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Rest & Ageing

Did you know that the amount of resting time you get has an effect on ageing? Aging or ageing? Whatever way you like to write it, certainly the participle meaning remains the same. 

This article brings to you expert views on ageing in the following order;

  1. What is ageing?
  2. The process of ageing 
  3. Types of ageing 
  4. Causes of ageing 
  5. Healthy ageing 

What is ageing? 

Ageing is a phenomenon whereby an individual experiences molecular, cellular, and physiological changes over time in years. It is a natural and complex process characterised by the gradual deterioration of biological functions and the accumulation of damage in the body over time and as a result, decline in tissue repair, increased susceptibility to diseases, and alterations in metabolic processes.

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The process of ageing 

The ageing process revolves around theories. Multifaceted theories have been evolved to improve the understanding of ageing. 

The mutation accumulation theory 

This evolutionary theory was suggested by Peter Medawar. This theory states that there are late-acting mutations which occur in the human body. Accumulation of these in the population leads to ageing and senescence

The neuroendocrine theory

This theory suggests that ageing occurs as a process from the degeneration of the hypothalamus - pituitary axis. This theory is explained by the fact that ageing individuals lack complex neuro endocrine systems.  

Immunologic theory

This theory was proposed by Walford. Watford suggests that the normal process of ageing  is related to faulty immune processes. This theory is based on two main observations; 

The decreasing functionality of the immune system as one ages. This is evidenced by a reduced response of immune T cells to mitogens and reduced resistance to infectious disease. Also the increase in the autoimmunity phenomena with age. 

Error catastrophic theory 

This theory was proposed by Leslie Orgel in 1963. The theory suggests that as we age, the body translates a lot of flawed proteins. Accumulation of these results in ageing. 

Free radical theory 

This theory was proposed by Denham Harman in 1956. The theory suggests that free radicals produced during aerobic respiration cause cumulative oxidative damage on lipids, proteins and nucleic acids resulting in ageing. 

Types of ageing

Some scholars consider ageing to simply be the state of mind while others consider how the mind and body naturally change over time. 

This article breaks down ageing into three; biological, psychological, and social ageing.

Biological ageing 

This is the type of ageing associated with how the human body naturally changes over time; decreased immune functionality and capacity to fight disease, weaker bones, joints and vital organs, decreased vision, hearing etc.

Psychological ageing

Psychological ageing is the type of ageing related to changes in the brain and results in reduced cognitive capabilities like problem-solving, emotions, and subjective reactions to situations. 

Social ageing 

This type of ageing relates to how social habits and behaviours change over time. It considers how the individual relates to the society as a whole and people in his or her age group. 

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    Causes of ageing 

    While ageing is a universal biological phenomenon, it can be initiated and influenced by factors like genetics, environment, and molecular factors. We shall delve into those below: 


    The genes we inherit from our parents play an important role in determining aspects of ageing. For example; susceptibility to certain diseases, longevity, and the efficiency of cellular repair mechanisms which determine ageing.

    At molecular level

    Reduction in hormones such as growth hormones and particular sex hormones cause ageing. 


    Exposure to environmental factors such as UV radiation and toxins cause DNA damage. Accumulated DNA damage over time can lead to cellular dysfunction and therefore ageing. Stressful environments also contribute greatly to ageing. 

    Healthy ageing 

    Hey reader, what do you understand about the term ‘health ageing’? Or do you firstly prefer that I write ageing without the ‘e’? Well, healthy ageing. 

    Healthy ageing is a term used to coin the process of growing older in a way that promotes and maintains one's overall well-being, functional capacity, and quality of life. It involves adopting lifestyle choices, behaviours, and healthcare practices that contribute to physical, mental, and social well being as individuals age. 

    How to practise healthy ageing

    • Maintaining a healthy body composition

    As we age, it is important to maintain adequate muscle mass, bone density and often assess factors such as body mass index (BMI), muscle strength, mobility, and nutritional status. 

    It is also important to consult with a healthcare professional for personalised advice on weight and health as one ages.

    • Regular exercises 

    Doing regular exercises as we age helps to maintain body stability, flexibility and eases blood flow to all parts of the body. Walking, leg lifts, yoga, cycling and dancing are great exercises for the ageing body. 

    While you exercise, it is vital to take deep breaths after each set of exercises and also make use of products that increase blood flow to superficial body parts. Products such as talc, ashwagandha with black pepper play this role very well. 


    Ashwagandha is a natural herb that has been used in ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. The herb, also known as Indian ginseng when combined with black pepper makes a good pre exercise product and boosts vitality. The combination of the two can be made locally at home by grating black pepper and adding to Ashwagandha or better, found in supplements; natural Ashwagandha supplements or Ashwagandha herbal supplements. 

    • Being proactive about recommended health screenings

    As we age, it is important to get the recommended health screenings. Consult your health care provider to run some of these so as to assess your health status.    

    • Diet 

    Eating fresh fruits and vegetables is important in maintaining the functionality of the body and mind as one ages. Fruits such as apples, watermelons, pumpkins, beetroots, brussels, carrots, plums, kale and cabbages are an important diet add on as one ages as these enhance the body's functionality and ability to fight disease. 

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    • Get proper sleep

    One of the fundamentals in promoting healthy ageing is getting good sleep. If you are a retired mate, consider taking afternoon naps too. 

    The core in getting good sleep is having a relaxed mind and sleeping in a calm environment. Declutter your sleep environment and minimise light in the room. You can access bedroom dim light lamp shades from online sellers and beddings stores. 

    Additionally , you can try using mind calming products for better sleep. These products are also on the internet among various supplement stores and in pharmacies. However, be keen to choose natural melatonin supplements as these are the best supplements for sleep. They are natural sleep aid products and do not cause addictive behaviour. 

    Take away

    While we can't stop the process of ageing, we can live a healthy lifestyle as we age. Eat fruits and vegetables, take your dietary supplements if any and get good sleep. Remember to keep a calm mind and exercise regularly. To healthy ageing! 

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