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Why the aches and pains right around 40?

ninerbuffninerbuff Posts: 42,453Member, Greeter Member Posts: 42,453Member, Greeter Member
This was a discussion I had with a client just a few days ago. He wasn't overweight, he walked daily and did some minimal bodyweight exercise occasionally. He asked if I knew why aches and pains in joints, etc. start to really pick up around age 40 or so.
So just going back to my learning of physiology, the human body really hasn't changed for thousands of years. If we're looking at it objectively, like any other animal we instinctively look to procreate to carry our genes down line. In the early human years on Earth, all we did was what other animals did. Females start to have periods about 10-13 years old. Obviously at that time, they can get pregnant. Males are also high in testosterone around the same age. IF the goal was to just rear children and feed them, then this would be a good age because there's less complications with birth and one is still young enough and fleet enough to gather/kill for food and feed the family. Ev en today, most people's peak physical performance was in their teens and into their mid 20's or so. Without medical intervention, what is the average human life expectancy barring being killed by accident or murder back then? Probably right around 40-45 years old (a guess). So by the time you hit 40, the body is getting worn out. You don't run as fast and you likely don't see as well either. If you're the male leader of the group and can't lead as well, normally a younger male will challenge and likely beat you out. And so on and so on.
Of course now with medical intervention and technology, along with understanding how cells work, better option for food for complete nutrition (not just berries and freshly killed meat), and physical exercise, we've obviously been able to extend human life expectancy to much much higher years. But also look at how much less physical one becomes and how much more fragile we are in those later years.
So why 40? IMO (and based on evidence) it's because the human body likely wasn't made to last too much longer than that naturally.

A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
IDEA Fitness member
Kickboxing Certified Instructor
Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

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Replies

  • AliNouveauAliNouveau Posts: 31,658Member Member Posts: 31,658Member Member
    I think the old guy has some valid points

    Also could it be by the time we're 40/50 things are just catching up? I have been dealing with a shoulder issue and my physio guy said it's been from overuse. I had a major back issue on my 20 from over use in the teens.

    I also do think hours of being sedentary at desk jobs have terrible effects on us. We have so little time then to be active we perhaps push ourselves a little too much.

    I think life expectancy used to be 30s. Now it's much older and that's not necessarily because of advances in modern medicine we just understand more what it takes to be healthy and we don't have things like the plague so I guess science has contributed to that with vaccines.
  • kenyonhaffkenyonhaff Posts: 1,155Member Member Posts: 1,155Member Member
    The assumption that people in the past didn't have aches and pains or issues in their 40s is clearly false the more one studies archeology. The "Ice Man" had tattoos that were over arthritis points, for example, and he was in his 40s and was eating an excellent diet and getting plenty of exercise and in excellent physical shape otherwise. He also had heart disease, so making the case it's not always a modern "lifestyle disease".

    Biologically, humans are quite unique in that we "keep on living" well past childbearing age - most animals do not. There's debate on whether this is due to our tool use, the "grandmother effect" in which elders made key contributions to the survival of grandchildren, or biological fluke.
  • LivingtheLeanDreamLivingtheLeanDream Posts: 11,915Member Member Posts: 11,915Member Member
    Personally I've never felt fitter than I do now, I'm 50 in a few months (gaaa still can't get used to that number, mentally I'm somewhere in my 20's LOL)... but when I turned 40 I was overweight and when I think about it I remember one day at that age pulling a muscle in my neck washing the car! that was the first time I thought, hey body you are starting to show your age!
    Also when I was heavier I had hip problems, sciatica and in agony for months at a time - losing weight sorted that out.

    People do live longer now than yesteryear but we have so much more knowledge now, better diets in general and a good health service.

  • tbright1965tbright1965 Posts: 799Member, Premium Member Posts: 799Member, Premium Member
    Not sure if it has been mentioned yet, but at some point, until maybe the last couple of centuries, natural selection played a part.

    Before we had medical advances, those who were dealt a bad hand genetically didn't have as much opportunity to pass on their genes.

    Today, people are living longer. Even those who may have not have had as long a life in the past.

    Before vision correction, I probably wouldn't have survived as I couldn't even see across a large room when I was a child. How would I hunt, etc?

    Today, with vision correction, I've lived long enough to experience the joys of arthritis. Oddly, it's not my knees or hips, but my shoulder. One would think it would be my legs, having carried excess weight for years. But instead, sports and probably military service did a number on one of my shoulders.

    I'm not sure I have more aches and pains, other than the arthritis. But I do know it takes longer (for me) to recover from an injury in my 50s than it did when I was in my 20s.
  • Lesley2603Lesley2603 Posts: 109Member Member Posts: 109Member Member
    Personally I've never felt fitter than I do now, I'm 50 in a few months (gaaa still can't get used to that number, mentally I'm somewhere in my 20's LOL)... but when I turned 40 I was overweight and when I think about it I remember one day at that age pulling a muscle in my neck washing the car! that was the first time I thought, hey body you are starting to show your age!
    Also when I was heavier I had hip problems, sciatica and in agony for months at a time - losing weight sorted that out.

    People do live longer now than yesteryear but we have so much more knowledge now, better diets in general and a good health service.

