# What is the difference between actual age and body age?

How is a person's body age different from his actual age, and how is this body age calculated?

In the gym I used a machine to find out my body age, and it showed my body age as 4 years more than my actual age. What could have caused such results? Is it the amount of fat in my body or some other factors? How do I get the body age to be same as my actual age?

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You can see these calculators in many places, and basically what they are is predictors based on actuarial tables (Such as the ones insurance companies use to set premiums), compared against average life expectancy.

Basically, it should take into account all your lifestyle and risk factors, and apply those to you and the table, and produce an estimate of your "age". So, if you are 25, male and an overweight smoker, your estimated age will be more than a 25 y/o male who works out and eats well.

Some of the more elaborate ones will also take into account heredity and other extrinsic factors, but they are all a guess. We've all heard about the healthy runners that drop dead at 40 (Fixx for example), and the whiskey drinking, lard eating gent that lived to 105. It is, however, a good reminder that our choices now can have a large impact in later life.

To get the ages the same, it's hard to say since we have no idea what your family history is, or what other factors you put into the test. I can say that obesity, smoking, more than moderate drinking and lack of exercise are some of the bigger factors that will make your body age higher than your actual age.

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The calculators I've seen on the internet tend to use a variety of indicators BMI (height, weight) rest heart rate (not always called that), how much exercise you get and dietary factors to calculate a "body age".

Personally, I don't put to much faith in this kind of calculator except in general terms. Eat healthy, get plenty exercise, don't smoke and you will probably live longer. However, how long you live is mainly controlled by your genetics.

My grandmother lived to 98 and smoked every day from when she was in her twenties. A friend who is a yoga teacher and eats well has currently been diagnosed with cancer.

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