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Ageing is for everybody. However, you can have two people of the same chronological age, they’re the same years on the planet, but if you look at their cells, one person might have a lower biological or cellular age.
Making different lifestyle choices will affect your biological age.
Each cell in our bodies has a limited number of times it can divide. The number of times your cells can divide is determined by the rate of loss of the protective caps of each chromosome at each cell division.
These caps are called telomeres. Telomeres are similar to the plastic cap on your shoelaces that prevent the lace from fraying. Once the telomeres are gone, the DNA is unstable and stops dividing.
Lifestyle factors like poor diet, inflammation, or lack of movement can increase your cell divisions and the rate you’re losing the telomeres on your chromosomes.
Our bodies need a lot of movement to operate fully. In almost every single medical issue, movement is listed as something that can prevent or restore an issue.
This doesn’t mean that we need to be marathon runners. Instead, we need to find ways to increase our habitual activity levels.
Movement and exercise are separate ideas. There are three different useful definitions when it comes to moving more.
From a public health standpoint, we need to do physical activity.
Most of our culture will see itself as promoting convenience, yet convenience is almost always about reducing the movement it takes to do something.
In our modern culture, we do many things with the movement of the finger, such as using our smartphone or iPad or even ordering food or groceries. Before, we had to walk into a grocery store and move around.
Our day can be broken into five categories:
S - Sleep time
L - Leisure time
O - Occupation or our work
T - Transportation, moving from point A to point B
H - Home
We need to get movement in all our domains. Exercise will fit into the leisure category. We can opt for active transportation, such as walking somewhere or riding a bike.
There is a range of nutrition that we need. If kale is the best food and you only ate kale, you’d be ill because kale is not enough by itself.
Movement nutrition is the same way. You could be a regular exerciser and not get enough elbow extension and flexion. Maybe your left ankle, even tho you take a walk every day, doesn’t move very much. Perhaps you cycle every day, but it doesn’t help the hip bones in terms of weight-bearing.
You’re never not moving. We’re under a gravitational load all the time. But if you’re sitting in a chair for nine hours a day, that is the movement food you’re eating the most.
So if you’re sitting at your desk all day, maybe stand for a portion of work or adjust your position in the chair a bit. Or schedule a time to take a lap around the office.
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Biomechanist, author, and movement expert, Katy Bowman, M.S. on how to age dynamically.
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