Finally, the search is over: the fountain of youth has been discovered.
As much as some of us would like to, we cannot reduce our chronological age, the number of years we’ve been on the planet. But our biological age, also called our functional age, is determined by lifestyle and can be defined as the age your body acts, according to a Healthline article. If you’re a 28-year-old who doesn’t exercise, eats high-fat foods, and has smoked for the last 10 years, it’s likely you have a biological age of greater than 28 years, the document explains. And the opposite is true as well: if you’re a 60 year old who stays active, physically and mentally, eats and drinks in a way that benefits your overall health, and gets plentiful rest, your biological age could be 40- or 50-something.
A Pub Med research manuscript elucidates: Key hallmarks of biological aging have been defined by a feed forward loop, where cellular damage accumulation is progressive and ongoing over the lifespan. This gradual accumulation of damage results in alterations to molecular machinery and the eventual failure of cells to perform their functions. However, the aging biology mechanics are modifiable through lifestyle interventions.
What are some of these lifestyle interventions? I’ll share 6 biggies.
- Get adequate rest. You know how poorly a bad night’s sleep can cause you to feel. Research is accumulating on sleep’s effects on long term health & longevity. In fact, a National Institute of Health paper indicates sleeping 5 or fewer hours per night is consistently associated with increased risk for premature development and progression of age-related conditions (e.g., type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease.)
- Exercise regularly. This includes stretching for fascia support, cardio for maintaining a healthy heart & weight, strengthening to avoid muscle mass loss & help keep bones strong, and balancing for protection from falls. Becoming inactive, which many of us inadvertently do as we get older, can increase the aging process. (See my post Why Is Sitting the New Smoking? for more on that.)
- Eat more broccoli. As well as Brussel sprouts, kale, cauliflower, cabbage, and other cruciferous veggies. They are rich in sulfur compounds that increase production of glutathione, a super-antioxidant that our bodies naturally produce less of as we age. This powerful free radical scavenger slows the aging process by assisting with immune function, cognitive ability, skin elasticity, and inflammation, this Frontline Alternative write-up sets forth.
- Consume fewer processed foods and drinks. A Frontiers in Pharmacology report warns us that a diet with low amounts of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, seeds, and nuts, and an excess of foods such as ultra-processed grains and sugar-sweetened beverages is the leading contributor to chronic disease risk. And chronic diseases can result in daily pain and lethargy.
- Take care of your brain. By taking on new challenges, whether traveling, doing puzzles, picking up a new hobby, or learning a foreign language, your brain continues to form new synapses. And make good hydration a priority; a study published in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience established there is a direct link between chronic dehydration and the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
- Spend time with friends & favorite family members. A US News & World Report article points out that the number of social interactions in a day improves life expectancy, even in people with heart disease and colon cancer. Sharing time with others can increase our tally of smiles and laughter, causing us to feel more vibrant.
Ok, so you may never be a youngster again chronologically speaking, but your body can act like one. It’s all a matter of tapping into the fountain of youth via healthy lifestyle choices. And I believe that’s a worthy endeavor, wouldn’t you agree?
Blessings for Reversed Aging,
I won’t be around for comments the next couple weeks, but I look forward to catching up with you afterwards! 🌞
The content of this article is for educational and informational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice. Please consult with a qualified health care professional before acting on any information presented herein. Any statements about the possible health benefits of any subject discussed have not been evaluated by medical professionals or the Food & Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or illness.
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