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Tips to Stay Healthy, Lively and Young

Tips to Stay Healthy, Lively and Young

When Blake Lively’s character became 29-years-old forever in The Age of Adeline, a review in Variety said the tale of perpetual youthfulness was little more than a “sensitively directed slab of romantic hokum.” Fortunately, scientific minds have looked at the difference between chronological age and the age your body really is—we’ve been telling you about that since our RealAge test debuted online in 1998—and today there’s more solid evidence that you can change your calendar age for good or bad. Genes account for about 20% of aging, while the rest depends on your health behaviors and environment.

Recently, a team of researchers decided to look at 1,000 folks ages 26, 32, and 38 to assess their pace of aging. Scientists measured immune and metabolic functions; the health of tiny blood vessels in the back of the eye (a window to the brain); cardiorespiratory fitness; and the length of their telomeres—protective caps at the end of chromosomes that reflect a person’s RealAge. They found some folks were younger, many were spot on, and some 38-year-old study participants had the body and brain of a 60-year-old! The researchers concluded that disabilities associated with older age (memory and mobility problems, heart disease, etc.) start developing in your 20s and 30s!

So, starting now, get your cholesterol and blood pressure checked regularly; eat 5-9 servings of produce daily, 100% whole grains and lean proteins; and stay active. 

Medically reviewed in February 2020.

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