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    The science behind not keeping New Year's Resolutions

      |  Jan 04, 2023

    Addressing the biology of aging to make 2023 your most successful year yet.

    The turning of the new year inspires many of us to make positive changes in our lives, or New Year’s resolutions. Through these goals, we may seek to improve our health, develop new habits, or find greater fulfillment in life.

    These resolutions demand resolve — we require motivation, mental and physical stamina, focus, concentration, among other things, to achieve these goals. Yet we all know how difficult these can be to summon. In fact, over 80% of new year’s resolutions are abandoned by February.

    What we may not realize is that the biology of aging conspires to make all of these things more challenging. Specifically, the changes that happen within all of our cells as a result of the aging process make the energy, focus, and resolve we need to achieve our goals harder to come by with each passing year.

    This may sound like bad news, but it doesn’t have to be. We can influence the biology of how we age, and bring these goals closer to our grasp. This begins by understanding 3 key disturbances initiated by the aging process, and then taking action on them.

    1) Inadequate Hormone Levels

    Hormones are the chemical messengers our body’s organs use to communicate with another. Hormones regulate nearly all of our body’s essential functions, including cognitive function, metabolism, muscle synthesis, among many others. Having adequate hormone levels is essential to overall health, but especially to having the drive to follow through on a resolution.

    Testosterone is a good example. Most people think about testosterone as a “male” hormone responsible for things like muscle building and libido. However testosterone is actually crucial for both men and women, and does so much more than just these biological tasks.

    Research has shown that testosterone binds to receptors in the amygdala of our brain, and by doing this, makes high effort or high anxiety activities feel more desirable and therefore more achievable. This is certainly important as we think about following through on resolutions.

    We also know that testosterone levels decline as a result of the aging process for both men and women. Moreover, testosterone is just one of several crucial hormones — others include estrogen, progesterone (for women) and thyroid hormone. At Modern Age, we developed our Aging Wellness Assessment to help you understand your hormonal levels in addition to many other important biomarkers that impact healthy aging. Our expert clinicians meet with you to come up with a plan to address any deficiencies and tackle your goals head on. 

    2) Smoldering Inflammation

    Our immune system exists to defend our body against foreign invaders, to clear away defective cells and aid in the healing process. But sometimes the immune system malfunctions and becomes activated when it shouldn’t, resulting in the destruction of healthy tissue. This process is known as inflammation.

    Extreme examples of inflammation exist in autoimmune conditions like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis. However, the aging process brings about a lower-level, but nonetheless harmful form of chronic inflammation. This has been characterized in research as “inflammaging”.

    The effects of inflammation are wide-ranging, but can especially hinder our efforts to implement new resolutions. Inflammation entails the release of molecules known as cytokines that can lead to a sense of fatigue, which can substantially interfere with us achieving our goals.

    Our Aging Wellness Assessment includes measurements of inflammation, and we also offer several treatments that have been proven to mitigate inflammation and fatigue, including IV therapies.

    3) Impaired Metabolism

    Our metabolism comprises the cellular machinery that converts nutrients into energy. Energy production is foundational to every process in our bodies, and it’s no surprise that impairments of metabolism drive not just obesity and diabetes, but also other diseases like cancer and even Alzheimer’s.

    The aging process unfortunately also instigates damage to our metabolic machinery. As we age, our cells lose their ability to detect and absorb nutrients from our bloodstream. The result is weight gain, blood sugar problems, liver damage, as well heart disease. 

    The most common consequence of disrupted metabolism is weight gain, and this directly thwarts the most common new year’s resolution — weight loss. Metabolic issues also correlate with dysfunction in the mitochondria, the battery packs of our cells. This dysfunction has been shown to disturb cognition, among other activities. None of this is helpful when it comes to achieving our ambitions for the new year.

    Our Aging Wellness Assessment includes key markers that can help you understand your metabolism. Our clinicians can also give you personalized nutritional guidance to modify your diet, and can also recommend helpful supplements such as Berberine which can help improve blood sugar control.

    If you’re having trouble keeping your goals, it’s not just you. Science shows that the effects of aging on the body can hinder our efforts to achieve new year’s resolutions. The good news is we now have the tools to measure and address these changes, so we can align our biology to give ourselves the best chance of meaningful change in 2023 and beyond. 

    Cheers to making 2023 the year you take control of how you age.