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What does aging really do to your body?

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b2ap3_thumbnail_iStock_000019213140Small.jpgAging: you just can't away from it!

We all know that some parts get a bit softer and perhaps change shape as you age... but there are changes to your body you don't see.

For example, in our cardiac system, your max heart rate decreases, your cardiac output decreases, and your VO2 (maximual oxygen uptake) decreases as well. Meanwhile, there is an increase in your systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Your pulmonary system undergoes changes, too. Your vital capacity decreases, and the work of breathing increases. Your musculoskeletal system loses muscle (sarcopenia), including both type I and II muscle fibers. There are decreases in bone mass and tensile strength of the tendons and ligaments. At the same time, there is an increase in stiffness of the muscles, tendons, and ligaments.

And the neurologic system exhibits a decrease in spinal motor neurons, reaction times, coordination, balance, and proprioception (position awareness). Lastly, the metabolic system exhibits a decrease in the basal metabolic rate and glucose tolerance. There is an increase in triglycerides, total cholesterol, and low-density lipoprotein concentrations.

The best weapon against aging? Exercise!



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