We’ve read about man’s quest for the Fountain of Youth
in Literature as well as in history. It was rumored that the Spanish
explorer Juan Ponce de Leon was actually searching for healing waters
before reaching present-day Florida almost five centuries ago.
It was never found by Ponce de Leon, and today, we now know that
despite advances in medicine, the best antidote to aging is still
A physically fit septuagenarian will definitely score younger on aging
tests than a teener who’s out of shape.
Our Bodies Age Through the Years
20s: This is a great time in any young man or woman’s life.
of our organs
seem to function at their peak, the bones are
completely hardened, and the body is well-toned. From the mid- to the
late 20s, though, tiny wrinkles start to appear around the mouth and
the eyes as collagenase is released, making our skin less supple.
the skin becomes drier and the natural oils are depleted.
There are some whose muscle performances peak during this decade yet
some individuals also experience a slowdown in metabolism.
ages of 30 and 35, bone mass begins to plateau,
after which there would be more bone destroyed than replaced.
By working out for half an hour three times a week, bone density
can be improved before the age of 35 is reached.
By age 35, the chances of women becoming pregnant are significantly
This is due to the increasing occurrence of non-egg-producing
cycles as menopause approaches. Smoking and drinking also
contribute to premature ageing, overloading the body with toxic
substances that lower energy levels and make the skin dry and
To keep cholesterol levels down, as well as to protect against
strokes, heart disease and cancer, exercise must be undertaken
40s: Some say this is when a lot of the effects of aging
become apparent at a rapid rate.
Wrinkles become more prominent on the neck area especially for
women. Crow’s feet become more visible around the eye corners and
smoker’s wrinkles develop around the mouth.
As your metabolism slows down,
your strength and stamina fall short of their usual levels. Even your
muscle mass will begin to shrink if you continue to lead a sedentary
It isn’t too
to reverse the effects of aging
if you engage in exercise at this age. As you do your
muscles will regain their tone and the once saggy flesh in the arm,
buttock, and tummy areas can again be firmed.
50s and up: Not only does your physical health
deteriorate – so, too, would your mental health if you become inured to
a sedentary life at this point.
When one exercises, the VO2max (your body’s maximum ability to take in
and use oxygen) improves.
To prove that even a 50-year old body can take rigorous
Fred Wilt, an Olympian distance runner in the 1930s, can still manage a
2-mile run in less than 10 minutes – a feat that perhaps only a handful
of high schoolers can achieve.
Each decade, people who don’t exercise lose 15% of their fitness.
Exercising at low intensity would post a 9% fitness loss, while those
undergoing intense exercises and sports hardly lose any fitness.
Despite aging, we can still improve our fitness by gradually
increasing the intensity of our exercises. However, you need to always
check with your doctor, just in case you have a medical condition that
could be aggravated by more intense exercises.