“Growing old is great – when you consider the alternative,”
as the saying goes.
我們總有一天都會步入晚年,但你有想好要如何面對了嗎?
知道這些出乎意料的老年好處,讓人生變得更有趣
  

 

When does old age begin?     老年從何時開始?
The poet Dante believed old age started at 45. A survey of the British public concluded that it starts at 59 – the older the respondent, the greater the number of years they considered old. But the United Nations and most scientists define it as any age after 60.
詩人但丁認為人類從45歲開始步入老年,英國調查顯示老年應該從59歲開始——受訪者的年齡越老,他們眼中的老年開始得越晚。但聯合國和多數科學家覺得60歲以後才能算老年。
 

 

Fewer colds 感冒減少
It’s not just the brain that gets wiser with age. The human immune system encounters millions of potential dangers every day. As the body’s police force, it needs to learn to spot the dangers. For this, we produce unique white blood cells which are tailored to the molecular appearances of millions of different invaders. When they recognise a foe they stick around, forming an ‘immune memory’. The next time it turns up, they help to rally a rapid response.

不只大腦會隨著年齡增長而越來越聰明,人體的免疫系統也會因為每天要解決數百萬次的潛在危險越來越發達。作為身體的警察,它必須學會如何識別危險。為此,人體生成了獨特的白血球細胞來應對數以百萬以分子形態存在的入侵者。當它們發現敵人時,就會形成「免疫記憶」。下一次再碰到這些敵人時,便可迅速集結應對。
   

 

Outliving outbreaks 免疫增強
The 1918 flu pandemic was the deadliest in human history, killing 50 million people. But it was most lethal for those usually thought of as fit and strong, aged from 20 to 40. The 2009 swine flu outbreak followed the same bizarre pattern, with most fatalities in those under the age of 65.

歷史上最致命的一次流行病是1918年的大流感,5000萬人因次喪生。但是死亡數最多的是20-40歲的年輕人,在人們的傳統印象中,這應該是身體最強壯、健康的一群人。2009年的豬流感爆發也出現了同樣的離奇狀況,死亡人數最多的年齡段都集中在65歲以下。
 

 

Declining allergies 過敏減輕
And there’s good news for those with allergies, too. While the ultimate causes of allergies are still hotly debated, all are mediated by antibodies. The main culprit is Immunoglobulin E and like all other antibodies, its production diminishes with age.
對過敏的人來說,還有一條好消息。雖然醫學界對過敏的最終成因仍然莫衷一是,但可以明確的是,這都是由抗體負責協調的。過敏的罪魁禍首就是免疫球蛋白E,與其他所有抗體一樣,它的數量也會隨著年齡的增長而減少。

Mitchell Grayson from the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin says the older you get, the less severe the symptoms are likely to be. “Allergic disease peaks in childhood and then seems to decrease throughout late adolescence and into their 20s. In the 30s there is another resurgence until people get into their 50s and 60s when the symptoms tend to get less common.”
威斯康星兒童醫院的米歇爾·格雷森(Michell Grayson)表示,人的年齡越老,過敏症狀就越輕。「過敏性疾病在兒童時期最嚴重,隨後一直到青春期晚期都在減輕,一直延續到二十多歲。到了三十多歲再次出現,到了五六十歲,症狀往往就會少得多。」

 

Cleverer  更聰明
There’s no shortage of slang terms to describe the destructive effects of ageing on the brain. Yet in a number of vitally important abilities, older brains actually turn out to be smarter.
很多民間諺語都會描述年齡的增長對大腦的破壞。然而,從很多至關重要的能力來看,老年人的大腦反而更加聰明。

The Seattle Longitudinal Study has followed the mental abilities of 6,000 people since 1956. It’s the longest-running study of its kind, with the same volunteers tested every seven years. While older volunteers aren’t as good at maths and are slower to respond to commands, for vocabulary, spatial orientation, verbal memory, and problem solving abilities, they were better in their late 40s and 50s than they were in their 20s.
「西雅圖縱向研究」(Seattle Longitudinal Study)從1956年開始追蹤6,000人的心智能力。這是迄今為止同類研究中歷時最長的一項:所有的志願者每過7年都會接受一次測試。雖然年齡較老的志願者不太擅長數學,而且對命令的反應速度也會減慢,但他們在四五十歲時的詞匯、空間、方向、言語記憶和問題解決能力卻好於二十多歲時。
 

 

Fewer migraines 偏頭痛減輕
Migraines can become less of a headache as we age, too. A Swedish study of patients 18 and older found that attacks become shorter, less painful and less frequent as people get older. Of 374 people enrolled in the study, only four developed chronic headaches.
偏頭痛同樣會隨著年齡的增大而減輕。瑞典科學家針對18歲及以上人群開展的一項研究顯示,隨著人們年齡的增大,偏頭痛發作的時間會縮短,疼痛感和頻率也會降低。在374名調查對象中,只有4人發展成了慢性頭痛。
  

 

Less sweaty 出汗減少
Sweat glands shrink and become less numerous as people get older. Research shows that those in their 20s can expect to sweat more than those on their 50s and early 60s.
年齡增大後,人的汗腺會收縮,汗腺的數量也會減少。研究顯示,二十多歲的人出汗量多於五十多歲或六十出頭的人。
  

原來年齡變老不等於身體退化,
反而還有無限可能
人生的頂峰或許比你想像的來得晚喔

 

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