Is Biological Age Real?

A Healthier Michigan

| 3 min read

Yes, biological age is real, but understanding the term and what is meant in comparison to chronological age is important. It's impossible to stop or slow time; as the years go by, you chronologically age. Biological age is influenced by your lifestyle and several other factors. Biological age and genetics will influence your biological age, but so do many lifestyle decisions such as diet and exercise. Let’s explore exactly what that means.

Comparing biological age vs chronological age 

Your biological age can be younger, older or the same as your chronological age. The younger your biological age is compared to your chronological age, the healthier or more youthful your body and cells are. It is also important to be aware that aging is natural and that there is both “good aging” and “bad aging” according to the NIH. Bad aging includes symptoms like “inflammaging” – an immune response causing general inflammation of soft tissue as the body ages – and a reduced ability to fight off infections and emerging conditions as you age.

How to calculate your biological age

There are a variety of formulas and calculator tools available online, including video tutorials, on how to calculate your biological age or “body age.” The best way to get the information you need about your biological age is to make a visit with your care team. Some of the important tests and factors for your biological age can be more easily tested and studied.
Qualities such as your endurance, strength, body composition, pre-existing conditions, chronological age, and more, all go into determining whether your body has aged less or more than expected based on your chronological age.

How does aging work?

Aging is different for everyone. According to the Mayo clinic, you can expect all or some of these changes as you age:
  • Blood vessels and tissue start to get stiffer and less flexible. This makes it more likely your heart will increase its workload and blood pressure to maintain the same circulation.
  • Bones will shrink in size and become less dense. Muscle mass and flexibility decrease.
  • Increased digestive issues and bowel difficulties.
  • Your vision and hearing may become less clear.
  • Your mental focus, stamina, and memory may see minor changes.
  • Skin becomes thinner, less flexible, and more brittle or easy to damage.

How to Improve Your Biological Age

While you can’t make yourself younger, there are ways you can try to improve your biological age or slow down the aging process. Many of these have more to do with avoiding negative behaviors or activities that can age you prematurely:
There are plenty more ways people age, and many ways that they’ve tried to fight the effects of aging since antiquity. The best decisions you can make are to pursue a healthy overall lifestyle as you age, including proper dieting and exercise, and prioritizing mental health and community as well.

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