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How to Counteract the Effects of Aging on our Bones and Joints

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As we age, our bodies change. Things that used to stay north begin to head south. Smooth complexions begin to take on a less-than-pressed look. Our hair may begin to feel less luxurious. Many signs of aging are obvious. Others are more subtle.

A lot of people comfortably enjoy the aging process, having little problems and leading an active lifestyle, vibrant, alert, and full of enthusiasm for what’s yet to come. In fact, they may look, act and feel several years younger than their actual chronological age.

Unfortunately, there are those who experience the chronic stresses of aging, such as osteoarthritis and osteoporosis, which can limit their ability to fully participate in the activities they once loved.

In taking the right steps, you can counterbalance the effects of aging, maintaining a youthful spirit and an independent life along the way! A healthy diet, regular exercise, and a positive attitude are all great aging-busters, and they can help to offset the progression of aging in your body.

As we age, our muscles begin to shrink and lose mass. This is a natural process, but if you live a sedentary lifestyle, it can accelerate the shrinkage. The number and size of muscle fibers also decrease with age. As such, the muscles are slower to respond when someone is in their 50s than when they were in their 20s.

Aging also causes a decrease in the water content of the tendons, making them stiffer and less tolerant of stress. Handgrip strength will also diminish with age, and routine tasks like opening a jar or rotating a key can become noticeably more difficult.

The heart muscle is less able to send large quantities of blood to the body quickly. During the aging process, fatigue is more evident and it takes longer to recover. The metabolic rate of the body also slows down, meaning food is not as quickly converted to energy, which could lead to obesity and a spike in “bad” cholesterol levels.

During one’s life, the bones in the body continually change through the absorption and formation process known as remodeling.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.