Monday, December 17, 2012
No matter how gracefully some people seem to do it, aging, in and of itself, is a tissue wasting process. While every organism eventually dies, most people today are overfed, overweight, and over stressed. Each of these factors diminishes your vitality and speed the aging process. But what everyone would like to know is can we stop it?
How often have you heard, or probably even said, 'if I could just turn back time'? Speak to any doctor or nutritionist today and most will say the fountain of youth is inside - inside your cells and inside your kitchen. What is seen on the outside and how you feel on the inside is dictated by what you do and what you eat.
In order to remain vibrant, health has to become an integral part of your everyday and a great way to begin is simply by walking. Incorporating just 30 minutes a day can significantly reduce your levels of stress, help you sleep better, decrease anxiety, control your blood pressure, and help you gain more emotional stability. All of these factors influence aging. Another significant way to calm your body is to begin the meditative practice of yoga. But if the mere thought of having to sit still and quiet stresses you, begin with a basic breathing exercise - five minutes of diaphragmatic breathing. Take long inhalations through the nose - the belly should become full of air as opposed to the chest rising – exhale slowly through the mouth, and you will feel your body begin to relax. Do this while sitting in rush hour traffic and road rage will begin to dissipate. This alone should add years back to your life. It’s important to find activities things that you enjoy so that you look forward to moving. So dance, swim, or join an athletic team.
In addition to staying physically active, turn your kitchen into a natural, age-defying pharmacy. It should be stocked with foods known to reduce stress and aging exceptionally well, like whole grains, beets and raisins which are full of magnesium, the anti-stress mineral. Oranges and grapefruit, both rich in vitamin C, and bananas, avocados and yogurt, all rich in potassium, lower the blood pressure. Boost your immune system with fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants like carrots, broccoli, tomatoes, and blueberries.
Drinking plenty of water will also reverse the effects of aging. The benefits of proper hydration are numerous, affecting almost every process occurring in the body. In addition to maintaining the health and integrity of every cell, it also acts as a natural moisturizer keeping the skin soft and supple. Water is the elixir of life, and drinking it amply will prevent premature aging.
Just as remaining active and having a healthy diet affects your quality of life, your mental fitness is equally crucial. No matter how fantastic you treat your body, time will continue to tick away. How you deal with the changes is what matters – you can allow them to drive you mad or accept them. The skin will lose some elasticity, the page may have to move a little closer or farther away to read, and your sprints may be a little slower, but accepting the inevitable changes rather than seeing them as crises will keep you from sinking into a depression over your aging which of course, ages you even faster.
Help your body fight off the negative effects of stress through a proper diet and exercise and as you age, keep the important things in front of you. If you continue learning, remain, or get involved in your community, explore things that interest you, always seek to find a new purpose, and laugh as often as possible, you will begin to slow the hands of time keeping you healthy, fit, and beautiful.