Posted: Sat, March 30, 2013 | By: Exercise
by David Kekich
Uh uh. Not so fast.
If your first impulse was to tell me how many years it has been since you were born, stop right there. There could be a huge difference between your chronological age and your biological age.
Let me explain.
(this essay from David A. Kekich’s book, Smart Strong and Sexy at 100? - New Skin. New Hair. New YOU… 7 Simple Steps to Thrive at 100… and Beyond.)
Your chronological age measures how long you have been on this planet. Your biological age measures how you look, feel and perform—and is a gauge as to how long you will live. Recent studies have shown that the rate at which you age is only determined 25–35% by your genetics. The rest is up to you.
Thanks to recent knowledge, we are able to measure biological age objectively. It may not be precise yet, but it does give you a good measure of how effective your anti-aging program works for you—or how your habits may be accelerating your aging process.
For example, I have a young-looking fifty-six-year-old friend. We compared notes on how we maintain our health, and we found our protocols and longevity plans were similar. He measured his biological age, and found out he was about thirty-five! I did the same and got similar results.
I’m sixty-seven now (chronologically). Yet my blood pressure is better than it was when I was thirty-five and fit. (If you’re not monitoring your blood pressure, you’re ignoring a basic health tool.) My cholesterol levels are almost as good, and my body fat is about the same. I attribute that to my improved diet and supplements and continuing to exercise regularly. My skin elasticity, respiratory function and reaction time compare to someone in their mid-forties, and my immune profile, neurological scores and blood tests are equal to those of a forty-five to fifty-year-old man’s. Finally, an online test measured me at about fifty.
I say this not to brag but to show you how you can turn back your aging clock with the information you will find in this book. If my friend can do it, you can do it. If I can do it, so can you. We have essentially turned back our biological clocks by an astounding 15–20 years. That could mean we have each bought ourselves the opportunity to take advantage of over fifteen more years of nutritional, medical and longevity advances. That could be the difference between being part of the last generation to die from aging and being part of the first generation to live indefinitely along with those you love. Later in this book, you’ll see why that fifteenth extra year could be as important as the previous fourteen combined.
You can do what we did too. You can. And if you cherish life, you will.
In fact, I have other friends who did the same. One was born sixty-two years ago, and he was dealt a bad set of genes that prematurely aged him and put him at risk of an early death. But through a well-balanced program like the one you will learn here, he was able to drop his current biological age to about forty-two. When he started, his biological age was probably at least ten years higher than his chronological age. Now it’s twenty years less. So he netted around thirty years, ten years more than my other friend and me.
I have stories about other friends who do almost as well. These similar results are no coincidence. The Express will take you there too.
Once you see how you measure up, you can reverse your biological age dramatically. For example, let’s say you are 50 and your tests show you are 52. That’s not good. You have essentially shortened your projected lifespan by two years and are expected to die at 79 instead of 81. However, let’s say you start your Life Extension Express seven simple step protocol now and retest in a year. The calendar will tell you that you are 51. But your tests might say you are 45. That means while you have experienced one more year of life, you are biologically seven years younger than you were a year prior. Now your projected lifespan could be 87, so you bought yourself an extra eight years during which new discoveries could be your difference between oblivion and youthfulness.
Most anti-aging physicians can quickly test you for your biological age. Ask for an H-scan. But courtesy of Dr. Stephen Cherniske, here are some free tests you can do at home:
Skin Elasticity: Lay your hand down on a desk or table, palm down. Pinch the skin at the back of your hand for five seconds. Let go and time how long it takes your skin to go back to its smooth appearance. If you’re very young, it should snap back immediately. An average 45-year-olds’ skin will take 3–5 seconds. At age 60, it takes about 10–15 seconds on average. By the time you are 70, it usually takes 35–60 seconds to crawl back. So if you are 60 and it takes 3–5 seconds, this test indicates your biological age is around 45.
If you want to increase your skin elasticity, follow the diet and antioxidant recommendations in this book.
Reaction time: Ask someone to hold an eighteen-inch ruler or yardstick vertically from the one-inch line. Place your thumb and forefinger about three inches apart at the eighteen inch line. Then ask your partner to let go without warning you. Then catch the ruler as fast as you can between your thumb and forefinger. Mark down the number on the ruler where you catch it. Do this three times, and average your score. A 20-year-old 19 will average about twelve inches. That generally decreases progressively to about five inches by the time you are 65 or about 1 ••• inches per decade. So if your score is seven and one-half inches, you test out at about age 50 for reaction time.
Games like ping pong, tennis and foosball can up your scores.
Static balance: Take off your shoes, and stand on a level uncarpeted surface with your feet together. Close your eyes and raise your right foot about six inches off the ground if you are right-handed, or on your left foot if you are left-handed. See how many seconds you can stand that way without opening your eyes or moving your supporting foot. Most 20-year-olds can do it easily for 30 seconds or more. By age 65, most people can only stand for 3–5 seconds. You lose about six seconds a decade, so if you score 12–14 seconds, you test at about 50 years of age.
Yoga, balance board training and exercise can improve your scores.
Vital lung capacity: Take three deep breaths, and hold the fourth without forcing it. Healthy 20-year-olds can hold it for two minutes easily. We lose about 15%, or 18 seconds per decade, so a 60-year-old will do well to hold it for 45 seconds. If you can hold your breath for 65 seconds, you test at about the 50-year-old level.
You can improve with exercise and deep breathing techniques.
Memory/Cognition: Ask a friend to write down three random seven-digit numbers without showing them to you. Ask him or her to say the first string of seven numbers twice. Now repeat the string backward. Do the same for the other two numbers, and average the results. A 30-year-old should score 100%. Most of the 50-year-olds will miss one digit out of seven. Most of the 60-year-olds will miss two, and 70-year-olds will miss three.
See the brain exercise section in Chapter Six to boost your memory skills.
So how did you test? Is your biological age younger than your chronological age? Great! Now you can do even better. Is it higher? Don’t despair. Remember my friend who tested older but now tests twenty years younger? Starting now, you will do it too. If you’re right on the mark, that also says you have lots of room for improvement. Who wants to be average? The average American isn’t very healthy. Average means you get sick and die on schedule. Who wants that? If you test younger than your chronological age, congratulations! However, unless you’re doing everything right, you can improve even more.
[editor’s note: when I took the tests above I discovered that my “age” varied immensely. I am 60 years old chronologically - my skin is also 60, my reactions are only 30, my lungs are 50, and my balance is a wobbly 65. Memory? I forget. No, seriously, I was afraid to even try.]
Going forward, when someone asks your age, why not tell them your biological age instead of chronological? From now on, I’m tempted to say something like “I was born in 1943, but I’m actually about forty-eight years old.”
Maybe fifty years from now, you could say “I was born in 19__, but I’m actually about twenty-five years old.”
this essay is included in David A. Kekich’s book, Smart Strong and Sexy at 100? - New Skin. New Hair. New YOU… 7 Simple Steps to Thrive at 100… and Beyond.