|Processed food can age your body. Pic for illustration only|
Do you know your body's age? According to health experts, we have two ages - a birth age and a biological age that's affected by how we treat our bodies.
Mirror.co.uk publish a test devised by Longevity researcher, David Niven Miller to find out your body's age. Answer the questions below, adding or subtracting the numbers after your answer from your actual age, then check to see how you did.
1 How many friends can you share problems with?
None (+1 year)
4 or over (-1)
2 1 How many hugs or kisses do you get a week?
4 or over (-1)
3 At what age do you expect to die?
Under 75 (+2)
Over 100 (-2)
4 Can you touch your toes with your legs straight?
If I push myself (+0)
Between 1-2 inches away (+1)
Nowhere near +2
5 What's your body shape (honestly)
Clearly overweight (+2)
Up to 10lb overweight (+1)
Perfect for my height (-1.5)
6 How big is your tummy?
It obscures everything below (+1)
Slightly rounded (+0.5)
Almost flat (+0)
7 How often do you get tired or get energy fluctuations?
Most days (+2)
Most days, only after lunch (+1.5)
8 Are you a smoker?
No and never have been (-3)
I quit 5 or more years ago (-2)
I quit 3-5 years ago (-1)
I quit 1-3 years ago (+0)
I quit within the last year (+1)
I smoke (+3)
9 What's the most you've drunk in one day in the last year?
3 drinks or less (+0)
4 drinks (+0.5)
5 drinks or less (+1.0)
More than 5 drinks (+1.5)
10 Do you have lots of fillings/do your gums bleed when you brush them?
Bleeding gums and/or 11 or more of my teeth are filled (+1.5)
4-10 teeth are filled (+1)
1-3 teeth are filled (+0.5)
11 Do you drink soft drinks/ready-made fruit juices?
1-3 glasses a week (+0.5)
4-6 glasses a week (+1)
Over 7 (+2)
12 Do you rely on packets or tins for?
All meals (+3)
Less than half of my meals (-1)
I never use processed food (-2)
13 0 How many times a week do you feel too full after eating?
Over 7 (+3)
14 How many colds/flu have you had in the last year?
5 or more (+1.5)
15 Have you taken antibiotics in the past five years?
1-2 courses (+2)
3 or more courses (+5)
16 How many times a week do you walk briskly, or do other exercise, for 30+ minutes?
5 or more (-1.5)
17 How many times do you "strength train" a week?
6 or more
Check your score
If YOU'RE OLDER THAN YOUR YEARS
It's not too late to do something about it - studies show taking up exercise or changing your diet even in your 40s and 50s can still make a difference to your longevity. Any changes you can make will help lower your body age. "The biggest differences will come if you focus on your diet, stress levels and fitness," says David Niven Miller.
IF YOU'RE THE SAME AGE
Then chances are you're feeling a bit miffed now. "Oddly this is the result that upsets people the most as everyone wants to be younger and you're so close that you feel you've missed out," says David. The good news is, you probably only need to change one habit to start the transition to a younger you. Have a look at which questions you scored worst on and make that where you focus your energies to start with.
IF YOU'RE YOUNGER THAN YOUR YEARS
Well done. "Either you consciously take good care of your body or you're just one of those lucky people who naturally enjoys living a healthy life," says David. Keep up what you're doing, but still read our live-longer tips below - you might learn some new ways to boost your body's longevity even further.
10 WAYS TO LOWER YOUR BODY AGE
1 Make friends:
Simon Reynolds, author of Better Than Chocolate: 50 Proven Ways To Feel Happier (Penguin) suggests writing a list of 10 people whose company you enjoy and then actively trying to get them more involved in your life.
2 Improve your love life:
Being close to others releases a hormone called oxytocin that not only decreases stress but also inhibits the growth of cancer cells. While any touch will boost oxytocin levels, orgasms send it soaring.
3 Think healthy:
According to David Niven Miller, if you expect to live a long healthy life you will. This is down to a part of the brain called the reticulating activating system, which filters the thousands of things we see or hear. If you think health is important you'll more likely notice cheap gym offers.
4 Boost your flexibility:
The more bendy your body the less likely you'll suffer problems like back ache that age your body. To boost flexibility try PNF (Proprioceptive Neural Facilitation). It involves stretching the muscle and, while it's stretched, tensing it for 10-20 seconds. Then relax and stretch again - you'll always be able to go further on the next stretch.
5 Watch your weight:
If you're overweight, every pound you lose adds 36 days to your life. The easiest way to do it? Eat around 1,400 calories a day and do a 20- minute walk - you'll drop a pound each week.
6 Cut down on booze:
Binge drinking ages your body as alcohol damages healthy cells, so keeping to sensible levels of 2-3 units a day is important.
7 Boost your energy:
Low energy is a sign of blood sugar imbalances that can raise your risk of heart disease and diabetes. Cinnamon helps balance things - add a pinch to your morning cereal.
8 Look after your teeth:
The bacteria that causes gum disease and tooth decay is also linked to some cancers, heart disease and stroke. Brushing and flossing are vital here. Drinking green tea helps fight plaque bacteria too.
9 Learn to cook:
Processed foods are high in nasties that can age your body - salt alone has been said to cut your lifespan by seven years. Try www.1click2cook.com for healthy recipes.
10 Quit smoking:
Smoking ages your body inside and out - so quit.