POST 50
10/04/2015 08:42 am ET

5 Ways Your Body Actually Improves With Age

Relax. It's not all downhill after 50.
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There are so many negative stereotypes related to getting older -- "the middle-age sag," or being "over the hill." It's easy to buy into the myth that everything really is headed downhill.

But according to studies and science, things really aren't as bad as they might seem. Here are five ways your body actually improves with age:

1. You might have fewer migraines.

Any sufferer knows there's nothing worse than the searing pain, nausea and sensitivity of migraines. The good news is that you might be able to kiss this unfriendly visitor goodbye as you get older. According to some neurologists, the average onset of migraines is around age 20 and they tend to start tapering off after about 25 years. In fact, a study by Swedish researchers found that migraines in subjects with an average age of 55, seemed to vanish in about 30 percent of the sufferers over the 12-year study. Around 80 percent of the people who still suffered migraines said they had fewer attacks and just over half said the attacks didn't last as long. And according to the Migraine Trust, 40 percent of migraine sufferers are attack-free by 65. 

2. You can probably go longer between shampoos. 

For men and women with longer hair, maintenance can be a drag with shampooing, conditioning and applying weekly treatments. It's even worse if you have naturally oily hair or you use an arsenal of hair products, leaving your hair limp and weighed down within a day of washing it. The good news, especially for those with oily hair, is that as we get older our oil glands shrink, meaning there's less oil being secreted on your scalp. That translates to fewer washes -- or at least making your blow-out last a little longer. Some may feel that this lessening of oil also makes their hair feel drier, to which you can always apply a hair oil, such as argan oil, to the ends. 

3. You'll have fewer colds. 

Remember when you were younger -- anytime you sat next to someone who was sniffling or sneezing you soon caught the cold yourself? Well, no more. According to the American Lung Association, adults on average experience just two to four colds every year compared to six to eight for children. For adults over the age of 60, it's around one cold annually. As you get older, your body develops immunity to more viruses, meaning fewer sick days. 

4. Your teeth aren't as sensitive. 

Tooth sensitivity is most common in people in their 20s, 30s and 40s, according to an NIH report. According to the American Dental Association, the nerves in our teeth become less sensitive to cavities and other dental problems. While this can mean less day-to-day discomfort, the ADA stresses the importance of regular checkups even when everything might feel just fine!

 5. You'll feel happier. 

Life will always have its ups and downs, but instead of a downhill slope -- where things start heading south after 50 -- happiness throughout life seems to follow something of a u-curve path. In a Gallup poll, young adults seemed to be happy, but that happiness seemed to diminish up until age 50 -- perhaps because of life's many pressures and challenges. After this point, there was increased happiness, reversing the downhill spiral. In fact, the poll showed that 85-year-olds reported greater happiness than they did at age 18. Just goes to show, there's still plenty to look forward to. 

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