5 Most Surprising Age-related Health Changes

Change is a part of life, and the senior years are no exception. But not every change has to be a burden. See more healthy aging pictures.

Aging is inevitable. As our bodies carry us through life, they absorb the brunt of our experiences -- working long hours, enjoying healthy and unhealthy food, recovering from sickness, and even having and caring for kids.

With age, the cells in our bodies senesce, meaning they become less equipped to repair and replicate [source: Kahn]. Ultimately, that process -- along with our genetics and environment -- helps give rise to many of the age-related changes humans typically experience.

Whether you dread the physical and emotional burdens of growing older, age-related issues aren't all undesirable and they often affect some people more than others.

We'll learn about a few of these surprising changes associated with getting older and how they alter the body and mind. Since no one has the same experience, it's important to note that people's journeys through age differ greatly.

First, we'll look at hormones -- they catapult us through childhood and teen life, and continue to surprise us as we age.