It is common for people’s posture and walk to change with age. Changes also occur in the skin and hair.
Joints are found where bones come together. They are what give flexibility to the skeleton and make movement possible. Muscles provide the strength and resistance required for movement.
Although coordination is controlled by the brain, changes in the muscles and joints can have an effect on it. These changes are evident in a person’s posture and walk, and cause the body to weaken and slow down.
According to MedlinePlus, aging can have the following effects:
- Loss of bone mass or density, especially in post-menopausal women as the bones lose calcium and other minerals during menopause.
- The spine becomes shorter.
- Vertebrae also lose some of their mineral content, making each bone thinner. The spine becomes curved and compressed.
- The foot arches become less pronounced, contributing to a slight loss of height.
- The joints become stiffer and less flexible. Cartilage may begin to rub together and wear away.
- Lean body mass decreases.
- Muscles become less toned and less able to contract because of normal changes in muscle tissue and the nervous system caused by aging.
Exercise is one of the best ways to slow or prevent problems with the muscles, joints and bones. It is also important to eat a well-balanced diet with plenty of calcium.
Muscle changes often begin at age 20 in men and age 40 in women.
Related article: Guide to a good posture