Here’s another impressive number: 4.6. That’s how many years younger their bodies are, on average, than their chronological age, according to the RealAge test. The test uses a unique formula to calculate a person’s RealAge based on lifestyle, genetics, and medical history.
How did they turn back the clock? Weight loss played a big role; maintaining a healthy weight and BMI can make your RealAge as much as 3 years younger than your calendar age. But the finalists’ RealAge transformation didn’t end there. Here are other ways they grew younger.
Michael Lamb (winner)
RealAge difference: -5.1 years
For Transformation Nation winner Michael Lamb, joining a gym was a crucial step in his weight loss success. A physical activity program that builds stamina, strength, and flexibility can make your RealAge as much as 2.8 years younger.
Mary Ellen Brunaugh
RealAge difference: -5.1 years
MaryEllen Brunaugh decided to abstain from alcohol when she joined Transformation Nation. Drinking too much alcohol can make your RealAge more than 7.3 years older if you’re a woman. Brunaugh also reduced her workplace stress and took up new hobbies for personal growth. Taking care of your emotional health and well-being can make your RealAge up to 1 year younger.
RealAge difference: -10.5 years
Sheila Haines is training for a triathlon, so she gets plenty of exercise. She also changed her diet, doing her best to eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Eating a diverse diet that includes five servings of vegetables per day can make your RealAge as much as 6.1 years younger if you’re a woman.
RealAge difference: -3.3 years
In addition to hitting the gym five or six times a week, Stephanie Lewis also gave up smoking. Not smoking can make your RealAge as much as 5.2 years younger if you’re a woman.
RealAge difference: -1.6 years
Getting fit helped Jen McElroy control her stress and get better sleep, which allowed her to manage her Crohn’s disease effectively. Getting at least 6 hours of sleep a night—but not more than 9—can make your RealAge as much as 1.5 years younger if you’re a woman.
RealAge difference: -2.2 years
Mercedes Moebuis was laid off last year. A major financial upset, such as job loss, can make your RealAge as much as 0.4 years older. She’s now taking classes to become a certified health and wellness coach. Becoming a lifelong learner can make your RealAge as much as 2.5 years younger.
RealAge difference: -2.1 years
Karl Nielsen has signs in his basement gym to remind him to record his daily exercise data as well as his daily food intake. Actively patrolling your health can make your RealAge as much as 7 years younger.
RealAge difference: -7.2 years
Before losing 45 pounds with a combination of diet and exercise, Stella Ortega was diagnosed with pre-hypertension. Keeping your blood pressure in a healthy range can make your RealAge as much as 7.1 years younger if you are a woman.
RealAge difference: -8.7 years
For Sharona Sankar-King, managing stress with breathing exercises and acts of appreciation has made just as much of a difference in her life as a healthier diet and more exercise. Managing your stress level can make your RealAge up to 1.1 years younger if you’re a woman.
RealAge difference: -7.3 years
Changing her family’s diet—adding more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains—made the difference for Dawn Villanueva, helping her and her husband lose over 40 pounds each. Eating a diverse diet that includes 6 servings of whole grains per day can make your RealAge as much as 6.1 years younger if you’re a woman.
If these 10 finalists can transform their health, so can you. What will you do today to lower your RealAge?
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