How to Reverse Aging Naturally & Improve Your Biological Age

Forget wrinkles and age-related decline: Science reveals how simple lifestyle changes can reverse aging naturally.

Inside Tracker icon
By Staff Writer
Caitlin Snethlage
Edited by Caitlin Snethlage

Published April 7, 2024.

a man and woman are dancing and smiling in their living room.

What if wrinkles, losing strength, and developing age-related conditions weren't inevitable? According to the latest developments in the field of longevity, this may be the case.

Aging is a complex process that will begin and progress at some point. Although you can't stop it, research suggests you can age backward by implementing simple yet powerful lifestyle choices.

Key takeaways

  1. Aging is a complex interaction between genetic and lifestyle factors. 
  2. Aging can’t be entirely halted, but it can be slowed. 
  3. Getting enough sleep, maintaining optimal sex hormone levels, eating a diet rich in plants, and staying physically active all promote healthy aging.
  4. The majority of skin aging results from UV damage and can be prevented with the routine use of sunscreen.

What is the aging process? 

Aging is the gradual decline in the body’s function over time. [1] It leads to several physiological changes over our lifespan. Some of them are benign—like gray hair and wrinkles—while others can significantly impact our health and longevity, such as reduced mobility and increased disease risk.

Scientists working on aging have speculated for years about the exact mechanisms behind the process. Some have suggested that it is a built-in part of biology and that cells are programmed to deteriorate over time. [2–4]

Other theories propose that aging isn't necessarily inherent, but rather an accumulation of damage caused by environmental factors. As research has evolved, aging experts now believe the aging process combines the two. [2,3]

Note: Aging is a complex interaction between genetic and lifestyle factors. [5] 

Can you reverse aging naturally?

Aging is inevitable to some extent—it's a natural process we cannot completely stop. But the good news is that we can control how quickly and to what degree it unfolds.

While genetics and biology play an essential role in aging, research reveals that people can extend their healthspan by mitigating the environmental and lifestyle factors that influence the process. [5]

Six ways to age backward and live longer

1. Prioritize sleep

Sleep is critical for repairing cellular damage and crucial in reversing aging naturally. The benefits go beyond helping people feel rested and energized, as you may also experience:

  • Better muscle repair and growth
  • Faster cognitive processing of new information
  • Stronger immune system
  • Improved markers of metabolic health like fasting blood glucose and hemoglobin A1c [6–9] 

Numerous studies also associated sleep and longevity. In a meta-analysis of 16 prospective cohort studies with a total of 1.3 million participants, researchers found that less than six hours of sleep daily caused a 12% greater risk of death. [10]

Another meta-analysis of 67 studies with over 3.5 million participants reported that short and long sleep durations were associated with an increased risk of all-cause mortality and cardiovascular disease. [11]

Tip: It is recommended that adults aim for seven to nine hours of sleep per night to reverse aging naturally. [12]

2. Maintain healthy sex hormone levels

Hormones are chemical messengers that coordinate many different functions and processes throughout the body, such as bone health and cellular repair. Their optimal levels are critical for aging backwards.

Research shows that testosterone is integral to muscle growth, sexual and cognitive function, energy levels, and healthy aging in males. [13] Men can promote optimal levels with a healthy diet, adequate sleep, and regular physical activity. [14–18]

Scientists have also identified dehydroepiandrosterone-sulfate (DHEAS) as an essential precursor of important sex hormones and a biomarker for women’s health. DHEAS declines with age and its lower levels are associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, unstable blood sugar levels, difficulty controlling weight, and fatigue. [19,20]

Women can optimize DHEAS levels with lifestyle choices like regular moderate aerobic activity—like walking, jogging, or hiking. They can also eat lean proteins instead of red and processed meats, and try to reduce their stress levels by meditating. [21–23]

3. Incorporate strength training to maintain muscle mass 

Maintaining muscle mass is important as it directly impacts the ability to move independently. It can also affect the risk of disability, and overall frailty. [24]

Age-related muscle loss—also known as sarcopenia—is a natural part of aging. But, you can reduce the amount of muscle lost and even reverse it with strength training exercises.

Muscle mass and strength training may improve blood glucose levels, reduce chronic inflammation, and improve brain health. [25-27] All of these health effects can help you age backwards.

Note: A meta-analysis of over 370,000 participants found that resistance training was associated with a 21% lower risk of all-cause mortality. [28]

» Learn about the effect of aging on the nervous system

4. Eat healthfully for metabolic and heart health

Diets rich in plant foods contain nutrients and compounds like sulforaphane and carotenoids. They fight inflammation, which is a major cause of cell damage and aging. These nutrient-dense foods also improve many blood biomarkers correlated with getting older. 

In a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies, plant-based vegan and vegetarian diets were associated with reduced levels of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and blood glucose. [29]

On the other hand, research also suggests higher intakes of red and processed meats might speed up aging. One study found that a higher ratio of animal to plant protein and an overall higher meat intake were associated with an increased risk of all-cause mortality. [30]

Tip: Reducing meat intake and replacing it with more plant-based proteins has been shown to reduce many biomarkers related to aging—including cholesterol, triglycerides, and glucose. [31–32]

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5. Play brain games 

Our cognitive abilities decline with age which puts us at risk of neurodegenerative diseases and even death increases as cognition declines. [33] That is why we should keep the brain sharp if we are to reverse aging naturally.

In one randomized control trial, researchers found that young and elderly adults who played a brain game every day for four weeks showed significant improvements in executive functions, working memory, and cognitive processing speed. [34]

Tip: To keep your brain—and consequently the rest of your body—young, challenge it with games like Sudoku or vary your regular routines and tasks.

6. Wear sunscreen

Sun exposure is another environmental factor that can speed up aging. Harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation can cause skin damage, leading to fine lines, dark spots, and uneven skin tone.

Excessive UV radiation is also a known contributor to skin cancer, and experts believe that up to 80% of skin aging may be related to it. [35, 36] Fortunately, you can protect yourself with sunscreen.

In one randomized controlled trial, researchers investigated the effects of sunscreen use on signs of skin aging over four and a half years. [37] They found that adults who used broad-spectrum sunscreen daily showed no detectable increase in skin aging.

Tip: Experts recommend using sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 everyday to keep skin looking young. [38]

Can supplements help you reverse aging naturally?

The link between diet and aging is evident, so many scientists are now investigating whether the health-promoting vitamins, minerals, or bioactive compounds found in foods or produced by the body can be isolated into a supplement for maximum age-reversing benefits.

There is evidence that some supplements may play a role in lowering cholesterol, reducing blood pressure, regulating oxidative stress, and alleviating joint pain—all of which can impact aging. But, research is still evolving on the role supplements play in aging-specific processes. 

» Discover more about Metformin: Does it work as an anti-aging drug?

Age backwards: Feeling younger starts now

While aging is inevitable, the science of longevity is reveals groundbreaking methods to slow it down and even reverse it naturally. By implementing simple lifestyle changes, you can significantly impact your biological age, the true measure of your internal health.

InsideTracker goes beyond age prediction. Using personalized blood testing, InnerAge 2.0 analyzes key biomarkers to pinpoint areas where you can optimize your health. It offers actionable insights and recommendations to optimize your sleep, diet, and exercise so you can live healthier and longer.

Disclaimer: InsideTracker doesn't diagnose or treat medical conditions. Consult your physician if you have any health concerns.


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