How Old you Really are? Learn it now…

How many candles did you blow on your last birthday? Okay, here is another question: how many should you actually have blown? It is likely that many of us will answer the same number for both questions, but we are in fact talking about two different concepts: our chronological age and our biological age.

Our chronological age is the number of years that have passed since our birth. Our biological age refers to how old our cells really are and therefore, our real age.

Your chronological age is irreversible and is not dependent on your life habits. Conversely, biological age may vary depending on your lifestyle (diet, exercise, sleep, attitude, stress, etc.). Depending on your genetics and your life habits, your biological age will be higher or lower than your chronological one. People with a younger biological age compared to their chronological age are at a lower risk of suffering age-related diseases and mortality. But do not worry, the good news is that biological age can be improved with as little as few changes in your life habits (we know it is not easy, but it is worth the effort). Looking forward to knowing what your true age is?

TRY THE BIOLOGICAL AGE CALCULATOR

For a reflection of how your body is aging, use this biological age calculatorto determine what you need to do to help improve your longevity. Start with your age then answer seven key questions, adding or subtracting years depending on your answers.

1. How’s your weight?

  • I’m overweight and need to lose a stone or more (+2 years)
  • I’m a little overweight; I’d like to lose half a stone (+1 year)
  • I’m slim and in the right weight range for my height (-2 years)
  • I’m underweight (+1 year)

Why it matters

Excess weight is linked with a raised risk of age-related diseases, from type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure to arthritis. Getting to a healthy weight is one of the best things you can do to protect your health, but it can get harder to stay slim once you hit your forties.

“You lose muscle mass with age so your metabolic rate can slow,” says nutritionist Rob Hobson “You need fewer calories than you did in your twenties and thirties.”

2. What’s your activity level?

  • I do at least 150 minutes of aerobic exercise  each week, and some strength training (-2 years)
  • I don’t do much formal exercise but try to walk as much as I can and fit in a bit of yoga  sometimes (no change)
  • I do a little exercise (+2 years)

Why it matters

Exercise works the heart and lungs, helps control your weight, reduces stress, and lifts your mood. The recommended 150 minutes of exercise a week is the minimum we should do, but 40% of those aged 40-60 do less than 10 minutes of brisk walking each month.

3. Which of these best describes your diet most days?

  • Balanced, mostly based around fruit and vegetables, with some oily fish, small amounts of meat and very little sugar (-2 years)
  • I try to eat well but sometimes reach for junk food when I’m stressed or busy (+1 year)
  • My diet’s not all it could be. I have a sweet tooth and live on convenience meals (+2 years)

Why it matters

“A balanced diet gives you all the nutrients you need for overall health,” says Rob. “Prepare your meals from scratch wherever possible – convenience foods are often high in sugar, which adds calories, contributing to weight gain, and salt, which is bad news for your blood pressure.”

4.Regardless of how much exercise you do, how much do you sit down daily?

  • I’m largely sedentary and sit for at least eight hours a day (+2 years)
  • I sit for a lot of the day but make an effort to get up and down every hour (no change)
  • I’m active. I don’t have a sedentary job (-2 years)

Why it matters

Research conducted by the University of California San Diego found women who were sedentary had shorter telomeres (the caps on the ends of DNA), while longer telomeres are associated with aging better. In fact, sitting for ten hours or more could age you by up to eight years. It’s recommended adults should break up long periods of sitting with some light activity.

5. Do you smoke?

  • No, I never have (-2 years)
  • No, but I used to (no change)
  • Yes (+2 years)

Why it matters

Smoking is linked with many forms of cancer, skin aging, heart disease, and osteoporosis. The good news is, quitting allows your body to start repairing the damage. Research shows your chances of stopping permanently are much higher if you have support.

6. How’s your sleep?

  • I get seven or eight hours most nights and wake feeling refreshed (-2 years)
  • I get less than six hours (+2 years)
  • My sleep’s all over the place. I lie in at weekends but sleep less during the week (+2 years)

Why it matters

“During solid sleep, the body releases substances that play an important role in allowing your immune system to regenerate,” says Dr Jenna Macciochi, lecturer in immunology (biochemistry) at the University of Sussex. Research at the University of Rochester in the US found the brain scours toxins during sleep, lowering the risk of dementia.

7. Are you constantly under stress?

  • Yes, but I manage it with meditation, dance classes, and chats with friends (no change)
  • No, although I have some short term stress at work from time to time (-1 year)
  • Yes and I find it overwhelming and it affects my mood a lot (+2 years)

Why it matters

Short bursts of stress may be quite good for us, giving the immune system a quick boost, says Dr Macciochi. “But long-term stress raises markers of inflammation in the blood, which lowers immunity, and it encourages unhealthy habits,” she explains.

Now that you’ve completed thisbiological age calculator is your biological age younger, older, or the same as your chronological age? If it’s younger, congratulations but still check it regularly. If it’s the same or older follow the guidelines to see if you can take some years off and feel healthier to boot.

source: Womwn&home, lifelength

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