We all dread the negative side-effects of aging. However, understanding how we age can help us manage the negative side-effects. In today’s article, we will go over what happens during aging, the different types of aging, what goes into aging, and how you can slow down the aging process.
How Do You Define Aging?
Aging is a process every living being goes through. The older we get, the more damage we take at a molecular and cellular level. Even if we live the healthiest lifestyle imaginable, simply living at all is enough to cause harm to these cells. So the older we get, the higher the chances of developing disease and, ultimately, dying.
As time has gone on, aging has become synonymous with significant life events. When you think about getting older, you may think about retirement, becoming a grandparent, relocating to appropriate housing, or dealing with the death of friends and family. When thinking about aging, it’s essential to consider all the factors.
Types of Aging
Several different theories aim to describe aging. Understanding these theories can help us better understand the aging process and how we can age healthily. Some of the different types of aging include:
- Cellular aging - Cells can replicate 50 times before the genetic material is no longer able to replicate. Replication failure is known as cellular senescence, which is a hallmark of cellular aging.
- Hormonal aging - Hormones are closely tied to aging. An increase in hormones is common when we’re younger, and these hormones begin to diminish the older we get.
- Accumulative damage - External factors will begin to take their toll over time. Exposure to toxins, UV radiation, unhealthy foods, and pollution can damage DNA over time.
- Metabolic aging - Your metabolism helps you burn fat. The older we get, the slower your metabolism becomes.
What Are the Five Stages of Aging?
Dr. Mark Frankel is responsible for creating the five stages of aging to help us better understand the aging process. While this isn’t a concrete timeline, it helps give us an idea of what we can expect when aging. Below are the five stages:
- Self-sufficiency - In the first stage of aging, you are still self-reliant, able to manage chronic health problems and disabilities on your own.
- Interdependence - In the second stage of aging, you become reliant on others, such as friends or family, for assistance.
- Dependency - The more dependent you become, the more difficult it will be for friends and family. At this stage, advanced care may be required.
- Crisis management - At this stage, physical and mental conditions have declined to a degree in which you remain dependent on others.
- End of life - In the final stage, movement to a nursing facility may be necessary.
Each of us will go through these stages of aging differently. It’s possible even to skip one or two of these stages.
What Are the Three Theories of Aging?
There are also different concepts of aging. What’s considered old? Are you old in relation to your own lifespan, or are you old in relation to those around you? Let’s expand on some of these theories:
- Biological age - Your biological age refers to the present position relative to your potential life span.
- Psychological age - Your psychological age refers to your age in relation to the population.
- Social age - Your social age refers to the social habits and roles in relation to your group or society.
How Can I Stop My Skin from Aging?
One of the most dreaded side-effects of aging is skin aging. This typically means loose skin, more wrinkles, and smile lines. While aging is inevitable, you can take steps to limit or prevent side effects, or reverse them altogether. Here are some steps you can take to limit physical changes during the aging process:
- Protect your skin from the sun - We all need sun, but too much sun can be a bad thing. UV rays can be damaging to our skin and can lead to wrinkles. Protect your skin with sunscreen.
- Avoid smoking - Smoking can greatly increase the rate at which skin ages.
- Eat a healthy diet - While skin products can be helpful, your diet is just as important. A healthy diet can help protect our skin as we age.
- Drink less alcohol - Alcohol is rough on our bodies and skin and can even dehydrate it.
- Drink lots of water - Hydration is critical for the function of our cells.
What Are the Biological Signs of Aging?
Factors such as poor diet, ultraviolet rays, alcohol, and stress can all put our cells at risk. These can damage the DNA in our cells which increases the chance of developing cancer and other diseases. Thankfully, there are ways in which our body fights hard to combat this. For example, telomeres, which are stretches of DNA and proteins at the ends of our chromosomes, reach a cut-off point. When they reach this point, cells can no longer divide. However, our DNA is capable of looping back into itself, preventing the telomere from reaching the cut-off point.
What Foods Cause Aging?
Understanding the foods that can cause aging can help us build a healthy diet. While this doesn’t mean you can’t eat this food ever again, it does mean you should limit your intake. Some of the foods experts recommend avoiding include:
- Processed carbohydrates
- Processed meats
- Soda or coffee
- Lipoic acid
- Processed sugars
You Can Try Supplements
Another bodily function that helps with anti-aging is a process known as autophagy. This is the body’s way of replacing older, damaged cellular parts, with newer, healthier cells. You can induce this process by limiting the amount of time you spend eating, how much you eat, or how many minerals and nutrients you eat.
You can also induce this process by consuming foods that are high in spermidine. Unfortunately, too many Americans miss out on their recommended daily dose of spermidine. At spermidineLIFE, we sell spermidine supplements that help you reverse the dreaded side-effects of aging!