When asked how old you are, you are likely to answer based on the number of years that have passed since you were born or reflect on the number of candlesticks on your last birthday cake!. This indicates what your chronological age is. However, when your doctor says you have the physical conditioning of a 21-year-old, this would be considered your biological age regardless of how many years ago you were born or how long you’ve loved on Earth. Your chronological age will always be an easy-to-determine number, while your biological age depends on several variables that can change continuously.
What is chronological ageing?
Your chronological age is the time passed from birth to the present date. It’s your age in terms of years, months, days, etc. This is the primary way people define their age. It is also a primary risk factor for chronic diseases, mortality, and any impairments to bodily functions, such as hearing and memory loss, cardiovascular diseases, etc.
What is biological ageing?
The basic idea behind biological ageing is that ageing occurs as you gradually accumulate damage to various cells and tissues in the body.
Also known as physiological or functional age, biological age differs from chronological age because it considers several factors other than the day you were born.
The actual number comes down to different biological and physiological development factors. Some of these include:
- chronological age
- genetics (for example, how quickly your body’s antioxidant defences kick in)
- diseases and other conditions
Using these guidelines and various models, medical professionals can figure out what age your body “acts” like it is.
While chronological age is a factor, you may not have the same biological age as your chronological age.
For example, if you’re a 28-year-old male who doesn’t exercise, only eats high-fat foods, and has smoked five packs of cigarettes per day for the last ten years, you would likely have a biological age greater than 28 years.
HOW TO AGE HEALTHILY
You can take many steps to improve your biological age. Starting at any age. Here are some ways you can healthily age:
EXERCISE OR ENGAGE IN PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
Everybody, especially those with high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, or arthritis, can benefit from regularly exercising.
For younger adults, exercise improves the blood the heart can pump with each beat (stroke volume) and lowers the resting heart rate.
Exercise helps older adults have better heart and lung function, which can increase endurance and reduce fatigue.
MAINTAIN A HEALTHY WEIGHT
Overweight individuals have a higher risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, certain forms of cancer, and more.
However, being thinner doesn’t mean you are necessarily healthier. It could be the result of increased frailty or another underlying condition.
MAINTAIN A HEALTHY SHAPE
In addition to weight, how your body distributes fat is significant for healthy ageing. This is usually determined by your waist-to-hip ratio and waist circumference.
Pear-shaped bodies. Fat accumulates on the outer edges, such as your hips and thighs. This is a sign of a healthy body fat distribution.
Apple-shaped bodies. Fat shifts from the outer edges to the abdomen and waist, which can increase the chance of heart disease and breast cancer.
- Eat more foods with a low glycemic index value.
The nutrients in these types of food help keep your bones, muscles, and organs strong for long periods.
These foods include fruits, vegetables, beans, low-fat dairy, and high-fibre (whole-grain) bread. Try adding these to your diet.
Reduce the amount of fast food, white bread, and soda you consume, as these can cause an unhealthy increase in blood sugar.
- Be Aware of the Nutrients in the Foods you Eat.
Being aware of what makes up a healthy diet and consulting nutrition labels when making food purchases may help improve your biological age. Food rich in vitamins such as fruits, Vegetables, and nuts constitutes foods rich in vitamins and minerals.
HOW TO IMPROVE BIOLOGICAL AGE
What kind of feeling is it when people greet you because they feel you are older? When in the true sense, you are age mates or even younger. Can you imagine waking up one morning to discover your perfect face is filled with wrinkles because of your life choices?
Here are a few tips that will help improve your biological age.
- Restrict your calorie intake
- Always get adequate sleep of about 6 to 7 hours daily
- Eat enough antioxidants, such as fruits rich in vitamin C. These can come in various forms, such as fruit juices and smoothies.
- Manage stress levels
- Maintain a healthy microbiome: this will help boost the immune system, fight off inflammation and maintain age. To maintain a healthy microbiome, avoid consuming sugars, processed foods, and fermented foods like yoghurts.
- Maintaining a positive mindset. This is very important in achieving target goals in life. Maintaining a positive mindset when working towards a better and much younger outlook is essential.
Knowing that chronological age will always increase at a set rate as the years pass is vital. However, there are steps you can take to improve your biological age. With the right lifestyle changes, you could have a younger biological age than your chronological age. So why not work hard to achieve that look today?