Aging Impact Score
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We have all become hypersensitized to the effects of the things around us, the activities we do, and the food we put into our bodies. If each activity has a negative and positive effect, can we score them? Here is my effort to create the “Stone Aging Impact Score” with each activity having a negative or positive effect on a scale of minus 10 to plus 10.
Starting at daybreak: Do you feel like you slept well? If yes, a full 8 hours is worth 10 points, pulling an all-nighter a negative 10. Somewhere in between? Rate it accordingly. Sleep is a key criterion of wellbeing, and its duration and quality affects both your day and your life.
If you normally exercise in the morning before breakfast, did you get your best work out in? A great Pilates class, a spin, a run, a swim? Positive effect 10. Missing a day is not a negative 10, but possibly a negative 2—as long as it doesn’t keep happening. No exercise during a full week? Negative 10.
Is your breakfast a breakfast of champions? Data is overwhelming that a high, lean protein breakfast (and lunch) provides energy for the whole day. A plus 10 if what you eat for breakfast carries you to a healthy lunch. A high fat, high carbohydrate breakfast, powered by extra caffeine, is a negative 10. There are many shades of gray in between, but a consistently healthy diet that optimizes your weight and provides fuel to play the sports you want to do is worth more than you can imagine.
Do you drive to and home from work? Is the drive filled with wonderful books on tape, podcasts, and music? Or is it defined by heavy traffic, packed public transportation, and the anxiety of running late? Plus 10 if relaxed; score a negative 10 if you are frenzied or late for a meeting. Better yet, can you commute to work on a bike? The new e-bikes are powerful enough to go 30 miles. Those that only assist you when you pedal give you a mild workout without the sweat. The freedom from the prison of the car and traffic, combined with that extra exercise, is easily worth an unprecedented 11 points!
Your work environment. Is it inspiring? Or not? Is it one that you cherish, one that motivates you? If you feel you are contributing to the world, are well-paid and appreciated, give yourself a plus 10. If you labor in a hostile, high-stress environment, a negative 10. And change it!
Relationships. Is the love of your life in your life? A plus 10. If you are in the middle of an acrimonious relationship or a bitter divorce, a negative 10. Relationships that are now “just average” that were usually once great? Enlist a pro to help you both get back to a state of bliss.
Healthy friendships and work colleagues, nice waiters and flight attendants…what your behavior elicits in others, and what is done to you during the day, all add up. A positive or negative 10 each day, depending on your balance of helpful or fraught encounters. A smile to everyone you meet starts the relationship at a 10.
Sex: Sexual satisfaction, orgasms, and communication are correlated with wellbeing. A positive 10 if there are fireworks between you and your partner! The absence of love may not be a negative, so probably enter a zero on your score. But if you’re in an abusive or deeply unsatisfying relationship, score a negative 10.
Alcohol, drugs, and ingestibles at levels that hurt you are a negative 10. A single glass of good Bordeaux, a refreshing beer, or any a socially acceptable indulgence may increase your wellbeing enough to rate a positive 10.
Dinner with family and friends, with time to talk, share stories, reflect on world events, counsel the kids on their homework, and generally relax; a huge positive 10. Rushed takeout food with a stressful evening, a negative 10. Most electronic device time is either a neutral or a negative. Whenever possible, ditch the devices.
What you do to yourself ages you. Out of a possible 100 points, indicating the highest level of aging protection or a negative 100 indicating devastating aging effects, where do you fall each day? Your Stone Aging Impact Score may affect not just your aging process but your response to illness, injury, surgery, or other life-challenging events.
Since how well you live each day determines the quality and the length of your life, how about starting to keep score?