Why do we age?

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Explain if it is related to our DNA or to physical activity and diet.

sirisha singh

We age due to multiple factors. Broadly speaking we can divide ageing into 2 groups.

  1. Biological ageing: This is due to our genes that we have inherited. This is not under our control and we cannot change the biological factors of ageing. This is also the reason that you see children age at a similar age and in a similar manner to their parents.
  2. Non Genetic Factors: This includes factors like our diet, exercise, smoking, stress, sun exposure, sleeping habits etc. To some extent we can control these factors and slow down ageing due to non genetic factors by making smart choices in life.
Sangeetha Pulapaka


Ageing is something that none of us can avoid forever, but it is rather odd how some people do seem to age a lot faster than others. Some of it’s down to genetics, and there’s not a lot anyone can do about that, but a lot of what makes some people age faster than others is down to their lifestyle choices and things that are completely avoidable. 

1. Stress

People who live with high levels of stress in their lives are one group of people who tend to look a lot older than they are really are. If you feel like you are carrying around the weight of the world on your shoulders, you are going to look like it too! Stress will show in your face, with the onset of worry lines, and it will show in the way you walk and the way that you hold yourself.

3. Poor diet

If you are living off fast food and not eating enough fruit and vegetables, you will l age faster. Fruit and vegetables contain antioxidants, which fight oxidative stress. Oxidative stress breaks down the collagen and elastin in the skin and that will cause sagging and wrinkles. Fruit and vegetables also contain many of the vitamins and minerals that your body needs to renew itself.

3. Too much exposure to the sun

Exposure to the sun is a major factor in premature ageing. It’s estimated that 70% of skin ageing is caused by sunlight, so take a break in the shade sometimes and always wear sunscreen. Sunlight breaks down collagen in the skin and it will accelerate the ageing process.

4. Lack of sleep

When you sleep, your brain triggers the release of growth hormones in your body, which is what makes your tissues renew themselves. If you frequently don’t get enough sleep, your body won’t have enough time to complete this renewal process and that will show in your skin. Lack of sleep will also just make you look tired, which in itself will make you look older.

5. Sugar

You will already know that too much sugar will make you put on weight, but did you know that it speeds up the ageing process as well? When you eat a lot of sugar, your blood sugar levels rise and that can cause a condition known as glycation, which damages collagen in the skin and it can lead to sagging and wrinkles.


Your mind plays an important role in ageing as well. You may not be able to hold back the ageing process by thought alone, but there is no doubt that, if you think young and you act young, you will look younger. A positive attitude is likely to mean that you will stay active, you will continue to look after yourself, and you will feel happy. All of that will add up to a much younger looking you.