The Science of Aging | Grow With The Flow | Peak Performance Coaching

The Aging Dance: When DNA Forget their Moves

What's Queen B's secret to slaying and looking fly in her 40s? We're going to explore the science of aging and peak performance.

Why You Should Care About Aging

You know what they say— age is just a number, right? Well, turns out there’s some truth to that. Aging is actually a disease, and it’s something we can fight against with the right knowledge and habits. Science may soon be able to extend our lifespan but in the meantime, it’s never too late to begin working on our healthspan.

But let’s be real— we’ve all seen those stereotypes of old people shuffling around, complaining about their aches and pains. And who wants to feel like that? Not me, and probably not you either.

To make it worse, our society tends to forget got older people still have the same dreams, emotions, needs and desires as everyone else. It’s time to update the narrative.

The thing is, just because you’re getting older doesn’t mean you have to “feel” your age. It all comes down to taking care of yourself and not surrounding yourself with other people and their bad habits who like to remind you that “you are old”. Your habits today will determine your future, so why not make them good?

That’s where the science of aging comes in. DNA, epigenomes, telomeres, sirtuins, and all sorts of other fancy terms. But don’t worry, we’re going to break it down in a way that even your grandma can understand.

Let’s get into it and learn how to future-proof our minds to age like peak performers for a long and epic life.

What Is Aging?

You know how everything gets old and starts falling apart over time? The same thing happens to our bodies. As we get older, our DNA (which basically holds the instructions for our body) starts to break down and get damaged. This can mess with our eigenome, which controls which genes get turned on or off.

And when our cells divide, they lose some of their structure, like a building getting worn down over time. This can cause them to not work as well, or even start doing things they shouldn’t be doing.

All these changes in our body compound, and that’s what we call aging.

Dr. David Sinclair used the analogy of aging and scratches on a CD, but in the spirit of peak performers, I’ll reference Queen B.

The Science of Aging | Grow With The Flow | Peak Performance Coaching

Chronological vs Biological Age

First, let’s discuss the two types of aging:

Just like how Beyonce’s age in years is the same as her chronological age, her physical abilities and energy levels could be considered her biological age. The same goes for the rest of us normal humans— our chronological age is based on how many trips we’ve taken around the sun, but our biological age is based on the health and function of our bodies.

Think of it like a dance competition – two dancers may be the same age, but the one with better stamina, flexibility, and muscle tone will be able to learn moves faster, dance longer, and perform with more complexity. Similarly, a peak performer who takes care of their wellness will have a younger biological age and be able to perform daily tasks and physical activities with ease.

On the other hand, someone who neglects their health may have an older biological age and struggle with simple tasks. This is because, over time, our DNA accumulates damage from various environmental factors, leading to a breakdown in our cells’ ability to function properly.

We definitely can’t stop time but we can take steps to slow down the aging process and improve our biological age with peak performance strategies.

So what exactly happens when you age?

The Science of Aging | Grow With The Flow | Peak Performance Coaching

The Process of Aging

When DNA Forget their Moves: The Aging Dance

Picture your DNA like your favorite Beyonce song. It’s got a beat that just won’t quit, and you can’t help but dance every time you hear it. You’re ripping up the dance floor.

But over time, life happens and scratches start to accumulate, just like scratches on a CD. Soon, the beat starts to skip and the lyrics get all jumbled, and your moves definitely got no more rhythm.

Just like how Queen B needs her backup dancers to follow instructions to put on a killer show, your DNA relies on its epigenome to give the right instructions to your cells. But when that epigenome gets messed up, your cells forget their moves and the whole performance falls apart. Your cells literally forget what they were programmed to do.

💡 For example, let's say your pancreas cells are supposed to produce insulin, which helps regulate your blood sugar levels. But if those cells start to break down or lose their instructions, they might start to "forget" that they're supposed to make insulin and start acting like a different type of cell altogether. It's kind of like if Beyonce suddenly forgot all her lyrics and started singing the wrong song in the middle of a concert. Not great, right? Same thing with your cells - if they forget what they're supposed to do, it can lead to all sorts of health problems. No bueno.

