It’s an inevitable fact of life, we all age. But, how does your body age over time, and what changes can you expect to undergo as you get older? In this post, I will talk about the topic of body aging in detail. This way you can learn exactly how your body changes as it ages.
Changes to The Body Due to Cell Aging
Aging occurs all over the body. Skin, hair, organs, tissues, and many other areas of the body will show signs of wear and tear over time. But, this biological process begins with cell aging. This is because every part of the body is made up of cells.
Cells are a crucial part of the human body. They contain our DNA and help transport oxygen and other nutrients throughout an individual. Cells also give form and structure to various organs and body parts. This includes bones, muscles, and skin.
When we are younger, we have trillions of cells that help keep everything functioning well. But, as we get older, those cells begin to break down and age. These biological organisms cannot divide as frequently as they could in the past due to shortened telomeres.
This leads to more damaged cells and a reduced number of healthy cells in the body overall. Really, aging occurs at the cellular level first and foremost. When cells cannot repair themselves any longer or divide, then the body starts to age more and starts to die.
Changes to Aging Organs
But what changes can you expect to see when cells start to age rapidly? One thing you can expect is aging organs. With fewer healthy cells, your organs will not function, as well as they did in the past. Organs will also have a harder time recovering from any damage inflicted on them.
Total organ breakdown usually occurs at the later stages of aging. But as you naturally age and lose cells, your organs stop working as efficiently. Slowly, you will notice changes in the way your body works.
For instance, you might not be able to eat the same unhealthy foods or drink alcoholic beverages the same way you did in the past. This is because your organs are less efficient at processing nutrients and toxins.
You will also notice physical changes as well. Your skin will sag and look more wrinkled, your muscles won’t be as toned, and fat gathers much more easily in the body.
Each organ loses cells differently, of course. And some areas of the body, like the brain, don’t lose many cells at all. But many areas of the body begin going on a decline around the time you hit age thirty.
Changes to Aging Muscles
Another area of your body that starts to change is your musculoskeletal system. With age, muscle cells have a harder time diving and replenishing themselves. This leads to diminished muscle tone and strength.
Most people reach their peach muscular fitness right before they hit thirty. And, once you turn thirty, you slowly decline in muscular tone due to aging.
This doesn’t mean that you will lose all strength in your body at thirty. This simply means that you are on a gradual decline. And, regular fitness and exercise can actually slow down the process of lost muscle mass.
Changes in Fat Storage
Muscles aren’t the only area of the body that will change. Your body’s fat storage will see a change too. Older people tend to store fat a lot more easily. And, if you don’t manage your diet and activity level, weight gain can be a real problem.
You might not think this is a big deal. But increased weight actually makes you more susceptible to several health problems. This includes heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, and even dementia.
Changes to Your Senses
Many people expect this change as they age. Senses that we take for granted, like hearing, sound, and touch slowly start to decline as we age. The most noticeable difference you will see is in eyesight. This usually happens in your early 40s.
As you age, you might notice that it is harder to see things up close. Other changes include a need for brighter light, and a diminished ability to see colors. In some more serious cases, your eyes can turn a milky white color. This could be a sign of macular degeneration.
Hearing also undergoes a similar degeneration process. But, hearing loss can be prevented to some degree. As long as you limit your exposure to high-volume sounds. Of course, you will slowly lose the ability to hear certain tones.
And over time, you will need people to talk louder. But your ears undergo a much slower aging process in comparison to other organs. Taste and smell will become less pronounced with age as well. This is because your mouth and nose age. However, these changes usually occur in your 50’s.
Aging Heart and Lungs
I briefly discussed aging organs at the beginning of this post. But I’ll talk more about how your heart and lungs age over time. With fewer cells and aging blood vessels, your heart and lungs won’t work the same way as they did before.
Hearts lose their power over time, and the stiffness in your blood vessels can actually raise your resting heart rate and blood pressure. Similarly, your lungs also lose elasticity. They can’t expand as much as time passes. And they will be able to take in less air due to the aging process.
This makes it harder to stay active and maintain peak physical fitness and activity levels as you did in your youth.
Brain Functioning and Cognition
Finally, aging can bring changes to the brain and your cognition. The level of cognitive decline you will experience depends on several different factors. But, we all experience some kind of change to our brains as we age. Though, this area loses fewer cells, in comparison to other body systems.
This can include difficulty forming new memories or recalling old memories. You will also process information a little more slowly. Still, this is one of the last areas of your body to age. Most people don’t experience noticeable mental decline until their late sixties or even seventies.
And in some cases, the difference may not be that drastic. It just depends on your genes and lifestyle choice.