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Changes During Adulthood Essay

3770 words - 16 pages

adulthood, the period in the human lifespan in which full physical and intellectual maturity have been attained. Adulthood is commonly thought of as beginning at age 20 or 21 years. Middle age, commencing at about 40 years, is followed by old age at about 60 years.
Physically, early and middle adulthood are marked by slow, gradual declines in body functioning, which accelerate as old age is reached. The muscle mass continues to increase through the mid-20s, thereafter gradually decreasing. The skeletal mass increases until age 30 or so, and then begins to decrease, first in the central skeleton (pelvis and spine) and last in the peripheral skeleton (fingers and toes). Throughout ...view middle of the document...

As changes begin to happen in one area of a person’s life, most likely the other two will be affected as well. There is a wide variation among individuals in the rate of aging and, within the same person, different organ systems age at different rates. However,we all experience common changes to some degree. How we age can be a result of our diet, exercise, personal habits, and psychosocial factors. An important fact to remember is that biological age does not equal chronological age.

Physical Changes:-

Decrease in Physical Strength, Endurance, and Flexibility :-

Muscle strength and flexibility decrease with age. A major reason muscles tend to become weaker is that there is less lean muscle mass and they shrink from lack of use. It happens whether a person is young or old. As muscles are not used, they don’t work as well. The capacity to assure strenuous effort gradually declines.
You eventually become less able to walk as far or lift as much as you used to. This is because skeletal muscles atrophy (shrink with age). Conditioning is the most dominant factor influencing this rate of decline.

Decline in Efficiency of Body Organs :-

Functioning of all body organs is not as efficient as before. Examples include:
* The heart becomes a less efficient pump. It requires more oxygen to do the same work it used to do with less oxygen. When you reach your fifties, there also is an increased thickness and hardening of the arteries causing blood
pressure to rise slightly and then level off.

* Other problems associated with heart disease can cause blood pressure to continue to rise to a point of needing medication. Taking medication as ordered is very important when you are diagnosed with high blood pressure, even if you “feel fine.” Generally, high blood pressure affects the organs inside without giving us any physical warning signs. This isthe danger of not being treated and maintaining proper medical care which could result in a stroke and/or heart attack.

* Lungs become less elastic, and do not expand as well; thus, less oxygen gets into them. Smoking makes this problem worse at a much earlier age in people that smoke versus those who do not.

* As you age, it takes longer for your kidneys to get rid of waste products. These substances tend to remain in the body for a longer period of time. This is particularly the case with medications.

* Urinary incontinence is not a normal change with aging. Not being able to “hold your water” is due to many other problems, such as enlarged prostate, weak muscles, limited fluid intake, or constipation. Your medical provider is the best person to evaluate your particular problem. Don’t feel embarrassed! Almost 60 percent of the time, this problem can be improved easily and economically.

* The reproductive system is affected in many ways. However, it is important to note that sex, including intercourse, continues to be pleasurable as you age. In both...

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