You may have been hearing celebrities talk about their “biological” ages lately. On an episode of the web television talk show, Red Table Talk, 51-year-old actor, Will Smith, was pleasantly surprised when guest host, Dr. Mark Hyman, revealed to him that his biological age is actually 35. Smith’s wife, on the other hand, the 48-year-old actor, Jada Pinkett-Smith, was a bit disappointed to hear that hers was 46.
Like Will Smith, 49-year-old talk show host, Kelly Ripa, recently boasted a biological age of 35! By now you’re probably wondering “what is a biological age?” and “how can I find out mine?” Don’t worry, we’ve got it all summarized for you.
Your “chronological age” refers to the actual amount of time you’ve been alive, which tends to be measured in numbers of days, months or years. Then you have your “biological age,” also called physiological age, it takes your chronological age into factor, but is also heavily influenced by one’s lifestyle, which includes diet, exercise, stress levels, smoking, sleep hygiene and more.
Up until recently, we were told that how we age is beyond our control and that it was primarily influenced by the genetics we were handed at birth. While genetics does play a huge role, studies are now showing that aging can be influenced and even manipulated by external factors. What great news!
How Is Biological Age Is Determined?
Let’s rewind to high-school biology, to that lesson where you learned about the cell cycle. You may recall your teacher mentioning those nucleotide sequences at the end of chromosomes called telomeres. They keep the ends of our chromosomes from degenerating or sticking to other chromosomes (which could lead to genetic mutations). Because of their important role, you could say that telomeres pretty much call the shots when it comes to how quickly our cells age and subsequently, die.
Usually, the higher a person’s chronological age is, the shorter their telomeres are. However, quite a few studies suggest that maintaining a healthy lifestyle can actually lengthen telomeres and thus, reverse aging!
How To Age Gracefully
It turns out that there are tried-and-true, evidenced-based “anti-aging” hacks that you can start implementing today. As much as you may hate to hear this, it’s mainly just good ol’ diet and exercise.
So, engage in physical activity, and try to incorporate resistance, cardio and balance exercises in your routine. Eat foods with a low glycemic index value, like vegetables, fruit, beans, low-fat dairy products, and whole-grains. Maintain a healthy weight, sleep at least 7 hours a night, and use destressing practices like meditation to keep your worries at bay.
While our chronological age doesn’t change no matter how many servings of vegetables we consume, or how many steps we take in a day, there are ways to improve our chances of keeping our biological age younger than our chronological age.
I’m all for glistening, antioxidant, facial serums but if you ask me what’s a better investment, it would be fresh vegetables and a fitness trainer, one-hundred-percent. That’s real “anti-aging cream.”
If you’re interested in finding out what your biological age is, you can contact companies like RealAge, which is also a fantastic resource for health and longevity information.