Sometimes you’re not as old as the numbers you’ve been assigned may indicate. Other times, you can be older. The truth is that you’ve got two ages: your chronological age and your biological age.
You can see your chronological age each time you look at the calendar, but your biological age can be a bit harder to determine. It’s more of how your cells, gut, organs, and tissues are holding up.
Another difference between your biological and chronological age is that your biological age is variable. Lifestyle decisions and other factors can move it up or down or in fast-forward or rewind. That’s why chronological age is little more than a number—it only tells a fraction of the story of how old you really are.
The best anti-aging strategy involves a firm knowledge of biological age and how you can control it. If you’re not sure where you are or how to start, here are some things to look for and the appropriate action to take.
Extra weight around the waist: Carrying excess fat around the waist is an indication that your biological age is up there. Inside, your body is likely inflamed, and your risk for heart disease and diabetes is high. To reduce this, try to include more activity throughout the day, walking for about an hour at least three times per week.
You sit all day long: Feeling the need to sit down most hours of the day can also indicate you are aging faster than you might think. Sitting for more than six hours per day can worsen symptoms of existing illness while leading to weight gain that further increases inflammation. If you’re always tired, you may want to try implementing sleep hygiene, dietary changes, or introducing a nicotinamide riboside supplement.
Frequent trouble with digestion: Regular diarrhea, cramps, or bloating can signify that your gut is in trouble—especially if it’s happening after nearly every meal. Poor gut health can be a sign of inflammation, which means your immune system is heavily taxed. You can fight back this symptom of biological aging by including more fiber-rich fruits and vegetables, along with probiotic foods into your diet.
Slowing down cellular aging can hit the pause button on health problems and “feeling old.” Addressing the signs of biological aging can help you live better the longer you’re alive.
Devon Andre holds a bachelor’s of forensic science from the University of Windsor in Canada and a Juris Doctor from the University of Pittsburgh. This article was first published on Bel Marra Health.