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How Old Are You Really? Unveiling Your Biological Age

By Beth Galvin

Published on March 19, 2024

Have you ever wondered how old you truly are? Beyond the number of candles on your birthday cake, there's a fascinating concept: your biological age. This isn't just about the years you've lived; it's about how your body is aging at a cellular level.

Decoding Biological Age

Emory Healthcare internist Dr. Sharon Bergquist sheds light on this intriguing topic. She explains that while your chronological age might be 50, your biological age could be different—perhaps 45 or 55. This discrepancy arises from changes in your DNA that influence the pace of aging.

Dr. Bergquist emphasizes that our genes play a role, but lifestyle factors matter even more. Approximately 25% of aging is genetic, while the remaining 75% is influenced by our environment and choices.

Secrets to Slowing Down the Clock

So, how can you defy Father Time? Dr. Bergquist offers practical advice:

  • Plant-Based Diets: Opt for more plant-based foods rich in phytochemicals. These compounds can slow down the aging process.
  • Get Moving: Regular exercise is a powerful tool. It not only keeps you fit but also helps maintain a youthful biological age.
  • Quality Sleep: Aim for 7 hours of restful sleep each night. Sleep is essential for cellular repair and rejuvenation.
  • Stress Management: Surprisingly, some stress can be beneficial. Striking the right balance helps us age better.

However, beware of habits that accelerate your biological clock—smoking, poor diet, and a sedentary lifestyle.

Measuring Progress

Dr. Bergquist recommends starting with a baseline test to gauge your biological age. Then, make lifestyle changes and get retested. It's like turning back the clock!

Remember, you have more control over aging than you might think. So, let's embrace healthier choices and discover our true biological age.

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