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Staying Younger



Lynn Smith
Professional Health Coach

Have you ever had the experience of someone being genuinely surprised that you are as old as you are? What a boost to the ego! We all want to look young for our age. In fact, looking younger has turned into a booming industry. Plastic surgery. Botox. Rejuvenating face serums. Chemical peels. It can sound very tempting. But all of this can be expensive and full of risks.

Can you look younger longer without such drastic measures? The answer is yes! It comes down to creating a healthier lifestyle. We're going to look at five rejuvenating strategies that can slow the aging process, none of which requires a scalpel.

Being an Under-Eater

We live in a society that super-sizes everything. This results in major over-eating. Over-eating does more than expand the waist, it accelerates the aging process. To slow down the aging process, we want to cut back on food intake, under-eat. Many people consume far more calories than are necessary for good health.

A study done at the University of Washington, Seattle, by Drs. Wolf and Pendergrass, shows that cutting back on calorie consumption slows the rate of cell division. This is significant because cell age is measured by the number of times a cell divides, not by time. By slowing cell division, the aging process slows.

Focus on cutting back on calories by a third. This may seem difficult but think about how much mindless snacking you do. Are you around a candy jar that you always grab a handful of when you walk by? What about snacking in front of the TV? Do you really know how much you ate?

Here are some tips to help you cut back on unnecessary calories:

Avoid high calorie foods

Don't eat late at night

Don't finish everything on your plate

Don't eat in front of the TV or at the movies

If you cut back on these scenarios you will have cut a significant number of calories without much effort. Remember: Over-eating accelerates aging, under-eating slows aging.

Get Strong

You've already heard over and over again about the benefits of exercise. But did you know it also has anti-aging properties? We lose about three pounds of muscle mass per decade and loss of muscle mass is interconnected with aging mechanisms. Our amount of muscle mass is a key factor in the regulating of metabolic activities, and therefore, you should view exercise as a defense against aging.

Not only does exercise help in anti-aging, it also releases chemicals that ramp up production of BDNF. BDNF is brain-derived neurotrophic factor. BDNF works to counteract the effects of cortisol. Stress causes the production of cortisol and cortisol shrinks the size of the brain. Increased production of BDNF, through exercise will cause the brain to grow. Researchers at the University of Illinois have documented the effects of moderate aerobic exercise on sedentary individuals. With just 45 to 60 minutes, three days a week, their brains actually grew larger, both the white matter and grey matter. There's motivation to exercise.


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