Aging is the process of gradual disruption and loss of important functions of the body or its parts, in particular, the ability to reproduce and regenerate. Due to aging, the body becomes less adapted to environmental conditions, reduces and loses its ability to deal with predators and to resist diseases and injuries.
What changes in the body with age?
Metabolism slows down
We often talk about “fast” metabolism, when we discuss someone’s ability to eat buns without getting fatter, but the metabolic rate affects not only appearance: the energy that the body receives from food and drinks is needed by absolutely all organs for normal functioning. Scientists still do not quite understand why some people have a fast metabolism, while others have a slow metabolism, but they agree that it slows down with age: at 50, your body will spend less calories at rest, so if the diet and training will be exactly the same as in 20, you will still begin to gain weight.
Bones and joints become more fragile and vessels become stiffer
With age, blood vessels and arteries become less elastic, and their walls harden, so the heart has to work harder to drive blood through them. This leads to increased pressure (hypertension) and other common problems with the heart and blood vessels. The situation is different with bones: they become thinner and less dense (because of this, it is much easier for older people to get a fracture). The vertebrae also become more fragile, and the intervertebral discs, which occupy a third of the volume of the spine, are erased – because of this, most people after 50 become a little shorter.
The skin loses its elasticity, wrinkles and age spots appear
The withering of skin worries us more than other signs of aging: after all, these changes are obvious. With age, the fat layer under the skin becomes thinner, less sebum is produced (and you sweat less). From the age of 25, the body begins to produce less collagen and elastin – because of this, the skin throughout the body becomes drier and loses elasticity. The number of melanocytes – the cells responsible for the production of pigment – is reduced: because of this, the skin needs more protection from sunlight, the main culprits of the appearance of static wrinkles and age spots.
Sight deteriorates – farsightedness appears
Most forty-year-olds notice that it has become more difficult for them to read and examine objects at close range: this is a manifestation of presbyopia, an age-related visual impairment that is associated with hardening and a change in the curvature of the lens. By the age of 65, almost all of us will have to get reading glasses. In addition, with age, color perception deteriorates a little, and we also begin to see worse in dim lighting – to recognize a font as well as in youth, a 60-year-old needs a lamp three times brighter. In addition to vision, other feelings become dull with age: most people after 60 smell and taste worse.
The immune system responds more slowly to threats – getting sick is much easier
With age, your immunity becomes weaker: the body produces fewer immune cells, the system responds more slowly to threats and distinguishes its cells from strangers worse – therefore, at an older age, the risk of autoimmune and oncological diseases increases. Due to a decrease in the protective functions of the immune system, injuries and common infections like influenza are much more difficult to tolerate. Although the immune system is well-regulated independently, it is affected by chronic stress and fatigue, poor nutrition, smoking (even passive) and alcohol, chronic foci of infection, a chaotic daily routine, lack of sleep, and other factors that most citizens face.
Although age-related changes are inevitable, they all manifest themselves in different ways. Much depends on genes: the organisms of some people are arranged so that they turn gray at 25, while others do without hair dye until they are very old. The lifestyle also plays a huge role: while a 30-year-old citizen hardly walks upstairs and suffers from insomnia, somewhere an 80-year-old woman runs for marathons.
9 steps to slow down the aging
In youth, when we actively consume calories, and metabolic processes proceed without failures, we can eat anything and in any quantities. Over the years, the metabolism slows down, this leads to excess weight, the deposition of salts, toxins and, as a result, to a deterioration in well-being.
You need to eat at least three times a day. An interval of more than 5 hours slows down the metabolism, sets the body to economical energy consumption.
You should use only fresh products. Semi-finished products with preservatives, dyes and flavor enhancers contribute to the accumulation of toxins.
Limit refined foods and fast carbohydrates. They instantly raise sugar levels. Eat more protein foods (fish, poultry, meat) and try to eat at least 300 g of vegetables and 300 g of fruit per day.
