Everyone ages differently. Inspect any photo of an American president from the first day in office, to the last day. In a short amount of time, you’ll notice significant physical changes that indicate the president has aged dramatically.
Despite obvious anecdotal evidence that everyone ages at different rates (remember the kid who grew six inches over summer break?), everyone’s bodies have a natural process of aging. Different parts of our bodies start to break down sooner than others. Assuming all things are equal, let’s examine how our body ages.
When Does Your Body Start to Age?
Brain – Your brain starts to age at 24. Before you’re legally allowed to drink alcohol, your brain in on a slow decline. Most people start with about 100 billion neurons in the brain and that number gets lower starting in your early twenties. After 40, you could be losing as many as 10,000 a day. This is why we see loss in memory and brain function as we age.
Heart – Your heart, the organ that keeps you alive, starts to see a decline at 40. As we age, we lose the ability to pump blood as efficiently throughout our bodies. This is due to less elasticity in our blood vessels. Plus, arteries can become clogged if you eat a high fat diet that leaves fatty deposits.
Voice – Ever wonder why we don’t see many older singers? It’s because our voices change as we age. Sixty-five is when the soft tissue in our voice boxes will weaken, causing our voices to change. Women’s voices might get deeper while men’s voices could get higher.
Lungs – Lung capacity decreases at 35. The average thirty year old male can inhale two pints of oxygen. By the time you hit 70, that will have decreased by 50%.
Liver – The liver is the only organ that seems to defy the aging process. Your liver won’t start to deteriorate until the age of 70. It has an incredible ability to regenerate. It can regrow half its size within 90 days.
Kidneys – Your kidneys filter out waste from your bloodstream. At 35 is when your ability to do this slows down. Like your lung capacity, your kidney’s ability to filter out waste decreases 50% from the age of 30 to age 75.
Muscle – As we age, we’re constantly building up muscles and breaking them down. This is what keeps them strong. Think of lifting weights. You’re sore afterwards, when you’ve broken the muscles down, but they’ll soon get stronger. However, at 30 is when our natural muscle break down is faster than we build them up. After the age of 40, adults could lose as much as two percent of muscle mass a year.
How your treat your body will determine at what age you’ll specifically start to age. An active lifestyle with a well-balanced diet can reduce the signs of aging. Sleep and the amount of toxins you put in your body (drugs and alcohol) will has an effect. If you’re trying to fend off father time, be aware of these physical milestones and try to live a healthy, balanced lifestyle.