Print of Aging and Decline in Fitness & Vitality
How does the human body change as we age? The
above table tells it as it is! After peaking at around 25 years
of age, body functions begin to decline!
Bones & Joints
20-25years is the optimum for bone density
25 + bones continue to grow & build till the mid 30s.
35 + there starts a slow and consistent decline in bone density.
40 + progressive decline in bone mass; in women, post menopause,
there is rapid decline in bone strength & density.
60 + increased wear & tear on joints; increased stiffness
Strangely, cartilage in the ears and nose continue to grow throughout.
Gerontologists have found that the ears & nose measure more
in older people.
25 yrs is the age for optimum muscle bulk and strength.
30 + muscle mass and strength decline progressively.
40 + further decline in muscle mass, while fat builds up to alter
the ratio of muscle to adipose tissue.
60 + decline continues.
you can do about bone and muscle loss
40 + the first wrinkles appear, skin loses elasticity as collagen
fibers lose their resilience
50 + skin surface becomes drier; age spots may appear due to build-up
of pigment in the cells
70 + decline in ability to regulate body temperature (by retaining
or losing heat)
& other strategies
Energy Needs (calorie consumption)
& Digestive System
10 yrs is the peak age for BMR (basal metabolic rate); slow decline
30 + energy needs drop by 5% every decade; weight gain is inevitable
unless corrective action is taken to increase BMR & change
50 + secretion of digestive fluid decreases causing less efficient
60 + decline in number of active taste buds.
you can do about weight loss
Brain & Nerves
18 years sees full development of the brain and nervous system
25 + ability to learn may decline, but intellectual activity continues
to develop through life experience
50 + likely changes in short-term memory, ability to concentrate
decreases, reflexes slow down ; absentmindedness, sleep pattern
75 + years brain can lose upto 10% of its tissue with attendant
loss of intellectual ability; decline also in physical co-ordination
40 + elasticity of lens declines (presbyopia) leading to difficulty
in focusing on close objects
50 + difficulty in seeing in low light
60 + loss in ability to distinguish detail; possible glaucoma
70 + further decline; possible cataract
you can do about failing eyesight
30 + loss of hearing begins in the 30s, and progresses with age
50 + gradual decline in hearing ability, decline in ability to
hear high pitched sounds
70 + further decline may make hearing aids necessary. This progressive
decline, known as presbycusis, affects 1 in 5 over age 50; 1 in
3 of the 60-70 age group; and half of all aged 70 +.
aids to combat loss of hearing
Heart & Blood Vessels
18 yrs average resting heart rate is 60-80 beats per minute (slowest
in the fittest)
40 + loss of elasticity in artery walls, leads to a rise in blood
50 + heart muscle loses elasticity; heart has to work harder to
do the same job
70 + progressive decrease in stamina leads to fatigue setting
25 optimum level
25-50 the T-cells & B-cells begin to weaken,
60 + 50% drop in function of the immune system resulting in susceptibility
70 + susceptibility to disease increases
Lungs & Airways
20-30 years optimum lung function
40 + loss of air sacs (alveoli) and weakening of rib-cage restricts
ability of lungs to expand fully
65 + lung efficiency drops to about 60% of optimum level
75 + lung efficiency drops further, and even moderate exertion
may cause shortness of breath
16-18 years peak of sexual activity in most. Sperm is produced
continuously at the rate of 125 million per day
40-50 decline in testosterone & increase in estrogen levels
50 + possible enlargement of the prostrate gland , leading to
problems in urination
70 + progressive decline in testosterone reduces sexual desire;
less viable sperm.
18 years or earlier sexual maturity in most
45-55 menopause time for women; loss of fertility; decline of
female hormone levels, vaginal dryness, loss of sexual desire,
possibility of osteoporosis , 'hot flashes' caused by high FSH
65 + further overall decline
you can do to keep the hormones flowing naturally
18 + in women, post motherhood reduced pelvic muscle strength
& tone, which may lead to urination problems
65 + kidneys function less efficiently, and it takes longer to
clear toxic chemicals from the blood-stream
40 + hair starts to gray; men may lose hair
50 + hair growth & texture of hair becomes thinner, especially
65 + further decline in growth, color and texture
to deal with hair loss
45 + gingivitis occurs in 1 out of 10
50 + teeth may start to fall out ,
70 + further decline likely unless good dental hygiene measures
you can do to retain your teeth
is inevitable, but there are steps that can be taken to minimize