Effects of Aging – Check How Aging Affects the Body Parts and How to Promote Healthy Aging
Aging is a universal truth and one can’t escape it. The natural process is part and parcel gifted by the almighty and everyone has to face it. Most of the people achieve their peak functionality at around the age of 30, some may experience signs a little early or late. After this period, age-related sensory alteration starts occurring.
Although the changes one experiences are not usually harmful, it is important that we must be aware of each and every transformation our body goes through. Some changes may be applicable to you, some others may not. Let’s check out all the age-related effects that our body experiences.
Effects of Aging
As human body ages, it goes through gradual changes at its own respective pace. Impact on your body largely depends on the genetic pattern you have inherited, however, lifestyle can have a vast impact on how well your body ages.The slowing down of bodily functions goes through the adulthood until the end of life.
The normal changes of aging can be primarily divided into different categorized mentioned below:
Skin and sensory changes
Skin – Loss of elasticity
As you age, the skin loses its elasticity and you will see more lines and wrinkles. This is one of the classic signs of aging.The oil glands present on the skin will produce fewer amounts of oil and as a result, the skin will become drier.
Hair changes – Lack of thickness
Those first strands of grey hair are the classic sign that we are getting older. This occurs when numbers of pigment cells start declining. Additionally, the hair on the scalp, pubic area, and the armpits will start becoming thin or you will start experiencing hair loss.
Bones and muscles – Loss of strength
A person losing bone mass and density is common in old age. This is especially applicable to women after menopause as they lose calcium and mineral content in their bones. Weakness of bones might lead to other conditions such as arthritis and osteoporosis. Muscle mass also declines which can lead to less physical strength, especially if you are not exercising.
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Height – Change in stature
By the age of 80, it is normal to lose 2 inches of height. This primarily occurs due to shortening of the trunk and spine. In other words, the changes in posture, spinal bones, spinal discs as well as stiffening of the joints can lead to height loss.
Hearing – Need extra effort
Almost a third of people over 60 experience some loss of hearing. These people would feel difficulty in hearing high-frequency sounds and become less capable to distinguish changes in the audible range of speech and tones.
Changes in vision – Era of spectacles
Most people in the age group of 40 will need reading glasses as lenses of the eyes become inflexible, a condition known as presbyopia. Many people may also experience a decline in the visual sharpness and the night vision, though it’s completely normal.
Some may also notice additional glare from headlights while driving at night or sun reflecting off the windshields. In other cases, a person might not be able to distinguish between colours as the eye lens start to discolour.
Brain and nervous system – Reduction in memory
Changes in the functionality of the memory is the normal part of aging.This start occurring as we step into the 30s of our life. Although we won’t be able to know at that time as the brain can adapt to these changes, but the weight of the brain, the vast nerves network as well as the blood flow start decreasing.
The mass of the brain and white matter start to shrink while the nerve cells also tend to produce fewer chemicals for sending messages across the body. One might face difficulty recalling recent memories and slow at remembering names and details of a person with the most severe symptoms can be seen in Alzheimer’s disease. All this starts around the age of 60-70.
Heart – Becomes incompetent
The effects of aging also impact the heart and the blood vessels making them less capable of handling blood circulation. The decline in activity makes this natural pacemaker prone to many conditions such as high blood pressure, heart attack, angina (reduced blood flow), arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms), etc.
The gradual decline in the energy can be experienced when you jump into the next decade of your life.
Digestive and Respiratory changes
Kidneys – Filter machine starts rusting
With the advancing age, the size and functionality of the kidneys also decline. They no longer filter wastes from the blood and handles dehydration as quickly as they used to do at the younger age. This happens because of the decline in kidney tissues and hardening of the blood vessels.
Lungs – Supplies less oxygen
The lungs are also not immune to aging as they become less efficient with age, supplying the body less oxygen. The functionality of lungs decreases more in people who are inactive or lacks physical activity.
Digestive system – Constipation will be a norm
Though the digestive system is less impacted by the aging process than the other organs, older adults are likely to face a number of problems such as constipation and effectiveness of the medicines. In this case, prescribed medications might need adjustment.
Sexual functionality – Decline in passion
Aging affects the libido in both men and women as they produce low levels of hormones, especially after the age of 50. Where men produce less amount of sperm, women also stops ovulating and face a number of menopausal issues. The menopause also directly affects the libido of women.
Aging brings andropause or male menopause in men. As a result, they produce low level of testosterone which may lead to low libido and a number of other sexual dysfunctions.
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How can we promote healthy aging?
As aging can’t be avoided, we can actually adopt several measures to slow down the aging process or promote healthy aging. Irrespective of your age, these measures can help you reach healthy life expectancy.
- Eat healthy and well-balanced diet. Today processed foods with added sugar, salt and fat are wreaking havoc in our life.
- Quit smoking as it can make you look older even if you are at a young age.
- Get plenty of sleep and don’t be a workaholic.
- Exercise regularly to keep yourself young every day. From simple moves to low impact exercises and strength training, whichever exercise you choose, it will benefit you in the long run.
- Socialize yourself, stay connected with people and maintain a healthy relationship with them.
- Reduce your stress levels and try to integrate mindfulness meditation in your life.
Normal aging is an inevitable part of our life as we are programmed in such a way. Though we can’t avoid aging, all we can do is to adopt healthy measures so that we can thank ourselves later in life.