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Effects of Aging on Physical Condition

The process of aging can have an impact that affects the lives of older people. It's good to start healthy habits so that you won't be affected in a negative way.

Effects of Aging on Physical Condition

Last update: 16 December, 2020

There are numerous physical effects of aging, and, for most people, they can be harmful. However, it all depends on the overall quality of life that a person has. This means taking into account their habits, routines, and daily activities.

The peak of life is in the stage of late adulthood. According to experts, it approximately begins around 60 years of age. From this time in life onward, a person is known as an older person or older adult. The effects of aging are more obvious in this stage of life, and show the importance of staying healthy.

Do you think that the physical condition of older people is more affected by the aging process? Here, we’ll discuss what happens in the body throughout the process of aging so we can clear this up.

Physical effects of aging

To start with, it’s necessary to understand that the process of aging literally starts occurring at the moment of conception or birth. From there, the body begins to undergo the effects. Aging is irreversible and happens to absolutely all human beings. 

With respect to a person’s physical condition, it’s recommendable to evaluate the basic physical abilities one by one. This can aid in the overall goal of understanding the effects of aging, especially in older people. In this order of ideas, we’ll detail more about the relevant processes in this stage of life.

Strength

Muscular strength is one of the most important abilities for any human. To truly understand and determine the effects of aging on this ability, you have to keep in mind the state of the arms and legs. That’s to say, keeping an eye on the extremities is important, as this study published in 2018 states.

Older man lifting weights

Our strength ability reaches its maximum point in the decade between our 20s and 30s. After that, our muscles begin to slowly weaken. The most significant point of weakening happens after 45 years of age. 

In older people, aging affects the physical condition greatly. It influences the execution of all daily activities, which for the most part all require strength.

In addition, the process of aging -when combined with other aspects- favors the appearance of certain illnesses such as sarcopenia. This makes displacements impossible, both short and long distances. It also influences each person’s static and dynamic balancing abilities.

Flexibility

When talking about a physical ability such as flexibility, you have to consider several other factors as well. In particular, flexibility involves joint mobility as well as muscular capacity. It’s important to understand that both of these factors are necessary in order to be in good physical shape.

In older people, this ability is deeply linked to carrying out daily and leisurely tasks. In addition, it arises when it’s time to make movements related to joint amplitude and it goes hand-in-hand with strength.

The effects of aging on flexibility depend on the activities that a person does. Professionals and those that are familiar with the subject recommend stretching at least three times a week. These simple stretches can help to prevent the loss of flexibility as you age.

Other effects of aging

A person’s physical condition suffers an important decline as a consequence of aging. However, this decline is usually evident after 30 years of age.

With respect to the aerobic condition of older adults, it’s important to carry out a moderate-intensity physical exercise to help reduce the effects of aging. In this stage of life, the intake of oxygen is more complicated for the body. This complication is associated with a person’s cardiac capacity, which can be affected by a sedentary lifestyle in old age.

Older man doing squats

Last, but certainly not of lesser importance, it’s recommended to keep in mind your body mass index, or BMI. According to the World Health Organization, the ideal BMI is determined in older adults by their country of origin.

However, you can always guide yourself by the statistics given in the table established by the World Health Organization. Your body mass can be affected by the effects of aging, but it’s not the only factor that’s relevant in this sense.

A healthy, active way to age

You should keep in mind that the process of aging is most apparent in sedentary people or those who aren’t very active. Therefore, we recommend a consultation with your primary healthcare provider for an annual examination. 

In addition, keep in mind that all of the previously mentioned physical abilities, as well as a person’s overall physical health, is determined by a mixture of factors. Some of the most important factors are a person’s habits and living a healthy lifestyle. Based on this information, explore the options and ensure that you’re living a healthy, active lifestyle in order to age with good health.

Aging and Changes: What Active Athletes Need to Know

Aging and Changes: What Active Athletes Need to Know

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  • Parra, N. S. L., Valencia, K. C., & Villamil, Á. C. (2012). Proceso de envejecimiento, ejercicio y fisioterapia. In Revista Cubana de Salud Pública. https://doi.org/10.1590/S0864-34662012000400008
  • Giró Miranda, J. (2006). Envejecimiento activo, envejecimiento en positivo. Biblioteca de Investigación. Universidad de La Rioja. https://doi.org/84-96487-11-3
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