Biomarkers and the Aging Process

Sadly, we all age.   Some age more gracefully than others and some retain their youthful appearance longer.  Like it or not, when you finish reading this article, you will be one to two minutes older.  Uncomfortable with the idea of getting older, many of us live in denial through our 20’s and 30’s, then full speed ahead as we enter our 40’s.  We douse our hair with color and purchase limitless amounts of facial creams scouring the media for the secret formula to younger skin, hair and body.

There is good news!!! Research has shown that the pace of the aging process can be influenced significantly, namely by you.  By taking a commonsense approach, you can increase your chances of looking and feeling great for many decades. You can, at the same time, decrease the time you spend contending with poor health, pain, and compromised quality of life.

Wherever you are on life’s continuum, there are proven ways to maximize your physical and mental health and increase not only your chances of living longer, but, also improve your quality of life.  It is essential to understand what your body’s biomarkers are.

What are biomarkers?  We commonly associate the concept of aging with its visible effects, but,  in fact, the most significant causal factors of aging occur deep within our bodies. Both the casual factors and symptomatic factors of physiological aging, termed “biomarkers’ have been the object of increased popular interest in recent years.   Hundreds of recognized biomarkers exist in the body and scientists are still not entirely clear on the exact role they play in the aging process.  Some, like graying hair and wrinkling skin, appear to be evidence of aging, while others are conditions that actually advance aging by triggering other age-related factors.

Loss of lean muscle (a biomarker), for example leads to diminished muscle strength (also a biomarker), which in turn increases body-fat percentage (another biomarker), thereby decreasing resting metabolic rate (yet another biomarker).

Lifestyle choices can make or break your biomarkers.  No matter what your age, you markedly improve your current health and fitness by taking steps to improve the 10 most significant biomarkers.

TOP TEN BIOMARKERS

1.  muscle mass – the amount of lean muscle tissue on your body

2.  strength – your ability to support, move, and resist weight

3.  basal (or resting) metabolic rate – the baseline rate at which your body burns calories by

metabolizing food and tissue into energy

4.  body fat percentage –  your body’s fat-to-muscle ratio

5.  aerobic capacity  – your body’s ability to process oxygen from the air and move it into your

Bloodstream and into your system

6.  blood sugar tolerance – your body’s ability to control and process glucose (sugar) from food and

distribute it throughout your bloodstream to be converted into energy or fat

7.  cholesterol/HDL ratio – the ratio of LDL (bad cholesterol) to HDL (good cholesterol) in your

blood stream.

8.   blood pressure – the level of pressure exerted by the blood on the walls of the blood vessels

9.   bone density – the density of the mineral content in your bones

10. body temperature regulation – your body’s ability to maintain its internal temperature

Thomas, Eliza. “Ageless Vitality.” Experience Life Healthy.Happy. For Real. (2006): 46-47. Print.

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