How to reverse your metabolic and biological age?
Forget chronological age, there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it, but you can do something to reduce your metabolic and biological age, and in doing so improve the quality of your life for years to come. Biological and metabolic age is what matters
I mentioned in my last newsletter that I have joined the over 50’s gym, Club Active. The other day I was chatting to the owner of the company, Johnathan Freeman who told me how they use metrics to determine metabolic and biological age.
Metabolic age can be calculated with a Tanita Body Composition Scan which measures your basal metabolic rate by your weight, percentage of body fat, weight in muscle, levels of visceral fat and water composition.
Johnathan showed me the results of a scan I had about 6 weeks ago and quickly covered the screen because, as I discovered, when I peeled his hands away, my metabolic age showed me as being 67.
About to mentally discard the test as a load of codswallop, I noticed my weight on the screen was incorrectly entered as 87kg. Remove the unwanted 30 kg’s and my metabolic age dropped to 44, 16 years younger than my chronological age. By losing 30kg, metabolic age can drop by 23 years.
It’s pretty exciting stuff. Metabolic age shifts the focus away from chronological years and focuses on the body’s composition of muscle and fat. It’s enormously tangible and motivating to work on reducing metabolic years, instead of just looking at weight in kg’s.
When your metabolic age is younger than your actual age, it shows you’re in good shape – but if your metabolic age is higher, it’s a clear sign that you need to improve your health through diet and exercise.
Biological age, or as it is also known, functional age, takes into consideration a number of biological and physiological development factors including, chronological age, genetics, lifestyle, diet, activity levels and existing diseases. The basic idea behind biological aging is that aging occurs as you gradually accumulate damage to various cells and tissues in the body.
Test your biological age
Just for fun, using an online Biological Age Calculator I pretended I was 18, smoked a pack of cigarettes a day, regularly drank alcohol, never exercised, ate rubbish, and hated my job. My biological age came up as 36. My real biological age today is 47 years (3 years older than my biological age). My husband, after discovering he could reduce his metabolic age by 15 years his chronological age is suddenly committed to doing daily push ups and resistance training three times a week!
So how do we reverse our metabolic and biological age?
Aging and longevity is legitimate stuff in science these days and leading the field is Professor David Sinclair, an Australian born scientist at Harvard University. Sinclair believes chronic disease is the root cause of all aging and after extensive studies on mice and himself he advocates fasting, resistance training, certain supplements as well as hot, cold and other physical stressors to extend longevity.
I will write more about David’s work in our next Lighten Up Spring program because, aside from the ice baths and supplements, what we offer on the program is precisely what preaches.
The message to eat well, restrict calories, and exercise is not new, but the motivation to do it is quite different. I will be 60 in October but if I maintain my current lifestyle practices, I could remain metabolically 44 for many years to come. And that’s the best news I’ve heard in a long time.