The Human Aging Of A High School Reunion And Being Shocked By The Appearance Of My Classmates

The Human Aging Of A High School Reunion And Being Shocked By The Appearance Of My Classmates

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We’ve all experienced going to a college or high school reunion and being shocked by the appearance of some of your classmates. They look older than they should and yet there are others who seem to look just about the same as they did when they were your classmates. It really is a mixed bag, and as we get older and go to a class reunion the results of the human aging process are even more stark. Some of your classmates who were stars on the football team or outstanding athletes in other sports are bent over, bald and fat. It makes you stop and wonder if others look at you and wonder why you have changed so much, even if you don’t think so. Recently, I read an article in the Washington Post about a study of 1,000 38 year-olds whose ‘biological age’ ranged from 30 to 60. I was more than a little interested in what the study would show.

The study was led by Duke University assistant professor Daniel Belsky, researcher at Duke’s Center for the study of Aging and Human Development. According to the article, he is quoted as suggesting that some of the secrets to the aging process may lie in understanding the phenomenon of why people grow “old” at such different rates. Belsky states “by slowing down the aging process we could prevent not just one disease but many simultaneously.” The study was published in the proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and the scientists tracked 1,000 people born in 1972-73 in the coastal city of Dunedin in New Zealand and calculated their biological age after their 18th birthdays based on a wide range of biological markers.

Those markers included the following:

1. Kidneys, liver, lungs, metabolic and immune systems.
2. HDL cholesterol, cardio-respiratory fitness, and lung function.
3. Length...

... middle of paper ...

...ealth that may help patients understand the battery of numbers they get from their doctors today”.

Frankly, in my opinion, aging still comes down to three factors and they are what we eat, how often we exercise and whether or not we get enough sleep on a regular basis. I have always believed that the most significant element in our lives that causes premature aging is stress, and most of us have too much of it in our lives. Perhaps we can do something about the premature aging process by practicing what we’ve been told time after time by researchers, physicians, and gerontologists and that is moderation, but it is hard to practice in an age where excess stress has almost become a common piece of our everyday lives. Living a life of moderation is most difficult, but it is essential for any of us if we are going to stem the tide of premature aging. It’s worth a try!

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