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The Big Secret to Living Younger

Living longer

It's not every day we are entrusted with a secret that can change our lives; nor is it every day that we discover a truth that can alter our age drastically or teach us how to live longer, much younger. Yet for Doctor Michael Roizen, the secret was revealed rather miraculously, out of his deep concern for his patients.

Our minds work in a rather funny manner. This means that we can psychologically control everything we feel and experience, alleviating pain or deepening misery. Think about it this way. When the flu takes over, the longer one stresses about it, the longer it lasts. The mind has the ability to quicken or stall our road to well-being.

Still waiting on the secret, right? Here’s a good question, however. How many people in this world would love to look and feel younger than their true age on a daily basis? How many would rather feel older? The answer is almost certainly that most inhabitants of any country would almost definitely love to drink from a fountain that allows them to remain young forever. Since such an absurd yet wildly tempting source of youth does not exist in our current reality, we must opt for something we can easily obtain. It’s not anything extravagant; there are no virgins slaughtered. It has to do with RealAge. Now, this age is not your actual one, counted for years on every birthday, dreading to hear the next number and striving to fool the world into thinking you have yet to reach it. No, this concept inspired by a patient of Roizen’s calculates your age at the moment, given your health level.

RealAge is the actual age of your body as opposed to your calendar age, taking into account all of your health factors and all of your lifestyle choices and conveying through real statistics what your risk of dying and disability is. Look at it this way. You walk into a doctor’s clinic and your blood pressure is 140 over 90. You know that normally doctors won’t even look at that, prescribing blood pressure pills and not quite pointing out that you’ve failed in keeping up with them. You know that it will shorten your life, but that’s so far in the future that you don’t care as much at the moment. You’re going to die anyway, someday. Here’s where I will tell you the secret, though. It’s understandable that you are not afraid of dying sooner, believing yourself capable of overcoming obstacles. However, it makes you about 9 years older, right now. You currently function as you would at the age of 58 instead of 49. That’s quite a leap.

The secret is not rocket science. It’s not obscured in a black hole. It is simply that, right now, you are much older than your biological age. Chronic smokers increase their age by about 8 years. Not taking blood pressure pills increases age by about 9 years.

Some tips by Doctor Roizen include:

• Take good care of your teeth. A bright smile is good on a great many levels, and to achieve that one’s teeth need looking after to avoid periodontal disease. This disease is one of the leading causes of inflammation in the body, which in turn can cause heart disease, stroke, memory loss, impotence, and wrinkles. Memory loss will make anyone feel older, impotence greatly affecting a man’s stamina in life and wrinkles making women cringe.

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• Smile often. It correlates with a positive attitude which is prevalent in the young and healthy. Optimism is often seen in a smile, allowing one to look forward to living longer and doing more with life.

• Turn to the healthy lifestyle. Walk to your meeting tomorrow or choose the healthier food items at your local grocery store.

• Walk 10,000 steps a day. It helps to keep a pedometer close, in order to keep track of the steps. This helps to sleep better and more comfortably.

• Get the right amount of sleep. Too many people seem to think this is a simple prescription. Sleep early and allow your body to rest and wake of its own accord.

• Keep stressors to a minimum. The more comfortable you make your life, the healthier you will be and the younger you will look.

The point is not to live longer, but to live younger. There is an age that your body begins to shut down. The secret is to be able to prolong the years of health, pushing the time of disabilities as far into the future as possible.

Live for the moment and make the best of it, without making yourself look and feel older than your biological age. You have the power to adjust your RealAge!

Source: Gustafson, Craig. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine 19.3 (May/Jun 2013): 48-54.