While a person is still young, he won’t even think of the aging process and how it will impact his life. But when that same person starts seeing strands of gray hair, wrinkles, and other common signs of aging, the inevitable suddenly becomes a reality. As people grow older, their bodies start to change. Some people may gain more weight, some might get tired more easily, while some may start to feel their joints becoming stiffer. There are different signs which all point to the same thing – that the person is growing older and the body is undergoing physical changes,
The process of aging is subtle and goes unnoticed. Then one day, a person will look in the mirror and suddenly realize that his appearance has changed so much! Aside from this, there may be other signs such as feeling pain in certain parts of the body even though there’s no discernable cause. The aging process is a natural one; everyone goes through it no matter how much they try to delay it.
Aging naturally isn’t a bad thing. People shouldn’t think of it as a failure of all the body organs and systems. Instead, people should look at it as a lifelong process of changing and trying one’s best to adapt to those changes. Although everyone changes because of aging, each person ages differently. As soon as one starts noticing the changes, don’t panic and don’t feel bad. These are all natural and inevitable.
How Does the Aging Process Work?
As a person ages, his body goes through different changes. Tissues, muscles, blood vessels, and even the skin start to lose their elasticity. The heart becomes less efficient, the bones weaken, and the metabolism also starts to slow down. Practically every part of the body gets affected by the aging process.
Despite all these changes that the body goes through, most people only focus on changes in their appearance. The physical signs are the ones which affect people the most, and they’re usually what people notice first.
When people age, it’s what’s inside the body that makes the outside change. As time goes by, the body can’t produce elastin and collagen as productively. These fibers help make the skin more elastic, so when the body can’t produce them anymore, the skin loses elasticity. Aside from aging, too much sun exposure can also contribute to this. Without elastin and collagen, the skin can’t hold its shape well. It becomes less supple and moist as time goes by.
Aside from this, people who age also tend to produce less sweat and oil. This can lead to dry skin especially if not treated. The physical changes caused by aging emerge as time goes by. This is because the body starts to slow down. Just like as different people age faster, there are also different body parts which age first. These parts of the body are the first ones to show changes, so it’s important to know them.
The Body Parts Which Age First
Nobody wants to look as old as they are. At the very least, everyone wants to age gracefully. As a person ages, his skin becomes less elastic. Because of this, he may notice the emergence of wrinkles, fine lines, age spots, and more. These common signs, along with the other changes brought about by aging, can be hastened if a person also practices unhealthy habits.
However, no matter how much a person takes care of himself, the aging process will still catch up. There are certain body parts which will show the changes because of aging. Here’s a list of the body parts which commonly age first:
Elbows. This may come as a surprise to most people especially because they don’t consider the elbows. However, it is one of the very first parts of the body which undergoes physical changes as we age. Sadly though, there’s not a lot anyone can do about it. The skin on the elbows will start to loosen and sag when one age.
Of course, everyone experiences this, but they deal with it differently. Some people use creams or moisturizers to remedy the situation. Others simply hide their elbows by wearing long-sleeved clothes.
Eyelids. As people grow older, their eyelids stretch and because of this, the muscles which support them become weaker. What’s worse, this causes an accumulation of fat above and below the eyelids. This is what creates the unattractive bags under the eyes.
Just like with the elbows, there’s nothing much to be done to prevent the eyelids from aging. Some people may use creams or serums which may reduce the appearance of eye bags and reduce puffiness too. Also, some people choose to have surgery done to make their eyelids appear younger.
Face. Another body part which changes first while we age is our face. When a person is young, freckles may look quite adorable and appealing. However, as the person ages, those freckles start to grow and become dark spots on the face. When this happens, it doesn’t look attractive at all. Aside from this, the face may manifest more changes. These include wrinkles, fine lines, crows’ feet, and more.
Fortunately, there are products out there which can help reduce these signs of aging. There are moisturizers, creams, serums, masks, and more which people use to delay and prevent the appearance of the common signs of aging. These products are specially formulated to treat the common skin issues found on the face, even the ones brought about by aging.
Hair. Everyone knows that hair becomes gray or white as we age. In fact, a lot of people dread this. But aside from the color change, hair can also become thinner as a person ages. It can also become drier and brittle. One may use special shampoos and other hair products to make the hair more vibrant and thick. However, the only way to get rid of graying hair is to have a dye job at the salon.
Hands. Another fast-aging body part is a person’s hands. People’s hands are frequently exposed to the environment and all the elements. Because of this, the hands give away a person’s age more than any other part of the body. Aside from the aging process, sun damage may also contribute to this.
