The face of aging Americans is changing dramatically. People are learning How To Age Gracefully and longer, achieving higher levels of knowledge and education, living a more prosperous life, and experiencing increasingly lower rates of diseases and disability. Life expectancy nearly doubled during the 20th century with a ten-fold increase in the number of Americans age 65 or older.
Today, there are approximately 35 million Americans age 65 or older, and this number is expected to double in the next 25 years or so, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Actually individuals 85 and older constitute the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population, topping over 4 million. The challenge for the remaining 21st century will be to make these added years as healthy and productive as possible and to continue the current trend of decline in disability across all segments of the population.
This can be accomplished by each individual by being mindful of what is occurring within oneself, physically, emotionally, and mentally, in all aspects of one’s life, and if imbalance exists in any way, it’s critical that adjustments or changes be made as necessary. “Aging”, which is best described as the decay of an organism’s structure and function, in which molecular and cellular modifications can have various effects at the individual level over the course of a lifetime.
Aging should be looked at not as a single process but rather as an intricate web of interdependent genetic, biochemical, physiological, economic, social, and psychological aspects, and others, some of which are better understood than others. Considering all the aspects of living will provide effective interventions to ensure that as people live longer, they can do so in better health and with greater independence.
What does Wikipedia say about aging?
In humans, aging represents the accumulation of changes in a human being over time, encompassing physical, psychological, and social changes. Reaction times, for example, may slow with age, while knowledge of world events and wisdom expands.
To read more on aging from Wikipedia, read here.
Aging is the process and natural changes which occur in any living organism over time. How To Age Gracefully sounds simple on the surface, but it is very complicated and open for debate, in how aging actually occurs, and what causes it, and how to extend it. There is much disagreement over what actually causes aging because it’s quite complicated. These changes are not only physical, but also psychologically, and socially, and not all are negative, some are positive. As an example of positive aging, as one ages, the ability to gain knowledge, experience, and wisdom increases. The World Health Organization (WHO) describes “Healthy Aging” as:
The process of developing and maintaining the functional ability that enables wellbeing in older age.
Functioning ability is about having the capabilities that enable all individuals to be and do what they value throughout their lives, and allows them to meet their basic needs; to learn, grow and make decisions; to be mobile; to build and maintain relationships and to contribute to society.
Aging is the greatest known risk factors associated with most prevalent human diseases, such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and neurodegeneration, according to a review published in Current Biology. According to the CDC, two-thirds of the 2.8 million people who died in the U.S., died from age-related causes. Let’s look at some of the particulars involved in these figures.
According to the NIH, in sedentary people eating Western diets, aging is associated with the development of serious chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes mellitus, cancer and cardiovascular diseases. About 80 percent of adults over 65 years of age have at least one chronic disease, and 50 percent have at least two chronic diseases. The causes of aging are not well-defined the mysteries that control human lifespan are yet to be unraveled, according to an NIH review.
There are two current theories believed to be responsible for aging and neither one appears to be satisfactory. These theories may interact with each other in a complex way. One is the Damaged or Error Theory, when damage occurs at the DNA level, from oxidation internally, and externally, from stress and environmental factors.
DNA loss and oxidation damage are most certainly one of the main factors in determining the aging process, as is, the buildup of waste products deposited in the cells of the body. Ageing can be seen as the gradual and irreversible breakdown of living systems, the idea that damage to the DNA is the crucial cause of ageing remains a powerful one.
The other theory is referred to as the Programmed Theory, which is believed to follow a biological, predetermined path and time-table of decline. This time-table which is similar to, or a continuation, is the one that determines childhood growth and development, and depend on changes in gene expression that affect the systems responsible for maintenance, repair and defense responses.
In other words, metabolic exhaustion causes deterioration of the organism. Normal cells in tissue culture only divide a defined number of times and then die. Lifespan concluded by death is a genetically determined characteristic. Heredity and genetics also play an important role in determining the aging process and longevity, according to the NIH.
