Simply put, metabolic age is the efficiency of the function of your organs compared to the average for your age. For example, if you are 35 years of age but your metabolic age is 50 years, then it means your organs are functioning like those of a 50 year old! This means that your organs have been overworked to more than 15 years their actual age.
Metabolic age is a factor of metabolism. If a person’s Basal Metabolic Rate is high, then their metabolic age is right (either younger than chronological age, or same as age).
In my day to day client assessments, I am more likely to find a young person with and older metabolic age than I am to get one with a younger metabolic age. Why so? There are many factors that contribute to metabolic age such as
- Body fat %-a comparison of your fat % against those of your age and gender
- Muscle Mass- a comparison of your lean mass against your weight
- Water %- your hydration levels
- Sleep patterns and duration
- Stress levels- amount of stress and how well one is able to handle it
- Alcohol and drug intake
- Pregnancy and lactation
Metabolic age is an important parameter to measure because it shows likelihood of getting a lifestyle disease while you are still young. A case in point, if the function of your pancreas has decreased it means if a few other factors that contribute to diabetes are present, then chances of getting diabetes at 35 are very high as opposed to another person whose metabolic age is younger.
Good news is, metabolic age can be lowered by simply:
- Losing any excess fats carried. This is done through exercise and good diet. The fuel you give your body determines the health of your cells, hence a diet with lower fats, more fiber and more color is recommended.
- Building Lean muscle. This is achieved through consistent workouts. Get an exercise routine that you enjoy and dedicate 45 minutes to 1 hour 3-5 days a week
- Handle stress in a more positive way. Even better, reduce stressful factors in life
- Sleep, get enough of this, it helps organs to regenerate while you rest. 4-6 hours are recommended for an adult.
- When pregnant or lactating, do not eat for 2, eat healthier foods, snack in between on healthy snacks and keep well hydrated.
- Lastly, drink up! Take water and healthy juices and teas to keep well hydrated.