Time is an equalizer of man: we all have only 24 hours a day, no more and no less. The passage of time is inevitable and eternal. With the passage of time, aging begins as early as from young adulthood (around age 20 to 40), and continues to old age until death. Aging occurs throughout an individual’s lifespan. Such a process is an accumulation of changes, which may be subtle or even drastic, that progressively lead to disease, degeneration, and, ultimately, death. Truly, you cannot die merely of old age; your ultimate demise is caused by advancing age itself, as well as by the diseases and degenerative conditions that accompany it. In brief, aging is a steady decline in health, which is instrumental in shortening lifespan; and the aging process is the duration during which such changes occur.
Can the aging process be slowed down?
Yes and no. Theoretically, death may have been pre-programmed into your biological organisms as well as your body cells, and thus pre-determining your lifespan. That said, your body organisms and body cells may still have an indefinite lifespan through division, rejuvenation, and regeneration—if they are still healthy and functional. Again, theoretically, your genes mainly may have pre-determined the speed of your biological clock, but you can still slow down the speed of that biological clock—if you still have good health. The bottom line: nothing is set in stone.
So, what is good health? Is being healthy synonymous with absence of disease?
According to the United States Public Health Service, good health is “preventing premature death, and preventing disability, preserving a physical environment that supports human life, cultivating family and community support, enhancing each individual’s inherent abilities to respond and to act, and assuring that all Americans achieve and maintain a maximum level of functioning.” This statement probably sums up what you need to do in order to be younger and healthier for longer; it says everything about aging.
Over the past decades, preventive medicine has become an important component of the health care system in the United States due to the rising cost of medical care and insurance coverage.
Stephen LauCopyright© by Stephen Lau
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