Do you remember back in your 20’s and 30’s; that feeling of invincibility?
No physical challenge was too great and you actually felt sorry for the older generation? I do!
Then one day you wake-up and start to feel the first twinges, the first signs that you are getting older and slowly but surely these twinges progress!
“Welcome to being a human being”. Sadly there comes a time (and we all differ here) when our bodies start to degenerate and it will progressively get worse as time goes by.
“Are we doomed to a life of misery you may ask?”
At this moment in time we cannot stop the aging process but I feel sure that not too far in the distant future scientists will find a way.
So instead, the question should be “until such time is there anything that we can do to slow down the aging process? Before I go into that, let’s have a look at some of the changes that affect our bodies once we reach a certain age.
I will only look at two or three points here as I am a Personal Trainer and not a Biologist!
The first thing to look at are the tiny little cells called mitochondria.
These cells are known as the ‘power house of cells’ and are found within the muscle. At a young age we have millions of them running around our body giving us that feeling of youthful energy. As we age however the numbers decrease and they are not as active.
Next on the list for men is testosterone which plays a huge role in men’s health. (This does also have an impact on women although males have 10 times more testosterone than females)
Testosterone is a very important hormone, helping to maintain muscle mass, bone density and sex drive. It also helps to maintain lean muscle mass which means less body fat!
Testosterone is known to slow down the aging process, which can only be good news. Sadly however, as we age the levels drop and in some cases a 40 year old male will have lost up to 50% of his testosterone level.
Third on our shortlist is bone density.
You know those aches and pains that you start to feel as you grow older?
Although you may think that bones are a non- living part of your body they are quite the opposite. Your bones are constantly regenerating. New bone is formed and old bone disposed of. In fact our bones can take up to 30 years to mature fully. Like everything else in our body things start to go downhill at a certain point and for women it is worse than men. This is due to a drop in oestrogen levels that is associated with the menopause.
Looking at the above, it would seem that for most of the younger population all is nice and rosy and that it is not until we reach our forties that things start to change. Can we do anything about this? Yes we certainly can and the magic bullet is called exercise. Exercise becomes more important as time passes so we all need to become more active rather than less active.
Can you imagine that all of the above ailments can be slowed down through good exercise, an active life style and good nutrition?
The number of mitochondria and their activity level can be increased as can the
testosterone level. Bone density has also been shown to increase with good impact training. This type of training is more important for you ladies as you tend to suffer from osteoporosis more than men.
You can’t stop the aging process completely but you can certainly slow it down.
At the age of nearly 64 I am still as active as when I was in my twenties and thirties. I still do extreme sports and will not give in to the ‘age’ excuse! I will part with these final words.
“Time is a concept that humans created.”
Author. George Cuzzocrea