I could not understand why the maximum pulse that our heart is capable of is so inexorably decreasing with age. Is it even happening to constantly training athletes? Can not be! At least between 20 and 40 people, leading a healthy lifestyle and regularly engaged in sports, probably can maintain their physical performance at the same level – thought the naive Chukchi youth.
And now more than 20 years have passed, and I on my own skin understand that – alas – no. You can worsen. Slow down no. That's why in professional sports there are practically no 35-year-old sprinters or 40-year-old players, and the peak age of swimmers is 21 years at all. Here is an excellent graph showing the age slowdown of both sprinters and stoyers:
Guaranteed age reduction of cardiac function is only one of the reasons why athletes have such a short peak period. Respiratory function worsens in unison:
Almost immediately after puberty, different systems of our body begin to slowly but surely deteriorate. And even this sad schedule from Ben Best from my post about menopause and aging reflects only a part of that inevitable age-related degradation to which our body is doomed:
Here is another chart from Mike Darwin's excellent article with a couple of additional indicators; It can be seen how the function of the kidneys worsens with age with age (even the "ageless" naked diggers are subject to age-related nephritis):
For me personally, the most unpleasant degradation is cognitive. Some of its aspects begin as early as 27 years, and memory begins to deteriorate to 40 years. Moreover, the brain atrophies even physically – between 22 and 82 years we lose more than a third of its mass:
And a significant part of this loss is due to gray matter:
And to all this, the risk of dementia is added, which after 60 years begins to double every 5 years.
The immune system begins to atrophy even earlier than the cognitive system. Involution of the thymus (i.e. atrophy of the thymus gland) begins as early as puberty, and between 25 and 60 years its functional parameters deteriorate 20-fold. Therefore, the simple flu that children suffer in a week without special consequences can be fatal for an elderly person. Here is a graph of age changes in the thymus:
Also with age, we are guaranteed to weaken. Both strength and muscle mass begin to decrease by 1-2% per year after 40 years. Rapid muscle fibers begin to be replaced with slow ones with age.
Do not avoid age-related degradation of muscle strength and professional athletes:
Although the advantages of physical training have been preserved for many years:
Our bones also atrophy after 35:
Vision begins to deteriorate much later, but after 70 years of problems with it are very many:
With hearing is worse – his loss begins earlier and it affects a lot more people:
Taste and smell with age also deteriorate:
Although to whom they are needed, when there are less than half left teeth?
In general, aging is a real scourge. And even HIV is "Age-related human involution," which is probably programmed into our DNA, and threatens us all. And this genetic pathology needs to be treated, because it is she who is the greatest source of pain and suffering in our universe.