Article, Health
From Birthdays to Biology: Understanding Your True Age
Scott A. Gese

If I had to choose the one thing I felt people focused on the most, It would have to say it was age. With few exceptions, people don't want to grow old. Multi-Millions of dollars a year are spent on superficial ways to look and feel younger from makeup to plastic surgery and everything in between.

ageing wellRoman Biernacki/Pexels

That old saying, “you're as young as you feel” has its place but if you're relying on nothing more than quick fixes and feelings to stay young you're deluding yourself. There's more involved.

No matter what you do to preserve your youth, the clock just keeps on ticking. Eventually old age will catch up to you. The trick is to prolong it as long as possible. Surgery and makeup won't do it. Your health, good or bad is determined by your lifestyle choices.

A healthy diet, consistent exercise and the right frame of mind are three of the most important things you can do to keep yourself young and prolong the inevitable.

Bad lifestyle choices will accelerate your biological age much faster than your chronological age.

So what is age, really? Some people think age is nothing more than a passage of time. Does biology play a part in the overall picture? What about your frame of mind? How does that factor in? Let's take a look.

Chronological -vs- Biological

Your chronological age has to do with how many birthdays you've had. It's a measurement of your time spent here on this earth.

As far as your biological age is concerned, it has to do with the health of your body. In the biological age of your body, time is not a factor.

From a purely biological standpoint everyone ages at a different pace. Chronologically you may have been on this earth for 65 years, but depending on your health and your frame of mind your biological age will be different. If you're healthy and have a good, positive attitude about life, your biological age may be much less than your chronological age. On the other hand if you're in poor health and have a negative attitude about your life and health, you're biological age may be much more than your chronological age.

Let's look at one biological factor called Methylation.

Methylation plays a critical role in your aging process.

What is Methylation?

According to MBG Health 

“Methylation is a process that takes place within your body approximately one billion times per second and affects nearly every essential process in the body. When this vital process is not optimized—which can happen as a result of a variety of dietary, lifestyle, and genetic factors—your physical and mental well-being, from a cellular to whole-body level, will be suboptimal or worse.”

But wait, there's more...

“Methylation influences just about every essential process in the body. It's needed for the production of amino acids, neurotransmitters, hormones, red blood cells, DNA, RNA, and antioxidants; for proper detoxification of hormones and toxins; and for determining whether certain genes will be expressed or not. It's a big deal.

But when this vital process is compromised (which can happen as a result of a variety of dietary, lifestyle, and genetic factors) your physical and mental well-being, from a cellular to whole-body level, will pay the price.”

Your body regulates these processes. Your diet and lifestyle will cause changes. The accumulation of these changes are an accurate indicator of a persons biological age.

If you want to explore Methylation on a deeper level just click on the link above.

Grip Strength

One of the more interesting age indicators I came across involves your grip strength. Grip strength is an indicator of your overall muscle weakness and muscle weakness is an indicator of your biological age. A good article that talks about this in depth can be found here.

Muscle Weakness and Grip Strength 

In this article grip strength has been labeled a ‘biomarker of aging’ and that maintaining muscle strength across ones lifespan can protect you against many common age-related diseases.

The article states the following. “This evidence combined with the recent results of their study show the potential for clinicians to use grip strength as a way to screen individuals for future risk of functional decline, chronic disease and even early mortality. Screening for grip strength, the researchers say, would provide an opportunity to develop interventions that delay or prevent the onset or progression of these adverse age-related health events. In addition, studies need to focus on how lifestyle and behavioral factors such as physical activity and diet may affect grip strength and age acceleration.”

Your mindset and how you perceive your age would be the third factor for this article.

The things you focus on and how you feel about those things plays a big part in your overall mental and physical health, which has a lot to do with your “age”.

A positive attitude plays a very important role in all you do. If you don't hold a positive attitude toward your life, your health or your age, you are influencing your body toward decline. You can find a number of articles that go into this topic in more detail here. 

In conclusion

The answer to the question, How old are you, doesn't relate to time even though that's how we tend to measure it. It really has more to do with the biology of your body. Chronologically you can't turn back the hands of time, but you can slow them down. You do this by paying attention to your biology. Your body is a finely tuned machine. The better shape you keep it in the longer it will operate at a high performance level. That will determine your true age from a biological standpoint. Adding a positive frame of mind to the equation will enhance its performance.

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