Chronological age does not tell you everything about a person. We all went to high school with 15 year-old kids who looked and acted 25. We know productive, energetic, enthusiastic people in their 90s. As Satchel Paige said “How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you was?”
Biological age is our age at a cellular level. Chronological age and biological age might not be the same, and with any luck, your biological age is lower than your chronological age.
Humans can accelerate or slow down their biological age, depending on their lifestyle and environment. The saying ‘you’re only as old as you feel’ actually has some merit!
Unfortunately, our lifestyle in the Western hemisphere –inadequate sleep, high fat diet, not enough exercise, over-consumption of stimulants and depressants and a high level of stress, all accelerate the biological aging process.
The following factors leave us more vulnerable to diseases such as cancer and diabetes, and premature aging:
- Processed food/high fat diet
- Elevated stress/cortisol levels
- High inflammation levels
- Lack of exercise
- Poor sleep
- Social isolation and lack of support network
- Environmental pollutants
Here is a list of lifestyle changes that would positively effect your biological age:
- Eat cleanly (see ASE article)
- Maintain a healthy weight – A body mass index of between 20 – 25
- Exercise regularly
- Manage your stress
- Engage in a social network – have a supportive community of family & friends
Finally, if you’d like to calculate your biological age, take Health Magazine’s quiz.