If your ancestors lived longer, more productive lives, it is highly likely you will also, through genetics, inheriting longevity genes. The siblings and children, collectively called first-degree relatives, of long-lived individuals are more likely to remain healthy longer and to live to an older age than their peers. Longer life spans tend to run in families, which suggests that shared genetics, lifestyle, or both play an important role in determining longevity. Quoting the study:
Scientists speculate that for the first seven or eight decades, lifestyle is a stronger determinant of health and life span than genetics. Eating well, not drinking too much alcohol, avoiding tobacco, and staying physically active enable some individuals to attain a healthy old age; genetics then appears to play a progressively important role in keeping individuals healthy as they age into their eighties and beyond.
Factors to Consider in the Aging Process
Calorie Restriction, Possibly. There is open debate among scientists and researchers whether reducing calorie intake, while still maintaining proper nutrition, has any effect on life spans in humans.
Several studies, such as A Scientific America study, have shown and support that caloric restriction does provide some protection from age-related diseases, by slowing free-radical production and stress-related damage. In another University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Health study, showed that caloric restriction does, in fact, extend life span. Quoting the study:
We think that the metabolic response to (calorie restriction) is at the very heart of its ability to delay aging and the onset of age-related disease.
Where as other studies, like the NIH review, found calorie restriction does not affect survival. The study revealed that a diet comprised of approximately 30 percent fewer calories but with the same nutrients of a standard diet, does not extend years of life or reduce age-related deaths in a 23-year study of rhesus monkeys. So, as you can see, the research can be confusing, to say the least?
Genetics and Heredity. There is evidence, however, that genetics and, not just caloric restriction, are factors in slowing the aging process, and longevity, as I mentioned earlier. Increasing cell damage contributes to the dysfunction that characterizes the aging body. Mutations in certain genes confer greater stress resistance and a reduced rate of damage accumulation, increasing longevity. A 2007 study published in the Journals of Gerontology found that genetic variants play an important role in longevity and progress is being made with important variants being identified such as macular degeneration and diabetes.
One 2013 study published in the journal Nature researchers at Karolinska Institute and the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Aging found mother’s genes may determine how quickly one ages. The results showed that damaged DNA in the mitochondria, which is inherited from the mother, also known as the powerhouse of the cell, because this is where sugars break down into usable energy, partly control the rate of aging in experimental mice.
Restful Sleep. There is also evidence that the amount and quality of sleep has an impact on mortality. Lack of sleep (5 hours or less) more than doubles the risk of death from cardiovascular disease, but it is also true, too much sleep (over 9 hours) doubles the risk of death, not from cardiovascular disease necessarily, but from chronic stress, depression, and mental disorders, according a University of Warwick study and University College London.
Chronic stress, depression, and mental disorders are associated with longer hours of sleep, but its typically not restful, healing sleep. It’s usually interrupted sleep, troubling, and unscheduled sleep, at all hours of the day or night. The relationship between sleep and depressive illness is complex, and depression may cause sleep problems and sleep problems may cause or contribute to depressive disorders. In either case, sleep depravity can lead to early death.
Physical Activity and Exercise. Any activity including stretching assist in increasing longevity. One 2018 study from the University of Birmingham and King’s College of London, found that some older people who have exercised all of their lives, were compared to a group of similarly aged adults and younger adults who do not exercise regularly.
The results were astounding! It found that those who have exercised regularly have defied the aging process, having the immunity, muscle mass, and cholesterol levels of a young person. Quoting the study:
Our research means we now have strong evidence that encouraging people to commit to regular exercise throughout their lives is a viable solution to the problem that we are living longer but not healthier.
An NIH study proposed the benefits of exercise in slowing the aging process, saying, physical exercise is free, reduces the risk of many potentially lethal diseases, improves the function of most of the mechanisms involved in aging, and helps strike the increasing sedentary behavior and physical-inactivity pandemic in our country. One study found certain exercises are beneficial even on a cellular level increasing longevity by increasing the lengths of telomeres at the end of chromosomes (DNA).
