This is a guest post by Janet McArthur.
The thought of growing old plagues all of us whether we are in our childhood or have reached the sixties. The untold secret is that each one of us is in search of that nectar that preserves our youth for our entire lives.
Sadly a lot of us feel tired and dejected just at the thought of growing a year older and these feelings of despondency and dejection have an impact in living a healthy and contented life. But growing older does not necessarily mean growing weaker or accepting defeat and nor does it mean we cannot do the stuff we did and enjoyed in our younger days.
We first need to understand what exactly happens beneath our skin as we grow old. When we are in our teens we will notice several changes in our body and temperament. Until we reach adulthood we will continue to notice changes in a rapid-fire motion. But once we reach adulthood we stop seeing changes in ourselves. For instance our height is constant and we do not have to buy new clothes every year that we can fit into. The typical teenage mood swings also fade as the part of the brain involved in emotions will have fully developed.
Ageing happens on a cellular level
To understand the process of ageing, we need to look at things on a cellular level. Our body is made of up numerous miniscule cells that are made up of proteins, fats and other particles which need oxygen to survive. But as time goes by, oxygen actually causes damage to these cells by an oxidation process. It is believed that chemical gases released during tobacco or drug consumption is the cause for this accelerated oxidation. As a result the cells begin to get damaged at their ends and begin to grow smaller in size. When the genetic portion of the cell also gets mutated by oxidation, our cells are no longer able to produce organisms that can impede this oxidation.
How ageing affects the hair
But as we reach the late twenties we may notice our hair slowly turning gray or in some instances there may even be signs of balding. Genetic studies and DNA testing using hair have shown the reasons for hair loss are heavily influenced by heredity (Androgenic Alopecia) although hair follicles in most people do become less efficient in producing hair and may die altogether. Grey hair is caused by a lack of pigment which becomes characteristic of the hair follicles as we age. People with darker skin tones will have more obvious and conspicuous grey hairs but fair people get just as many.
Energy levels and effects on response
If we have not been hitting the gym on a regular basis then there may catastrophic changes in our appearance. In our school days we were playing a lot of outdoor sports but it is not likely we will indulge in team sports that often in our adulthood.
It is only when we hit our forties do we actually notice a distinct slowdown in our response to stimuli. Our eyesight gets weaker and we may have trouble remembering things. Some of us may not even get a good night’s sleep due to severe mental or physical stress balancing home and work life. The defense mechanism may not be totally immune to foreign diseases and will gradually diminish in strength to ward off those viruses. You will be coughing and sneezing more often and your physical wounds will take a longer time to heal with extra bleeding.
But the primary issue we should be worried about is we may lose our verve and may feel less inclined to carry out any task, mundane or exciting. What we do know about ageing is that the process may be slower or faster on different human beings and is never uniform. The environment also plays a huge part not to mention your smoking or alcohol consumption habits.
From the aforementioned, we learn that by stopping or at least decreasing smoking and by regular exercising we can cause cells to grow and multiply and will be better able to fight off this oxidation process thereby slowing down ageing.
Author bio: Janet McArthur is a retired business woman who worked as a financial consultant for a leading pharmaceutical company. Janet works as an author in her free time writing about age related conditions and medicines. A range of articles on a diversity of topics by the same author can be found by visiting homeDNAdirect Ireland.