“You look so youthful and healthy. I wish I knew your secrets.”
Samantha says this to Jacob as she walks by him while leaving her favorite restaurant. Jacob is shocked and has a gigantic smile on his face like the Joker from the “Batman” movie.
But the joke is on Jacob. Samantha thinks Jacob is around 48 years old and looks good for his age. However, Jacob is really 28 years old and looks like he is two decades older.
Based on research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the average life expectancy for Americans is 78.8 years. How close are you to the average age? Did you know you have two different ages? You have a chronological age and a biological age. Understanding the difference between these two ages can empower you to create positive solutions for your health.
So what is chronological age? Chronological age represents the number of years you have been alive, starting from birth until now. What is biological age? Biological age is measured physiologically. In other words, how old is your body? Your biological age considers non-subjective and subjective factors such as: blood pressure, resting heart rate, muscular endurance and strength, overall mobility, and the ease with which you execute daily tasks.
For purposes of illustration, let’s go back to the fictitious story of Samantha and Jacob. Samantha did not know Jacob’s chronological age, but she recognized his biological age to be around 48 years old. Yet, as mentioned earlier, Jacob is 28 years old. What could this mean?
Jacob’s body is aging much faster than his chronological age. As a result of Jacob’s rapid speed of aging, he will be at a higher risk of developing various illnesses and diseases that are usually associated with individuals of a more advanced chronological age.
Furthermore, by understanding the concept of the chronological age and the biological age, it is possible to reasonably reverse or slow down the aging process. Also, according to Duke University researchers, it is not the chronological age that determines age-related diseases, but it is the biological age that is the determining factor. To put it differently, it is possible to be 30 years old and have a disease more associated with someone who is 65. And a person who is 65 years old could have the health of the average 30-year-old.
How can you officially discover your biological age?
Through specialized testing, medical doctors can examine and analyze the condition of their patient’s organs to derive a biological age. The results can be compared to established standards. This is good news if you want to strategically improve your health.
With all this said, the well-known phrase, “age is nothing but a number,” is true with regard to the chronological age. And by you being equipped with this knowledge, you can take control over your biological age and improve your health.
Lastly, through understanding the chronological age and the biological age, you can grasp why some relatively older people seem younger. And, in other cases, some relatively younger people seem older. We have two distinct ages that may not be the same.
Rich and Karla Walker are Health & Fitness Experts and Success Coaches. firstname.lastname@example.org.