Constituents of Chronological Aging

Chronological aging is the aging process associated mainly with the passage of time. As life on earth is temporal in nature, there is not much that can be done that allows for circumvention of chronology. Organs become less functional. The ability of a 20-year old’s heart to pump 10 times the needed blood capacity decreases by 1%, annually, after age 30. Hormone producing capacity decreases with ensuing age. For example, an endocrine tissue may produce less of its hormone than it did at a younger age, or it may produce the same amount at a slower rate. In addition, muscle tone and suppleness lessens and  decreases with age. Susceptibility to brittleness and breakage of bones is common. The joints break down and overall height is lost due to age. These are some of the major indicators of the aging process.  

The aging process is often taken to be to the process of debilitation. For many individuals aging process is exactly that, a series of bodily mis-functions, mal-processes and dis-eases The physical breakdown of the body can be traced to genetic causes. Yet many of the reasons behind the breakdown of the body can be found in lifestyle choices. To age well is to harmonize one’s actions with the flow of physical mechanisms of aging. In short, with age, bones tend to shrink in size and density, making them more susceptible to fracture. You might even become a bit shorter. Muscles generally lose strength, endurance and flexibility — factors that can affect your coordination, stability and balance.

Maximum cardiac output and aerobic capacity are reduced with age. In the absence of coexisting disease, diastolic blood pressure (the lower number) remains unchanged or decreases. Baroreceptor function is depressed. Similarly, cardiac output typically declines with age; yet, studies give evidence to it being maintained in well-conditioned, healthy individuals. In the absence of disease, resting systolic (the higher number) cardiac function appears to be preserved, even in octogenarians. This suggests that activity is vital to maintaining adequate heart function. Blood pressure (b.p.) is a measure of cardiovascular efficiency. Over time, systolic b.p. (the larger number) tends to increase while diastolic b.p. (the smaller number) tends to slightly decrease with age.

Photo by Meruyert Gonullu on

The younger body is more physically capable than the older body. Many competitive athletes are relatively young (late-teens to thirties), in comparison to overall aging. The body is more capable of producing much needed hormones and enzymes during earlier years. A hormonal milieu of “more of some / less of others” (mostly less) ensues with encroaching age. For example: in women, menopause involves the ovaries producing decreasing amounts of estrogen and progesterone at around age 50. Andropause occurs in about 20 percent of men over age 60 and 30-50 percent of men over age 80. This phenomenon includes a significant decline in testosterone production.  

Age results in a decline in overall muscular strength and tone. Yet muscular ability can be maintained with a focused regimen of training and stressing of the muscular system. Muscle is a reactive tissue that requires usage for it to remain functional. Modern lifestyles do not facilitate the use of the muscular system. Workouts (resistance training) must become a ‘mandatory’ part of a lifestyle regimen. For men, this will be an important mitigating factor against the age related decrease in testosterone production. Muscles and tendons become less resilient with age. Focused activity (intelligent stretching) in these areas will help in preserving higher levels of ability, range of motion and strength.     

Aging happens and will continue to happen. The body naturally progresses through birth, adolescence, adulthood, older age and death. There is not much of a signal between each of these stages: it is a more gradual process of morphing as the years go by. All that a person can do is to take care of themselves.: i. e. Lifestyle, diet, rest, exercise, etc. In the absence of these factors, there will be a definite notice in the process of aging


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