You've heard age is just a number, which is often true. It depends on how you look and feel, aka your biological age. You might feel younger or older than the age on your driver's license. It all comes down to how you treat your body and overall health.
The number of candles on your cake is your chronological age, whereas your biological age is the age you’re at physically, which may be higher or lower than your actual age.
The good news is there’s something you can do about your biological age, which makes the old adage ‘age is just a number’ make sense.
How to Test Your Biological Age
A University of California researcher created a test that uses a few body tissues to determine your body’s biological age using his epigenetic age clock. Currently, there are at-home tests you can purchase.
Overall, the tests consider different factors in your life, including genetics, metabolic health, and certain overall risk factors.
What Affects Your Biological Age?
So before you test your biological age, you probably want to know what affects it. Knowing this information, you may be able to reverse your biological age or at least slow things down so that you look and feel your best.
While there isn’t exact science regarding what affects your biological age, these factors have the largest impact.
One area you can't do anything about is your genes. If a certain disease runs in your family or older cells are passed down from generation to generation, there's not much you can do to alter them.
However, you can educate yourself on the illnesses most prevalent in your family and take steps to avoid the risk, such as eating right, exercising, and getting enough sleep. For example, if you know diabetes runs in your family, taking extra care to maintain a healthy weight and follow a healthy diet can reduce or eliminate your risk.
The better you care for yourself, the lower your biological age may be. Of course, there's no exact science to it or any guarantees, but you'll have a higher likelihood of living life to the fullest if you avoid bad habits like drinking and smoking, learn to manage stress, and eat a generally healthy diet.
Where You Live
Did you know that where you live could affect your biological age? If you live in an area with a lot of environmental risks, you can age yourself without realizing it. This goes for pollution and other dangers and even living in areas that stress you out financially or make you worry about going outside to exercise.
Can you Reverse Your Biological Age?
There aren’t a lot of studies on reversing biological age yet, but one prevalent study showed that participants reversed their biological age by 3.23 years.
While every person is different, the key to living a long, happy life includes the following:
- Eating healthy foods that cover the colors of the rainbow, focusing on low-glycemic foods
- Staying hydrated daily
- Exercising at least 30 minutes a day, using resistance exercises and moderate cardio regularly
- Get 8 – 10 hours of sleep daily
- Implement stress-reducing techniques, such as yoga, meditation, or breathwork, into your life
- Get regular checkups at the doctor
Your biological age can be more important than the number of candles on the cake. A young person can have an older biological age and vice versa. It depends on how you treat your body and mind.
The key is to live a healthy lifestyle and take care of yourself. Give your body and mind what they need, learn to take breaks, and eat healthy. Incorporate exercise into your routine to the level your body allows and make good lifestyle choices to ensure you increase your biological age and feel your best.