Get rid of bad habits
Smoking and alcohol, as well as an unhealthy diet, lead to slagging of the body and the early appearance of the first signs of aging. Smoking affects the color of the skin as a whole. It becomes dull and takes on a tan. And drinking alcohol and drinks containing caffeine contributes to the overall dehydration of the body.
Without moisture, cells age faster, and all metabolic processes are inhibited. And of course, bad habits inevitably lead to various diseases.
Move more and exercise
Any movement helps the joints maintain mobility and not lose collagen tissue. People leading a sedentary lifestyle are more likely to suffer from osteochondrosis. Regular exercise strengthens the cardio-respiratory system, preventing tachycardia and coronary artery disease.
It’s never too late to go in for sports. People of mature age are recommended to start with yoga, dancing or entry-level group training – all of them give a good basic load. Beginners of any age can go for Pilates and cycling.
Take regular examinations
With age, many people unexpectedly discover chronic diseases that could be detected at an early stage. In order to “catch” and correct some kind of change in the work of the body, it is important to undergo regular medical check-ups or its modern counterpart – comprehensive check-up diagnostics.
Everyone who cares about their health should undergo a basic check-up every year. You should check the status of vital systems of the body, make sure that everything is ok or detect violations in a timely manner. The basic check-up includes general and biochemical analyzes of blood, urine, ECG, spirometry, ultrasound of the internal organs and thyroid gland, etc.
If the patient has a complicated history, chronic disease or a hereditary predisposition, he or she should undergo an extended check-up with additional examinations, for example, make an analysis of tumor markers, ultrasound of blood vessels, etc. Such a health check allows you to find out about the possible risks and take timely action.
Do general strengthening procedures
Various types of massage, algae wraps, stone therapy and heliotherapy are not only a way to treat yourself. Such procedures activate defenses, saturate tissues with oxygen, essential microelements and vitamins.
An interesting way to improve your well-being and condition in a short time is cryotherapy. It has been scientifically proven that stress exposure to extreme cold improves muscle tone and joint mobility, stimulates metabolism and reproductive functions, and strengthens the immune system.
Take care of your skin
Everyone knows that the main thing in the prevention of skin aging is thorough hydration. And it is useful to supplement home care with salon procedures.
Modern techniques (for example, biorevitalization or ultrasonic skin hydration) solve the problem of dehydration of the epidermis, stimulate the production of collagen fibers, improve complexion, and even eliminate deep wrinkles. Another effective anti-age technique is photorejuvenation. High-intensity light fluxes act on the skin, which eliminates the early signs of skin aging, stimulates collagen production and stimulates metabolic processes.
You can do salon procedures from the age of 18-19 years (if indicated). Much depends on the individual characteristics of the skin, heredity, lifestyle and even profession. So, the skin is more dehydrated in athletes, stewardesses, models and actresses.
During a period of nervous tension, the level of cortisol, the main hormone of stress, increases. This in turn provokes cellular inflammation. In addition, cortisol and other “defensive” hormones inhibit cell renewal processes, and this affects both the appearance of the skin and the state of health of the body.
How to overcome stress? Each has its own recipes. Someone helps a good dream, communication with loved ones, a favorite hobby, physical activity, balanced nutrition, meditation. Others may need specialist help. In any case, controlling stress is very important for maintaining youth.
Keep your teeth healthy
Dental problems make you look much older. In order for the teeth to remain healthy and not to change their position, it is necessary to properly brush them at least 2 times a day, eat more solid plant foods (fruits, vegetables), reduce the amount of sweets and carbonated drinks, stop smoking, and also visit a dentist 2 times a year.
Learn new things
Perhaps the most frightening consequence of aging is the changes affecting the brain and the activity of the nervous system. With age, the brain functions less intensely, but intellectual skills, the power of abstract thinking, and its individual traits can still be pronounced. Studies have found that a person’s mental abilities increase as a result of exercise.
A person is capable of learning at any age, his/her intellect is not necessarily destroyed. So if you want not to lose over the years the ability to think clearly and reasonably, do not be afraid to learn new things.