Aging is the most natural of processes. Everything ages whether animal, vegetable or mineral. But what is it? It is a mysterious force that while completely knowable as an experience we all share, it’s very basis, foundation or reason for being remains relatively unknown.
It is not one unique event but a process and consequently difficult to isolate, study and understand fully.
Everything on earth decays. We know this. Food goes stale, reduced and eventually rotten. This can be slowed by refrigeration, proper storage and preservatives but never stopped. Even rocks, hills, mountains and rivers erode, reduce and morph slowly over time as wind and the elements take their toll. So why don’t things stay the same. Why do organic materials, with the ability to grow new cells and seemingly continuously update still decompose. It is because cell compositions change. It was once thought that aging cells were simply suffering from the copy of a copy of a copy reducing quality cycle. But more and more research is identifying built in decay to the genetic blueprints of cells. They are designed to eventually age and fail.
The human body was designed to last us for more than a century in perfect conditions but our lifestyles, emotions and environmental factors such as chemicals, pollutants, preservatives, and other synthetic products can play a big part in reducing that longevity. We are expected to live to at least 75 years of age under current conditions.
Your genetics play a large part as well, especially after the age of 30 when aging really begins. Health and Aging hereditary traits appear more prominently after that age, especially in the areas of immune systems, cardio-vascular systems and cognitive capacities.
Aging can be quickly defined then as what happens when our bodies stop developing. It is the process by which the body ‘winds down’ the body and the body becomes more susceptible to deterioration from environment wear and tear.
We all age differently at different rates and with different physical and cognitive consequences. Where we can take control of that process is in the environmental factors such as diet, exercise, stimulation and emotional well being.