Profound changes occur within and outside of the body as it ages on a cellular level that affect your body’s appearance and function. Because of these natural changes, slowing the aging process can seem like a futile race against time. However, progress in the study of aging has allowed us to understand how we can protect ourselves against some of the more drastic effects of aging by maintaining a healthy lifestyle and supplementing our daily routines.
Aging on a Cellular Level
The genes of cells are pre-programmed to die after they reach a certain age so that new cells can take their places. The process is called apoptosis, and it is one of a few different cell death processes. They can also die of damage or as a result of their regular operation.
The process of cell death is related to almost every other effect of aging on the body. When fewer cells become available to carry out bodily functions, chain reactions cause organs, bones, muscles, and brain function to fail.
Your organs suffer from cell death, especially once their rate of replacement slows following age 30. Low cell counts prevent organs from fully functioning, but most vital organs have a functional reserve, an extended capacity to carry out their purpose beyond what is strictly necessary. Older men and women who exercise and eat a healthy diet do not lose much brain function, and they are less vulnerable to organ diseases that can accelerate organ failure.
Muscle mass and strength begin decreasing when men and women reach 30 years old. The majority of muscle decrease happens because hormone levels dip during the aging process. Lower testosterone in both men and women limits the ability of muscles to grow, which makes exercise more difficult.
Bones lose density during the aging process. When their density lowers, they become susceptible to breakage. Bone density loss happens when estrogen levels decrease, especially in women who have undergone menopause. Calcium also lowers after the body starts to lose its ability to absorb calcium, which affects bone strength. Joints, ligaments, and cartilage become less elastic and thinner. Older people tend to be less flexible and their posture suffers as a result of these effects of aging.
Skin becomes thinner and loses elasticity once the effects of aging set in. There is less collagen available to aged skin, and the natural fat layer underneath skin thins. Decreased cushion creates wrinkles in the skin, and sun damage pulls imperfections from below the skin’s surface to the top. Blood flow also drops, which lowers tolerance for heat and slows the body’s ability to heal.
The most noticeable change in brain cells is the number of nerve cells. Your brain will attempt to compensate by restoring lost connections between nerve cells and will create new nerve cells in the most vital parts of the brain. Decreased blood flow and changes in signal conduction and messaging make cerebral tasks more difficult but still possible for older men and women.
What You Can Do to Fight Aging
Most advice on how to slow down the aging process is typical of what a doctor may tell you. Fighting aging is generally a preventive measure, and like most preventive activities, it starts with basic health.
Even after muscle mass and strength begins to wane, it’s likely not to exceed 15% over the course of the second half of life. Many elderly men and women continue to enjoy sports and exercise, and it is one of the best ways to preserve the integrity of aging muscle and encourage vital organs to remain in the best possible condition.
Aging causes your absorption of essential vitamins and minerals to slow, which means you have to consume more of them to receive the same benefits you did when you were younger. Train your body to absorb nutrients better by starting to eat healthy foods when you’re young. Even if you’re over 30 now, it’s never too late to improve your diet and choose how to incorporate this method to slow the aging process.
Take a multivitamin if you can’t get your essential vitamins and minerals through diet alone. Explore the ability of age-fighting formulas such as Sermorelin to restore the body’s natural hormones and aid in slowing the aging process. Supplements may also have additional benefits that fight aging, such as weight loss and bone density increases.