Every morning you rise up from bed, the first thing you do is observe yourself in the mirror. As time passes, your reflection expresses something different. Few wrinkles and few strands of gray hair make you wonder, 'am I aging?' and you try to stretch your jaw to ensure if the laughter lines have actually gained prominence. The signs, thus, cannot be missed out and you wish, 'if only I could ignore'. It's difficult to imagine ourselves growing old although the aging process is inevitable, and some or the other day, every human being undergoes this natural phenomenon. However, there are scientific reasons behind this process that will be clear to you after reading the following content.
The process of aging is mainly governed by genes that bring out an overall change in the physical make up of the body. In humans, it is also dependent upon environmental factors and the way one leads their life. The genetic factor plays a key role. The main reasons behind aging is illustrated below.
Cellular Changes: Cellular multiplication slows down with age. The rate of formation of T-lymphocytes of the immune system decreases with age. This makes the body susceptible to diseases. Thus, immune breakdown triggers human aging, as the body is now vulnerable to a large number of diseases.
Genetic Factors: The genes associated with the mechanism of programmed cell death or apoptosis also affects aging in individuals. Scientists have carried out a detailed research on DAF-16 genes of animals to find out its resemblance with FOXO genes in human beings. The activity of these genes controls the process of aging.
Environmental Factors: Environmental stress associated with exposure to excessive heat and light trigger the activity of aging genes. Constant exposure to toxins and poisons accentuate the process. Poor oxygen conditions and malnutrition are also responsible for early aging.
Health Conditions: There are certain genetic disorders that completely change the phenotype of an individual. Hutchinson-Gilford Syndrome, Down Syndrome, and Werner's Syndrome make human beings look much older than their age. Osteoporosis and arthritis are the main factors governing aging in women. The toxins produced in Parkinson's disease degenerate the neurons that hinders the memory of brain. In Alzheimer's disease, a substance known as amyloid is produced that destroys the brain cells. All these interfere with normal aging.
Unhealthy Lifestyle: This phenomenon is mainly brought about by over consumption of alcohol and heavy smoking. Lack of exercise, inadequate rest or sleep, mental stress, etc., show symptoms of early aging. Other factors, like regular consumption of excessive spicy food and caffeine renders an old look. A sluggish lifestyle can make one feel old.
In the Elderly
Well, we cannot stop ourselves from aging, but people who have already grown old can make an effort to feel young in their old age. The feeling of growing old surpasses you most after retiring from your job. So, how to cope up with old age? The first thing you should do is maintain a good health. This involves a healthy lifestyle with proper food habits. It's of utmost importance to curtail consumption of spicy foods laden with cholesterol, fats, and carbohydrates after the age of 35. Yoga is also essential to keep yourself fit and flexible.
At your age, you can spend plenty of time with your family and grandchildren. Staying happy makes you feel young. You can also practice religious activities and read holy books for a better mental status. Old people who brim with life and energy have much more longevity than people who constantly moan about this period.
Aging process is purely a biochemical phenomenon. Today, different cosmetic therapies have evolved to efface the aging marks from skin. Although effective for time being, they cannot control the activity of genes. However, embracing old age with a positive attitude shall always make you feel young and for this reason, Mark Twain has wisely spoken, "age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter".
Disclaimer: This WellnessKeen article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.