Everyone gets old. Father time is an indisputable fact of life on this planet. Everyone ages and, at some point, starts to experience an age-related decline. Whether it’s a physical decline or mental decline, it’s something we can’t stop but we can slow the onset and how quickly it takes hold.
Most people want to stay mentally sharp and physically fit for as long as possible. The good news is that, barring any major health issue like disease or disability, it’s within reach. There are things that everyone can do to age better and stay sharp as we get old. Here are some things you should know about the aging process and how you can impact how you age.
The Aging Process Basics
One of the basic changes in the aging process is that, over time, your cardiovascular system will stiffen. Arteries and blood vessels harden, and your heart has to work harder and harder to move blood around your body. As you move around or exercise, your heart doesn’t respond as quickly and it leads to higher blood pressure and other cardiac issues.
People lose bone density as they age as well. It becomes easier to break a bone during a fall, and moving around becomes more difficult. There are several other age-related physical ailments like arthritis, loss of eyesight, hearing, and muscle mass that also occur.
In addition to the physical impact of aging, people experience cognitive declines. Older people frequently report losing memory, having a more difficult time speaking or recalling information, and other symptoms.
How to Slow the Aging Process
Now that we know that everyone ages, we’re left with the question of what can we do about it? Perhaps you’ve seen a parent or a family friend age poorly and you don’t want that for yourself. Knowing that you want to make changes earlier on in life is a great first step. The effort you put into aging well today will pay dividends in the future. Here are some things that you can do:
Regular Medical Checkups – See a doctor regularly, especially when you are middle-aged. They will screen for conditions that will affect the way you age and prescribe treatments to eliminate symptoms or make them more manageable.
Eat a Healthy Diet – The food you put into your body now will determine your health for years to come. Do what you can to maintain a healthy body weight because it will put less strain on your joints and organs. Consume higher amounts of protein, vegetables, healthy fats, and other foods that will contribute to better long-term physical and mental health.
NAD+ is short for nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide. It is an oxidized form of NADH, and its main function is to carry electrons from one biological reaction to another. It shuttles energy within your cells. One of the main symptoms of aging is a slow down in the activity in your cells, particularly with the mitochondria. The mitochondria are usually referred to as the powerhouse of your cells, and lower activity there affects your vitality.
New research in mice indicates that NAD+ and changes in diet can reverse the decline in mitochondria activity. The mice who were given NAD+ witnessed an increase in their youthful state and an increase in muscle mass.