Anyone who wants to keep his hands young and healthy should take care of them. There are many products out there which can make the hands look and feel young, soft, and smooth. Keeping the hands well-moisturized is important if a person wants to delay the changes brought about by the aging process.
Neck. Finally, there’s the neck. When a person ages, he may start developing what’s known as a “turkey neck.” When this happens, it becomes very unattractive, and it may make the person feel self-conscious. The reason the neck ages first is because its skin is thinner.
Just like with the face and hands, one may use products to help smoothen the skin of the neck and make it firmer. Other than that, there’s not much which can be done about the changes.
Other Physical Changes You May Notice When Aging
Aside from the body parts mentioned in the last section, there are also other physical changes a person may notice as he ages. It’s important to know exactly what changes to expect. Knowing will help the person find ways to slow down the deterioration of these body parts. The changes may be inevitable, but that doesn’t mean that one cannot slow them down. Here are the other physical changes you may notice:
Bones, muscles, and joints. As people age, the bones start to shrink in density and size. In fact, as they age, some people grow shorter! Also, some people become more susceptible to fractures because of the bone loss. Aside from this, the muscles, joints, and tendons also start to lose their flexibility.
To delay this deterioration, one should consider exercising regularly. This will help maintain the strength and flexibility of these body parts. Pairing this with a healthy diet may also help slow down the aging of these body parts. For those who’ve never had exercise routines before, it’s best to speak to a doctor first about the exercise routine and diet to follow.
Brain and central nervous system. The aging process also causes the body to lose cells naturally. This even occurs in the brain. Because of this, memory loss is a common concern for people who age. The brain does try to compensate for this by increasing the number of connections between its cells. This helps preserve the functions of the brain. However, because of this, the reaction rate of a person may slow down. Also, they would be less coordinated and more distracted as they age.
Digestive system. When people age, they may also notice that swallowing doesn’t come so naturally anymore. This happens because as the esophagus weakens and can’t contract forcefully anymore.
Also, the digestive reflexes become slower too. In the digestive tract, there aren’t as many secretions anymore. This is unfortunate as these secretions help the digestive system break down the foods people eat. This causes issues in digestion which one may not have experienced when he was younger.
Ears. The ears also start showing signs of aging. This may happen because of all the noise you hear throughout the years. Excessive noise can damage the ears so when the person ages, his hearing becomes compromised.
Heart. It’s a fact that the heart works all day, every day. Throughout a person’s lifetime, it will beat for more than 2 billion times! But as a person ages, the blood vessels surrounding the heart start to become less elastic. Fatty deposits may also start building up against the walls of the artery. Because of this, the heart needs to work even harder to keep the blood circulating. This may lead to hypertension, atherosclerosis, and other heart-related issues.
Urinary tract and kidneys. When a person grows older, his kidneys may start to lose their efficiency. When this happens, it can’t eliminate waste from the bloodstream. The kidneys also start to decrease in size as a person ages. This is because they lose cells.
If a person also suffers from chronic diseases and illnesses, this would also make the kidneys age faster. The urinary tract isn’t spared either when it comes to the aging process. One may start to experience urinary incontinence because of different health conditions.
Weight. Another physical change one may notice as he ages is an increase in weight. This is because the person may not be as active as he used to be while young. Aside from this, aging also brings about slower metabolism which can also lead to weight gain. As a person grows older, he isn’t able to burn as many calories as he could while he was younger and so those extra calories get stored as fat in the body.
Tips for Gracefully Embracing the Aging Process
Nobody can turn back the hands of time, no matter how hard they try. This means that one also cannot totally stop the aging process. What one can do is choose how his body will handle the aging process and all the changes that come with it. Almost everyone wants to age gracefully, something only a few of us can achieve. Here are some things these people do to embrace the aging process:
Follow a healthy diet. What a person eats will affect how he feels. Therefore, eating healthy foods and following a well-balanced diet will help one stay healthy and youthful. The aging process can be hastened by unhealthy eating habits. Eating too much junk will cause damage to the body which will make one look and feel a lot older. So, whoever wants to stay young should always choose the healthy food options.
Exercise regularly. Aside from a healthy diet, one should also start exercising regularly. This is very important as it will keep the body flexible and healthy. One doesn’t have to perform strenuous exercises, especially as one grows older. Instead, go for the routines which will benefit the body without making it feel older.
Enjoy life! Finally, one should learn how to enjoy life. There’s no better way of embracing the aging process than by enjoying everything you do. A person should do activities which make him feel happy and good. These include socializing, spending time with loved ones, taking up a new hobby, and more.