All about the fitness and health lifestyle
All about the fitness and health lifestyle

How Your Body Shape Changes with Age: A Comprehensive Guide

Last Updated:
September 4, 2023
Author:
Kay Nicole

How Your Body Shape Changes with Age: A Comprehensive Guide

Our bodies undergo various changes as we progress through different stages of life. Age-related changes in body shape are influenced by genetics, lifestyle, diet, physical activity, and other factors. This comprehensive guide provides an overview of how ageing affects our body shape and the reasons behind these transformations:

Bone Density Reduction

Bone density reduction is a common phenomenon that occurs with ageing. It represents a decrease in the amount of minerals, mainly calcium and phosphate, in the bone, making it less dense, more porous, and more prone to fractures. Throughout life, bones undergo a continuous process of formation and resorption.

However, as we grow older, the balance can shift towards more resorption and less formation, leading to a net loss of bone. The implications of reduced bone density are increased fracture risk, postural changes, and height reduction.

That said, activities like walking, jogging, weightlifting, and dancing can help maintain bone health. Well, bone density scans, known as DEXA scans, can also help monitor bone health and determine fracture risk.

Decrease in Muscle Mass

As we age, we naturally lose muscle mass. This is a process called Sarcopenia. The number and function of nerve cells that signal muscle cells to contract begin to decline with age. And with fewer nerve signals triggering muscle contractions, muscle fibres get lost or shrink in size. This decline can start as early as our 30s and results in decreased strength and a frailer appearance.

Engaging in strength training exercises is one of the most effective ways to combat muscle loss. Lifting weights, resistance band exercises, and body-weight exercises can help maintain and even build muscle mass.

Another excellent way for men to counter muscle loss is by seeking the help of the finest TRT solutions. TRT plays a significant role in addressing this issue, seeing that muscle mass decline can be a result of low testosterone levels.

Fat Redistribution

While young adults tend to store fat in the hips, thighs, and buttocks, older adults may find fat accumulating in the abdomen area. In women, as oestrogen levels decrease during and after menopause, there's a shift in fat storage from the hips and thighs to the abdominal area.

Men, with declining testosterone levels, may also notice increased abdominal fat. Also, since muscle mass tends to decrease with age, the reduction in muscle tissue can lead to a slower metabolism, making it easier for the body to store fat. Maintaining a balanced diet, doing regular exercise, and staying hydrated can help manage body weight.

Skin Elasticity

Skin elasticity, intrinsic to youthful skin, owes its resilience primarily to proteins called collagen and elastin in the dermal layer of the skin. However, as we age, the production of collagen naturally decreases. This decline begins in our mid-20s and accelerates in later decades. The result is the formation of wrinkles, fine lines, and sagging skin.

You can promote skin elasticity by regularly using broad-spectrum sunscreen, wearing protective clothing, and avoiding excessive sun exposure to prevent further damage. Using moisturisers and products containing retinoids, peptides, and antioxidants also supports skin health and elasticity.

Decreased Metabolic Rate

The older we get, the slower our metabolic rate. As we age, we naturally lose muscle mass unless we actively counteract it with strength training. Muscle tissue is more metabolically active than fat tissue. As muscle mass decreases, fewer calories are burned at rest, contributing to a lower BMR.

Hormones also play a role in metabolism. The decline of certain hormones, like growth hormone and testosterone, can lead to decreased muscle mass and a slower metabolic rate. Additionally, changes in thyroid hormone can affect energy expenditure. You can counteract the decreased metabolic rate by doing regular strength training exercises to increase or maintain muscle mass, boosting BMR.

Facial Changes

Apart from the body, the face undergoes changes too. There's a decrease in subcutaneous fat in the cheeks, leading to a more hollow look. Furthermore, the skin's ability to retain moisture also decreases, leading to dryness. The rate of cell turnover slows, potentially leading to a rougher texture. As one ages, bone mass and density in the face decrease.

This can lead to changes like the recession of the jaw, leading to a less defined chin and jawline, and changes in the eye sockets, making the eyes appear sunken. Active interventions like proper skincare regimens, and professional treatments such as Botox, fillers, chemical peels, microneedling, and lifestyle adjustments can help in managing ageing effects on facial appearance.

Final Thoughts

While body shape changes are an inevitable part of ageing, understanding the reasons behind them and adopting a proactive approach to health can influence the rate and nature of these changes. Embracing the journey of ageing while taking care of oneself can lead to a fulfilling and healthy life.

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