1

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Do you agree that 20 is the turning point for aging/health?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 07, 2013 at 8:43 AM

So I sort of have this obsession with aging and getting older.

I'm 20 and my birthday is in 5 months, and I keep help think that I'm nearing the end of my "true youth" and physical prime

I remember when I was 18, I got a virus going round and a. 31 year old doctor with the same virus said " at your age you'll get over it faster than me." That made me think, what age is the turning point where you'd recover faster if you were younger? 22? 25?

What age is the absolutely turning point for health, fitness and looks? Meaning, at what point does every year bring declined instead of gains?

Does a 23 year old have the same metabolism, Health and fitness as they had at 20?

I think every age after 20 starts bringing decline. A 21 year old will only see very slight affects of aging, a 24 year old more still and by 27 your physical prime is clearly long gone.

8634d4988ced45a68e2a79e69cc01835

(1617)

on January 08, 2013
at 10:43 PM

I'm sorry. I lost my parents when I was 17, and I agree. That was a major reality check for me. (I'm 34 now).

8634d4988ced45a68e2a79e69cc01835

(1617)

on January 08, 2013
at 10:41 PM

Hahaha! No! I'm 34 (female) and my health is just as good (or better, I'm much more fit) than I was at 20!

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on January 08, 2013
at 03:51 AM

ageing...possibly, health...no

Dc6407193ba441d1438f6f0c06af872b

(4400)

on January 07, 2013
at 06:08 PM

Michael Jordan was over the hill at 20. I don't think he accomplished anything athletically after that.

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on January 07, 2013
at 03:19 PM

I'm a geriatric 47 and I haven't been sick - not even a cold - in as long as I can remember. And it's not for lack of exposure.

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on January 07, 2013
at 03:18 PM

good god in heaven. I'm doomed.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on January 07, 2013
at 11:40 AM

Yep, once you turn 20 you start dying really fast. Plan your funeral...

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13 Answers

2
Eedf46c82d0356d1d46dda5f9782ef36

(4464)

on January 07, 2013
at 11:08 AM

20 was fun. Good times, don't waste it.

However, at 38 I'm currently in the best shape of my life. I could run circles around my 20 year old self right now. I get sick very rarely and when I do I recover quickly.

Could I make a guess that this doctor of yours was kind of a sedentary, work inside, live inside, zoo-human type?

1
513587882111828e619d66f2a146b627

(198)

on January 08, 2013
at 12:14 AM

I'm 41 and currently overweight and feeling the drag of a piss-poor diet for the last 20 years. In no way do I feel that I reached my peak 20 years ago. I fully plan to be back to "peak" by the time I'm 45.

Oh, and I know plenty of 60 year old hard working farmers who can stack 100,000 lbs of hay bales in a day and then kick the ass of an average 20 year old that night.

1
5236a3d5d4daf6304da5e50d19a96e56

on January 07, 2013
at 11:31 PM

I discovered Paleo 4 years ago and have the strange sensation of aging in reverse. In school I was always "the fat kid" and managed to develop pre-diabetes by 25. Now, at 28 I'm leaner and fitter than anyone else I know- of any age. Every month I STILL have more muscle mass and less fat.

Moreover, I have better mental focus and critical thinking skills which translate into better understanding my own biology and health, and how to further improve it.

This seems to be a positive feedback loop- the fitter and smarter I get the better I am able to discover and apply methods to further improve myself. Who knows how long that might continue?

You're probably correct that sometime in your mid-20s you pass a window where your peak possible level of fitness and health begins to reduce. However, very few people in modern society get anywhere close to being as physically fit and healthy as they could possibly be. I think even a 50 or 60 year old, discovering paleo methods for the first time could end up in the best shape and health of their life a few years later.

1
0322015c4939fe66483d9af05079ad87

on January 07, 2013
at 10:53 AM

When I was 20 I felt like shit - always tired (thanks to high carb diet), painful periods, low energy, toxic people around me (wrong decisions). Now at 36 I feel much better and in control of my own life. The best thing about getting older is noticing how you less sweat about everything.

1
007dc0f551af994777d067c463a86a73

on January 07, 2013
at 10:07 AM

I'm 37 and been Paleo for about 6 months. My usual Christmas cold lasted 24 hours this year as opposed to 2 weeks, I feel fitter, stronger and healthier, and I feel myself improving with age. I used to feel the same way, but seriously there is no need. I think what made me realise that was when i spoke to a chap at a party one evening. He was a 50 year old morbidly obese drinker and smoker who hadn't exercised in his life when his doctor told him to quit his unhealthy lifestyle or face an early grave. He did just that and at the age of 71 as he was then, he was one of the country's top 10 male veteran marathon runners! Ask him if he thinks early 20's was his peak!

Embrace your 20's, and your 30's 40's and 50's after that! You are no where near being over the hill!

1
3720f5eb63757f8cdbf393ac7530c1c3

(259)

on January 07, 2013
at 09:04 AM

I think thats bull.

