Wrinkled skin, weak eye sight, fear of falls: signs of growing old. Ever wondered what it would be like, if you still had a good eye sight, strong muscles and a glowing skin even at the age of 65 or more? Is it even possible? The answer is a definite “YES” Ageing is an inevitable process. We grow since we are in the womb as a little cell called “zygote” to a fully grown human being till we take our last breath. Ageing, otherwise, is defined as the process of decline in the physical, mental and physiological functions. The “Age” that we count can be of three different types: The Chronological Age: It is the age that we count to map the years lived, starting from our birth date. The Biological or Physiological Age: It is the growth of the structures and functioning of organs and tissues inside the body. The Mental Age: It is the measure of our ability to understand and interpret things, remember or recall facts or memories and to process anything new.
Ageing influences the latter two, while the chronological age advances as what we call lifespan. The biological and the mental age is what defines our “healthspan”. Healthspan is how much healthy one is even while we grow old. As you age, there is reduction in the speed of transmission of nerve impulses that reduces our ability to respond or process any piece of information, the hormones are secreted little or almost nil, skin loses its moisture, joints are prone to friction between their surfaces, bone and muscle mass reduces, heart’s capacity to pump out blood reduces and lungs may not inflate to their full capacity. All these changes are risk factors to diseases like Diabetes, Hypertension, Stroke, Parkinsonism, Alzheimer’s, Dementia etc. This imposes the elderly to be completely dependent on their family members or carer and reduce their overall quality of life.
The good news is that these effects of ageing can be prevented from occurring by a phenomenon known as “Reverse Ageing”. It does not stop you from growing old, but does make you feel younger! Reverse Ageing is like a paradox wherein under supervised exercise routine and some lifestyle modifications, there can be chances of you to have the capacity to run a few miles even at 60 years without exhausting or pain and discomfort. It’s a protocol of well-being that includes low intensity strengthening, flexibility, mobility exercises, exercises for balance and coordination, cognitive training, training your brain to be active and cardiovascular exercises for the health of heart and lungs. Phasing out habits like smoking, drinking in moderation, healthy eating habits and an optimum sleep are other important things that can help you IMPROVE rather than INCREASE your longevity.
An anti-aging or a geriatric physiotherapist can smoothly take your through a process of preserving your health for the later years of your life by curating a customised protocol that suits your needs and overall fitness.Ageing is not lost youth but a new stage of opportunity and strength!