Dr. Oz, April 16, 2013, starts off by saying that our real age is different from our actual age because we have a lot of factors that take their toll on our body. Dr. Michael Roizen created the test to show us how genetics, our lifestyle, and our bad habits are either helping us or hurting us. Dr. Keith Roach says that the controllable factors in your life can help you change your real age number. Getting your real age down below your actual age is a key in living longer and being more healthy.
The tests first three questions look at your body fat by asking you how tall you are, how much you weigh, and the size of your waist. Roizen says body fat is a big factor in your real age and we all know that belly fat causes things like heart disease. The next factor that causes you to age is the amount of sleep you get. The questions here are how many hours of sleep you get a day and how often you take a sleep aid. We all know how much Oz harps on us about getting a good night’s sleep. Dr. Keith says there is no magic number for the proper amount of sleep but a lack of good deep sleep will lower your immunity to diseases, puts you at risk for heart disease, and Oz says that not getting the right amount of sleep means you will gain weight.
The third section of the test asks what your blood pressure is, your cholesterol count, and your HDL level. Roizen says that our blood pressure and cholesterol are two big factors in how our bodies are aging. He says that having the proper blood pressure level can add 8 years to your life. Roizen brings up the fourth set of questions and they are have you gone through a divorce, death, or job loss in the last year, how much financial stress have you had, what kind of stress do you get at home and at work? He says traumatic life events do cause us to age faster. If you are already under a lot of stress daily, this could be even more devastating to your real age.
The fifth set of questions as if you smoke, do you drink daily and how much, and how many blistering sunburns have you had in your lifetime. We know that every time we burn our skin it is bad and causes us to age more. Drinking and smoking are two things Oz has always said will age us prematurely. The sixth set of questions are about what you eat. How many servings each week to you get of red meat, poultry, or processed meats. roach says that red meat damages our blood vessels and eating it more than once a week will cause your real age to increase.
The next set of questions asks if we are single, how much do we interact with our friends, and how many activities we have each week. Roizen says friends lower our stress levels. Being socially interactive is a great way to slow the aging process and a person that is constantly involved in activities with others will have a lower real age.
If your real age is more than your actual age, it is because you are under stress, make bad choices in foods like eating a lot of processed meat, or you have bad habits like smoking. The good news is that you can lower your real age by making a few changes in your life. If you smoke, then get serious and quit. If you have a bad diet then slowly eat less bad processed foods and replace them with healthy alternatives. If you have a lot of daily stress, try calming yourself with yoga or using supplements to help keep you on an even keel.
Roizen points out something that Oz has always talked about. If you have a flexible body you will have flexible blood vessels and your blood pressure will be lower. He says alcohol in moderation, like 1 drink per day, is very beneficial to the body. Our skin is the biggest organ in our body. Roizen says we all need to help keep the sun damage to a minimum by wearing sunscreen anytime we are outside.
Dr. Roach says the fastest way to reduce you real age is to get on a healthy diet. Oz says if you eat 9 servings of fruits and veggies a day, this includes nuts, you will take over 6 years off your real age in three months. Eating whole grains will take almost 3 more years of your real age within three months.
Many of us deal with stress and Oz has some simple ways to reduce it. Walking just 20 minutes a day can take 12 years off your real age. 20 minutes of cardio exercises three times a week will lower it even more. Strength training is also another way to lower your real age. Meditation will take almost 2 years off your real age. Finally, social interactions can erase almost 9 years off your real age. So get out and mingle to lower your real age. Oz adds that taking a baby aspirin daily is a proven way to lower your risk for heat attack and cancer.
We all know that vitamin D is important for our health. Oz says we need to eat more mackerel, mushrooms, egg yolks and orange juice, we need to spend at least 15 minutes a day out in the sunshine, and we need to take 1000IU of vitamin D3 supplement daily. He says this will make you look and feel 10 years younger. Roizen and Roach recommend we all get a C-Reactive protein test to help let us identify the amount of inflammation in our body. If you have ever listened to Andrew Weil you will know this is the major cause of problems with us. Roizen says flossing will take up to 6 years off our real age. Flossing lowers inflammation in our mouth and this is a major cause of health problems.
Photo courtesy of Dr. Oz