As we age, why do we look for a community in dysfunction? When did achy joints and waning energy become a universal connection? Why is it almost a badge of honor to receive a diagnosis? Why do we tend to look at aging from the outside in, rather than the other way around?
Many of us race to fix wrinkles, age spots, and sagging flesh, but resist things like proper nutrition, exercise, and sleep — actions that safeguard cells and DNA so that we can age more gracefully.
If you could pick a community for healthy aging where inspiration and motivation are driving forces versus a community where degrading health reigns as the topic of choice, what would you choose? How would you look at life if you knew the accepted indicators of aging weren’t inevitable?
What is Age, Anyway? Lifespan Versus Healthspan
So what is age, really, anyway?
You have a lifespan. It might end up being the American average of 78. But you also have a “healthspan,” defined as the period of one’s life spent in good health. And that timeframe is completely in your control.
You decide if you want to start feeling “old” at 60 or take charge of your health and push that to 90, living the second half of your life in a way that many people don’t think is even possible.
Biological age is traditionally tied to a gradual decline in physiological functions. Our energy system starts to decline, inflammation goes haywire, followed by sliding immune function, leading to many common “symptoms” of aging: insulin resistance, cardiovascular problems, and blood pressure issues.
As we age, we can measure age-related shifts through DNA markers such as the shortening of telomeres, those protective compounds at the end of your chromosomes (1), or by looking at an array of biomarkers found in basic blood work, such as hemoglobin A1c, hsCRP, and triglycerides. (2)
Your biological age, however, is independent of your chronological age, or age in years.
Those who have a biological age “older” than their chronological age may be more susceptible to degenerative health issues — and a shorter healthspan. This accelerated “pace” of biological aging may also make you more susceptible to environmental immune threats. (3)
Longevity As a Way of Life
Luckily, our collective consciousness around healthspan is increasing by the day. Rapidly advancing technology and research in the areas of biochemistry, phytonutrients, and adaptogens have led to remarkable breakthroughs in “anti-aging” formulas and practices.
For example, we’re doing scientifically proven things like meditating to offset killers like stress. Our human genomes can be “read” for unprecedented predictors of long-term health. We can now influence our DNA through simple environmental inputs. And there are great minds who are dedicating entire careers to longevity research so that we don’t have to accept the notion that it’s only a matter of time before our bodies become overwhelmed with dysfunction and disease.
Ultimately, we can find a much deeper connection to longevity through practitioners who know that preventing common age-related health issues is no real secret. Through a healthier community of people who refuse to give up their energy and zest for life. Through friends who help us stay accountable to exercise and remind us to intermittent fast and share each new wrinkle as a spark of change, a nod to wisdom, rather than another life line to erase.
Blog Series On Cellular Aging
We all age. There are signs all over our bodies. We try very hard to minimize these external indicators, ultimately doing our bodies further disservice through the often toxic applications required to keep us looking and acting young.
But what if we started looking inside, rather than in the mirror so much? There are many ways to age more gracefully. Yes, most require a shift — in mindset and routine — maybe even a rebirth of sorts. But isn’t it worth it? Why give up, give in, and get nothing in return? Why not step up, dig in, and get something more out of life?
Maybe it’s time to start looking at aging with a radical new view. Follow along with our longevity blog series. We’ll investigate age biomarkers, ways to assess your biological age, and how advanced compounds are extending healthspan — not to mention flipping perspective on aging. After all, when you feel empowered to “turn back time,” age is but a number.