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All Health's Breaking Loose: Getting better all the time

May 10, 2011|By Loa Blasucci

Back in the days of Sgt. Pepper, Lennon and McCartney had it right when they said, “You have to admit it’s getting better all the time.” If we all felt that way, we wouldn’t mind telling our age.

How did you feel the last time someone asked how old you are? Let me take some pressure off you before this happens again. Your age is not simply about the number of years you have been breathing on this planet. You may actually be younger than you think.

Measuring time since the day you were born only accounts chronologically for part of the equation — your age in years. Grab paper and a pencil and we’ll calculate what I call your true age.

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As years go by, the cellular processes of your body are at work, and each of us manifests this in different ways. What I am saying is, some of us just look older faster. This biological process of weathering is your “body age.” The last of the three points to consider is your “head age,” or how old you feel psychologically. It breaks down like this:

Your chronological age is fixed and may be the quickest to calculate, but is the most misleading of the three. One person at 50 may jog up Foothill Boulevard with a stride as perky as that of most 25-year-olds, while another person at 50 has the body of a 70-year-old. Jot down your age in years on a piece of paper.

Next, your body age tells us how your organs and tissues have fared, compared to those of other people of your chronological age. Your body becomes younger or older biologically, depending on how you treat it.

A sedentary smoker will show up at his class reunion looking much older than a non-smoker who exercises daily and avoids sweets. Smoking, excessive drinking, high consumption of sugar, eating processed foods, stress and lack of movement accelerate the aging process.

However, if you have stayed in shape and enjoyed good personal care throughout your life, you may appear much younger than your years. Look in the mirror and honestly ask yourself this question: “If I just met myself, how old would I think I was?” Write this number directly under your age in years.

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