The human body inevitably changes with age, regardless of how well we understand these processes. It is impossible to completely avoid aging, but a properly adjusted lifestyle can help slow down this unavoidable process. By finding out the causes of aging, we will be able to minimize these harmful factors, thereby delaying old age and living longer. So, what are the real causes of age-related changes, and how to stop aging?
Why does aging occur?
Many theories of aging explain this process by accumulating mutations in DNA and cellular damage. According to the telomerase theory, the cause of aging is the shortening of telomeres — the end sections of chromosomes. Cells begin to divide less and become more damaged. This complicates their work, and they “wear out”. When there is too much damage, apoptosis is triggered – a regulated process of cellular self-destruction. Otherwise, the body can keep them in an unnatural state, which, in turn, leads to oncology. Moreover, withering cells no longer perform their functions, becoming a burden to the body due to the release of toxins that contribute to tissue inflammation. The body tries to get rid of these “broken” cells as soon as possible with the help of immunity. But, unfortunately, over time, it also becomes weaker. Now this explanation of the mechanisms of aging is supported by most researchers.
What changes in the aging body?
A group of geneticists from Finland, the UK, and the USA analyzed the genes of a group of people aged 20 to 90 years. As part of this study, they found out that in 50 – 55 years, drastic changes occur at the gene level. During this period, the protective mechanisms at the DNA level sharply weaken, as well as the processes of cellular respiration change. Aging affects a person’s appearance in the form of:
- curvature of the silhouette,
- muscle volume contractions,
- deterioration of skin quality,
- hair color changes,
- changes in facial features.
The main internal age-related changes include the following factors:
- Bone decalcification,
- Hormonal imbalance,
- Increase of fibrous and fatty tissues,
- Impaired glucose tolerance,
- Vascular pathologies,
- Violation of the functionality of the stomach,
- Poor excretion of toxic substances,
- Deterioration of the immune system,
- Decreased neurological functions.
Thus, due to the violation of the vital functions of cells, the whole body begins to age irrevocably.
External factors that affect aging
There are a lot of reasons for early aging. Let’s analyze the main ones.
- Inflammation. This is the body’s defense mechanism, which is activated when foreign elements enter the tissues. It is extremely important, but such a process should be short. But long-term inflammation is the starting point of many diseases, which gradually worsens the immune system, accelerating aging.
- Stress. Another good reason for agingis that it changes the hormonal balance and stimulates the production of cortisol, which negatively affects the whole body. In particular, the brain suffers from it, since it is from here that changes in the cognitive system and memory impairment occur.
- Sugar. This product stimulates the production of insulin, which affects muscle mass and fat deposition. This is how obesity, diabetes mellitus, and other dangerous diseases begin.
- Acidification. Acute and chronic diseases are caused by acidification or, in other words, by the formation of free radicals. Factors that increase the production of free radicals include smoking and alcohol, exposure to toxic substances and drugs, lack of sleep, intense solar radiation, etc. The process of acidification is when such cells become abnormal, prematurely aged, or turn into malignant elements.
How to slow down the aging of the body?
Compliance with simple rules can prolong young years. So, to slow down the aging process, you need:
- Balance the nutrition.It is recommended to adhere to the Mediterranean diet: there are a lot of fruits and vegetables, fish, and whole grains, among other things. Such a diet reduces the level of inflammation and vice versa increases the tone. It is also important to reduce the amount of animal protein and sugar and include protein products in every meal.
- Adjust the sleep mode. Lack of sleep not only affects our appearance (bruises under the eyes, swelling, dull complexion) but also causes chronic stress. Ideally, you need to fall asleep in a dark, cool room for about 22 hours and get up before 8 am. This is entirely enough for the body to recover, and the balance of hormones remained normal.
- Fight stress.The stress hormone, cortisol, has a devastating effect on health. Reducing the amount of caffeine, yoga, walking, and aromatherapy help to relax and control cortisol levels.
- Avoid factors that increase premature aging: alcoholic beverages, ultraviolet light, smoking, toxins, vibrations and noise, and fatigue.
- Exercise regularly. Physical activity helps prevent chronic inflammation and, of course, strengthens blood vessels, heart, and nervous system.
- Be cheerful.They say laughter prolongs life. So, scientists have confirmed that the psyche has a huge impact on health because it is closely related to hormones. Thus, an optimistic view of the world has a good effect on the entire physiology of the body.
Although these tips may seem too simple, following them helps to delay the aging of the body. After all, all these aspects are supported by a serious scientific base.