When I speak of aging, I’m not just talking about it in the vain sense of the word. I am speaking more about the integrity of each and every cell in our body. The fundamental key factor in how we age lies in our DNA. This does not mean it is solely out of our control. The chromosomes in our body carry detailed genetic information. The end caps of each chromosome strand are called telomeres (think of them like the plastic end caps on your shoelaces). When the telomeres begin to degrade, the DNA begins to age and die off, ultimately causing aging. This is a natural process, but the speed at which it happens it what we can control. Here are 9 ways to help control how fast those telomeres degrade and therefore slow the cellular aging process.
Key Supplements: These include Vitamin C, Resveratrol (antioxidant found in red wine), EGCG (antioxidant found in green tea), Zinc, and CoQ10. These 5 supplements along with many others help to combat cellular damage.
Sleep: I have well chronicled the need for regular, quality sleep in my previous blog posts. This is the time when your body rebuilds and repairs. Without regularly getting 7-9 hours of quality sleep, you will be severely limiting your body’s ability to do so properly.
Flex Your Mind Muscle: Part of anti-aging is also about keeping your brain healthy. One way to do this is to constantly challenge yourself with something new. I recently read an article about former Buffalo Bills coach Marv Levy. He is now 93 years old, and mentioned how he just started taking classes at Northeastern University. You are never too old to challenge yourself with something new.
Keep Your Body Moving: The research is unequivocal that people who exercise regularly have less telomere shortening than those who do not. If you find an activity you enjoy and a partner to keep you accountable, you’ll be far more likely to stick with the process of exercising on a regular basis.
Don’t Retire: Research shows the average person dies within 5 years of the day they retire. They lose their passion and the “why” in their existence. I’m not saying that you have to stay at your current job until you die. What I am saying is to find something you are passionate about (this can change over the years). Find something you can do for a lifetime, and it will stimulate your mind and soul to keep you feeling young.
Watch Your Waistline: This is another one I am sure you love to hear from me. Just as with exercise, the research strongly shows a correlation with obesity and telomere length.
Face Your Stress Head On: Stress not only kills, as the saying goes, it also ages you. Take control of your on-going stress level. Chronic stress will also lead to premature aging, so much so that research indicates it may reduce your lifespan by as much as 10 years.
Laugh, Play…Have Fun: Engaging in activities that are fun, those that make you smile and laugh, will not only get you moving but also help your aging. You don’t have to be a kid to have some fun. Hey…fun should never end! By committing to having fun on a regular basis it can go a long way towards helping maintain your physical and mental agility.
Regular Chiropractic Care: I had to put this one in here, simply because I know it is true. I live it every day. I see the effects it can have (and not have) on your overall quality and length of life. Some of the healthiest looking, feeling, and acting people I know are those that have been regularly adjusted for many years. This includes myself.
Living a life, one where we age gracefully, takes constant and never-ending work. That may sound daunting, but it sure beats the alternative. When it becomes part of your daily regimen, you may actually start to enjoy the process. One thing I know is you will definitely enjoy the outcome.
These 9 tips to turn the clock back on aging will help you…