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When you look in the mirror, how youthful is the face staring back? Proving that age really is nothing but a number, in recent years there has been a growing focus on what our biological age, rather than our chronological age, can tell us about our overall health and longevity.

Determined by lifestyle approaches to stress, diet, exercise and sleep; recent studies reveal that one in five people in the UK were found to have a biological age more than eight years older than their chronological age - effectively losing almost a decade of their life.

We take a look at how health and fitness can help to turn back the clock in the battle of biology vs. chronology. Whether pressing pause on ageing by learning to let go of stress or sweating your way to a more youthful you, reducing your biological age is the new mantra of the ‘ageing gracefully’ gurus...

De-stress to stop the clock
Whether it is linked to work, family or money, we all get stressed and anxious. Unfortunately, in addition to sleepless nights and unwanted worry lines, stress can also increase our biological age dramatically by shortening the telomeres in our bodies. Reduce this effect by escaping on an educational stress management holiday where healthy lifestyle practices such as meditation and mindfulness will smooth away those frown lines.
Top 3 De-Stress Holidays: SHA Anti-Stress (Spain), Ananda Stress Management (India) Kamalaya De-Stress Asian Bliss (Thailand) 

Sweat your way to a youthful you
With the power to take years off your biological age, sweat your way to a more youthful you whilet improving your skin tone with the post-exercise face flush. As well as maintaining good cardiovascular health, boosting your metabolism and improving your memory, exercise also slows down our cells basic ageing process. Through the emerging science of DNA fitness testing, pre-arrival DNA analysis can reveal an insight into your genetic makeup, allowing fitness holiday programmes to be tailored with the appropriate training response for your body.
Top 3 Fitness Holidays: The BodyHoliday (St Lucia), Phuket Cleanse Detox & Fitness (Thailand), The Body Camp (Ibiza)

Sleep to turn back time
As well as being an enjoyable way to stay cosy in winter, spending an extra hour in bed can actually increase your lifespan. Our bodies need sleep to carry out vital cell repair, so we awake the next morning fresh and re-energised. Without the recommended 7-8 hours, our bodies are not able to complete this repair, meaning that over time the cells break down faster. Sleep also lowers the stress hormone cortisol, which is a significant barrier to achieving youthful longevity. If you struggle to fall asleep, learn to banish insomnia on a sleep retreat and wake up with youthful energy.
Top 3 Sleep Retreats: Ti Sana Insomnia (Italy), SHA Sleep Well (Spain), Kamalaya Sleep Enhancement (Thailand)

Reduce ageing with healthy nutrition
Processed foods encourage the formation of free radicals, which will have your biological age soaring above your chronological one. Get a radiant complexion by eliminating these foods and replacing them with nutrient packed fresh fruits and vegetables, which will cleanse and detox your body, lowering the risk of diabetes and heart disease. With nutrition experts and educational cooking classes, learn about healthy nutrition on holiday to make changes to your diet which will reward you with a lasting feeling of youth and vitality. 
Top 3 Healthy Ageing Nutrition Holidays: Ti Sana Anti-Ageing (Italy), The Farm Healthy Ageing (Philippines), Longevity Anti-Ageing (Portugal)

Learn healthier habits to feel younger
The first step towards biological longevity is swapping bad habits which damage your body for healthy habits that nourish it. It needn’t be all at once, make small and lasting changes and notice how your body begins to defy your chronological age. Discover healthier habits on a healthy learning holiday where wellness experts will introduce you to practical lifestyle changes and how to maintain what you’ve learnt long-term, for a healthier and more youthful you.
Top 3 Healthy Learning Holidays: Kamalaya Embracing Change (Thailand), Shreyas Silent Retreat (India), Grayshott Spa Health Regime (UK)

Laugh away the years
There is a good reason that laughter is often known as nature’s best medicine. Prompting a flood of serotonin into the body, laughter can boost your mood, relieve pain and release tension. Releasing positive energy through a smile or laugh can not only have a healing effect, but can also make you look younger as it lights up your face and brings a glow to your skin. Discover the healing benefits of laughter yoga on a yoga retreat and feel the years disappear as you laugh away your stress and worries.
Top 3 Yoga Retreats: SwaSwara Rejuvenation & Yoga (India), Absolute Sanctuary Yoga (Thailand), Paradis Plage Yoga (Morocco)

Words: Health and Fitness


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How to lower your biological age on holiday
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