Ever wonder why people who are the same age look completely different? Turns out our biological and chronological clocks tick at two completely different paces.
One thing is for sure, according to Taimur Habib, MD, a primary care and geriatrics practitioner with the Hartford HealthCare Medical Group – aging is inevitable and it’s important to accept it gracefully.
But if you’re looking to slow down the clock on your biological age, here’s why we age the way we do and six tips for aging with grace.
Chronological vs. biological age
Chronological age cannot be changed because it’s based on the day you were born. Biological age is affected by your DNA.
It’s not unusual to see a person in their 80s per their birth certificate enjoying the body of someone in their 60s.
“It’s important to be aware of changes that happen to our bodies and our minds as we age. You can talk to a geriatrics specialist to go over the specifics of those changes,” Dr. Habib says.
Time’s ticking – but you’re not
Science might explain why you feel like your appearance is aging. Epigenetic age is the biological age of your body’s cells, tissues and organ systems. If your epigenetic age is older than your chronological age, you will age faster. These people are also more susceptible to cancer, cardiovascular disease and Parkinson’s disease.
Things that can impact your biological age include:
- Chronic stress
- Lack of exercise
- Unhealthy diet
- Poor sleeping habits
How you can age gracefully
The same steps people take to stay healthy at any age will also help you age gracefully.
“We should do our best by eating healthy and exercising regularly to keep our bodies and minds young,” Dr. Habib says.
He also suggests these six tips:
- Eat healthy foods, including plenty of vegetables and fruit
- Exercise for 30 minutes five times a week
- Exercise your mind by trying to meditate
- Keep yourself well hydrated
- Stay in touch with people who matter to you
- See your primary doctor, at least, once a year