26 Oct 2022

Looking and feeling much older or younger than your chronological age (aka your biological age) isn’t all down to genetics!

A recent survey in the Independent newspaper found eight things that can accelerate ageing. These are, in no particular order: alcohol consumption, lack of exercise, lack of sleep, the sun, smoking, a bad diet, being too stressed and skipping vitamins.

After reading this survey it became glaringly obvious that the one thing that has an enormous impact on your biological age is alcohol consumption. It is also the one thing that affects most, if not all, of the other things, I can vouch for this first hand as when I stopped drinking I started to exercise more, I slept better, I wanted to eat better foods and I was way less stressed.

ALCOHOL – the survey of over 250,000 people showed those that drank over 17 units of alcohol a week aged quicker. But the great news is if you stop drinking you will massively slow down the ageing process. I stopped drinking almost two years ago and this has had a major reverse effect on my biological age.

After nine months of alcohol-free living I was called in for my five-year NHS Health Check and the results showed: I had lost three stone in weight; my blood pressure was 115/80; my cholesterol was 3.49; my overall risk of cardiovascular disease in the next 10 years was 5.1%; and my biological age was five years younger than my real age! I think if I had not stopped drinking my biological age would have been 5 years older, so I’d gained 10 years of my life by ditching the booze.

SITTING DOWN – according to the findings, being active keeps you looking younger. I have heard it said that ‘sitting down’ is the new smoking because of the bad effects it has on health and ‘experts’ are now recommending doing around 6,000 steps a day. Again, a major effect of stopping drinking for me was to start exercising more. I just had so much more energy and the release for this was starting 9KM BY 9AM and over the last 18 months I have walked 9km every day before 9 o’clock – totalling up over 5,000kms or 120+ marathons! I walk on average 19,500 steps a day.

LACK OF SLEEP – the survey recommended getting at least seven hours a night, to maintain those young looks! Again, once I stopped drinking my sleep improved. I went from getting five hours of interrupted sleep, packed with anxiety attacks and trips to the loo, because I’d drunk too much alcohol and water to combat its effects, to around seven hours of non-stop sleeping like a baby. This all happened very quickly, over the first few weeks.

SMOKINGIt’s thought smoking affects the production of collagen, the protein that keeps the skin healthy and elastic. As we age, our bodies produce less collagen, which is why skin begins to sag and wrinkle. Smoking can speed up this process, causing premature ageing.

BAD DIET – foods that get the ok are fibre-rich foods like vegetables, beans, grains and fruits. Those that are linked to worse health outcomes include foods like red and processed meat and sugary drinks.

BEING TOO STRESSED – the survey says it’s a good idea to try and manage stress actively through keeping a journal, relaxation therapies like deep breathing, mindfulness, meditation and exercise like yoga can also help.

SKIPPING VITAMINS – the survey found Vitamin D is an important nutrient in helping to reduce the effects of ageing as well as taking an omega-3.

THE SUN – finally 80% of visible ageing signs are caused by over exposure to the sun.

So there you have it. The message I took from this was simply take a break from alcohol and you will start to feel and look younger. You will reverse the ageing process. So what are you waiting for… stop drinking, start moving and start living.

You can find out more about how I reduced my biological age in my book WALKING BACK TO HAPPINESS – THE SECRET TO ALCOHOL-FREE LIVING & WELL-BEING, available on Amazon.

See Independent article –

© Copyright Nigel Jones 2022. The moral right of the author has been asserted. All rights reserved.


If you are questioning your alcohol consumption or already taking a break from it and seeing the huge benefits that brings please feel free to get in touch. You can contact me through


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