We often associate aging with loss of strength and flexibility, a certain frailty, painful joints, illness and chronic conditions. And most certainly, when we think of aging, we think of lines and wrinkles that, quite frankly, no one finds appealing! Still, it is good to know that health, beauty and happiness in our golden years are strongly linked to the choices we make and the lives we are leading today.
Slow down the aging process
The symptoms we usually blame on aging are not “normal”! Studies have shown that what we believe to be signs of aging – bigger waist lines, deterioration of our mental and physical faculties – are actually the result of a mental and physical withdrawal that defines our daily behaviour past a certain age.
Degeneration and decline are not necessarily part of the aging process. There is a difference between aging and decline. To age is inevitable, but it can be biologically programmed to slow down. What we call aging and envision with apprehension is, in reality, associated with the degeneration of our body. This degeneration can be slowed down. With time, our skin loses elasticity, our hair turns grey and gravity does its thing but how we feel in our body and our general feeling of well-being are primarily in our control. We can therefore delay the aging process. How? By changing the messages we are sending our body: amongst other things, through food and exercise.
Tips on how to add life to your years!
· Exercise: We all know that cardiovascular and strength training and stretching can delay the aging process. A study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine states that the regular practice of moderate intensity cardiovascular exercise can delay the biological aging process by 12 years. This means that by the time you reach 50, you can feel like you’re still in your 30’s! Now there’s a good reason to keep moving!
· Know how to manage stress: Stress drains you both mentally and physically. By controlling it more efficiently, you prevent it from showing up on your body! Take the time to breathe deeply and calm down! Consider yoga or meditation to help you relax.
· Sleep: Your body needs 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night. This can vary from one person to another. Pay attention to the signs of fatigue your body is sending and give in to them!
· Eat plenty of colorful fruits and vegetables. We can never say this often enough. These foods contain a wealth of health-promoting properties. The more we learn, the more we recognize the importance of making them part of your daily diet.
· Eat healthy fats: Fatty acids, such as Omega-3’s, are good for your skin and help maintain a more youthful appearance.
Many other things can help keep you young…what’s your secret?
By Karine Larose