The study, published in the European Heart Journal found that adding endurance and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) (1) to your routine, keeps your heart rate up and can keep your cells younger for longer. Statistics show individuals who are moderately physically active, have a lower mortality rate, through improving the health and quality of life from reducing stress and inflammation in the body. Physical exercise brings a state of relaxation, reduces stress levels and mental exhaustion, and more restful and beneficial sleep, according to Harvard Medical School study.
How To Age Gracefully by Knowing the Major Systems of the Body and Corrective Measures You Can Take
- Cardiovascular System
- As you age your heart rate becomes slightly slower, your blood vessels and arteries become stiffer, and your heart can enlarge, causing your heart to labor harder to pump blood through your body, resulting usually in hypertension. The NIH “Heart Health and Aging”.
- Start a regimen of moderate exercise and stretching exercise to get the blood flowing.
- (A) Eat a fresh, with emphasis on “fresh”, certified organic, non-GMO, nutritious high-fiber diet, use lean sources of protein like cold-water fish and lean meats, and restrict the use of saturated fats and sodium. Use fresh, organic, non-GMO fruits and vegetables, especially dark-green leaf veggies.
- (B) Supplement your diet with a natural Adaptogen, organic, nutritious whole healing food Peruvian Maca. For more information on this incredible healing-plant, read this review WHAT IS IN MACA ROOT?
- Don’t smoke or use tobacco products.
- Find a way to relax and control stress, using meditation, yoga, or other forms of relaxation, before it becomes chronic and debilitating.
- Get ample (at least seven hours), quality, uninterrupted, restful sleep.
2. Digestive System
- Constipation is more common in older adults. Factors which can cause constipation include eating a low-fiber diet, not drinking enough fluids, not getting enough exercise, taking certain medications like diauritecs and iron supplements, and certain medical conditions as Diabetes and irritable bowl syndrome. “Common Causes of Constipation”, Harvard Health
- (A) Eat a fresh healthy diet which is high in fiber such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, non fatty meats like fish (see above), limit the use of dairy products and sweets, and drink plenty of water and other fluids.
- Engage in moderate physical activity and stretching, and learn to relax.
- Don’t ignore the urge to have bowl movements.
- (B) Supplement your diet with a natural Adaptogen whole, organic, healing food Peruvian Maca, which is an antioxidant and anti-imflammatory, and will aid in regulating bowl movements.
3. Your bladder and urinary tract
- Loss of bladder control is more common in older adults, particularly with menopause in women and enlarged prostate in men. “Urinary Incontinence in Older Adults”, NIH study
- Visit the bathroom regularly.
- Control your weight.
- Do kegel exercise (2) regularly to strengthen your muscles.
- Avoid bladder irritants such as caffeine, acid foods, alcohol, and carbonated beverages
- Avoid becoming constipated.
- (A) Eat fresh nutritious foods high in fiber and low in saturated fats (see above).
- (B) Use a natural supplement Adaptogen, organic whole food Peruvian Maca.
4. Your memory and recall
- Memory becomes less efficient with aging, especially instant recall. “Changes in Cognitive Function in Human Aging”, NIH study
- Participate in moderate physical activity and stretching to increase blood flow throughout the body and brain.
- (A) Eat a fresh nutritious balanced diet as listed above. Avoid excessive use of alcohol.
- Stay mentally active by reading, doing crossword puzzles, being creative, or doing research, or take up a new hobby.
- Be socialable by creating opportunities to be with family and close friends. Social interaction aids in warding off depression and stress. Remember being alone is not healthy.
- Learn to relax by practicing yoga, or deep breathing, or taking short naps.
- Lower your blood pressure and keep it regulated, to reduce vascular disease and dementia.
- Don’t use tobacco products.
- (B) Use natural supplement Adaptogen, organic, whole food Peruvian Maca, which increases energy levels and enhances mood and memory..