So why does all this damage happen? Sometimes it’s just a part of life – exposure to environmental stressors like pollution, radiation, and even compounding inflammation from getting older can cause wear and tear on your DNA.

But 80% of the time, it’s our own bad habits that mess things up – processed foods, laziness and lack of exercise, inability to regulate our emotions, negative thoughts, mindless scrolling on social media, toxic relatives, alcohol, and smoking.

Don’t worry! Just because you’ve got some scratches on your DNA doesn’t mean you can’t still be the king or queen bee of your own life. Because you created those problems yourself, that means you have the power to undo them all, and with a little help from your sirtuins and NAD+, you can get your cells back in formation and keep the show going strong.

More on that later but first….

The Hallmarks of Aging

In “Young Forever” by Dr. Mark Hyman listed the hallmarks of aging that we’re going to discuss further in this series.

  1. Food and aging: disrupted hormone and nutrient signaling.
  2. DNA damage and mutations in our genetic blueprint
  3. The shortening and unraveling of telomeres.
  4. Damaged proteins that become malformed, misshapen, dysfunctional molecules
  5. Epigenetic damage occurs when genes are expressed without changing the underlying gene expression.
  6. Senescent cells aka zombie cells that have stopped dividing and are no longer functioning properly contribute to chronic inflammation aka “inflammaging” (chronic inflammation).
  7. Mitochondria decline to result in energy depletion. Your mitochondria are the powerhouse in each of your cells.
  8. Gut health and longevity— your gut microbiome helps regulate inflammation in your body, and chronic inflammation is one of the root causes of this disease we call aging.
  9. Stem cell exhaustion— stem cells play a critical role in tissue regeneration and repair but as we age, they can reach a point of exhaustion, speeding up aging.
  10. Inflammaging, a term used to describe chronic, low-grade inflammation that occurs in the body as we age

But that’s all for now…

In later articles, we’ll break down:

  • Genetics and Aging: a deeper dive into inflammaging and how to slow it down.
  • Lifestyle and Aging: your habits including exercise, nutrition, sleep, relationships, and mindset.

TL;DR: A Breakdown of Aging

  • Aging is a disease that can be fought against with the right knowledge and habits.
  • Aging happens because our DNA starts to break down and get damaged as we get older.
  • Our biological age is based on the health and function of our bodies, while chronological age is based on how many years we’ve been alive.
  • Our DNA relies on its epigenome to give the right instructions to our cells, but when the epigenome gets messed up, our cells forget their moves and the whole performance falls apart.
  • Exposure to environmental stressors like pollution and radiation can cause wear and tear on our DNA, but bad habits like processed foods, laziness, mindless scrolling on social media, toxic relationships, alcohol, and smoking can also contribute to the damage.
  • Sirtuins and NAD+ can help get our cells back in formation and keep them functioning properly.
  • Telomeres are protective caps at the end of our DNA strands that can wear down and shorten as we age, leading to damaged DNA and cell malfunction.
  • Taking care of yourself and avoiding bad habits can help you age well.
  • Strategies like regular exercise, a healthy diet, and stress reduction techniques can help slow down the aging process and improve our biological age.

Up Next…

  • A Deep Dive into Inflammaging: the importance of telomeres in aging sirtuins and NAD+ can help preserve your youth.

Your Next Step: Ready To Level Up?

Now, many people are unable to see past their limiting beliefs because they don’t have control of their biology. Take back control of your physiology to create confidence and higher emotions, leading to better habits, decisions and outcomes.

See the link there? It all goes back to YOU: mind + body + spirit. We can show you how:

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kate

🌿 HEALTH: peak performance & flow coach, holistic nutritionist, cyclist, athlete. 💸 WEALTH: Serial entrepreneur, agency owner, creative strategist, writer, columnist, designer, web developer, copy-writer, digital marketer, e-commerce consultant. 🔥 INTJ. Libra. Contrarian thinker. Loves to be intellectually stimulated. READ MY STORY →

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