As a Wellness Coach, I spend much of my time examining and exploring how I can help my clients better understand the aging process and, more importantly, how to slow it down. I frequently hear the words “I feel so old” or “It’s no fun getting older.” In my pursuit of helping my clients to battle the aging process, I have come to realize that there are 2 types of aging: chronological age and biological age. Yes, they are both real aging processes but they differ in some important ways. Chronological aging is unchangeable and will remain constant as you progress throughout life. It is defined by the calendar. As an index of aging, it is deeply flawed. Biological aging, is dynamic and variable and can be sped up or slowed down. It is your real functional age.
Your biological age is difficult to calculate. It is a complexity of many interacting physiological components. Many factors come into play – genetic makeup, immunology, endocrinology, neurology, cardiology, etc.. Most aging experts look at specific numbers and then monitor their changes ( ex: blood pressure, respiratory capacity, aerobic power, and blood glucose levels, bone density, height, and weight). Some factors that contribute to biological age are not so obvious, such as the ability of your kidneys and liver to process toxins and gastrointestinal function – the health of the gut which directly impacts our whole system. These changes all impact how the body ages. In addition, these changes can impact and override our genetic code and, thus, speed up or slow down the aging process.
In addition, our biology is also impacted by the way we think and feel. We are in fact what we think and feel. Mind-body research has strongly correlated the power of the mind on how the body functions and, thus, ages. We are all products of our thoughts and beliefs. Our neurochemistry, for example, which controls our brain functions can be altered by not only what we eat, how much exercise we get, how well we sleep, but also by the way we think and how we perceive ourselves. The truth is we are a very complex organism. Positive thinking yields positive brain chemistry. This in turn drives our behaviors and how we interact with the world around us. Conversely, negative thinking yields a negative biological state.
So let’s look at what we can do to slow down the biological aging process.
1. Exercise daily: Oxygen is the key to life. Movement is essential to keeping the mind and body strong and resilient. THE BODY NEEDS TO MOVE.
2. Eat Healthy: consume wholesome, organic, GMO-free foods and hydrate with ionized water. WE ARE WHAT WE EAT.
3. Practice mindfulness and positive thinking. Open your mind to the possibilities. WE BECOME WHAT WE THINK MOST OF THE TIME.
4. Sleep: Sleep is essential to our biology and longevity. It is during sleep that our body de-stresses and repairs itself. GET 7 HOURS OF SLEEP DAILY.
5. Keep Learning: Surround yourself with people you can learn from, give back and get rid of expectations. WE ARE PRODUCTS OF OUR EXPERIENCES.
6. Live With Passion: Whether in work life and sports – find what challenges you and share this with the world. BELIEVE IN YOURSELF.