When most people think of anti-aging, they think of skin care, and while a proper skin care routine is important, there are some other key factors that play an even bigger role in how fast (or slow) we age.
We most commonly think of chronological age, which is measured in years, however also taking biological age into account provides a better measurement of aging, health, andoverall longevity of an individual.
This is because your biological age is determined by severaldifferent factors. There might be two identical people, born on the same day, and yet one may look older, act older, and evenhave a higher risk of age-related diseases. This is because these two people are aging at different rates – influenced not only by genetics, but also by various lifestyle factors. For instance, a 30year old person who smokes, regularly drinks alcohol, eats poorly, has a high stress job, and lives a sedentary lifestylewould have a higher (older) biological age than theirchronological age. Living this type of lifestyle is associated with a higher risk for certain diseases and accelerated aging.
So what factors determine how old we look/act/feel?
This means you have control over your aging process by way of environmental and biological controls. Limiting the use of toxic chemicals, reducing exposure to pollutants, minimizing stress,being physically active, and getting quality sleep impact how well we age. Diet and nutrition, including maintaining a healthy microbiome, are powerful factors for anti-aging. What you eat has a real impact on your skin, metabolic and cognitive functions, energy levels, and vitality – beauty really does come from the inside out.
How do you measure biological age?
A biomarker for measuring your biological age is telomere length. Telomeres play an important role in preserving DNA’s structure and function. They are protein structures located at the ends of each strand of DNA that protect our chromosomes. Theyprevent the ends of chromosomes from fraying or sticking to each other, and ensure your DNA gets copied properly when cells divide.
Telomere length is believed to play a vital role in the aging process in humans. As telomeres shorten over time, the chromosomes themselves become vulnerable to damage, and cells can no longer function properly – resulting in declining health and a higher biological age.
Regardless of the length of our telomeres at birth, they will naturally shorten with chronological age, however research indicates there are several factors that may accelerate thisprocess. Factors such as genetics are not in our control, however other factors that affect telomere shortening, can be controlled, such as:
The first and most important step to take if you’re looking to slow down aging and the rate of which your telomeres shorten isprevention. The best strategy is to adopt a healthy lifestyle; this includes eating a well-balanced healthy diet, getting physical activity each day, and ditching those bad habits. Find healthy foods that you enjoy and exercises that you don’t dread doing each day – find an active hobby for instance, take up yoga, or go for a brisk walk. While you might not be able to get rid of your stressors, you can learn how to manage them better by changing the way you react to stress in general. Getting enough sleep isalso an important step to take.
In addition to making healthy lifestyle changes, you can take further action by including nutritional supplements in your diet that support healthy aging, because lets ‘face’ it, there’s only so much your creams can do for you. Essential fatty acids, nutrients with anti-inflammatory and potent antioxidant properties, and plenty of water will make your organs glow…. especially your largest organ, the skin.
Your skin reflects your general inner-health status and aging.
What are some key ingredients to look for?
Although aging is inevitable, at least you can ‘level up’ your life by slowing down the effects of aging from the inside-out. As a recap, your diet and nutrition is absolute key to healthy aging, but that’s not all. Getting plenty of physical activity, restful sleep, hydration, and maintaining a healthy weight is important, while reducing stress and exposure to environmental and other harmful toxins (including the ones in our food).