As the saying goes, “age is just a number.” So true! Because when it comes to your health, your calendar age doesn’t mean as much as your RealAge® – the biological age of your body. Find out your RealAge – and make that number even lower with these five tips from the doctors who helped create the RealAge Test.
1. Put exercise on your to-do list.
After a long day of work or running errands (or both!), nothing sounds better than kicking back on the couch. But skipping workouts – or even daily walks – ages your body. On the flipside, getting about 30 minutes of exercise on most days really boosts your health: It lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol, decreases stress and inflammation, and improves your brain function. Learn more about how exercise slows aging from Sharecare expert and RealAge Test co-creator Keith Roach, MD.
2. Kick your smoking habit.
Quit now and start reaping the benefits right away. Just 20 minutes after you stop smoking, your heart rate begins to drop. Within 12 hours, the carbon monoxide levels in your blood begin to fall. Your lung function starts recovering in just two weeks, and at the one-year mark, your risk for heart attack is cut in half. You’re also reversing the effects of all the toxic chemicals in cigarettes – the ones that age skin, increase cancer risk and contribute to memory loss. So toss the pack. Our Quit Smoking Guide has you covered.
3. Pass on junk food.
Next time your growling stomach tells you to head for the candy bowl or drive-thru window, don’t listen. Processed foods – full of refined sugars, unhealthy fats and preservatives – damage nearly every system in your body, leading to aging factors like increased belly fat and inflammation. Make sure to have healthy snacks like nuts, fruits and veggies on hand to help you resist unhealthy choices.
4. Keep your doctor’s appointments.
They keep you informed of what’s going on with your body, making it easier to prevent and treat age-related conditions. And while you’re there, make sure to ask about your 5 important health numbers – including cholesterol levels, blood pressure and blood sugar. Unsafe numbers on these tests can indicate the potential for serious health problems (like diabetes and heart disease) that can make your RealAge much older.
5. Chill out.
Between kids and work and crazy schedules, it’s no surprise that we’re all a little stressed. But stressors small and large can impact your RealAge – sometimes significantly. So next time you’re feeling a little too tense, try simple things like going for a walk, sipping a cup of tea or even just saying thank you. It could send your RealAge back a whole year if you’re a woman, and nearly two and a half years if you’re a man.