Listen to Some People Age Faster than Others
According to a study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the pace of ageing differs from person to person. The study is one of the first to quantify ageing in young people, and it suggests that ageing research, especially in regards to treatments which slow ageing, can and should be done on younger populations.
The data comes from the landmark longitudinal Dunedin Study, which has tracked nearly a thousand people born between 1972-73, in the same town, from birth to the present. Researchers used 18 biological markers, including blood pressure, organ function, cholesterol, dental health, and metabolism, to assess the biological age of each of the participants and here’s what they found:
The 954 participants’ biological ages ranged from under 30 to almost 60.
Most participants clustered around an ageing rate of one year per year, but others were found to be ageing as fast as three years per consecutive year. Many were ageing at zero years per year and therefore staying younger than their actual age.
Researchers asked college students to guess the ages of the participants, and it turns out your internal age directly correlates to how young you look on the outside.
The good news is that only 20% of your age is attributed to your genes and it’s possible to alter the speed at which you age. Here are some of the ways you can slow down the ageing process and stay younger for longer:
1. Think young, stay young
You are as young as you choose to be and getting out and living life really can help you stay younger for longer. Try challenging yourself to new physical activities; continue to re-invent yourself in your career; have a vibrant social life and romantic relationships, whether you’re 30 or 50 or 80. Keep reading new books, visiting foreign countries, falling in love,–and most of all, do what makes you happy.
2. Keep learning
A higher level of education is associated with better mental functioning in old age. Experts think that advanced education may help keep memory strong by encouraging mental activity. Try challenging your brain with mental exercises to help maintain your brain cells by stimulating their communication.
Many people have jobs that keep them mentally active, but pursuing a hobby, learning a new skill, or volunteering for a project at work that involves a skill you don’t usually use can function the same way and help improve your memory.
3. Get off the couch
Not only does regular exercise help you lose weight, tone muscles, build healthier bones, and boost mood, it can also help you think more clearly.
Studies cited by the National Institute on Aging show a connection between physical exercise and better brain power.
“Walking for just 10 minutes a day lowers your risk of Alzheimer’s by 40%,” says Gary Small, MD and director of the UCLA Center on Aging. Try it for yourself! Make time for three 20-minute workouts a week whether it’s running, cycling, swimming or dancing — do what you enjoy.
4. Do yoga
More energy, better posture, greater flexibility, improved mood, and less stress are just some of the rewards of this mind-body workout. Through conscious yoga breathing, you become aware of the connection between mind and body and gain significant anti-ageing advantages. Yogic breathing has been shown to oxygenate the cells and rid them of toxins which helps prevent illness and makes your skin more radiant.