Article and Comment: Don’t act your age
Recent research into the aging process has found a correlation between subjective age and one’s health. Believing you are younger and actually feeling younger is more than just a nice dream. This finding is based on a large study over a 20-year period (MIDUS study).
They found that 3 of the top predictive questions of how old you feel (Subjective age) versus how old your chronological age indicates are:
- Does your health limit your ability to do vigorous physical exercises, such as running or heavy lifting? Physical fitness and having an active lifestyle is a concrete and specific action you can take to reduce your subjective age.
- Are you taking prescription medication to manage your blood pressure? Making changes to your diet that directly reduce your blood pressure have a direct correlation with your subjective age and is another action you can take.
- How satisfying your expect your sex life to be in 10 years? How much effort people put into their sex life also has a direct correlation on their happiness and their subjective age.
In general, as you age, the higher your subjective age and your risk of morality doubles. A positive attitude towards life and aging is much more strongly correlated with long and high-quality life than any biomarkers (such as telomere length).
So what can you do?
- Have a positive attitude towards aging, meeting new people, acquiring new knowledge and new experiences. Be more sociable, at all ages.
- Look after your physical health, with regular exercise especially strength-based exercise.
- Look after your diet, especially ensuring that you reduce and have a healthy blood pressure
Lawson, G (2021) Don’t act your age! New Scientist, 20th March 2021, No. 3326. P36-40
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Don't act your age
“AGE is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”
This nugget of wisdom, often attributed to Mark Twain, has been turned into many an inspirational internet meme over the years. As a 51-year-old who is starting to feel the gathering momentum of the inevitable slide, it strikes me as little more than a platitude that makes people feel better about getting old.