Tips On How To Stay Young Despite Your Age
I was fortunate enough to attend a very thought-provoking lecture by Dan Buettner, author of the book, The Blue Zones Solution, one I highly recommend.
What began as a National Geographic expedition for Buettner to find the longest living cultures evolved into a recipe for living longer. Buettner shares the stories of the world’s happiest and longest-living cultures and I found it to be very enlightening; basically, he found that these cultures tend to be united by a sense of purpose, familial ties, active lifestyle, pseudo-vegetarian diet, and strong spirituality.
When we are daily confronted with really scary statistics about growing old ~ for example that according to the Alzheimer’s Association it’s prevalence is growing so quickly that the number of people 65 and older with this disease will nearly triple, from 5.1 million and may rise as high as 16 million by 2050, barring the development of medical breakthroughs to prevent or cure the disease, Buettner’s information is a breath of fresh air.
Another study just published in Health Psychology is all about the stress one encounters (particularly women) and how it is handled. The better one deals with the stress make the difference of whether or not inflammation sets in and any factor that reduces inflammation promotes longevity. So we have to be aware that a healthy reaction to stress is paramount to a longer lifespan. It’s a choice each moment to be calm and cheerful and not let the stresses in our daily lives help to add to those dreaded age-related maladies such as heart problems, diabetes, obesity, cancer, asthma, depression, and even Alzheimer’s.
We all know that it is chronic stress that we are referring to. I just learned that it makes a big difference to those protective caps at the end of our chromosomes called telomeres. Did you know that when telomere length is compromised our cells age faster? Check out one of my past posts all about telomeres.
One exciting Telomere Study compared people using certain supplements for at least 5 years to healthy nonsmokers living in the San Francisco Bay Area, and the study showed that the rate of telomere shortening in these users was 40% lower than the control group of healthy nonsmokers living in the San Francisco Bay Area. Broken down ~ this means that the 80-year-old user mentioned above (those who took certain supplements for at least 5 years) would have the same length telomere as a 41-year-old!
So as those years creep up, how do we stay young?
- Managing stress is a huge factor in this, particularly chronic stress.
- Research shows that many of the changes attributed to aging are actually caused in large part by disuse so exercise is also a must. (Less than 10% of Americans exercise on a regular basis).
- Keeping ourselves mentally active and stimulated also is important
- The tips Buettner mentions in his book including having a strong community life (putting family first), eating a healthy diet and treating your body like a temple, (which includes great homemade meals), limiting treats and drinking lots of water, taking time to meditate and, of course getting enough sleep.
- The only addition I would add to all of this is taking quality supplements since we often fall short of what our bodies need daily.
What about you? What are you doing to keep “father time” away?