Aging is a natural, lifelong process and is influence by diet, environment, living conditions, personal habits and genetic factors, as well.
Gerontology is the discipline that studies aging and the aged from biological, psychological and sociological view points. The older adult population includes individuals of 65 years age and older. Although aging is accompanied by typical bio-physiologic changes, it is not necessarily associated with disease and disability. Many old individuals can perform almost all of the activities they performed when they were young but they often take longer and require greater motivation.
The aging process can be retarded by adopting Scientific, Holistic and Spiritual measures.
Caloric restriction has been proved to delay aging. Restricting calorie intake by 30 to 40 % increase average life expectancy and maximum lifespan and delays the onset of some typical age-associated diseases.
Modification of risk factors like increased blood-pressure, smoking, lifestyle like sitting work, can retard the aging process. As we all know, no conventional medicine has been discovered which can retard aging.
With the advent of numerous alternative therapies, the human race beholds bright prospects for retarding the aging process. While conventional allopathic medicine is based upon physiology and patho-physiology, most of the alternative therapies are based on eastern concepts of energy, called ‘prana’ in Ayurvedic Medicine.
Yogasana and Pranayama can slow down some metabolic functions like heart rate and respiratory rate and this can delay aging. Pranayama is the process of bringing under control the nervous system over which normally, we have no control.
Pranayama prevents dissipation of energy and directs it along a particular channel. Longivity can be attained by cutting down the respiratory rate from the normal ranging between 12-16/mt to about 4/mt. Take for example, the tortoise which has a long lifespan of more than hundred years and breathes only at the rate of about 1/mt. Dogs and other animals having a rapid respiratory rate live only for about 10-20 years. By regulating the volume and rhythm of breathing, we can reduce our normal 25,920 daily breaths to about 17,280 or still lower, amounting to a huge saving of energy.
There are young people who are old and there are old people who are young. If you are always open to a new creative work, a new improvement, then you are eternally young. If you sit back with contentment that you have accomplished everything, then it leads to decay and death.
By devoting your life to the realization of higher truths, by coming out of the normal routine existence of eating, sleeping and procreation etc. again can be retarded. Only those years that are passed uselessly and in idleness make you grow old.
Peace and silence can provide you with the greatest strength. By doing your work in a quiet and peaceful surroundings, by avoiding wastage of energies in useless anxiety, the body can be made to remain young.
Constant effort, striving for progress, improving capacities can enrich you with youth and vitality since life is movement, life is effort.
Finally, the coming of old age is due to both individual and collective suggestions. The general collective suggestion coming from people around you that you are becoming old and so you are incapable of this or that. There is an individual suggestion arising from within oneself, that “I am getting old. I must be careful about doing certain things etc.’ Therefore, aging is more to the mind than to the body, since you are as old as you think!