I have seen people over a hundred years old breaking mind-blowing Guinness World Records and people in their prime years suffering from chronic heart diseases or diabetes. This always makes me wonder if age is really a determinant of our health status.
It is kind of unusual yet involuntary to associate health concerns with older people. Is age the only factor that indicates deteriorating health? And if that’s the case then how does age affect health? There’s something very interesting that came up for this question.
When discussing age, the first thing that pops to mind is the years and days we have lived since our birth. That is what we normally call chronological age. Chronological age can be closely related to our mental age, which means that with age our mind develops and grows.
Hence, we reinforce the idea of maturity, sensibility and wisdom with age. You might have heard the expression ‘added years to his age.’ This often refers to the fact that the person looks older than he is, usually based on experiences in life.
On the other hand, we also possess a biological age which is not calculated the way we determine our chronological age. In contrast, it is based on a number of different factors other than just the day we were born. There are various health risk calculators and where some may proclaim you as healthy individual others may not.
It is all about what factors are accounted for when determining biological age. For a better understanding, let’s take the example of our internal clock. Have you, as a student, woken up early in the morning even on weekends? It’s probably because your body has become accustomed to waking up at a certain time.
But is it the same for a healthcare worker or a laborer? Just like your body clock doesn’t sync with somebody else’s same goes for your biological age.
What factors constitute our biological age?
- Genetic make-up
- Environmental factors
- Diseases and other health condition
- Chronological age
When answering the question “At what age does health decline?” these are the factors that are taken into consideration. Nevertheless, aging is still a significant aspect that leads to detrimental health.
So now you have two aspects to aging i.e. the timely aging and the aging that our body goes through. Both, however, contribute equally to our health.
How Does Age Affect Health and Effects of Aging on the Body
When correlating age and health we must also shed light on other aspects other than the natural wear and tear of our body. Only then can we identify what each affects roots from and ultimately enabling you to take corrective measures to reverse the damage. Because if it’s biological then it’s amenable to manipulation.
You are what you eat. This is true on so many levels. There is a reason why health professionals emphasize greatly on a balanced diet. Again, the same nutritional values that other individual intakes may not be the same as yours. You need to evaluate your needs and bodily functions before putting together a balanced diet.
When talking about nutrition in relation to aging, there is also variation. A healthy young man will definitely not eat the way an elderly 50+-year-old grandpa will. This is because of the effects of aging stagnate growth and start to decline. The body now only requires nutrition to repair.
Are you nearing old age? Here are some superfoods you should definitely include in your diet.
2. Genetic Make-up
Your metabolism, response to various factors and your body requirements can greatly vary from another individual based on what you inherit from your parents. This is the reason why you might have noticed that the physical effects of aging on the body are manifested earlier on some people as compared to others like gray hair and wrinkles.
Similarly, many people are prone to certain diseases and allergies that can compromise their health differently. There are people that face accelerated or retarded mental growth with age like Down’s syndrome and Progeria
3. Environmental factors
A person living in a polluted city like Beijing and one living in the clean mountainous areas; who do you think will have a healthier lifestyle? Even you don’t need medical knowledge or any extensive studies to realize that how much a clean environment enhances the quality of life.
You might have heard about how tribal civilizations usually have an average life span higher than those living in urban settlements. Why do you think this is the case? With time, the pollution and disturbance of city life accumulate over time, gradually nibbling at our life years.
We may not realize but our way of living plays an important role in aging. The general company you attract, the food you prefer, the profession you have and the activities that take up your leisure time – all determine your aging process.
You can’t expect to live past 60, maybe 70, at most if you’re a potato couch. Spending your time in non-constructive activities and working a job that puts your mental health at stake is not the approach to take. You must add life to years if you intend to add years to your life. Your habits should reflect an adamant effort to fight aging naturally.
5. Chronological Age
How does age affect health? No matter how healthy and refraining life you live, you will eventually succumb to the natural cycle of life. It is common knowledge that anything under constant use will face wear and tear. Just like that the human body starts its decline once it emerges from its prime years. Studies state that the decline starts after 50 years of age on average.
The effects of aging on the body go further than graying hair and wrinkles. Poor balance and paining joints are common. Your aim must not be to reverse the aging process but retard it. Your activities and intake must complement natural aging.
Being precautious is great but that shouldn’t curb you from trying out new stuff. After all, age is just a number and no matter how old you get the secret of being healthy is staying young at heart. Do you want to know at what age does health decline? It’s when you let it.