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8 Heart-Healthy Habits That Could Slow Aging By Up To 6 Years

Discover the eight heart-healthy habits that may decrease biological aging, including diet, exercise, and lifestyle choices.

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A recent study at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions in 2023 revealed that having good cardiovascular health may decrease biological aging. 

Taking care of your heart can help you live longer and reduce the risk of health issues as you get older. 

Scientists investigated the intricate link between cardiovascular health and the process of biological aging. They used the American Heart Association’s checklist to assess different aspects of eight heart health. 

Phenotypic age and bad vs good heart health

The scientists researched phenotypic age. This measure relies on your age and various biomarkers. These biomarkers relate to metabolism, inflammation, and organ function. 

Biological age measures the age of your cells and body function. Genetics, lifestyle, and overall health determine it, rather than just chronological age. 

Humans with good heart health exhibited a negative phenotypic age acceleration, implying that their biological generation was younger than their actual age.

People with poor heart health age faster, making them biologically older than their actual age.

People with good heart health had an average age of 41, but their bodies were more like 36 years old because of decrease biological aging. Those with bad heart health were biologically older than their actual age by an average of 4 years.

Chronological age vs Biological age

Chronological age is a person’s age based on their date of birth, representing the number of years they have been alive. 

Checking how old a person’s cells and bodily functions are determines their biological age. This can show how much a person has aged and their overall health.

Dr. Joyce Oen-Hsiao is a professor at Yale School of Medicine. She is also the Director of Cardiac Rehabilitation Services at Yale New Haven Hospital. However, she was not involved in the study.

Biological aging considers various factors such as your chronological age, genetics, lifestyle, other health conditions, and dietary habits. These factors collectively determine your biological age. 

This method considers many factors to determine how old someone is biologically and their overall health.

Dr Oen-Hsiao stated that wear impacts a person’s biological age and the damage their body experiences. Their lifestyle choices connect to health issues caused by this wear. 

If a 30-year-old man is inactive, eats unhealthy food, and smokes, his body may age faster than his actual age.

Eight life’s essential assessments to decrease biological aging

Scientists examined the Life’s Essential Eight score of the participants. This score evaluates various aspects like diet, exercise, smoking, sleep, weight, cholesterol, glucose, and blood pressure. The scientists found something significant. 

People who did well on the evaluation were, on average, six years younger biologically than their actual age. 

This finding underscores the comprehensive impact of these factors on the aging process. It is important to note that this research has yet to undergo peer-reviewed journal publication.

Which lifestyle habits can make you decrease biological aging?

The “eight heart-healthy habits” checklist has eight critical factors that can significantly affect heart health and aging.

Diet

Eating healthy can help you lose weight, lower cholesterol, and prevent diabetes. This includes consuming lots of fruits, veggies, and lean meats. It also means avoiding unhealthy fats, fried foods, and sugary treats. 

These dietary decisions add to a decrease in biological aging.

Activity

Regular exercise is crucial for heart health. The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercises or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activities weekly. 

Exercise can lower blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol and help with weight control. Daily regular activity decreases biological aging.

Refrain from tobacco

Smoking and the utilization of tobacco items inconveniently affect the body, including more severe hypertension and harm to veins. Quitting smoking can significantly reduce the risk of heart disease and slow down the aging process.

Quality Sleep

Quality sleep, lasting 7-9 hours, is vital to cardiovascular health. Not enough sleep can cause high blood pressure, cholesterol, sugars and slow down metabolism, which can speed up aging.

BMI

Maintaining a healthy body weight is essential. Genetics may play a role, but lifestyle choices have a more significant impact. To decrease biological aging, individuals should control portions, choose healthy foods, exercise regularly, and maintain a normal BMI.

Controlled cholesterol level

Elevated cholesterol levels can prompt cardiovascular irritation and expanded plaque affidavit in veins, raising the gamble of coronary illness and stroke. 

Dietary decisions, including lessening immersed fats and carbs and eating more vegetables and lean meats, can reduce cholesterol and diminish organic age.

Blood sugar level

Raised glucose can prompt diabetes, making harmful courses and expanding the gamble of cardiovascular failures and strokes. To lower glucose levels and slow down aging, people should avoid refined sugars, carbs, sweet drinks and stay active.

Hypertension

Hypertension strains the cardiovascular framework and builds the gamble of cardiovascular breakdown, stroke, and coronary failures. 

Overseeing circulatory strain through expanded active work and heart-solid dietary decisions, including decreased salt admission, can help you in decreasing biological aging.

Which lifestyle habits can make you live longer?

Adopting eight heart-healthy habits not only slows down biological aging but also enhances overall health in various ways. 

According to Dr. John Higgins, a cardiologist at UTHealth Houston who was not part of the study, says improving your endothelial (vascular) function has a positive impact on multiple organ systems. 

This includes reducing risk factors such as improved blood pressure, better cholesterol levels, optimal blood sugar levels, and a lower likelihood of smoking.

Enhanced Functionality of Organs:

  • Betterment of kidney performance
  • Amplified circulation of blood to the heart, brain, extremities, and muscles, leading to improved aerobic workout potential.
  • Enhanced bone and muscle health, reducing the risk of falls and fractures
  • Improved blood flow to the skin, promoting skin health and reducing the risk of sunburn and skin cancers

Keeping a heart-solid eating regimen, ordinary activity, quality rest, and swearing off, smoking can prompt weight decrease and reduced cholesterol level, BMI and blood glucose levels.

Dr Oen-Hsiao pointed out factors that decrease biological aging

Dr Oen-Hsiao pointed out that these factors lead to weight loss, making people more active. 

He also mentioned that regular physical activity is not only good for the heart but also for bones and joints. Being consistently active reduces joint issues and muscle aches, and weight loss eases the strain on the joints, allowing for even more activity. 

All these factors help in decreasing biological aging.

A functioning way of life helps the heart and supports bone and muscle well-being, diminishing the gamble of falls and cracks. In addition, it can decidedly affect mindset and emotional well-being, bringing down the risk of despair and dementia.

Lastly, adopting a consistent exercise routine, which you can start at any age, and staying active bring further advantages. Regular exercise is associated with improved mood and reduced risk of depression. 

Additionally, maintaining controlled blood pressure through regular exercise lowers the risk of dementia and enhances overall cognitive function.

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