Aging is a biological process that involves physical and structural changes in living beings as time progresses.
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines aging as the physiological process that begins at conception and causes changes in the characteristics of the species throughout the life cycle; these changes result in a limitation of the adaptability of the organism in relation to the environment. The rates at which these changes occur in the various organs of the same individual or in different individuals are not the same.
In humans, this process involves a gradual decline in physical and mental capacities. The reduction of capacities is due to a worsening of our body’s functions. Cells and other elements reduce their faculties and molecular damage occurs, which is difficult to reverse.
Our appearance changes with age. From the age of 30, our skin begins to show signs of aging, flaccidity is more evident, the skin loses tension, gravity does its work and wrinkles appear.
Obvious, visible aging is only part of the changes that occur in our bodies as we grow older. There is also an increased risk of disease.
Aging is a wear and tear, which causes greater fragility, reduces mobility and favors the loss of cognitive capacity. This wear and tear can slow down, but it can also accelerate due to poor eating habits, sedentary lifestyle, loneliness, lack of rest, etc.
We must differentiate between aging and old age. Aging, as indicated by the WHO, is a process that occurs from the moment we are born, while old age is understood as the last phase of this process. Whoever reaches old age, lives many years.
How to age in a healthy way
At the moment, no way has been found to prevent aging. As we said at the beginning, it is a biological process. However, there are tools that allow us to age better and maintain a healthy appearance and correct physical and mental capacities for longer.
Physical exercise and nutrition are two of the most important factors. But social relations, socioeconomic status, environment and pollution also play a role.
On the other hand, healthy aging also reduces the risk of disease.
There is no common pattern that indicates how people will age. This will depend on your genetics, diseases and the factors mentioned above.
According to WHO data, as of 2020 there will be more people over 60 years of age living in the world than children under 5 years of age. Countries face a challenge in the coming decades, as the WHO estimates that the percentage of people over 60 years of age will double.
The aging of the population is driven by the reduction in the birth rate and the increase in life expectancy, due to improved access to healthcare services.
Anthropologist John Rowe proposed the concept of “successful aging,” which refers to a lifestyle committed to a high level of physical and mental activity and interpersonal relationships. This, according to Rowe, fosters an ability to maintain a low risk of disease.
For most people it is difficult to accept that aging is an innate human characteristic. Many try to delay or mitigate it through cosmetic treatments of all kinds.
To obtain a good result with these treatments, it is very important to first carry out a study of the skin’s needs. The same treatments do not work for everyone.
On the other hand, it is also important to prevent, not only through the use of topical treatments, but also through a healthy lifestyle that involves physical exercise, a healthy diet, a pollution-free environment and low sun exposure to avoid photoaging.