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How aging affects us

It is impossible to stop time, but we can slow it down with powerful “weapons" such as a healthy lifestyle free from cigarettes, sedentary lifestyle, junk food, as well as stress. But what happens to our bodies as we age? Specialists from the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS), the National Eye Foundation (NEI), Heart, Lung and Blood Heart (NHLBI), Aging (NIA) and the US, NI The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and St. Luke's Hospital in Iowa have the answers.


Depending on the age and the hormonal fluctuations it brings, the health of the skin is also affected. E.g. acne is more common in adolescence, while dry skin is more common after menopause. As we grow older, the connective tissue of the skin gradually loses its strength and elasticity, while two components of the skin, collagen and elastin, degenerate, resulting in the development of wrinkles, "bags" and folds. Aging skin is more sensitive and develops bruises more easily. In addition, because sebum production is reduced, the skin becomes drier. Over time, the hair also thins and gradually turns gray, while the nails grow at an increasingly slow pace.


Our strength and muscle mass reach their maximum level at the ages of 20-30 years. Then begins the progressive wear and tear, which manifests itself in the contraction and reduction of the number and size of muscle fibers, resulting in a loss of muscle strength and flexibility. At the age of 40, the waist circumference begins to increase, as the muscles are converted into fat - which is concentrated in the trunk. At the same age, the decrease in muscle mass in the arms and legs begins. Finally, due to changes in the tendons and ligaments, the movements of the joints are limited and flexibility is reduced.


Bone mass decreases over time, making the bones less dense and more fragile, and reducing height. We get the maximum bone density up to our 25 years. After this age, progressive bone loss begins. The more active one is in childhood and the more dairy products one consumes, the greater one's maximum bone mass will be. If the loss of bone mass is too great, osteoporosis develops, a disease that can occur in men, although it is much more common in women. Its appearance increases the risk of fractures, which is exacerbated by the increased possibility of falling, due to the deterioration in muscle strength and flexibility.

Heart and blood vessels

The cardiovascular system becomes less efficient over time because the heart muscle gradually loses the ability to quickly push large amounts of blood throughout the body. That's why we get tired more easily and we need to recover more. In addition, the blood vessels lose their elasticity, while fat accumulates in the inner walls of the arteries (arteriosclerosis), causing narrowing in the area through which the blood passes. The consequence of all this is that the heart has to work harder to supply the body with blood, which can lead to hypertension and other ailments. The decline in heart efficiency begins around the age of 30 and by the age of 60 has been reduced by about half. Its degeneration is faster in those who lead a sedentary life.


The size (volume) of the brain decreases with age, as does the number of nerve cells in it. This means that memory, especially short-term, becomes less efficient (it is this simple daydream that we all attribute to age, but sometimes suggests something more serious, such as dementia). In addition, our reflexes are reduced and the coordination of movements becomes slower.

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