The aging process affects every organ system. Some changes begin as early as ages 30 to 40. The aging process becomes more rapid between ages 55 and 60.
Effects of Aging
Integumentary System: Loss of elasticity in the skin tissue, producing wrinkles and sagging skin; oil glands and sweat glands decrease their activity, causing dry skin; hair thins.
Skeletal System: Decline in the rate of bone deposition, causing weak and brittle bones: decrease in height.
Muscular System: Muscles begin to weaken; muscle reflexes become weaker; strength reduces; muscle tissue atrophies; sugar and fat metabolism reduce.
Nervous System: Brain size and weight decreases: fewer cortical neurons; rate of neurotransmitter production declines; short-term memory may be impaired; intellectual capabilities remain constant unless disturbed by a stroke; reaction times are slower.
Sensory System: Eyesight is impaired with most people becoming far-sighted; hearing, smell, and taste are reduced.
Endrocrine System: Reduction in the production of circulating hormones; thyroid becomes smaller; production of insulin is impaired.
Cardiovascular System: Pumping efficiency of the heart is reduced: blood pressure is usually higher; reduction in peripheral blood flow; arteries tend to become more narrow.
Lymphatic System: Reduced sensitivity and responsiveness of the immune system; increased chances of infection and/or cancer.
Respiratory System: Breathing capacity and lung capacity are reduced due to the less elasticity of the lungs; air sacs in lungs are replaced by fibrous tissue.
Digestive System: Decreased peristalsis and muscle tone; stomach produces less hydrocholoric acid; intestines produce fewer digestive enzymes; intestinal walls are less able to absorb nutrients.
We all must go through the aging process, this is the natural order of life. However, there are things we can do to help reduce the aging affect. They are;
Eat Nutrient Dense foods every 2-3 hours a day.
Eat Small Amounts of food.
Chew all food completely before swallowing.
Take digetive enzymes with each meal, especially if you are over the age of 50.
Sleep throughout the night. 6-8 hours undisturbed.
Maintain protein and fat levels.
Stimulate reproductive system frequently throughout the week.
Exercise 2-5 times a week.
Exercise for 4-30 minutes per workout.
Perform resistance training exercises on a regular basis.
Incorporate cardiovascular exercise 4-20 minutes 3 times per week.
Have a positive attitude.
Accept the aging process and come to the understanding that death is not the end of the journey but just the beginning.
Daryl Conant, M.Ed.