5. Your eyes and ears
- Your eyes may lose focus on objects close up to you, you may be more sensitive to glare, adjusting to sudden changes like light and dark, and possibly clouded vision due to cataracts. “Warning signs of a serious eye problem”, Harvard Health
- Hearing may diminish by being unable to hear high frequencies, or hearing in a crowded or loud room. “Basics of Sound, the Ear, and Hearing”, NIH study
- Have it seen about.
- Wear sunglasses outdoors.
- (A) Eat fresh nutritious foods like fruits and vegetables (see above).
- (B) Supplement your diet with a natural Adaptogen, organic, whole healing food Peruvian Maca.
6. Glands and hormones
- Aging may cause feelings of uneaslness or acute or chronic stress, as in the fight or flight syndrome, which is associated with fears of the unknown and anxieties which can develop, and are mostly imagined, negatively affecting your endrocrine system and your hormones, causing them to become out of balance. If this condition persists, causing more uncontrolled stress, spiraling out of control, thus, affecting the majority of all the functions in your body negatively. “Uncertainty and Anticipation in Anxiety”, NIH study
- Get sufficient exercise to relax you physically, particularly stretching exercise, which will reduce stress and anxiety, and also keep you busy and your mind occupied and away from negative or fearful thoughts. “Exercising To Relax”, Harvard Health
- (A) Eat fresh nutritious foods high in fiber and low in fat (see above). Drink plenty of water and other fluids.
- (B) Supplement your diet with a natural whole, organic, food Adaptogen Peruvian Maca, which will aid in balancing and regulating your hormones, and Endrocrine System that is wrecking havoc on your body.
- With age your skin thins and becomes less elastic and more fragile because of the decrease of fatty tissue right below the surface of the skin. You will probably also notice you bruise much easier, and the decreased production of natural oils like collagen and vitamin deficiency, make your skin dryer. Wrinkles, age spots, and small growths are common too. Exercise is good here because it brings oxygen-rich blood to the skin rejuvenating it. “Exercise and Your Arteries”, Harvard Health. Also, see below for the latest in restoring damaged, tired, and aged skin (**). “Aging Changes In Skin”, NIH Medline Plus
- Use warm water not hot, mild soap, and moisturizer, to bathe
- Outdoors, use sunscreen and some type of hat, and protective clothing. Check yourself for any abnormal growths.
- Refrain from smoking which damages skin and causes wrinkles.
- (A) Eat fresh nutritious foods high in fiber and low in fat. Avoid high fatty meats (see above). Drink plenty of fluids.
- (B) Supplement your diet with a natural, organic, whole food Adaptogen Peruvian Maca, which has anti-imflammatory properties and is a natural antioxidant
- With age, sexual needs and performance may change. Illness and certain medications could affect your ability to enjoy sex. For women, vaginal dryness can occur making sex uncomfortable, and for men, importance can become a concern, in taking longer to achieve an erection and maintaining it. “Sexuality in Later Life”, NIH National Institute of Aging
- Openly communicate with your partner and experiment with new positions or methods.
- Consult a Physician for specific treatments, such as estrogen cream for dryness in women, and oral medication to increase libido in women, and in men, oral medication to aid in erectile dysfunction.
- Eat fresh nutritious and well-balanced foods high in fiber and low in saturated fats (see above).
- (B) Supplement your diet with the natural whole food, organic, Adaptogen Peruvian Maca daily, which is a fertility booster, balances estrogen levels, improves libido in women, and improves mild erectile dsyfunction in men. Maca is also very effective in reducing the symptoms of Menopause in women. “Maca (L. meyenii) for improving sexual function: a systematic review”, NIH study
- Maintaining a healthy weight is more difficult as you get older.
As you age, your muscle mass decreases and body fats take its place. Since fat tissue takes fewer calories than does muscle, you require fewer calories to maintain your current weight. “Maintaining A Healthy Weight”, NIH National Institute of Aging
- Include physical activity and stretching in your daily activities.
