Why do we age? | Healthy aging is possible

Why do we age?

"It's not how old you are. It's how you are old." - Jules Renard

"It's not how old you are. It's how you are old." - Jules Renard

 Aging is a natural process that depends on genetics, environment, and lifestyle.

The unique genetic program we inherited from our parents influences our health and longevity. And while our human genome has programmed us for a 100-to-120-year lifespan, not all of us will reach such a ripe old age! Life is a bumpy road. Our genetic blueprint endows us with more or less effective means to fight against the pitfalls and challenges our bodies encounter throughout our lifetime.

Unhealthy lifestyles and harmful environments kick in from birth onwards and accumulate throughout life, affecting how we age and how well. Poor diets, lack of physical activity; pollution of all sorts, germs; overexposure to the sun; tobacco, drugs, overuse of alcohol; stressful jobs, hardships, psychological distress, loss of a loved one, abuse and more; all these factors contribute to deteriorating our bodies.  

The buildup of these stressors disrupts our immune system and our anti-oxidative system. The buildup weakens these two genetically programmed defense systems whose powerful role is to protect our bodies and act as anti-aging mechanisms.

When our defense systems weaken, they are less efficient against the stressors our bodies encounter, and the aging process accelerates, opening the gate to age-related problems and diseases.

Aging is an inevitable process that happens more or less well. You cannot change your genetics. However, youcan take action to control how you live. You can eliminate some of the causes detrimental to your health. And you can boost your defense systems. Healthy aging is possible.

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