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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