Slow down your biological age by altering one thing daily

Slow down your biological age by altering one thing daily

Stay a step above most people by incorporating this extra feature

 I’m not going to lie here because I don’t want to get old. I have many younger and more vibrant people in my workplace that ignites our team’s fun-loving, chatty, and casual vibe. It’s usually the older people with the sour faces that make it challenging. Old-fashioned ideas and beliefs limit us to more senior individuals. We could take a leaf out of the younger generation to enjoy life and loosen up. During a casual conversation with an old workmate (I am a couple of years older than this person), he voiced his distaste for our team not appearing in the office regularly (we have a hybrid workforce). I said, “This is a completely new generation, and they not only want but demand their work-life balance — they are more than willing to work hard to attain it.” And I take my hat off because it’s the workplace now and leading into the future. He didn’t like my comment, but it shows that the old-fashioned belief of “be at work to be productive.” still occurs for older individuals — more so than our younger employees. Is it part of our conditioning or the onset of that stale nature most people tend to develop during ageing? So, staying youthful is nothing to be ashamed about — It will allow you to lead a healthy and happier life, but it will also fill it with fun times due to the boundless energy you have to burn. I prefer to go about it naturally, via dieting, nutrition, a healthy lifestyle, exercise, and mindset! But, if you choose to add in some medical intervention, that’s ok too! My research in anti-ageing techniques takes me to something called telomeres. These are the caps at the end of each chromosome and hold repetitive DNA sequencing, protecting the chromosome from any oncoming damage. If we can use the analogy of a shoelace with the cap at its end, you can get more of an idea of its appearance from a visual perspective. Every time the cell divides, these telomeres become shorter in length. They can even get so fast that the cell no longer divides, called ‘replicative senescence.’ Scientists consider a longer telomere length a powerful indicator of someone’s ‘biological age’ that has nothing to do with their actual birth date. Unfortunately, at present, telomere length and its relationship with the disease are not yet completely understood; the build-up of ageing cells is thought to contribute to a range of age-related symptoms and, of course, ageing. Various studies indicate the physical, mental, social and health benefits. Still, this study sparked my interest in comparing genetic data with self-reported walking speeds and measuring movement intensity using a tracking device. Does pace decrease the rate at which our cells start to deteriorate? It was noted that habitually walking at a much slower pace is a more straightforward way to identify those at greater risk of chronic disease and unhealthy ageing. Activity intensity might play a vital role in creating some new interventions. One example could be increasing the number of steps by walking faster to catch your train or bus. You could make it a game, slowly increasing your fitness levels and Telomeres. I must say that this requires further investigation to prove its validity. A study from the University of Leicester shows that as little as 10 minutes of walking per day can increase your life expectancy, and brisk walking alone gives you up to 20 years of added life expectancy, as opposed to very slow walkers. Tom Yates, the senior author and Professor of Physical Activity, Sedentary Behaviour and Health, says, “ Whilst we have previously shown that walking pace is a powerful predictor of health status, we have not confirmed that adopting a brisk walking pace causes better health. In this study, an in-depth profile of individuals showed that a faster walking pace is likely to lead to a younger biological age as measured by telomeres.” 

Key take away

Some people may not be inclined to walk at a faster pace due to health or mobility challenges. For some older individuals, it may not be ideal. A 70-year-old neighbour who walks regularly would not be able to walk faster due to dizzy spells from diabetes. It may not be as realistic for someone with that profile to do this. But in saying that, if you can, walk faster and regularly during intervals of the day. Breaking up your walks during the day gives your body a break and allows your metabolism to keep igniting. Getting those regular energy bursts also helps increase your concentration, energy levels and mental health. So, if you can walk a bit faster, make it a game to hit your target location in less time every day. It’s a fun way of making walking more enticing and something you can challenge yourself with. 

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