The #10YearChallenge campaign is putting how we age on the front page of social media, with millions of people around the world sharing photos to showcase their 10-year transformation. But are we looking deep enough?
How we age affects more than just our appearance, it's what determines our quality of life, our mobility and ultimately our longevity. It's been reported that as a society we appear to be aging slower than our predecessors, and social media filters and photo editing software aside, it also appears that we're looking younger too. The ongoing trend towards healthier habits, improved diets, and better personal fitness all seem to be helping slow down our biological clocks.
The #10YearChallenge encourages us to do a surface-level aging litmus test. The idea is to share a then and now photo that compares how different we look, and hopefully how well we've aged externally.
While it seems to be a positive (or at least fun and lighthearted) endeavour, it only goes skin deep, and reminds each of us - why do some people never seem to age? If you look younger, are you really younger internally?
"Some people do actually age more slowly than others in terms of biological age, the rate at which bodies break down over time, which in turn is reflected in their looks. But on the whole, the rate of aging might be slowing for everyone." - Robert N. Butler
How Should We Measure Age?
Chronological age is the temporal rate in which we grow older, but the more telling measurement is our biological age and what it reveals about how efficiently our bodies are operating - as well as how our cells are deteriorating over time. The two can be quite distinct, and our biological age could explain why some of us look young and have that hidden source of energy despite our years. So how do we quantify our biological age—our real age—and what power do we have to control it?
When It Comes To Aging, Control is Key
Right now the study of aging (and the new tools available to help make sense of it) is becoming one of the fastest growing sectors of the health and wellness industry. With a question as complex as "What can I do to live a longer, healthier life?" there isn't one answer, but we're beginning to learn key insights into some incredibly impactful parts of our internal health that could help lower our biological age.
Among the most vital, is our heart, and how effectively our blood is pumping through our veins ands arteries. Some of the biggest factors that affect this include stress, quality of sleep, our amount of daily exercise and of course our diet. In short, our lifestyle.
A Different Kind Of Aging Challenge
We recently published an article highlighting 3 of the most compelling studies around biological age and how it can be measured. From methods as complex as DNA sequencing available in the laboratory to others that only go as far as an online questionnaire, there have never been more ways to audit our Internal Age™. For us, measuring Internal Age helps us understand how our lifestyle choices are affecting internal health, and tracking our Internal Age regularly helps us understand if what we're doing is working to improve internal health or not, and what works for us to reverse our biological clock. iHeart measures Internal Age by using a patent pending method to calculate the stiffness of the Aorta. Aortic stiffness is proven to indicate risk of developing heart disease, dementia, and risk of death from all causes - sounds morbid, but aortic stiffness and Internal Age are reversible with positive lifestyle choices.
We've built a community of health-conscious individuals that have incorporated iHeart Internal Age into their health, wellness and longevity action plans, and in doing so, are undertaking their own aging challenge. The first step is to understand your internal age, and then work to reduce it. We've shared a story from one such individual below.
Gisele from Toronto, Canada
Then: Actual Age: 36 / Internal Age: 45
Gisele’s first Internal Age reading was much higher than her actual age (9 years to be exact) she described that first reading as a real wake up call.
She quickly incorporated healthy changes into her daily life, including her diet, fitness routine and used daily Internal Age readings to keep motivated and track her results.
“I've been using it for about a year, and the difference in my Internal Age from when I started is such great motivation for me to keep going. My Internal Age has gone down 13 years and I can't wait to see it drop more.”
Now: Actual Age 36 / Internal Age 32
Read more iHeart success stories from our users.
Whether we like it or not, getting older is an inescapable reality. How long it takes is in our hands now more than ever. Ready to start learning about your biological age?