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Live A Long and Healthy Life: Tips for Any Age

Posted by on Mar 7, 2013

Together, Dr. Mark Houston and his wife, Laurie Hays of Facial Rejuvenation Center at St. Thomas, share a passion for helping their patients look and live well. With years of experience, they integrate aesthetics and clinical science with personalized care to create a platform for healthy aging strategies that encompass both external and internal treatments.

Photo of Mark Houston, M.D. & Laurie Hays, R.N.

Screen Shot 2013 03 12 at 5.51.48 PM Live A Long and Healthy Life: Tips for Any Age

We think you’ll find Dr. Houston’s in-depth article compelling, as it is rich with practical advice and insightful strategies. To help you navigate all of this great information, below you will find a linked index of the different sections. Read it all, or read the sections that most interest you:

  • Page 1: What is aging? What to expect as you age? Biological vs. chronological age.
  • Page 2: Tips to slow aging
  • Page 3: Slowing the aging process of your skin
  • Page 4: Conclusions and more information about Dr. Houston
  • Page 5: References

 

Dr. Houston:

“Youth has no age” — Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)

We all desire to live long and healthy lives. None of us wants to deal with the declining health or chronic diseases that are commonly associated with aging. If given a choice, wouldn’t we all like to live full, active, healthy lives and then when the time comes, make the quick exit? I call this model of life the “The Square Life Curve” as opposed to the “Declining Graph.”

With this article, I’m promoting the concept that we can age successfully. I’m introducing the idea that there are ways to control the diseases that cause declining health as we age. We can’t stop aging, but with lifestyle changes that are mentioned below, we can certainly experience a more successful aging process. To age successfully, you must have a healthy mind, body and spirit! Interested? Keep reading.

First let me provide a basic understanding of what happens when we age.

 

What is Aging?

Aging is when the body shifts from a constructive (anabolism) to a destructive (catabolism) state. Anabolism is the replenishing of the body’s systems with new and stronger tissue, a rejuvenating or building mode, in other words. Catabolism is the breaking down of the body’s physiological systems. Physiological functions peak in the twenties, plateaus in the thirties and then begins a sharp descent in the forties. In the US the “decade of vulnerability” occurs at the age of 40 to 50 years. During this time the male ages 15.2 years and the female ages 18.6 years.

 

What can you expect to happen as you age?

Individuals age at variable rates due to genetic and environmental factors such as nutrition, exercise, stress, smoking and alcohol and various diseases such as obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes mellitus.

Regardless of the rate, however, these are the facts: a) the brain shrinks and there is loss of cognitive function, focus and memory; b) vision worsens with cataracts and loss of visual acuity, darkness and color perception; c) hearing is impaired especially for higher tones; d) the skin loses elasticity and collagen, begins to wrinkle, thin, and it heals slower and bruises easier; e) smell and taste decrease, hair thins and fat increases as lean muscle mass and bone mass decrease resulting in decrease strength, osteoporosis and fatigue; f) the kidneys decrease in size and function and the bladder losses its elasticity and capacity resulting in incontinence; g) the heart has contracted about 2 billion times by the age of 50 and the incidence of heart attack and heart failure increase; h) the lungs lose elasticity and breathing capacity is reduced by over 20 percent; and i) the pancreas produces less insulin and diabetes mellitus is more common. In addition, men lose testosterone starting at age 30 and women have reductions in progesterone and estrogen after menopause in their 40’s and 50’s.

Reading this might dishearten even the most optimistic individual, but there are many ways to slow the aging process enough so that we can still have many years of living a vital, active, and rewarding life. Remember, we’re working toward living a life that resembles the “Square Life Curve” as opposed to the “Sliding Graph.”

 

How old are you really? Biological versus chronological age:

Before you can figure out how to slow down your own aging clock, you need to find out where it’s currently set. You need to determine your biological age versus your chronological age. The chronological age is today’s year minus your birth year. The biological age is every individual’s unique biological rate of aging. Various physiological factors determine your biological age. A four year difference is significant between your biological and chronological age. Obviously, one would prefer to have their biological age younger that their chronological age. The best method to determine your biological age is the Telomere Test from Spectracell Labs in Texas.

Taking this test is a first step, but I also recommend that you go to a physician who will give you a thorough intensive examination. When there, review with the physician your complete medical history, then get a physical exam and a series of functional, metabolic and anatomic diagnostic tests. You need to find out all the biomarkers of aging which include circulating levels of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, anti-oxidant defense, blood hormone levels, cardiovascular status, vascular health cardiovascular risk factors, pulmonary status, bone health, speed of nerve conduction, body composition, musculoskeletal health, sensory responses, balance, coordination, reaction time, neuropsychological status and cognitive function. 

What you do not want to hear when you visit you physician is “ You have the body of someone twice your age!”

Remember that information is power. The sooner that you find out your current condition, then the sooner that you can start initiating the needed changes to help slow down your aging process. Now you are ready to begin an individual treatment plan.

Article Index (Click on links below to navigate to other sections, or click on page number at bottom of page to continue reading article in its entirety.)

  • Page 1: What is aging? What to expect as you age? Biological vs. chronological age.
  • Page 2: Tips to slow aging
  • Page 3: Slowing the aging process of your skin
  • Page 4: Conclusions and more information about Dr. Houston
  • Page 5: References

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5

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