People constantly guess you're older than you really are
Dean Drobot/Shutterstock When it comes to assessing a person's "true" age, as opposed to their chronological age, our brains are pretty darn accurate, says Steven Austad, PhD, chair of the UAB Department of Biology. "Ask a dozen strangers to guess your age and the average value they come up with is a pretty good indicator of your body's biological age," he says.
Everyone is always telling you to hurry up
Are you constantly getting left behind when walking with friends your age? It turns out that a person's normal walking speed is a pretty good indicator of how well you're aging, Austad says. "Walking speed is an indicator of how leg muscles are working and says something about nerve conduction speed, two factors that go into aging," he explains. Thankfully, this one has an easy fix: Take more walks and improve your fitness level.
You have more spots than a cheetah
Sun damage is perhaps the most important cause of an older-looking face, as too much sun causes lines, wrinkles, dull skin, and the dreaded brown age spots to develop, says Joshua D. Zuckerman, MD, a board-certified plastic surgeon at Zuckerman Plastic Surgery in NYC. If you feel like you have more of these than other people your age, especially if you never wear sunscreen, it's a good sign your skin is aging faster than you are. Start wearing sunscreen immediately and talk to a dermatologist about other options. (P.S. Skipping sunscreen is one of the worst skin sins according to dermatologists.)
Going upstairs feels like climbing a mountain
Maridav/Shutterstock You might chalk up your difficulty with stairs to bad knees or poor fitness (which can also be signs of premature aging) but a major reason that adults suddenly get uncoordinated or unable to do physical things goes back to the type of muscle loss that comes with aging. "Your muscle health is the aging factor that's rarely discussed, yet losing it can be a sign that your aging faster than your actual age," says Suzette Pereira, PhD, research scientist and expert in muscle health with age, Abbott. "Starting at age 40, you can lose up to 8 percent of your muscle mass per decade." Time to pull out your old weights!
Your period is super random
For women, the frequency and predictability of your menstrual cycle can be an early sign of aging, and it can start 15 years before menopause. (Do you know the quiet signs of perimenopause?) "One sign many people do not correlate with aging in females is irregular menstrual cycles in their 30s and 40s," Gandhi says. "This hormonal irregularity is important to address since changing hormones can increase weight gain, decrease muscle mass, cause sleep disturbances, and cause your body to age faster, predisposing you to heart disease, osteoporosis, and diabetes."
Check out the daily habits of people who look and act young for their age.