When you begin your LifeCo Antalya programme you'll stand on a machine that will tell you your estimated biological age. For some, this is a joyous moment, for most, it's the extra motivation needed to push on with the programme.
Some people age faster than their calendar years and others age more slowly and your chronological age and your biological age are not necessarily the same.
Anyone who has experienced a cringeworthy school reunions and muttered “jeez, he/she is looking good how do they do it?” knows exactly what I am talking about.
Some years ago I presented a series for the BBC called “How to live longer.” The premise of the series was simple: We had just six weeks to lower the biological age of those people taking part in the programme, including working with a set of identical twins.
Biological age was measured with a barrage of tests, both medical and psychological, including aspects such as body composition and muscle mass, reaction time, flexibility, medical status and a ‘happiness’ calculation.
These days a vast array of Cosmo-style quizzes can be found via Google. In fact, I’ve just spent 20 distracted minutes filling them out and guess what? I am now 18 years old!
Back in the land of reality, we all know that peachy, youthful skin and easy hangovers are a gift only to those who are too young to appreciate it.
There is, of course, a natural process of wear and tear that we all suffer from no matter who we are. The process of growth and re-growth in bones, cartilage and other tissues is known as anabolic. The process of tissue breakdown is catabolic.
The key to slowing down the ageing process is to keep the body in balance for as long as possible to prevent something known as catabolic dominance.
Life stages can be generalized as anabolic (growth – i.e. the first 20 years of life), balanced (ages 20-40/70 depending on if the processes of repair and breakdown are in balance) and catabolic (when wear exceeds repair).
Catabolic dominance happens because, as we age, we become ever more depleted in the nutrients needed for tissue repair, and also in the nutrients needed to slow tissue decay.
When it comes to lean muscle, a key part of the ageing equation, it is a case of use it or lose it, so try to spend some time with one of the excellent onsite personal trainers who can set you on the right path.
In nutrition terms, anti-oxidants counter the effect of oxidation or put into other terms, free radical action. Free radicals are unstable elements in the body that can be produced through metabolic actions involving oxygen, and by stress and pollution.
Powerful antioxidants include vitamin E, beta-carotene and vitamin C, flavonoids (in fruits and vegetables and green tea), lycopene (from tomatoes), lutein, Co-Enzyme Q10, and antioxidant mineral co-factors like selenium, copper, manganese and zinc.
Juicing is fast track method of taking in large volumes of antioxidants in one go.
For those that prefer their anti-ageing in a pot, expensive skin creams only go so far, even when advertised with magical time-rewind ingredients.
Most creams don’t penetrate deep enough to nourish the collagen, which is what would help prevent wrinkles, no matter how expensive the price tag. Instead, look for a label that states your pot of ‘magic’ cream contain at least 20mg of vitamin E and it is a good start.