The prime of our lives is in our 20s. During the decade of time from age 20 to 30 years of age, our bodies and brains become fully mature. We are at our peak performance both physically and mentally. The body is the most flexible and heals quickly from minor trauma. Mentally, the brain becomes mature and can perform at a high level. For most sports, the best athletes are at their prime when the body reaches physical maturity. The length of time at a prime level is often about ten years. After that time, the body starts showing signs of wear and tear.
Professional athletes stress their bodies to the extreme on a daily basis to maximize training for their sport. Most are a bit sore every day from the hours of training and stressing of the muscles and joints. In general, the level of exercise completed is usually a bit beyond what the body was meant to endure. Structures of the body slowly start wearing out. Multiple injuries often start occurring, and it takes longer and longer for the person to return to full health.
The good news is that most of us our not professional athletes, so we are not dependent on an extreme level of activity for our livelihood. The bad news is we still are wearing out our bodies over time, but just not as fast as most athletes. Activity keeps us healthy as long as we do not overexert our bodies. Doing strength training keeps muscles strong and bones healthy. Aerobic conditioning is necessary to maintain good cardiovascular health. Being normal weight for our height keeps us from stressing the body structure as a whole. The average body starts to show signs of wear and tear in our 40s and 50s.
Historically, the body was designed to get us to about age fifty. In centuries past, before modern medicine and the industrial revolution, death often came by age fifty due to trauma, disease, or other natural causes. Now, we have learned to survive into our late seventies or eighties. As we grow older, age affects every organ including the muscles, tendons, joints and bones. The degeneration often causes aches and pains as we try to compensate for the changes that are occurring.
As I’ve said before, your body is like a car. A new car is beautiful and performs well with very little maintenance. As the car gets older, it takes more and more care to keep it running smoothly. If it is not maintained, it will likely fall apart. If we drive it hard and beat it up, it will fall apart sooner. If we baby it, it will become a precious antique. The body is not much different. We last longer and stay healthier if we take care of our body. Doing the work to keep healthy is beneficial to live a happy life.