It is no news that each and every single year, we advance in age as well as grow older. Have you ever wondered why we have this experience? Why can’t you look just as you look currently in 50 years time? This phenomenon sure does make a lot of people unhappy: when those wrinkles start appearing or when those strands of gray hairs start sprouting.
What could be the biological explanation of this process? There are so many theories about Ageing, but what is Ageing in the first place?
Ageing has to do with a combination of physiological changes in our bodies and the environmental factors we are exposed to. It happens to our bodies over time as we advance in years. There is no particular age when degenerative processes (the process by which tissue deteriorates and loses its functional ability due to traumatic injury, aging and wear and tear) begin. This is because, each person experiences physiological changes at varying ages.
Some common visible indication of ageing is the loss of skin suppleness, gray hair and the appearance of wrinkles. A decline in the cognitive capacity is a less visible symptom. Brain health deteriorates, making a person less capable of feeling and interpreting emotions, performing motor and tactile activities, learning, and remembering.
As I mentioned early on, there are different theories of ageing and let’s look at some of these theories.
· Cellular Ageing- A cell can replicate around 50 times until the genetic material can no longer be accurately copied. Cellular senescence is the loss of a cell's functional properties as a result of replication failure. Cellular ageing is marked by the accumulation of senescent cells, which leads to biological ageing. The more free radicals and environmental factors harm cells, the more cells are required to duplicate, and cellular senescence develops more quickly.
· Hormonal Ageing- Hormones play an important role in ageing, particularly during childhood, when they aid in the development of secondary male or female features by helping to form bones and muscles. Many hormones' output decreases over time, causing changes in the skin (such as wrinkles and elasticity loss) as well as a loss of muscular tone, bone density, and sex drive.
· Metabolic Aging- Your cells are continually converting food into energy as you go about your day, which produces byproducts, some of which might be damaging to your health. The process of metabolization, while necessary, can harm cells over time, a phenomenon known as metabolic ageing. Some researchers believe that a habit like calorie restriction can help humans age more slowly by slowing down the metabolic process.
Our age-obsessed culture is concerned with "slowing down the ageing process" yet the simple truth is that ageing is unavoidable. Your body will change in a number of key ways regardless of what you do.
Let’s look at the indications of Ageing and how they occur.
· Firstly, the SKIN - Skin ageing is thought to begin at the age of 25. However, there is no scientific proof to support this. Just as already mentioned, everyone undergoes the ageing process at different ages. Nonetheless, exposing your skin to the UV – light for many years and longer periods will lead to subclinical damages, such as wrinkles or pigmentation. Short UV-rays are the rays that cause sunburns, while the Long UV-rays penetrate deeper into the skin and damages the collagen fibers. Collagen is a molecule that plays a very key role in skin ageing. Dermatologists have realized that human bodies start losing collagen at the age of 20 and that is when wrinkles begin to develop.
· The BRAIN - Several studies have revealed that our brain loses roughly 5% of its weight after the age of 40, although they haven’t been able to figure out the exact process by which this happens. The frontal lobe of the brain; which is the part responsible for complex cognitive abilities shrinks the most.
Regardless of the fact that ageing is unavoidable, you can reduce or prevent aging to an extent by reducing stress and living positive emotions, according to Harvard psychologist Ellen Langer which was proven in 1979.
So what can you do in order not to age, especially much quicker?
1. Eat a healthy and balanced die - Sugar, salt, other refined carbohydrates and saturated fat all cause havoc in the body, raising the risk of hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease, as well as accelerate aging. Increase your intake of fruits, vegetables, nutritious grains, low-fat dairy, and lean meat and fish to avoid these ageing-related issues.
2. Read food labels- If you buy packaged goods for convenience, read the labels to make sure you're keeping your sodium intake under 1,500 mg per day, your sugar intake under 25 mg per day, and your saturated fat intake of about 10% of your daily calories.
3. Quit smoking - Smoking hastens the ageing process of the skin. It causes wrinkles and a sallow, lifeless appearance. Quitting cigarettes increase circulation and blood pressure while also lowering your risk of cancer.
4. Physical activity – Adults should get 30 minutes of moderate to strenuous exercise 5 days per week. According to the findings of a few studies, moderate exercise can enhance circulation and strengthen the immune system. As a result, the skin may appear to be more youthful.
5. Get enough sleep - Chronic sleep deprivation has been linked to decreased health and life longevity. You can not only feel better, but also live longer if you improve your sleep pattern and obtain roughly 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night.
6. Protect your skin from the sun - Every day, apply sunscreen to all exposed skin that is not covered by clothing. Look for garments with an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) marking for better protection.
7. Reduce alcohol intake – Excessive intake of alcohol is not favorable for the skin. It dehydrates the skin and destroys it over time. This can lead to ageing, especially premature ageing.
8. Cleanse your skin gently - Scrubbing your skin clean can cause irritation. Irritating your skin hastens the ageing process. Gentle washing removes pollutants, makeup, and other impurities from your skin without causing irritation.
9. Wash your face after sweating heavily - Perspiration irritates the skin, especially when wearing a hat or helmet, so you should wash your skin as soon as possible after sweating.
In conclusion, although these factors won’t be able to stop the biological clock, they can go a long way to slow ageing down as well as prevent premature ageing. Stay healthy!
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