Anti-aging and how to take off the years.
Most of us believe our fate in life is in the cards or in the stars.
But thanks to research, the secrets to living longer and healthier are being revealed to us.
It seems that 70% of the factors influencing our life expectancy are due to good choices we make, with just a little bit of luck and not necessarily good genes.
The following are suggestions put forth by dozens of scientists who study aging, exercise, nutrition and other related fields.
Anti-aging tip #1.
Stay the weight you were at eighteen.
Next to not smoking, this is probably the most important thing you can do to stay healthy and live longer.
Being lean matters, because fat cells produce hormones that raise the risk of type 2 diabetes.
They also produce substances called cytokines that cause inflammation, stiffening of the arteries, heart and other organs.
Carrying excess fat also raises the risks of certain cancers.
Added up, studies show that lean people younger than 75, cut their chances of premature death in half compared with those that are obese.
The health department deems a wide range of weights to be healthy (110-140lbs., for a woman of 5'4"), in part because body frames vary.
To maintain the weight that's right for you it's suggested we periodically try to get into clothing sizes we wore to the high school prom as an example and assuming of course you were at a healthy weight then.
Aim for body mass of approximately 24.
Anti-aging tip #2.
Take this dynamic duo.
A professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at the U of Cal., swears by his daily dose of 800 mg of alpha-lipoic acid and 2,000 mg of acetyl-L-carnitine.
At these dose levels he believes these chemicals boost the energy output of mitochondria, which powers our cells.
His belief is that mitochondrial decay is a major factor in aging and it’s been linked to diseases such as Diabetes and Alzheimer’s.
In studies, older rats that were given the supplements ran the test mazes better and with significantly more energy.
If you're an older rat you have reason to be enthusiastic but we humans can't be certain until the clinical trials underway are complete.
The compounds do look safe and the worst side effect to date in humans is a rash.
Anti-aging tip #3.
This one particular move could truly have dramatic results.
In studies rats that were fed 30% less than their counterparts lived 30% longer and in another particular study, the human hearts of the leaner calorie cutters appeared 10-15 years younger than the hearts of regular eaters.
In yet other studies, calorie restrictors had improved blood insulin levels and fewer evidence of DNA damage.
This research suggests skipping one meal a day or try fasting one day per week and drink lots of H2O.
Anti-aging tip #4.
Got a pet?
Having a pet seems to reduce the number of visits to your local GP.
This also seems to prolong survival after a heart attack and aids in warding off depression.
It seems that owning a pet protects against high blood pressure (a major problem of aging).
A study done at the State University of New York, Buffalo, stockbrokers with high blood pressure were asked to adopt a pet.
When faced with mental stresses, their blood pressure increased by less than half as much as their stressed-out brethren who had no pets.
Just pick your pet with care because there's nothing stress reducing about a dog that chews on your leather chair or couch.
Anti-aging tip #5.
If you want your artery walls to be twice as flexible as those of a sedate person, take a hike.
Walk briskly for 30 minutes, five days per week.
As we age, your blood vessels walls tend to stiffen up, sort of like old tires.
Probably the main reason two thirds of people over age 60 have high blood pressure.
Exercising will keep your blood vessels pliable.
Even mild exercise reduces the risk of certain cancers, depression, diabetes, aging of the skin and perhaps dementia.
Anti-aging tip #6.
Have a fair fight.
Ugly squabbles and arguments with your significant other increase the risk of clogged arteries.
A recent study done at the University of Utah, showed that women's hearts suffered when they made and/or heard hostile comments.
The men's hearts reacted negatively to controlling or domineering words.
Of course it’s normal to have an argument with your partner but it’s a matter of how you fight.
Being personal, sarcastic, nasty or using negative body language like rolling your eyes (actually shows a sign of disrespect) does not alleviate anything.
Anti-aging tip #7.
Be one with nature.
You've probably heard that gardening and being near plants is good for your blood pressure.
Studies have shown that workers blood pressure spiked when given a stressful task, but rose just 25% as much, when there were plants nearby.
