“It’s not the years — it’s the miles!”Whether you’re evaluating cars or people, there’s a lot of truth in that. Some of us have had a few hard knocks that have aged us faster than others.
A couple of years ago, I was introduced to an Omron scale that measures seven different fitness indicators, utilizing foot and hand grip sensors. It uses the Bioelectrical Impedance Method to send a weak electrical current through your body to compare your bones, muscles, blood, and body fat. Online reviews compare the accuracy of the results to the more expensive scales and measuring tools that doctors and weight loss programs use. Needless to say, I was impressed, and a bit sobered by my results when I stepped up barefoot to get my numbers.
I wrote down my stats – weight, BMI (body mass index), Body Fat Percentage, Resting Metabolism, Visceral Fat Level….and my favorite – Body Age! How nice that the scale thinks I’m 10 years younger – 49! Not nice that my body fat is a bit high. As much as I might like to say that “I have the appetite of a much taller person,” I’m the only one to blame when the consequences of my eating habits show up on a chart. Painful truth moment. Sadly, some of my friends got readings that aged them 10+ years beyond their chronological age. Yikes! If nothing else, this little tool gives you a baseline for where your overall health is and where you need to improve. It has charts that show you the normal zone for each measurement.
Fast forward to my last birthday and I decided to ask for one of these scales as a gift. Weird, I know. My intention was to use it for not only my benefit, but any friend who wanted to track their own numbers and measure progress. You can’t change what you don’t measure, so I decided to also track my calories through the My Fitness Pal App. I have a health and wellness business, so lots of us are geeks that way.
The crazy thing about jumping on my own scale, almost 2 years after the debut weigh-in, was that my Body Age had dropped. I was now 61 and the scale estimated 48. Since then, it has dropped again to 47 and I’m NOT getting younger, trust me. When I’m intentional about watching my diet and exercise, the changes show up on this scale, even if I only occasionally log in to the full panel & record the measurements. Sometimes my weight stays the same, but I may have less fat and more muscle, so it’s a better composition and let’s me know I’m headed in the right direction.
So, what’s my secret to aging backwards? It could be lots of things, including genetics, but since I don’t know what my stats would have been 5 or 10 years ago, I can only assume recent changes that probably contributed to my results:
* I was laid off from my stressful cubicle job & the poor food choices that often surround any office environment.
* My activity level increased since I didn’t HAVE to sit & could mix up my computer time throughout the day.
* Interval workouts were implemented. After age 40, you have to attack fat around your middle a bit differently and HIIT or High Intensity Interval Training is often more effective than easy walking or extra long running.
* Weight training helped me build muscle and burn some extra fat. I also mixed in some obstacle course training that really works your muscles in new ways.
* I started taking a new supplement that activates my body’s survival genes through the synergy of plants. It reduces inflammation by attacking the oxidative stress that causes us all to age. According to the studies, I had the blood of a 20-year-old in 30 days, and now that wonderful #littleyellowpill has been busy in my body for over 4 years, giving me the energy and mental clarity of someone half my age. Read more about the science of nutrigenomics and “..the most extraordinary therapeutic and most extraordinary preventive breakthrough in the history of medicine” (Washington State University) at maryjocampbell.lifevantage.com.
The bottom line is that we can make small changes in our lives that reap amazing results. You don’t have to buy a new scale or go on a crazy diet, but I encourage you to pay attention to your body. It’s the only one you get and your vehicle to make a difference in this world. Even if you’re at a healthy weight and don’t have any major medical concerns, you could benefit from more energy and that’s what I’m about – your peak energy!