- (a) Eat fresh nutritious well-balanced foods high in fiber and low in saturated fats (see above).
- (B) Supplement your diet with a natural whole food, organic, Adaptogen Peruvian Maca daily
By reading and understanding what are the major causes of aging, we’re sure you can readily see there are certain specific things you “can do” to assist your body in slowing the aging process, or at least, prevent the process of aging from accelerating, or causing premature damage. Watch your weight, eat fresh, as possible, organic nutrient-dense foods, high in fiber and low in saturated fats. Drink plenty of water and other healthy fluids. Implement a routine of moderate exercise and stretching program.
Learn how to relax. Supplement your diet with a natural whole, healing food, organic, Adaptogen Peruvian Maca for added insurance. For more information on this medicinal plant, read WHAT’S HEALTHY LIVING. Stop the use of tobacco products. If you drink alcohol to relax, drink it moderately.
Actually medical professionals recommend moderately consuming natural fermented red wine and beer, according to an NIH study. Get ample (7-8 hours a night) restful sleep on a specific time schedule. One other thing. Being mindful, and learning how to relax through deep-breathing exercise, yoga, or meditation, is vitally important in slowing the aging process. One NIH study confirmed the benefit of yoga breathing and reversing the molecular mechanism of skin aging.
The molecular and cellular process of skin aging is similar to that occurring in most internal organs and involves slow deterioration in tissue function. But, if that’s true, the reverse is most likely true too. If your skin condition is improving, so are the rest of you. If you are not inclined to use yoga or meditation, there is another solution to bringing you to mindful state of relaxation, and it works! Check out MUSE, The Brain Sensing Head Ban.
(A) For meals and healthy aging, eat fresh, organic, well-balanced nutrient-dense foods, such as grass-fed finished lean meats, fresh, organic, free-range finished poultry, grass-fed finished dairy and eggs (A); fresh cold-water or wild-caught fish and seafood (A); fresh organic fruits, vegetables, raw nuts, and seeds (A); and organic whole grains and complex carbohydrates, natural fermented foods, monounsaturated oils like extra virgin olive oil, fresh organic herbs and spices, and antioxidant drinks, infused water, naturally fermented red wine and beer, and fruit and veggie smoothies (A). And, reward yourself with a piece of dark chocolate for a snack! Yes, that’s right, dark chocolate, not milk chocolate (A).
As an added benefit and for assurance of maintaining your healthy genes, supplement your diet with a natural healing, certified organic, whole food Adaptogen, Peruvian Maca (A), which will provide you with all the same benefits of fresh nutritional whole foods.
P Maca contains five different sterols (lowers cholesterol), naturally occurring fruit sugar, and phytonutrients glucosinolates, or polyphenols, (plant bioactive compounds) believed to have anti-cancer properties. P Maca is an amazing healing plant! The wide ranging benefits of Peruvian Maca are well documented, and are incredible, per this NIH study.
(**) We know natural Vitamin C is essential for overall health and well being, and fighting the common cold, but, it wasn’t until recently that women started bathing their face in it. Why you ask? According to a recent study by Oregon State University, Vitamin C has been rediscovered as the “Holy Grail” of anti-aging in skin. Thanks to its ability to help reverse UV and environmental-induced photo-damage. When applied topically to skin, it enhances collagen synthesis to bring back youth in the form of a brighter, firmer, more glowing complexion. This truly remarkable. Take a look at “Sunday Riley C.E.O. Rapid Flash Brightening Serum.”.
You now know How To Age Gracefully and you probably have comments and questions, so, please contact us below. You’ll probably also enjoy reading BENEFITS IN AGING.
(1) Momsintofitness video
(2) Michigan Medicine Kegel Exercise Video
(A) Use these links for more information and more documented studies, and to buy any of these incredible nutrient-dense foods which will enable you to defy aging.