Resilience to aging is a heterogeneous characteristic defined by physical stressors
Physical resilience, the capacity to respond to and recover from a stressful event, declines with advancing age. Individuals respond differently to physical stressors across their lifespans. While the biological underpinnings of resilience remain unclear, a plausible determinant is the capacity of an individual’s cellular and molecular levels to return to homeostasis after a physical challenge. Impaired resilience may not only be a consequence of aging but could also be a contributing factor to the aging process. Therefore, resilience at relatively younger ages could be predictive of future health and lifespan. By utilizing standardized physical challenges and measuring stress response patterns, the relative resilience of individuals can be quantified and classified. Current preclinical research suggests that several physical stressors could be used to measure resilience in clinical aging studies. A mechanistic understanding of why some individuals are more resilient to physical stressors than others could help identify protective factors and therapeutic ways to promote healthy aging.
Keywords: Physical resilience to aging, physical stressors, heterogeneity, stress response patterns, healthy aging, therapeutic resilience