My number one goal in life is to keep active and feel great until the day I drop down dead.
A great way to feel great and to continue to be active is …. to be continually active !!!
1.BEING ACTIVE EVERY DAY
Being active should be a daily part of life - walking as much as possible, taking the stairs instead of the lift, carrying shopping, gardening, cleaning washing the car , standing up rather than sitting down and moving around as much as possible.
These are things that signal to the body that it needs to keep working.
2. SPECIFIC TRAINING
On top of this daily activity is specially focused exercise : strength work,( building and maintaining muscle mass ) cardiovascular training , stretching , mobility and anything else you want to do on top.
As an experienced #personaltrainerpalma I can tell you the things you do not want to work on you need to work on and the things you do easily , which you tend to always do , should not be the focus of your training.
3. BALANCED DIET
A healthy balanced diet , eating plenty of fresh seasonal vegetables , organic protein sources, healthy fats and some fruits ( like berries ) nuts and seeds can also help in keeping you young and energised. Avoiding sugar, bad fats and processed foods along with eating outside of your circadian clock ( ie avoid eating late in the evening ) #personaltrainingandnutrtiion can guide you through this.
Fasting - taking time off from eating which allows your body to repair itself instead of focusing on digestion. This is the time when it clears out all the old cells and therefore helps to reduce inflammation - its like a spring clean of the body
6. REDUCING POLLUTION
Not smoking , avoiding polluted air, water and food ( including pesticides, air fresheners and other miscellaneous items in your personal care products )
A study in the US on air pollutants on 2700 women found that their epigenetic age was accelerated by 6 years !!!
7. REDUCING BAD STRESS
Stress can be good - in the form of Exercise, heat and cold exposure, fasting, feeding…. and so forth. However other forms of stress like pollution mentioned above, bad fats from fast and processed foods ( mainly vegetable oils ) excessive worrying , negative ruminating, constantly having a busy mind and anxiety can all result in inflammation in the body . Taking time out , meditating and clearing the mind of clutter can all help to keep bad stress at bay.
Don’t keep things bottled up . ´a problem shared is a problem halved ´
8. BEING PART OF A COMMUNITY
Surround yourself with people who care about you, people who you can laugh and share moments with , family , friends or an exercise group . Feeling that you are a part of something and not feeling isolated is important. Obviously at the moment this could be a little challenging at times but use zoom, what’s app video , Skype and so forth to keep in regular contact with your ´community´ or #personaltrainer !
9. SUN EXPOSURE. Whilst the sun has amazing healing properties along with helping to release Vitamin D in the body - too much sun exposure will visibly damage and wrinkle the skin leading to premature aging. Its best to take sun exposure first thing in the morning - 20 minutes without sunscreen.
10. SLEEP. Regardless of your age you need to make sure you are getting enough ´quality ´sleep. A cool, dark , quiet bedroom . minimising wifi and electronics both 3 hours prior to bed and in the bedroom . Reducing caffein in the afternoon and moderating drinking alcohol can all help with a good nights sleep. Along with Collagen , Omega 3 and a cold shower. Sleep regenerates and heals the body and brain. Not getting enough sleep has a direct correlation with poor health and accelerated aging.
Aging in humans is measured in three ways :
Chronological age. This simply means how old you are. However the old cliche ´age is just a number ´could never be more true in this scenario - All of the above factors can have a direct result on aging in the body - therefore aging you beyond or allowing you to be younger than your chronological age .
Epigenetic age.This is the most accurate way of predicting mortality and the onset of age related diseases. It uses the individuals DNA - specifically DNA methylation profile . In simple terms methylation provides a record in molecules about a persons development , maintenance and decline. It includes lifestyle factors as mentioned above along with DNA, genetics, infant experience and social interaction are also said to be factors influencing DNA expression. It is said to be the most accurate way of predicting both mortality and the onset of diseases like cancer and so forth.
3. Biological age. This uses parameters like blood markers of inflammation ( glucose, cholesterol etc ) metabolic and immune function. It directly measures the physiological and functional state of the body calculating the risk of diseases and mortality as compared to people of the same chronological age.
To put this into practice Hispanics for example have a lower Biological age - they genetically are predisposed to metabolic disease and diabetes - therefore they maybe in good shape but they have a higher risk of these diseases. The mortality paradox is that on average they live longer than any other country in Europe. Therefore their epigenetic clock ages more slowly
Studies on centenarians have revealed valuable insights in the potential for people to live longer than and also healthier .
If you have a parent that lived to 100 years or older the chances are you will have younger blood and therefore be biologically and epigentically younger than someone of equal age but whose parents died in their 70´s.
Other ways to slow aging include higher fish intake and / or omega 3, higher caratonoid intake and more fruit and vegetables , regular physical activity, and moderate alcohol consumption.
Vitamin D has also been shown to slow down the aging process.
In a study done on a group of obese African Americans aged between 13 and 45 years of age, who took between 600 IU and 4000IU vitamin D daily for 16 weeks - all slowed their rate of aging down by 1.9 years. Not only is this very exciting but reveals that other dietary factors may also help us to slow aging further.
Many Health fanatics now maintain that they will Iive to 200 years old with all the developments in supplements, stem cell replacement , taking blood from younger people along with all the benefits of making the changes above in the 10 steps which we can all do.
To conclude using the factors within your control to do everything in your power to age better including keeping your weight down, your brain active, exercising regularly, minimising bad stress , avoiding toxins and pollution and balancing eating a healthy balanced diet with periods of fasting along with increasing certain nutrients in the diet can all be valuable measures in helping to keep your body young, active and healthy.
The future of Epigenetic clocks will be useful tools in preventing and treating the onset of age related diseases to further ensure we live healthier and avoid age related disease.
Photograph credit @josie_seemallorca