Anti aging guide

Attempts to control human aging



How to improve our chances of worthwhile longevity and attempts to control aging?

The fundamental mechanisms of aging are not known and cannot yet be controlled. Despite this ignorance, attempts to control aging have a very long history. Some are based on philosophy and psychology, such as meditation; others are more physical, with exercise, use of electricity, special diets, ‘taking the waters’, or consuming far-fetched potions reckoned to have near magical properties.

Although there is no ‘elixir of life’, there is much we can do to improve our chances of worthwhile longevity. We should take care to avoid accidents on the street, at work, in sport, or in the home and abstain from substance abuse such as of alcohol, tobacco, and medicines. Sensible precautions should be taken to avoid infections such as influenza, venereal diseases including HIV infection (AIDS), food poisoning, tetanus, and malaria. An optimistic outlook is valuable, because a happy mind promotes a healthy body and the reverse also appears to be true, in that those who are chronically anxious or depressed do tend to suffer more from physical illness.

Physical exercise and an appropriate diet are important at all ages as is stressed elsewhere in this. Much of what is commonly regarded as being the result of aging may in fact be due to progressive disuse. For example, stamina, strength, suppleness, balance, and bone mass are all reduced with aging but they wane very much less quickly if adequate exercise is taken. The ideal is to maintain fitness throughout life but most of us have a ‘fitness gap’—a gap between our present level of fitness and the level we could achieve even taking into account our age, disabilities, and existing diseases.

If it can be managed, some increase in exercise will be beneficial. For most people aged 50 and over, regular brisk walking (brisk by your own standards), thrice weekly or better still daily, provides a training effect improving general health and stamina. In part this may be due to reduction of obesity which occurs if you are overweight unless you replace the expended energy by eating more! The extra energy consumption occurs not only while exercising but for some time afterwards while you recover from your exertions. Additional benefit comes from the sense of well-being which the exercise produces and from the reduced risk of coronary heart disease and maintenance of bone strength.

Posted by Carol Hudgens - April 25, 2012 at 5:42 pm