How can you age proof yourself against the inevitable physical and biological changes that come with age? You can control how you will feel at 30, 40, 50, 60, 70 and beyond by getting to grips with primary and secondary age factors. It makes sense to age proof yourself for health, energy and overall wellbeing. Look below about the scientific facts versus the pure myths that surround increasing age. Decide if you too want to look younger and feel fabulous. And Hey! Lifestyle changes makes sense at any age.
Age Proof with a Healthy Lifestyle
A healthy lifestyle will enable you to do more — for longer. Age is but a number. It is how you respect yourself, and others, that come into play when dealing with ageing. Science concurs that lifestyle plays a big role when it comes to ageing.
You will argue that age brings health issues, and life events will hit you. Yes – this is true. However, you are able to control quite a few age indicators by learning more about what research says. Even when you’re struck by challenges you can rise, go on and turn it into a win for you – and others. Read on to see what we mean.
Age Proof Yourself For Tomorrow
Ask yourself how you have been leading your life up to now? Are you an active person who strives to eat as healthily as possible, or are you a general couch potato? Can you honestly say that you have no stress in your life, and that your mobile isn’t an extension of your whole being?
No-one can tell you how to feel, be or what to do. You can however make a big difference to how your body and mind will deal with the physical changes that come with age.
I define aging as a progressive deterioration of physiological function, an intrinsic age-related process of loss of viability and increase in vulnerability. João Pedro de Magalhães, PhD
Age Proof Against Birthday Blues
Are you about to celebrate a 30, 40 or 50th birthday? Having recently gone through this experience, I am struck by the reactions before and after. Apparently increasing age will entail the need to behave, dress and feel in a certain way.
I certainly don’t want to be younger than my experience – nor will I change my fashion sense or increase my sugar intake. I feel fabulous for my age, and know that my deliberate healthy lifestyle changes have helped me to not only feel energetic and happy — but actually look younger now than I did 10 years ago.
In the midst of life you can feel overwhelmed, stretched by stress and commitments. You probably perceive that you have no time to consider healthier choices. I was there – 10 years ago.
Then I decided to consider quality of life, and quantify how days have value today, and tomorrow. To start with a few healthy lifestyle changes is to age proof yourself. Find out how in Part 2: 21 Tips to Age Proof Yourself
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Read on to see how science looks at age factors, and why it makes sense to age proof yourself for tomorrow — at any age.
Age Proof: Primary and Secondary Ageing
As we age, our bodies change in physical ways. One can expect a variety of changes to take place through the early- and middle-adult years. Each person experiences age-related changes based on many factors:
- Primary Ageing: Biological factors such as molecular and cellular changes.
- Secondary Ageing: Controllable factors, such as lack of physical exercise and poor diet.
What could you possibly do to control how age will impact you? Research concurs that you can age successfully if you get to grips with the definition of primary and secondary ageing.
You can feel fabulous at any age. What make the difference seems to be how you look after fitness, nutrition, stress levels, social activities and hobbies. Do you need tweak your lifestyle to make a difference? In Part 2: 21 Tips How To Age Proof Yourself we give you tips, tools and hints how you can age proof yourself for health, energy and prevent common age-related ailments.
Age Proof: Brain Matters
The brain is affected by age too. The speed at which your brain processes information diminishes as you get older, but your ability to learn and stay smart doesn’t decrease. Just like the body, you can control some aspects of the ageing brain by keeping a healthy lifestyle. Read: How Your Brain Changes With Age – Canyon Ranch
Research shows that cognition memory does not decline with age, and material that is meaningful is recalled better than meaningless material. The same is true for prospective memory (remember to …). Scientific studies suggest that intelligence remains relative as we age. It is believed today that fluid intelligence (ability to reason speedily) declines with age, but crystalline intelligence (accumulated knowledge and skills) does not. While a number of cognitive abilities decline with age — vocabulary and general knowledge increase.
Ageing is often feared as we consider the possibility of Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Interestingly, Dementia is not a consequence of ageing nor a normal part of growing old, but the risk increases with age. The risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease also increases with age.
Age Proof: Physical and Biological Changes in Adulthood
Scientists theorise that ageing likely results from a combination of many factors. Genes, lifestyle, and disease can all affect the rate of ageing. Studies have indicated that people age at different rates and in different ways. What has been concluded is the average physical and biological changes that occur in adulthood. Take a look and see if you recognise any?
Young adulthood (20 – 39 years)
- At 20 humans are at the peak of physical performance. Strength, coordination, reaction time, sensation (sight, hearing, taste, smell, touch), fine motor skills, and sexual response are at a maximum. It is often said that youth is wasted on the young, as they happily ignore the imperceptible decline that has already begun.
