Determining your biological age requires medical tests. Biological age is the age of your cells and tissues based on physiological evidence. Chronological age is the number of years you’ve been alive. Your chronological age and biological age might not be the same. Usually, the biological age is lower than the chronological age if you are healthy and fit; however, your biological age may increase if you’re sedentary, chronically ill, or in poor physical condition. Identifying factors affecting the overall human lifespan is essential to understand the ageing process.
What factors increase biological age?
- Chronic illness. Older adults are more likely to develop chronic conditions that affect their health, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and arthritis. However, younger adults developing chronic conditions or diseases may also experience accelerated ageing. Chronic illness can weaken the immune system, limit a person’s ability to engage in routine exercise, affect their health, cause significant stress or depression, and reduce physical strength, making them more susceptible to injury.
- Stress. Stress or suffering from mental disorders may accelerate ageing. Mental illness can cause individuals to suffer from preventable diseases, weaken their autoimmune responses, and shorten their lifespans. Physical and psychological stress both increase the biological age, but in a way that appears to be reversible.
- Smoking. Smoking causes serious health problems, shortens lifespan, and increases biological age. Smoking reduces oxygen to the skin, which also decreases blood circulation, resulting in weathered, wrinkled, older-looking skin.
- Sleeping Habits. Poor sleep quality affects your health and longevity and increases your biological age. Adults should get seven hours of sleep every night. However, many people don’t sleep enough, possibly due to lifestyle factors or sleep disorders. Sleep quality is also essential when it comes to your health. If you get more and better sleep, you can reverse the biological ageing it causes.
- Physical Environments. The physical environment includes where you live, work, and spend significant time; it determines the amount of air pollution and other contaminants or hazardous materials you’re exposed to. Avoid environments with toxins, as they can speed up biological ageing.
How to age healthily?
- Exercise or engage in physical activity. Research has revealed a connection between higher activity levels and lower biological age. People who participate in routine exercise can improve their health, prolong their lifespan and maintain healthy physiological features.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Overweight individuals have a higher risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, certain forms of cancer, and more.
- Diet. 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. The ideal diet to lower your biological age includes low calories, plant-based food, fish, and a Mediterranean diet.
- Be aware of the nutrients in the foods you eat. There is a clear link between nutrition and your biological age. Knowing what constitutes a healthy diet and consulting nutrition labels when making food purchases may help improve your biological age.
- Select Supplements. It’s often better to get nutrients from food, not a supplement. However, after age 50, your body needs more vitamins and minerals from foods or supplements than before. It includes calcium (for bone health), vitamin D, Vitamin B12, and Vitamin B6 (to keep red blood cells strong to carry oxygen throughout your body.)
Your chronological age will always increase at a set rate as the years pass. However, people can constantly improve their chronological age with the right lifestyle changes.
Consult an Intercare doctor to determine your biological age.