Aging is an irreversible process for every living being. And still we try to delay this process. Pharmaceuticals, aesthetic medicines/procedures and cosmetology often come to the rescue.
However, sometimes we forget about the most important aspect of a healthy lifestyle; we don't have to look that far, because PHYSICAL ACTIVITY is the best influencer!
Today we know that it is the changes that occur in individual systems over the years that contribute to the weakening of the body and, as a result, the occurrence of diseases or ailments, both physical and mental. Aging is not identical for everyone. This is also in the case of individual body systems and organs; the pace can vary and depends on lifestyle and socio-economic factors.
Let's think about the influence of time on our body systems.
Striated skeletal muscles are part of the active human motor apparatus. Their primary role is to maintain body posture and allow breathing. They are also very important for metabolism.
The skeletal system and cartilage elements form a skeleton, which supports the muscles, but also performs a protective function, because it forms part of our natural protection against injuries.
With age, we observe numerous changes in the muscular and skeletal systems. Here are the most important changes in the musculoskeletal system:
- reduction of muscle mass (muscle mass and strength, intensity and speed of muscle contraction, adaptability)
- reduction of the volume of type 2 fibers (slow-twitch fibers resistant to fatigue)
- after 80 years of age there is reduction in amount of both types of fibers (fast twitch type I and slow twitch type II)
- the skull gets thicker with age
- osteoporosis (literally means 'hole in bone'). The disease mainly affects women over 60 and women with a smaller frame, but it can also affect men. As a result of osteoporosis, the bone structure changes to a fragile quality and the bone becomes brittle, which means that a break can occur even as a result of simple actions such as (curved foot positioning during) a walk.
- (poly) articular degeneration; (multiple) joint pain - which increases during activity or joint stiffness - which eases with movement
- degenerative processes in the muscles and bones are associated with nutrition, neurological or vascular abnormalities, and hormonal changes
When it comes to the muscular system, the main change is the reduction (loss) of muscle mass, starting after 30 years of age. This is called sarcopenia. There is also a loss of motor neurons and a decrease in muscle strength called dynapenia. Other changes within the muscular system are:
- decrease in muscle quality; in men, this decrease is similar for both upper and lower limb muscles, while in women it particularly affects the lower limbs. One of the reasons is the increased connective tissue content in muscles.
- the maximum strength of skeletal muscle in humans gradually decreases. As a result, the elderly person will have significantly weakened muscles, which can cause problems in carrying out even simple activities.
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