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dead skin cells
skin care regimen
nerve cells
brain function
aerobic exercise
lung capacity
memory loss
sun damage
How We Age, And What We Can Do About It
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How We Age, And What We Can Do About It

Aging is a phenomenon that none of us can escape.We are born, we grow through infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and finally reach old age. Although there are many theories, the reason why this happens to the human body is a mystery. What we can understand are the specific effects aging has on our bodies, when it happens, and what we can do to age gracefully.

What I find interesting is that different parts of our bodies age at different rates. In a sense, some of our parts are younger than other parts. Understanding this helps us know how we can be extra watchful and respond to those specific needs. Maintaining overall health is always the goal, but if we can identify problems areas earlier in life, there are things we can do to give our bodies a helping hand.

Your 20's

Brain- The number of nerve cells begin to slow down and more importantly, the gaps between brains cells deteriorate. This problem is responsible for memory loss, coordination, and healthy brain function.

What can we do? Staying mentally and socially active is the best advice. Seek variety in life and continue to find ways to challenge yourself physically and mentally.

Lungs- Our lung capacity starts to diminish therefore having to work harder.

What can we do? Don't smoke. Beware of harsh pollutants and toxins that can cause damage to our respiratory tract. Do regular aerobic exercise and beware of any signs of respiratory problems.

Skin- The protein in our skin slows and starts to loose elasticity. The dead skin cells do not shed as quickly and old skin turnover lasts longer causing skin to be thinner and develop wrinkles.

What can we do? Always wear a good sunscreen. Sun damage causes skin to age much more prematurely. Stay well moisturized and drink plenty of water. Again, don't smoke. Be regular with your skin care regimen.

Your 30's

Hair- This is when most hair loss begins. Most people will develop some grey hair around 35 and hair follicles shrink causing thinner and thinner hair until eventually it becomes so thin it can't grow beyond a stump.

What can we do? Keep the hair you have healthy. Avoid harsh chemicals and heat styling. Eat properly to get the nutrients you need to maintain a healthy scalp. Find a hairstyle that flatters you as you, aging doesn't have to mean you stop having fun!

Muscles- Muscle breakdown becomes more rapid than muscle growth.

What can we do? Obviously exercises and strength training become even more important as we age. We can repeat with the reminder to keep a well balanced, nutrient and protein rich diet. With the onset of age related health problems it is important to not let them slow you down, but remain as active as your circumstances allow.

Bones -Here is the time bones start to shrink in size and density causing weakness. They are then more prone to injury and disease.

What can we do? Maintaining strong muscles will support bone stability. Getting enough calcium and vitamin D is vital as well. Keep active.

Fertility- This effects both men and women. In women the number of quality eggs begin to drop, ovaries start to fall, and the lining of the womb begins to thin. In men, poor sperm quality begins.

What can we do? As we age, staying fit and healthy becomes especially important in trying to conceive. This includes diet and a healthy weight. There are special methods for increasing your chances of conceiving, but it is important to realize your chances of facing obstacles become more likely after this time period.

Your 40's

Teeth- We begin to create less saliva which can lead to the growth of more bacteria, and the gums start to deteriorate.

What can we do? Eat healthy foods and avoid foods that are sugary or highly acidic. Avoid chewing anything hard like ice and see your dentist regularly for checkups.

Eyes- The muscles in your eyes simply get weaker affecting your ability to focus, both near and far distances.

What can we do? Get regular eye checkups to catch any issues before they become serious. Don't smoke. Eat foods rich in omega 3 fats and antioxidants. Wear sunglasses with good protection against damaging sun rays.

Heart- The heart becomes weaker and pumps less effectively. Vessels loose some elasticity and arteries may begin to harden due to hardened fatty deposits. This can cause high blood pressure and other diseases.

What can we do? Eat healthy, healthy, healthy! Try to get quality physical activity every day. Don't smoke. Doing these three things will reduce your chance of cardiovascular disease dramatically.

Your 50's

Gut-A poor digestive system due to a drop in friendly bacteria and rise in harmful bacteria. The results are constipation, diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome, and the slowing down of the liver, stomach, pancreas, and the small and large intestines.

What can we do? Drink plenty of water and a diet rich in fiber. Remain physically active to keep your digestive system moving. Be mindful of certain medications that can complicate digestive problems and speak with your doctor about them.

Kidneys- The filtering units in place start to reduce and its ability to get rid of waste diminishes. Also the ability control urination at night becomes more difficult.

What can we do? Avoid holding trips to the bathroom to urinate. Do pelvic muscle exercises called kegels. If you're overweight, strive to loose the excess weight and speak to your doctor for further advice.

Hearing- The loss of tiny sensory cells in the inner ear become damaged or die causing hearing loss.

What can we do? Take care of your ears now. Avoid loud noises. Get a regular hearing checkup by a hearing specialist. Know your family history. If there is a history of hearing loss, speak with your doctor.

Your 60's and 70's

Taste and Smell- Our taste buds eventually halve in number at this age. The problem can be worsened by nasal and sinus problems.

What can we do? Don't smoke. Consult your doctor to see if there is a need to see if you should seek other expert advice from an allergist, otolaryngologist, neurologist or other specialist.

Voice- Our voices become hoarser and quieter because the tissue of the voice box become softer.

What can we do? This generally is not a serious problem, but if the sound of your voice deeply bothers you, there are vocal therapies for voice strengthening.

Liver- This is our super organ that seems to defy the aging process. If you don't drink or suffer disease it is possible donate an organ 70 years old or older!

Well this is quite the list, but enlightening nonetheless. Knowledge is power and we can use knowledge of our own bodies to live happier, longer, healthier lives.

Street Talk

I am so glad to read an article about health that does not promote some product that really does nothing for your health, just hides the aging body. This is great information and I wish everyone could read this article, especially as they are age into their 40s and beyond. Youth is very forgiving. When I quit smoking the last time it was within 5 days that my skin felt like I was young again it was so re-hydrated. and I was in my 50s.

  about 1 decade ago

I'm so glad you liked it! It's very frustrating to see so many people like you say, "hide" or cover up their age related problems. If we only start to really love the bodies we have and treat them as we should, instead of looking for a temporary fix, we'd all be much better off ;)

  about 1 decade ago

I had no idea that the liver was such a "super organ'!

  about 1 decade ago

I know that was one of my favorite little facts I learned while researching this, I love it!

  about 1 decade ago

What a wealth of information here Ally. Thanks for putting it together for us!

  about 1 decade ago

It took me a bit longer to research, but really worth it and my pleasure. I love writing because I learn so many things that blow my mind. Thanks for reading!

  about 1 decade ago

Great article where were you 40 years ago when I was in my twenty's, too late to tell me now. Keep it up.

  about 1 decade ago

Haha, thanks Rob!

  about 1 decade ago
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