Q:

Why do people age?

A:

Quick Answer

There are two theories as to why people age. One theory posits that aging is naturally programmed into the body. The second theory is that aging is the result of damage that has accumulated during life, which is why some people live longer than others.

 Know More

Full Answer

Everyone ages differently, and scientists believe that the rate at which someone ages comes down to four main things: chemistry, behavior, physiology and genetics. Studies have proven that when scientists adjust the genes in yeast cells, mice and other organisms, the life span of those creatures can be nearly doubled. It is believed that genetics makes up about 35 percent of a person's aging process.

Even with good genes, the body continues to undergo chemical changes throughout its life. Some of these changes cause damage to the body and are factors in the aging process. DNA repair, hormones, heat shock proteins and free radicals are all important concepts when looking at the biochemistry of aging.

As a person ages, certain organs in the body change. This includes the heart, which thickens over time. This thickening is due to a thickening of arteries. This gives the heart a much lower maximum pumping rate. As the immune system ages, it takes longer to replenish T cells. As a result, older people take longer to get over being sick.

Learn more about Older Adults

Related Questions

  • Q:

    Why does pulse rate change with age?

    A:

    In a normal, healthy adult, the resting pulse rate does not change much with age. Age does change the heart's ability to adjust to body activity; however, so it may take longer to get the heart pumping faster or slower during and after exercise. Normal pulse rate varies by person.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why does vital capacity decrease with age?

    A:

    Vital capacity decreases with age due to physiological, anatomical and immunological changes that weaken the respiratory system over time. The lungs mature at age 20 to 25, and then progressively decline, according to a study published on the National Center for Biotechnology Information.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What reasons cause elderly persons to lose their balance?

    A:

    Loss of balance with age is common and has a variety of possible causes, including hearing loss, eye problems, blood pressure, arthritis and other muscular ailment. The result of aging usually triggers the onset of these symptoms and create balance problems.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How do you achieve fitness after 50?

    A:

    People over the age of 50 can stay fit by eating healthy and doing workout routines that focus on balance, cardio, core and strength training at least three to four times a week. Exercising is also the best defense against degenerative back and neck problems. When working out, it is important to remain mindful of physical limitations. It's beneficial to keep a steady pace and refrain from overexertion.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore