Longevity is the word to describe how long we live, or in other words our lifespan. Like you I’m a Boomer and we Boomers are more likely to spend more time considering the state of our health than when we were in our teens or twenties. That’s just the way it is because we know that the older we get so does our risk of incurring chronic medical conditions that affect our desired way of life.
Here is the catch, our chronological age is not the critical determinant, it is our biological age that matters most. The USA government’s National Institute on Ageing puts it this way;
Studies from the basic biology of aging using laboratory animals—and now extended to human populations—have led to the emergence of theories to explain aging. While there is no single ‘key’ to explain aging, these studies have demonstrated that while the passage of time is not altered, the rate of aging can be slowed. These studies suggest that targeting aging will coincidentally slow the appearance and/or lessen the burden of numerous diseases and increase health span (the portion of life spent in good health). Reference
Modern medicine, sanitation, antibiotics and other factors related to modern civilised society have already dramatically extended the human lifespan over the last century, our mission now is to provide our members with science based information they can use to make these added years as healthy, productive and enjoyable as they can possibly be.
As yet there is no magic pill we can take to extend our health span. It is now understood that the rate at which we age involves an intricate web of complex interconnected factors involving biochemical, physiological, social and psychological factors. The scientific consensus is that our genes are only responsible for 10% to 20% of our personal ageing rate. The rest of the factors mentioned above are usually described as “lifestyle factors” and while we can’t change our genes, we are able to modify our lifestyle and in so doing extend our health span.
Change can be very difficult or relatively easy, it depends on the degree of change, an individual’s mindset, and importantly, deciding whether or not extending our health span is worth making lifestyle changes today. What causes ageing is coming up next.