Patients who could view trees and bushes from their recovery room after surgery were released from hospital practically an entire day sooner than those with no view.
Anti-aging tip #8.
Acts of kindness.
Studies of people in Brooklyn, NY found that those individuals who gave more to their family and friends than they received, be it money, time, advice or food, reported feeling healthier and happier than those who didn't.
Many people have the mantra that its a dog eat dog world out there but there's a lot of data suggesting that one of the best ways to being healthy and happy is in being kind to others.
Anti-aging tip #9.
Find a rainbow.
Discover a rainbow of fruits and vegetables.
Their cancer preventing abilities are unequaled.
Try to get ten servings of fruit and vegetables a day.
Anti-aging tip #10.
Dining at sea.
You want the fatty fishes.
Trout, salmon and especially sardines as these contain Omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA.
Many studies show these fats to help in preventing sudden death from a heart attack.
These Omega-3 fats may also aid in warding off some cancers, depression, age related macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness and even Alzheimer’s disease.
Stay away from such things as margarine, cookies and snack foods such as potato chips which are full of the unhealthy trans-fats.
Anti-aging tip #11.
Tea for two.
Studies of mice, lab dish cells and people say that tea may fight prostate and breast cancer.
Green tea being the best but black tea also has benefits.
Anti-aging tip #12.
"D-3 for you & me.
If you take just one vitamin supplement, this should be the one!
Vitamin "D" is made in your skin when the sun comes in contact but as people age, your body's "D" factory slows down.
It seems that no other nutrient is so widely lacking in people in North America.
Unless you eat a lot of fish you should supplement as much as 1800 IU (International Units) a day in the winter and 1200 IU the rest of the time.
And be sure the supplement contains vitamin "D3".
This is the type your skin manufactures.
Anti-aging tip #13.
Turmeric is the spice that makes curry yellow and is loaded with curcumin a chemical with potent anti-oxidant as well as anti-inflammatory properties.
In India it's put onto bandages to aid in healing wounds.
Asians also consume it, which may explain why they have lower Cancer, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer disease rates than North Americans.
If you don't like the taste of curry you can get your curcumin in a daily supplement of 500-1000mg.
Anti-aging tip #14.
You've heard the saying, "the life you save may be your own".
Numerous researchers believe we take in too much iron, certainly from red meats, and iron is believed to create free radicals in our body, which in turn speeds the aging process as well as increasing the risk of Alzheimer’s, heart disease and cancers.
In women and until menopause, you're protected naturally from iron over load but after that the danger of an over dose escalates.
Studies (preliminary) suggest regularly giving blood can lower your risk of heart disease.
If you are adverse to needles, ease up on the red meats in your diet.
A daily serving about the size of a deck of playing cards should be your limit, about 6-8 ounces.
Anti-aging tip #15.
Watching your eyes.
It's believed that consuming lots of Omega-3's in our foods can help stave off age related macular de-generation.
Anti-oxidants from plants such as zeaxanthin and lutein can be helpful also.
These anti-oxidants are readily available in leaf greens such as collards and kale.
Those people who have drusen, which are tiny deposits within the retina which could be early signs of macular de-generation, can reduce the risk of blindness by up to 25% by taking supplements.
Studies suggest taking 80mg zinc, 2mg copper, 15mg beta-carotene, 400 IU vitamin-E and 500 mg vitamin-C.
Anti-aging tip #16.
Everyone’s sleep requirements are different and some sleep problems raise the risk of diabetes, perhaps even obesity, heart disease and high blood pressure.
Most people require 7-8 hours per night.
Do you snore?
You might want to ask your spouse, if he/she hasn’t already told you, as honking and snorfing throughout the night are possible signs of sleep apnea, which actually causes a person to stop breathing as much as ten times per hour, which can also increase the risk of a stroke.
And our top picks for keeping young;
*Manage your stress.
*Have a positive outlook on life.
*Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables.
*Keep your waist trim.
*Take brisk walks.
*Get lots of sleep, 7-8 hours.
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