How many candles did you blow on your last birthday? Okay, here is another question: how many should you actually have blown? It is likely that many of us will answer the same number for both questions, but we are in fact talking about two different concepts: our chronological age and our biological age.
Our chronological age is the number of years that have passed since our birth. Our biological age refers to how old our cells really are and therefore, our real age.
Your chronological age is irreversible and is not dependent on your life habits. Conversely, biological age may vary depending on your lifestyle (diet, exercise, sleep, attitude, stress, etc.). Depending on your genetics and your life habits, your biological age will be higher or lower than your chronological one. People with a younger biological age compared to their chronological age are at a lower risk of suffering age-related diseases and mortality. But do not worry, good news is that biological age can be improved with as little as few changes in your life habits (we know it is not easy, but it is worth the effort). Looking forward to knowing what your true age is?
How can I know what my biological age is?
Easy peasy. All you need is to send us a small blood sample. In Life Length we determine your biological age based on your telomere length. We use our exclusive technology TAT® that allows us to measure telomere length cell by cell.
After the analysis, a results report is generated which includes the following data: biological age, average telomere length, percentile 20 of critically short telomeres and median telomere length. The last two variables are more relevant than average telomere length to understand where we stand in the aging process. This is because short telomeres are the reason why cells become senescent and eventually die.
If you still do not know what telomeres are and why they are important, we strongly encourage you to have a look at our website where we provide every detail about these tiny pieces of life.
How can I control my biological age?
Luckily enough, we have higher control over our own aging process than we think. Studies show that biological age is influenced by other factors besides genetics. The most determining factors are: diet, exercise, stress and sleep.
Praised be the Mediterranean diet! Apart from being delicious, the Mediterranean diet followers have 30% lower probability of suffering vascular conditions.
Also, the Mediterranean diet reduces oxidative stress and inflammation thanks to a high antioxidants content, such as Omega-3, which have a direct impact on telomere length.
It is widely known that regular moderate exercising is beneficial for our health, but keep reading in case you need an additional push.
Studies support the beneficial effect of moderate exercising (45 minutes, 3 times a week) to protect telomeres from shortening, especially in adults. Furthermore, studies point at aerobic exercise as the best option to fight aging and protect telomeres.
Move! We are not saying that you must go for a 1-hour run or engage yourself in a repetitive routine at the gym every day. There are many entertaining sport modalities and physical activities nowadays that you can practice either on your own or in a group. Search on the internet, or ask for information at your nearest sports club! Think of it as an investment for a healthy future!
Although the mechanism of action of stress over the telomere shortening process is uncertain, the truth is that stress affects telomere length in a rather adverse way. Acute and chronic stress, as well as perceived stress and stress management are not an ally with cell longevity.
Moreover, people with psychological disorders induced by deregulated emotional responses, especially in depression, show a lower telomere length compared to people without this kind of disorders.
Think less, live more!
Do you sleep less than 7 hours a day? Yes, right? Be careful. Various studies correlate lack of quality sleep with accelerated telomere shortening, especially in children. For adults, those of over 70 years of age with insomnia show the shortest telomeres.
In conclusion: eat clean, exercise and sleep enough.