Better sex. Clearer skin. Fewer allergies. These are just a few of the surprising benefits of aging — because, yes, there are benefits, according to AARP the Magazine. “What to Expect in Your 60s” rounds up “the good, the bad and the what’s-up-with-that? transformations” that men and women encounter as they enter a decade best known for retirement and senior citizen discounts. From your skin — drier, but clearer — to your sex life — more time, fewer distractions, less self-consciousness — there’s plenty to look forward to, says the article, which includes tips on preserving your bones, stoking your metabolism, strengthening your immunity and keeping your brain sharp. Aging does not mean a sudden and complete shutdown of the body and mind, the piece argues. Unconvinced? Don’t sweat it. “Aging is not only slow; it’s often imperceptible from year to year,” says the article. So stay mentally and physically active, and enjoy the perks that are bound to crop up where — and when — you might least expect them.
When digestive drama hits, many people turn to the drugstore or supermarket for help. Probiotics and other supplements have become increasingly popular alternatives to such standbys as Pepto-Bismol and Maalox to calm symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and heartburn. Women’s Health looks at the best and worst of these remedies. For long-term digestive health, the magazine recommends probiotics — a.k.a. healthful bacteria — which can be found in pills and such fermented foods as kefir. To combat gas and bloating, digestive enzymes do the trick better than fiber-rich psyllium, which is found in Metamucil and other products and which can actually aggravate conditions and cause allergic reactions. Turmeric, an anti-inflammatory spice and apparent “gut health superstar,” according to the magazine, beats licorice extract for pain relief. Why should you care about gut health? Pain and discomfort aside, caring for the digestive system can help stabilize important hormones and neurotransmitters, including “95 percent of your supply of mood-stabilizing serotonin,” says the magazine. In other words, “when your gut isn’t functioning, you could be in for a boatload of emotional distress.” Pass the kefir.