Health decline starts at 21 years old?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created January 14, 2013 at 8:43 AM

I have this unhealthy obsession with aging and getting older. I'm about 5 months away from my 21st birthday and I already feel like im starting to age.

I remember reading somebody saying that when they were 22, they couldn't do quite the workouts they could at 20.??

I've noticed that even at college graduations, the seniors are already showing signs of aging that you wouldn't see freshman year.

I've seen graphs of cognitive function and lung capacity- both curves start to drop right around the 21st birthday.

2 years ago, me and a 31 year old had the same cold going around, and he commented that at my age, I'd recover faster This got me thinking- at what age does the ability to recover from illness begin to decline? Does a 25 year old recover as fast as an 18 year old? What about 20? What about 23? 27?

Than I started thinking in general- what age is the turning point in overall health? Meaning everything- fitness, cancer rates, regeneration, not getting hungover, not needing to stretch, ability to fall asleep, etc. What one age is the absolute turning point in which every advancing year now works against you?

When I thought about it, I realized in probably is indeed around 20-21, based on what I've observed. I think a 20 year old has 98% health he had at 18, but it's a decline nonetheless.

Now, I really have to wonder here- it just seems like there's no way that you start declining physically-and especially mentally- at age 21. Maybe it's not so much age, but the burden if toxins- in our case, grains, dairy , and SUGAR. I wonder if the " 30 year old athlete" trend would exist in a society fed pure paleo foods from birth.

What do you think? When did you notice the very first signs of decline, even if that decline was from 100 to 99 percent? If you went paleo after, did you go back to that 100%? Did you exceed it? And if you had a second decline after going paleo, when was it?



on January 14, 2013
at 03:14 PM

You age every single day. Life is terminal. Get over it.



on January 14, 2013
at 12:47 PM

Where are people getting this idea? This was just discussed last week! http://paleohacks.com/questions/171491/do-you-agree-that-20-is-the-turning-point-for-aging-health

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7 Answers



on January 14, 2013
at 09:04 AM

For some health and biological markers, the decline actually starts e befor your 21st birthday even arrives.... And fluid intelligence is suppose to start declining at 19!

I agree that you wouldn't see any of these measurement declines in a paleo society. 19 years of poisoning the brain everyday will of course lead to premature decay. At 20, I was in " great shape." I was easily the most athletic of my friends. I noticed the decline at 28, when paleo at 35, and now at 37 I'm in better shape than I've ever been in my life, in all aspects. I'd easily out lift and outrun my 20 year old self



on January 14, 2013
at 10:03 AM

Not a direct answer to your question but some thoughts...

The older you get the more precise you need to be with eating, training and recovery. When we are teenagers we can eat junk, dance all night, sleep 2 hours, drink, take drugs, and have copious amounts of sex in kinky positions, without feeling at all bad the next day. As we get older we need to be more disciplined, especially with recovery. BUT you are 21 not in your late 50s and so you are in the unique position to lay down a platform you can build on for the next 50 years.

Personally (at 32) I am in better shape now (since going paleo, and exercising right) then I have ever been, and will be in better shape next year then I am now, and will continue to do so for as long as possible. Spend any time on http://marksdailyapple.com and you will automatically be inspired.

I was reading about running a sub five minute mile the other day, and though it would have been far easier to do in my 20s, there is no reason that I couldn't start training towards this. Depending on my dedication (discipline) I may very well reach it, but that's my point.

Physical age is different than chronological age, the latter you have no control over, the former you do (within reason). Health, strength and recovery are platforms you can continue to lay down and build upon. If you get this right now, you will be in a better position later. I WISH (as many likewise do) that I knew about an ancestral diet 10 years ago, but such is life and better starting at 30, then 60, etc.

I am trying to remember some Russian proverb that goes something like: "The rest of your life is built on how you rest now." or something like that. Meaning work hard, but recover just as hard. Recovery is not laziness, recovery is allowing the body to build and rejuvenate itself.

Have a look at Scott Sonnon's Intu-Flow: http://bitly.com/bundles/mashdot/4

Watch this: http://growingbolder.com/media/health/aging/never-leave-the-playground-793777.html and be inspired!

Spend time on http://www.growingbolder.com and also listen to http://superhumanradio.com, and Google around and see the amount of superb athletes who are in their 50's (and over).

"Age is a poor indicator of age." - Thomas Herbert

???"How old would you be if you didn't know how old you was?" - Satchel Paige.



on January 14, 2013
at 09:40 AM

My goodness - I'm depressed now! I didn't even find Paleo until I was 62. I'm 64 now and in better shape than I have ever been. Tell me it's not too late!


on January 14, 2013
at 11:27 AM

the fact of the matter is every living organism ages. Today you are 21 tomo 22,23,.. and life will go on. when you get old you won't be able to run and jump. there are a few things to keep yourself healthy and even get better like exercise and healthy food : for body meditation : for brain power and sanity giving blessings : for a good soul

you follow this everyday , when you will 30 you look like 25 , that i gurantee



on January 14, 2013
at 09:17 AM

18-22 are prime years, 23-26 are the "98%" years you're talking about, 27-34 are 90%, 35-40 and you drop to 80%, and after 40 you drop a percent every year.



on January 14, 2013
at 09:13 AM

No WAY physical decline starts at 21. After 25, maybe, but I feel better at 23 than ever before, and I started paleo at 18.



on January 14, 2013
at 09:11 AM

I think for your average American cubicle worker non-athlete, you wo t see any meaningful decline until around 45, except in looks which start fading in the mid 20s.

For athletes, I think the wear and tear is responsible for the decline at 30. A 30 year old running back has been hit hard for a minimum of 16 years, and has probably been eating lots of junk to.

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