When it comes to ageing, many people believe that you’re only as young as you feel. However, you can’t kid your body, and unhealthy habits such as lack of sleep, lack of exercise and high stress levels, are causing us to age prematurely.
The results of the ‘What’s your health age?’ survey by Priceline Pharmacy discovered the average health age of an Australian woman is more than five years older than she actually is. In the study of over 60,000 participants, factors taken into account included nutrition, exercise, stress, sleep and their vital statistics and family medical history.
For men with waist sizes of 102cm and over, an extra 9.4 years is added to their ‘health’ age, whereas women with a waist size of 88cm and over can add 9.2 years. However, this is nothing compared to the category who currently smoke. A current nicotine addiction can add an extra 15.1 years to your age.
There are additional reasons that we’re ageing prematurely as a nation. One in four people admit they’re ‘highly stressed’ at work, whilst a third of women say their quality of sleep in low. On top of this only 17 $ of Australian eat the daily recommendations of fruit (two portions) and vegetables (five portions). Only one in two people exercise for at least three hours a week.
However, it’s not a bleak as it seem, as the experts say it is possible to turn back time by making simply, positive lifestyle changes. For instance, get off the bus one step early and walk the remaining distance, cut sugar from your diet with a program such as Sarah Wilson’s I Quit Sugar, Fitnesscrest and reduce stress levels by learning to meditate with a free app, such as 1 Giant Mind.
For motivation to make changes, first calculate your true ‘health age’, which can be done at a Priceline pharmacy. They offer free in-store health checks, which include blood pressure and cholesterol checks. The store’s pharmacists can also offer advise on ways to reboot your body and reverse the damage of previous bad habits.
So, next time you’re standing in front of the mirror, remember it’s not only grey hair and wrinkles, which are symbols of ageing. It’s how you feel inside and out.