- At around 30 changes begin to show. For example, changes in vision, sensitivity to sound decreases and hair can start to get thinner and/or get grey. Wrinkles start to appear, as the skin becomes drier. The immune system becomes less adept at fighting off illness, and reproductive capacity starts to decline. For more details read: Physical Development in Adulthood
Middle adulthood (40 – 60 years)
- Mid-life crisis or a time for new beginnings? At around 40 the decline that began in the mid-twenties begins to manifest itself in the form of reduction in muscular strength, reaction time, sensory abilities and cardiac output. Physical changes come more apparent as time, environment, stress, parenthood and exposure take their toll on the body. Wrinkles develop, hair gets thinner, organs no longer function as efficiently as they once did, and lung and heart capacities decrease. The muscle-to-fat ratio for both men and women also changes throughout middle adulthood, with an accumulation of fat in the stomach area. Many experience difficulty reading and difficulty hearing high‐pitched sounds.
- Around age 50, women go through menopause, and men experience decreased levels of hormones resulting in so called male menopause. For more details read: Physical and Cognitive Development
Elder/Senior citizen (60+ years)
- At 60 skin is more fragile, and an increasing number of age spots start to appear. Joints can ache, and muscle strength reduce. The metabolism slows down, and constipation/incontinence can increase. Heart disease is more common as is reduction in sensory abilities.
- After age 70, hearing, distance perception, and the sense of smell diminish, as do muscle strength, reaction time, and stamina.
- After 80, neural processes slow down, especially for complex tasks. Motor abilities also decline. While Dementia is not a normal part of growing old, the risk increases with age. The risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease also increases with age. For more details read: Changes in the Body After 60 – Merck Manuals
Age Proof For Vitality and Longevity
Healthy longevity and vitality are deemed to be two necessary attributes for wellbeing in old age. When we are in the midst of our busy lives we don’t necessarily think about how we will feel in 5, or 10 years. The time doesn’t seem to be there to look after ourselves as much as we should. You do however probably feel the effects of how you lead you life, and cannot help but get a bit worried at times, right?
To do a few healthy lifestyle changes doesn’t take much, if you understand some of the ageing factors.
If you age proof yourself you will feel better today, look good tomorrow – and prevent common ailments later in life. You will see the difference — and so will others. In Part 2 we give you 21 Tips how you too can start making some easy-to-do healthy lifestyle tweaks. And – Hey! It is never too late — or early — to start!
Longevity and Vitality Defined
Life expectancy is how long, on average, an organism can be expected to live. Longevity is the period of time an organism is expected to live under ideal circumstances.
The interesting part is how you can optimise the ‘ideal circumstances’ by upping your fitness, healthy foods, and approach. Your inputs will prevent disease, energy levels and overall wellbeing. In doing so, you increase your vitality.
Life is a form of metabolism with potentially damaging side effects, and those side effects accumulate in our bodies over time. Halldór Stefánsson
In the social sciences it has been emphasized that vitality is an important characteristic for reaching wellbeing in old age.
Vitality is the competence to make use of one’s functional abilities. It consists of having the motivation to take responsibility, the knowledge and skills to do so, and ultimately the gift to enjoy the results. Among the attributes of vitality are introspection, positive affect, energy, engagement, resilience, self-esteem, coping, autonomy, and sense of purpose, and these may all be essential to reach a satisfactory life.
If you optimise how you live, and what you put into it — you are more likely to age successfully.
Age Proof To Feel, Be and Do Good
Do you think that 40 is the new 20, and 50 the new 30? Or is 70 the new 50? There is a youth fixation in the western world.
That we should look younger, and be elastic in body and mind is certainly something we recognise from media and advertising. The other side of the coin is that experience counts.
The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience. Eleanor Roosevelt
Experience gives you the power and confidence to be you. You know how to judge a given situation, or event. You have seen it before, or know enough to think again. The more days you have (and education) allows you to make informed choices. You can decide to put more life into your days. It makes a lot of sense to put more days into your life too.
Age Proof Inspiration
To age proof yourself means dealing with the controllable effect of secondary ageing. And it is so much more than just opting to eat an apple for breakfast.
It is an approach to life, finding new roads to happiness and appreciation of the moment. I certainly do not want to be younger in years again. My lifestyle helps me to remain energetic, full of life and my life experience allows for empathy, judgment and ability to know what I want.
What I do want is to inspire you to make a few healthy lifestyle changes. Not to go on a diet or fall for some fit craze. Real, easy-to-do tweaks that anyone — at any age — can do.
That is what The GOODista healthy lifestyle blog is all about. Sign up to our newsletter here below and get updates in your in-box. If you want tips on how to age proof for today and tomorrow – make sure to follow us.
In Part 2 we give you 30 Tips How To Age Proof Yourself. Research backed, and resource packed – it is a post not to miss! Feel free to comment and share what you think are great ways to beat the clock, and how you stay on the right side of healthy.
Related and Recommended
- The science of ageing and anti-ageing – US Library of Medicine
- Brain Changes With Age – Canyon Ranch
- What to Expect When You Age – Mayoclinic.org
- Early and Middle Adulthood Human Development – boundless.com
- Middle and Senior Adulthood – cliffsnotes.com
- Wrinkles: The Good, Bad and Ugly Truth – thegoodista.com
- How Anti-Ageing Naturally Is a Lifestyle – thegoodista.com
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