What are the physical effects of aging? There are many effects on the body as a person ages, both internal and external. Here are only a few of the effects you may begin to notice as you age.
- Effects on the cardiovascular system. Physical effects on the cardiovascular system due to aging include a decrease in the elasticity of blood vessels and heart valves, restricted blood flow and a decrease in the amount of blood the heart can pump out. To counteract some of the physical effects of aging on the cardiovascular system, maintain a normal weight, exercise regularly, stop smoking and reduce salt, sugar and fatty foods in your diet.
- Effects on the skeletal system. The physical effects of aging on the skeletal system include loss of bone density, over time the bones become porous and brittle. Eat a diet high in calcium and vitamin D and get a moderate amount of exercise.
- Effects on the hair. The most obvious physical effect of aging on the hair is that it becomes gray. It may also start to thin (you may even start to get a bald spot that increases with time) and become brittle. Some people prefer to dye their hair as it becomes gray, but be careful not to use harsh coloring products, as they may cause your hair to become more weakened.
- Effects on the skin. As skin ages, it begins to lose its ability to retain fluids as well as its elasticity. To avoid these effects, avoid direct sunlight and use a moisturizing sunscreen.
- Effects on the eyes. The physical effects of aging on the eyes include producing fewer tears, thinning retinas and lenses that become less clear. Cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration become more common as a person ages.
- Effects on the teeth. Your mouth may feel dry and your gums may recede as you age. Your teeth become more brittle as you age and you may be more susceptible to oral cancer.
- Effects on weight. As you age, your metabolism begins to slow down. This makes you more susceptible to weight gain, yet another physical effect of aging on the body.
- Effects on sexuality. Sexual performance begins to change as you age. In women, the vaginal walls become less elastic and drier, and men may become impotent.