    Me too, I turn 61 in March, up until 57 I was aging rapidly, had constant pain in my hips etc, started exercising, eating sensibly and the weight fell off and as if by magic the pain disappeared.
  • CSARdiverCSARdiver Posts: 5,866Member Member Posts: 5,866Member Member
    ninerbuff wrote: »
    This was a discussion I had with a client just a few days ago. He wasn't overweight, he walked daily and did some minimal bodyweight exercise occasionally. He asked if I knew why aches and pains in joints, etc. start to really pick up around age 40 or so.
    So just going back to my learning of physiology, the human body really hasn't changed for thousands of years. If we're looking at it objectively, like any other animal we instinctively look to procreate to carry our genes down line. In the early human years on Earth, all we did was what other animals did. Females start to have periods about 10-13 years old. Obviously at that time, they can get pregnant. Males are also high in testosterone around the same age. IF the goal was to just rear children and feed them, then this would be a good age because there's less complications with birth and one is still young enough and fleet enough to gather/kill for food and feed the family. Even today, most people's peak physical performance was in their teens and into their mid 20's or so. Without medical intervention, what is the average human life expectancy barring being killed by accident or murder back then? Probably right around 40-45 years old (a guess). So by the time you hit 40, the body is getting worn out. You don't run as fast and you likely don't see as well either. If you're the male leader of the group and can't lead as well, normally a younger male will challenge and likely beat you out. And so on and so on.
    Of course now with medical intervention and technology, along with understanding how cells work, better option for food for complete nutrition (not just berries and freshly killed meat), and physical exercise, we've obviously been able to extend human life expectancy to much much higher years. But also look at how much less physical one becomes and how much more fragile we are in those later years.
    So why 40? IMO (and based on evidence) it's because the human body likely wasn't made to last too much longer than that naturally.

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

    9285851.png

    @Theoldguy1 pretty much nailed this one, but I'll add a bit.

    Activity is the predominant variable. The majority of the inventions over the last century have been ones of convenience. We have fulfilled all needs and solely concerned with wants in the Western world. We are reaching the point where we are going to have to implement intentional inefficiency to increase physical activity.

    I would agree that certain elements of performance peak and then diminish, but this is entirely based upon the sport. Adventure racing and many endurance sports are dominated by people in their 40s, but there is an element of experience and energy maintenance at play.

    As for life expectancy, we've simply removed the majority of environmental and medical influences.
  • magnusthenerdmagnusthenerd Posts: 677Member Member Posts: 677Member Member
    If only we had some method that could test what happens to people living a traditional life style of hunter-gatherers, and what they're like in their 40s. Oh, right...
    Sure, diseases wipe out a lot of people, and you'll definitely slow down with age, but people like the koi-san and other hunter-gathers suggest the declines we see in civilization are not pure genetic programming.
  • WakkoWWakkoW Posts: 567Member Member Posts: 567Member Member
    ninerbuff wrote: »
    This was a discussion I had with a client just a few days ago. He wasn't overweight, he walked daily and did some minimal bodyweight exercise occasionally. He asked if I knew why aches and pains in joints, etc. start to really pick up around age 40 or so.

    From your description, it doesn't sound like he does much. Would he even hit the minimum recommended? How long are his daily walks? Are they really daily or is it 3-4X per week? How often is occasional body weight exercises? Every January? I'm 48 and feel great. It does take a bit longer for me to recover, but no aches and/or pains that are not due to overuse/over-training.

    I run 6-7 days a week (some days I double) and strength train 3x per week (2X per week when heavy training for key race).
  • lynn_glenmontlynn_glenmont Posts: 6,662Member Member Posts: 6,662Member Member
    ninerbuff wrote: »
    This was a discussion I had with a client just a few days ago. He wasn't overweight, he walked daily and did some minimal bodyweight exercise occasionally. He asked if I knew why aches and pains in joints, etc. start to really pick up around age 40 or so.
    So just going back to my learning of physiology, the human body really hasn't changed for thousands of years. If we're looking at it objectively, like any other animal we instinctively look to procreate to carry our genes down line. In the early human years on Earth, all we did was what other animals did. Females start to have periods about 10-13 years old. Obviously at that time, they can get pregnant. Males are also high in testosterone around the same age. IF the goal was to just rear children and feed them, then this would be a good age because there's less complications with birth and one is still young enough and fleet enough to gather/kill for food and feed the family. Ev en today, most people's peak physical performance was in their teens and into their mid 20's or so. Without medical intervention, what is the average human life expectancy barring being killed by accident or murder back then? Probably right around 40-45 years old (a guess). So by the time you hit 40, the body is getting worn out. You don't run as fast and you likely don't see as well either. If you're the male leader of the group and can't lead as well, normally a younger male will challenge and likely beat you out. And so on and so on.
    Of course now with medical intervention and technology, along with understanding how cells work, better option for food for complete nutrition (not just berries and freshly killed meat), and physical exercise, we've obviously been able to extend human life expectancy to much much higher years. But also look at how much less physical one becomes and how much more fragile we are in those later years.
    So why 40? IMO (and based on evidence) it's because the human body likely wasn't made to last too much longer than that naturally.

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

    9285851.png

    Did you by any chance suggest he see a doctor to rule out a medical cause for this onset of unexplained aches and pains? Autoimmune diseases spring to mind, but I'm sure there are lots of other potential medical issues this could be a symptom of.
  • fishgutzyfishgutzy Posts: 2,824Member Member Posts: 2,824Member Member
    I was around 40 when degenerative osteoarthritis started becoming more painful in joints I injured in my 20's.
    Life happens.
    Adapt or get fat. :D
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