“It is time to classify biological aging as a disease. And with the classification, it enables us to target and treat aging rather than aging becoming unavoidable”
Chronological age is the number of years lived. Biological age refers to the health of our cells. We can’t change chronological age, but we have tremendous influence over our biological (cellular) aging, which is the type of aging that REALLY matters. Thinking and behaviors can change biological (cellular) aging.
What controls or influences biological aging is an assortment of things that are entirely controllable in most cases. Here are some of the most obvious:
- The retirement and pre-retirement culture
Rigid opinions and beliefs about how retirees are supposed to live, think and behave have been slowly evolving since the passage of the Social Security Act in the 1930s. Retirement has become a structured way of life for most retirees: Fun, friends, set-in-stone income for many retirees (often decimated by inflation); similar living choices (retirement communities for those over 50) that are isolated from the larger world; a group mindset where retirees find comfort and camaraderie in same age groups. It’s an environment that makes it difficult to feel young. And why not? After all, retirement means retirement. In a sense, it is backing away from the rigors of life. It influences biological aging far more than most realize.
- Lifestyle, mindset, and behaviors of friends
The mindset and behaviors of influential retirees often set the standard for what’s acceptable appearance, lifestyle, and behavior, and others follow along without much thought. Renegades from the “norm” often do not do well. For example, women continuing to work in a profitable business or career they love sometimes experience repeated harassment from retired friends who constantly nag them to “give it up; it’s time to retire.” Constant badgering about your lifestyle choice does not help you feel young. It doesn’t support youthful feelings and the stress has a negative impact on biological (cellular) aging.
- Resignation: “It’s too late to change. It is what it is.”
We hear, “It’s too late for me to change anything,” and it is echoed by friends who feel the same way. This “mantra” is more powerful and damaging than anyone realizes. It’s hard to start an exercise program when close friends jeer and sarcastically offer, “good luck.” Good news: Refusal to accept “that’s how it is and always will be ” slows biological (cellular) aging. The power is in YOUR hands.
- Long term effect of “traditional American diet” and lack of exercise
I have long been an admirer of actor Chuck Norris, who at 81 is still pumping away on his Total Gym. He looks like a man in his 50’s. He has inspired me to purchase a Total Gym. It wasn’t an easy decision and it was not easy to get started — it was intimidating, (how the heck do you get on this thing?) but as long as you have the mental and physical capacity to make decisions and the determination to do what you want to do, you can do it. My daughter Pat snapped a photo (left) of me working out, and it’s getting easier every time I use it, which is five days a week.
The American diet for many individuals is a tragedy. Over a lifetime, we eat what’s advertised in print, on the Internet, or what’s on TV. We ask the doctor what to eat, and he blows it off with “just eat a good diet” because he has not had nutrition training in medical school. He’s been taught pharmaceutical drugs fix just about everything.
And then, in our later years, we develop “lifestyle diseases” such as diabetes, obesity, arthritis, heart disease, and cancer. In our abundance, we suffer from malnutrition. We scratch our heads and wonder, “why did this happen to me.” The good news is, even if disease conditions have taken hold, and as late as it may be in your lifetime, some significant improvement in biological aging is always possible.
Is it easy to start an improvement regimen? Yes, if you start with the easy stuff. For example, If you have been eating the same nutritionally bankrupt “cereal” for breakfast since you were a kid — a dry mix containing sugar, chemicals, a few vitamins, dyes (dyes often prohibited for human use in Europe) –please give your health a break. Eat something of value. My usual breakfast cereal is a cup of blueberries (Costco frozen) mixed with Coach’s oats (Costco) and hemp seeds (Costco), and you have something your body will use to your advantage. The nutritional value of hemp seeds is phenomenal and tastes delicious! I use almond milk on my cereal.
Sugar? It’s the curse of civilization. I know it’s not easy, but please try to get rid of as much as you can. Read labels because sugar is in just about everything. Try Stevia to sweeten tea or coffee. There are so many simple things we can do to improve our health and thwart biological aging. An open mind, as well as a willingness to try something different, is potent.
To get a better understanding of biological aging, download a free helpful ebook from TruDiagnostic, “Everything You Need To Know About Epigenetic Biomarkers For Biological Aging.” Yes, that title is a mouthful but don’t be intimidated. It’s easy to read and, for the most part, easy to understand. TruDiagnostic has a new webpage with easy-to-understand information. Please take a look at it. There is a lot to learn that will help avoid premature biological aging and help you feel better. You CAN do it!
I’ve started to read a new (2021) book Radical Longevity (ignore strikethrough) by Ann Louise Gittleman. It is an absolute treasure trove of new, helpful information that will blow your mind. It’s not the “same old same old” information you’ve read or heard about before. I recommend that you get a copy. It can help you get started on your road to biological age renewal. Go for it!
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