Finding Your Metabolic Age
There are various methods and calculations that can be used in determining your metabolic age, but before getting into that it might be advisable to define metabolic age and why it's important. How old are you? The answer we almost always give is our chronological age, or calendar age, which is easy to calculate precisely if we know the date and hour we were born, or approximately, which is usually good enough, if we know the year.
Our biological age is a little different to determine, and usually requires a series of tests and analyzes to determine from a biological standpoint what our age is. Usually it is somewhat close to our chronological age if we are in average health. As we get older, our body starts to wear out, and our biological age should reflect this. We can get a rough feeling for our biological age in terms of being "as old as we feel", but beyond that we really haven't a clue, and it's too complicated an issue for most of us to want to get involved with.
As far as our metabolic age is concerned, it is something we can calculate, at least roughly, and gives us a picture of our general health. If you are 60 and feel more like you are 40, a calculation of your metabolic age may bear that out. Your metabolic age may indeed be around 40, and you would be a picture of excellent health. If you're 60 and feel more like 80, calculating your metabolic age may confirm that as well, and tell you that you may not be in the best of health.
Actual Metabolic Age Vs Calculated Metabolic Age - Determining one's metabolic age revolves around calculating the Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) which is a measure of your body's use of energy, in terms of the minimum number of calories your body requires daily while in a resting state. Once your caloric needs are calculated, and several other things are factored in, you can get a number representing your BMR. Your BMR, compared against the BMR averages of a sample of the rest of population, determines your metabolic age.
In general, men have a higher BMR than do women, simply because men have a greater muscle mass and require more calories. As we age, assuming we remain in good health, our need for calories on a daily basis drops, usually about 2% every 10 years. Charts, which are readily available, can tell us what our BMR should be, given our height, weight, and age.
The disadvantage of depending on a value obtained form a chart, or an equation, is that while the chart or equation will tell you what your BMR should be, your BMR could be quite different. Factors which can influence your metabolic rate include genetics, body surface area (taken into account somewhat by height and weight measurements), diet, general health, body fat percentage, amount of exercise, thyroid condition, and specific illnesses. A health club or clinic could, though simple testing, arrive at a more accurate indication of your metabolic age than you can find in the charts.
Diet, Exercise, And Don't Worry Too Much - On the other hand, there's probably nothing wrong with the "you're as old as you feel" concept. If you feel 10 years younger than your chronological age, chances are you're in good health. Undergoing testing does have an advantage of giving you some indicators as to how you can maintain that nice, low metabolic age. Maintaining a low metabolic age relative to your chronological age in most cases translates into a healthy diet coupled with plenty of exercise.