Body Age vs. Chronological Age

physical age vs chronological age

In the health fields of gerontology and anti-aging medicine, there is a common distinction made between physical and chronological age. Your chronological age is the number of years that have passed since you were born, while your physical or biological age looks at how fast your body is physically aging. 

While chronological age increases at the same rate for all humans, there are some ways we can influence our biological age. Genes and lifestyle choices, such as exercise habits, can all affect how fast our cells deteriorate. 

Why Is Physical Age Different From Actual Age?

As time and other factors damage the tissues in your body, physical aging occurs. This age differs from chronological, as it accounts for many factors outside of your birthdate.

Your biological age might differ from your actual age for several reasons. Recent studies show that our epigenome — the chemical changes that happen outside our DNA sequence — might be critical for understanding and calculating biological aging

How fast our cells deteriorate comes down to several factors, such as our genes and lifestyle choices, including diet and exercise habits. You may lose muscle mass without following a proper workout, making your biological age older than you actually are. These studies show just how essential a healthy diet and exercise are in slowing cell deterioration and increasing our life spans. 

why do you need to know your physical age

Why Do I Need to Know My Physical Age?

Whereas chronological age depends on the number of years a person has existed, biological age relies on several continually changing factors. Epigenetics is the study of how your behaviors and environment can cause changes that impact how your genes function. Knowing your physical age can help you address health conditions or make lifestyle changes that can lower your biological age and improve your health.

Various physiological and biological development factors determine your body age, including:

  • Chronological age
  • Lifestyle
  • Genetics
  • Diet
  • Illnesses and other conditions

Using the above guidelines and a health age calculator, professionals can determine the age your body behaves as. While your chronological age plays a role, your biological age may not be the same number as your actual age. A 26-year-old individual who isn’t physically active and eats a high-sugar or high-fat diet will likely have a biological age greater than 26 years, for example. 

Epigenetic changes affect gene expression in different ways. One of these ways is DNA methylation, which works by adding a chemical group to your genetic information. This group usually adds to specific spots on DNA, blocking proteins that attach to DNA to “read” the gene. 

Learning your biological age can help you take steps toward maintaining a healthy lifestyle. You might work on strength building to prevent conditions that commonly occur as you age, such as osteoporosis, which is associated with loss of muscle mass and bone strength. At the same time, a telomere test can help you understand your immune system and the preventive measures needed to maintain your health. 

First Steps to the Fountain of Youth

Health providers are continually reviewing medical literature that shows the effect of age, lifestyle, healthy diet and exercise on the body. They can then upgrade medical software to calculate your body age with their data.

Unlike your actual age, biological ages are malleable. You can tighten up your exercise regimen and diet and make healthy choices to prevent or delay the onset of certain conditions you may be more susceptible to based on your results. Understanding exactly how you’re aging can help you slow it down. 

The steps to identifying your body age and optimizing your health include: 

Gather Your Health Information

Health care providers will use high-tech tools to measure the aging process in three ways:

  • At the organ level, or how well the heart, lungs, brain and immune system work
  • At the systemic level, or how much bodywide inflammation you have
  • At the genetic level, or the length and health of your telomeres, which shorten with age

Poor function in any of these areas can reveal the rate at which your body is aging. The health age calculator can determine your Physioage by measuring:  

  • Epigenetics: Health age calculators can measure the pattern of your DNA methylation, which is correlated with your chronological age. When your epigenetic age is higher than your chronological age, you may be at a higher risk of disease and premature mortality. 
  • Heart and lungs: The same tests measure blood pressure and heart rate and assess cardiovascular risk. They will also determine your lung health by measuring your pulmonary disease risk and forced expiratory volume (FEV), or the amount of air a person can exhale with one breath, which is highly correlated with age.
  • Skin: Another test will determine your skin’s elasticity, firmness and resistance to stress. 
  • Cognition: Specific tests can effectively screen for mild cognitive impairment in your brain. These tests calculate your neurological age based on your psychomotor and processing speed, the two most age-sensitive functions
  • Telomere length: This evaluation measures the ends of the telomeres, the caps at the ends of your chromosomes that shorten with every cell division. Telomere shortening is highly correlated with aging and many diseases. 
  • Immune system: Like the telomere test, getting premium blood work done can identify molecule markers for senescent and naive T-cells to measure your immune function.

Follow a Personalized Plan 

The amazing part of this process is how health age calculators can identify the systems in the body that are aging faster. Doctors will discuss your test results and devise a personalized plan to slow that decline and combat your body’s aging process. 

With various services, from prescriptions to physical therapy, you can find several ways to enhance your youth and feel better than ever.

Appreciate the following benefits when you follow a personalized plan: 

  • Look and feel younger
  • Enhance physical performance
  • Increase confidence
  • Significantly reduce or eliminate pain
  • Live happier and healthier
Get physical age testing

Contact Us About Our Executive Health Plans and Learn Your Body’s Age Today

Understanding your body’s age can help you find ways to combat the aging process and start feeling youthful again.  

Whether you’re hoping to reduce pain, extend your athletic performance or simply desire to look and feel your best, VIPrivate Care can help. We provide world-class, exclusive medical services to help you on the path to better health. Our Executive Health Plans deliver high-quality care and individualized, personal attention to get you in good health. 

To learn more about our Executive Health Plans, contact us today.