevent it in the first place!
We all know that exercise is good for us, but do you know why? Moving around increases blood flow to every part of the body: limbs, organs, and extremities. Movement and blood flow keep us warm and keep our organs healthy. The tiny organs in the inner ear contain capillaries that depend on constant blood flow to survive, and as we age this blood flow becomes more and more crucial to the proper functioning of these organs.
The good news is that you don’t have to dedicate hours just for exercise at the gym. Simply getting up and walking around the block a couple of times a day is enough to get blood flowing and for you to reap the benefits of exercise.
The latest craze is circuit training and high-intensity short interval workouts, where people exercise in short bursts to raise heart rates and see benefits in as little as 5 minutes of exercise per day!
But even if you don’t want to do any strenuous exercise, simply walking has been found extremely beneficial for blood flow and all major organs, as well as the skin, brain, and respiratory system.
Walking outside, even if it’s just up and down your block, has other benefits, too: it will open up your perspective outside of your desk or living room, lift your spirits and give you a breath of fresh air. We could all do with that kind of mood boost at least once a day!
Prevention is Key
Exercise and movement are vital to a healthy body and to protecting your hearing and other abilities, but there are other things you can do as well. A healthy diet full of fresh, whole foods is another important factor in protecting your hearing. Avoid processed foods whenever possible and give your body the nutrients it needs to function.
As always, avoid loud noises and “train” your brain by practicing active listening, and you will protect your hearing for years to come.
The first step to halting hearing loss and preventing further damage is to recognize your situation. Come in today for a hearing screening and formulate a strategy to train your brain to listen actively and effectively.