Your Guide To Looking And Feeling Younger Than Your Actual Age
Age is just a number. You’re only as old as you feel.
These are just two age cliches – Do they have an merit? Today I’ve got some really neat research about aging, as well as a calculator that lets you determine the true age of your body, PLUS 5 simple tactics to keep feeling and looking younger. Let’s do this!
How Old Is Your Body?
Researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology set out to measure how old a person’s body really is when compared to “average” bodies of people in the same age demographic. They found that a standard measure of fitness known as VO2 Max is actually a better indicator of a person’s “body age” than a person’s actual age.
In other words, measuring a person’s VO2 Max accurately predicts their body’s “age”
What Is VO2 Max?
VO2 Max is simply a measure of how well a person can use oxygen while exercising. A very fit person has trained their body to take up and process oxygen very efficiently, therefore their VO2 Max would be quite high. Someone who is out of shape would struggle to exercise with the same volume of oxygen, therefore their VO2 Max would be much lower.
Great – So I just need to measure my VO2 Max in order to know if my body is “older” or “younger” than my actual age. How do I actually measure it?
Unfortunately, testing VO2 Max isn’t something you can just do in your living room. It usually requires a machine to measure your oxygen uptake while you exercise on a treadmill or stationary bike (as you can see in the picture above). BUT, there is another way…
Calculating Your Body’s Age
The Norwegian research team studied over 5,000 participants between the ages of 20 and 90. The participants completed lengthy surveys that asked them to explain different characteristics of their lifestyle.
The researchers took various physical metrics such as weight, height, and waistline, and calculated others such as BMI and body fat percentage. They also had the participants perform a number of fitness tests such as the aforementioned VO2 Max test.
In the end the researchers concluded that 5 simple measurements can be used to determine a person’s VO2 Max and therefore approximate the “age” of that person’s body. Those measurements include:
- Resting Heart Rate
- Exercise Habits
Ready to find out your body’s true age? Click the image below (it takes 4-5 minutes)
What Does This Mean?
It’s pretty simple to interpret your result. If your calculated age is lower than your actual age then you are likely in great shape. Your active lifestyle is keeping your body young! Keep it up!
On the other hand, if your calculated age is higher than your actual age then your body is “old” in a fitness sense. You might want to consider making some changes to bring your body’s age more in line with your actual age. What sort of changes? Keep reading…
How To Turn Back The Clock
While there are many products, some legit and others very much not, that claim to turn back the years, there are also many natural steps you can take to look and feel younger. Here are 5 “revamps” that will help you reduce the “true age” of your body that you just calculated.
#1. Revamp Your Exercise Routine
Any physical activity is beneficial, but planned exercise can be especially important as we age since our lives tend to become naturally more sedentary. Think you’re too old to get out and exercise? Watch 61-year old Victor Earhart and then think again!
Here’s how you can revamp your own physical activity habits to roll back a few years off your “true age”:
- Find some form of exercise that you can do daily
- Schedule it into your routine so that it’s non-negotiable
- Vary your exercise so that you are strengthening and conditioning your entire body
- Find an intensity that will challenge you be keep your body safe at the same time
- Buddy up with a friend for added accountability
You can feel good knowing that physical exercise will help to delay or prevent some diseases and conditions associated with age such as dementia. As people age inactivity causes us to lose our cardiovascular endurance, flexibility, balance and strength. Regular exercise, especially resistance training, will strengthen your bones, improve your muscle tone, and help you maintain overall conditioning.
#2. Revamp Your Diet
This is one of the best, if not the best, natural ways of holding back the years. It has become evident that people who eat healthy look better and age much more slowly. So what does a “healthy” diet look like?
- Reduced red meat consumption. Choose white meat and fish
- Limited processed grains. If eaten at all, grains are most beneficial in their whole gain format as these are less processed and often more nutrient-dense
- Limit saturated fat intake and instead aim to use healthier options such as olive oil or coconut oil
- Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables at every meal (with a huge emphasis on veggies since they are so nutrient-dense but also very low in calories!)
#3. Revamp Your Stress Level
Stress causes the damage of telomeres, DNA strand tips which stop the DNA from fraying. Damaged telomeres lead to frayed DNA, which in turn leads to degradation of cell health. Depending on the type of cell being damaged we may begin to feel older, look older, or exhibits signs of aging such as sickness and increased incidence of age.
- Take time to slow down or stop each day
- Find an activity that soothes your body and mind
- Be mindful of helping your body health through activities such as stretching and massage
#4. Revamp Your Hydration
About 3/4 of your body is made up from water so it is no wonder that staying hydrated is crucial for feeling healthy, strong, and more youthful.
The body needs to remain dehydrated all the times but our day to day routines may deplete the water levels in our body, often without us realizing it.
- Fill up a 2L jug of water each day and be sure to drink it all before dinner time
- During exercise, remember that you need an extra 250ml of water for ever 20 minutes of work you do
- Drink a lot of coffee or caffeinated drinks? Those certainly don’t count towards your water intake and may actually promote dehydration.
Having enough water in the body keeps our internal organs well-hydrated and functioning smoothly. It also helps the skin look supple, vibrant and flexible, which make anyone look younger and feel younger at the same time.
#5. Revamp Your Sleeping Habits
- Get to bed by 10:30pm every night.
- Train your body to naturally wake up the next morning between 6-7:30am.
- Dim the lights each evening so that your body is prepared to rest.
- Avoid using electronics such as computers, the TV, or your smart phone within 30 minutes of your planned bedtime.