What happens when we age and can we slow it down?

During aging, different processes take place reducing strength, endurance, agility, speed and worst of all often health. Of course not all these processes can be completely prevented for everyone, but the following can often slow down, prevent or even reverse certain aging processes:

-Muscle function: Muscle strength in untrained people generally peaks around the age of twenty. After the age of twenty muscle fibers that are not used frequently will get progressively smaller until they disappear completely. Unfortunately whenever a muscle fiber is gone, it is gone forever and can’t be replaced by a new one because muscle fibers lost the ability to divide. However, when muscle fibers are regularly used at a high enough intensity, muscle fibers will get stronger and often bigger, preventing them to disappear from disuse. This can be achieved through regular strength or resistance exercise. The decline in strength associated with age, can be prevented to a large extend, when training correctly.

-Artheroscelerosis: Again after the age of 20, the vascular wall of arteries start to harden which causes loss of elasticity and an increase in blood pressure. When this process has progressed far enough, blood cloths can be formed and this increases the risk of heart attack or stroke. This process is also influenced by genetics and lifestyle factors such as diet, but regular cardiovascular exercise at a high enough intensity can largely prevent it or at least slow it down. Research has shown that the vascular wall of 40 year old people who exercise regularly can be in the same condition as that of a 20 year old, implicating atherosclerosis can be delayed decades.