Researchers checked in on 954 people born between 1972 and 1973 at ages 26, 32, and 38. They found that some of the subjects’ “biological age” stayed practically the same over the course of the twelve years—while others aged up to to three years for every real-time 12 months. By looking at their weight, kidney function and gum health, the team determined that some people were staying in their peak well through middle age, while others had the health of retirees. Pretty terrifying, huh?
But don’t despair yet—we have good news. The rate at which you age, or at least at which you appear to age, is heavily dependent on your lifestyle and how you take care of your body day to day. Small tweaks to your everyday routine can have big rewards, like taking years off of your face and adding years to your life. Don’t expect the fountain of youth, but correct these missteps and you’ll be looking like a fresher, younger version of yourself in no time.