I have been a fitness and dance instructor since I was 20, and while I POSSIBLY used to recover from injuries slightly faster when I was 20, I'm actually much stronger and more flexible and fitter now I'm 32. I can comfortably do a decent over-splits, I can do more press-ups, run for longer, do more pull-ups, you name it I'm better and stronger now than I was 10 years ago.

I imagine a lot of 30-year-olds probably ARE over the hill, I know a lot of my classmates from school are now overweight and unfit from poor lifestyle choices but I believe if you look after yourself and eat well and your 'prime' should last for decades!

As for recovering from viruses quicker, I had pneumonia a couple of years ago and the doctor told me the reason I wasn't hospitalised was because I was so fit - I recovered to full fitness within 3 months, which is pretty quick for a pneumonia recovery at any age!

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on January 07, 2013
at 03:19 PM

I'm a geriatric 47 and I haven't been sick - not even a cold - in as long as I can remember. And it's not for lack of exposure.

1
1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on January 07, 2013
at 08:58 AM

I think you are fine until at least age 26. :-)

0
Acf03489c3661cb6b5024895f32d5fb0

on January 07, 2013
at 06:03 PM

Just read an interesting article where the author describes a dentist who traveled the world looking at bone and teeth health based on diet. Long story short, the ill effects of a western (wheat-rich diet) become apparent about 17 years after introduction. My take-away message from that was that at 17 years of life (having grown up on a western diet) I hit my body's limit of dealing with wheat and the western diet and that I started having old-people problems (arthritis) at that point not because of my age but because of my long term exposure to poisons (bad foods).

0
61b5a48b4609fc0aeedd36b30a67cfa3

on January 07, 2013
at 05:27 PM

Hi, I don't think you need to worry, just maintain a health diet and workout schedule and you will probably continue your healthy life. And 20 is still really young and you have a ton of life ahead of you.

0
A97b68379a576dfa764a4828304d2efb

(4181)

on January 07, 2013
at 02:55 PM

I'd say the end of puberty is the beginning of the decline. Up until this point in your life, you have always been "growing" and developing. Those changes will probably level out and it will feel like stasis for a few years and then things start to decline (you aren't able to eat quite whatever you want, hangovers suck more, you don't bounce back from injuries, gray hairs, etc). No point in sugar coating that.

Don't waste precious time on this earth worrying about the inevitable. You will die. I will die. Everything dies.....But, it is a really slow decline if you take care of yourself and the trade off is so worth it. Every year you will accumulate a bit more wisdom, perspective and tolerance. I wouldn't trade those little knowledge nuggets for my awesome 20 year old skin for anything. And in 10 years, I will mourn my 30 year old stomach or something but will have learned oodles. Trade off!

0
1f3df724cc6c16e9df4757f05bd8dc0f

on January 07, 2013
at 02:23 PM

It's all how you take care of yourself and your body. I think you can enjoy "youth" through 40 at least if you are fit and eat good (real) food.

0
9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

on January 07, 2013
at 01:38 PM

I felt basically invincible and could bounce back quickly from any injury or hangover up until about age 32. This was when it started to take a day or two to recover from things, I couldn't lose some stubborn weight, I began to have sore muscles and joints, and started to develop some minor skin conditions.

By my late 30's I was definitely feeling like no longer a kid. Part of this was psychological, because my parents died when I was 33 and 36, and I don't think there is anything that makes you feel more mortal than seeing your parents die.

I adopted the Paleo diet about 2 years ago at age 41 and it completely reversed many of the annoying and chronic health conditions that I developed in my 30's -- I lost weight, got my waist down to the same size it was in college 20 years ago, my chronic muscle and joint soreness is gone (except for when I'm sore from a great workout), my skin conditions went away, and I was able to start exercising way more intensely than I ever have. It is mo exaggeration to say that I am in the best shape of my life, and it is due to a combination of Paleo and Crossfit. Even though conventional wisdom is that I should be weaker and have more trouble building and retaining muscle now vs. 20 years ago, I find the opposite to be true. I now enjoy far more muscle tone, fitness, and health than I ever have.

Not to sound condescending, but at 20 you are still very young with a lot of mutli-year and multi-decade experiences ahead of you. Just stay healthy and happy!

8634d4988ced45a68e2a79e69cc01835

(1617)

on January 08, 2013
at 10:43 PM

I'm sorry. I lost my parents when I was 17, and I agree. That was a major reality check for me. (I'm 34 now).

0
Acb677529a6974737bf1905ccfc7f748

(120)

on January 07, 2013
at 11:31 AM

Depends what you're doing.

I rock climbed harder in my late 40s than I did in my early 20s (when I was essentially a climbing bum), and that was after more than a decade of barely climbing at all and drinking myself into psychosis. I've climbed with guys who peaked in their 50s and maintained just below that well into their late 60s. Many mountaineers don't peak until their late 30s/early 40s. Rienhold Messner http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carlos_Lopes knocked off the last two of the 14 highest peaks in the world (without oxygen) at 42. Carlos Lopez http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carlos_Lopes won the world cross-country championship and the Olympic marathon at 37. Chris MacDougall cites someone in Born to Run who says that we can maintain the performance levels of our late teens into our early 60s.

Quit worrying.

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