They are simple but not easy. You know how most people by the time they hit their mid 30s start looking like an older and scruffier version of their younger selves. Whereas if you look at athletes who go hard in their training and follow a nutritionally balanced diet for a sustained period of time, they look like studs and goddesses well into their 50s.
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While there are plethora of factors that affect aging, one of the cornerstones of anti-aging is to follow a consistent exercise routine (preferably vigorous) and eating a nutritionally balanced diet.
Studies have shown that vigorous exercise is necessary to dilate the capillaries that feed all body tissues and remove waste products away from tissue.
Capillaries are tiny blood vessels that supply life-giving blood through our tissues.
When we cut out vigorous exercise, the capillaries constrict and disappear.
Based on a study by Dr. Selge, “Old age can be postponed by slowing down the rate of waste production or by helping the system get rid of waste.”
When the capillaries constrict, it appears that the system can no longer effectively get rid of waste or fast enough, thus bringing about rapid aging.
Introducing daily exercise to your life is the single best thing you could do for yourself.
I am not going to bore you with the medical benefits of exercise and diet.
For me personally, the best program was to split my exercise into resistance training (weight-lifting) and cardiovascular exercise. Anaerobic and aerobic in balanced proportion.
The keyword here is vigorous. Athletes do not train haphazardly and stuff their faces with junk food as reward.
They exit the gym sweating to their teeth and barely catching their breath.
Once the body has been broken down and the status quo shaken to its core, the body demands nutrients.
That is when you supply it with the best nutrients possible. The body will repair itself and regenerate. Hence anti-ageing.
The last step to cement the anti-ageing-gains from exercise and diet is to get enough and good quality sleep.
There is a truth to the tale of Sleeping Beauty. Quality sleep really is the elixir of youth.
“Mental attitudes can influence the body’s healing mechanisms.”
The placebo effect explains this hypothesis.
In taking the sugar pill (placebo), “some sort of expectation is aroused, a goal-image of health is set up in the mind, and the creative mechanism works through the body’s own healing mechanism to accomplish this goal.”
Our nervous system is either a creative mechanism or a failure mechanism.
We dictate if it is creative or a failure by setting forth the intention or goal, consciously or unconsciously.
Hence do we sometimes think ourselves into old age?
This is similar to the placebo effect but in reverse.
Some people at 40 years old begin to look and act old while others continue to look and act young.
These people who looked old always had one thing in common; they almost always thought themselves “middle-aged, past their prime and over the wall.”
When we hit a certain age and begin to believe that we are old, we unconsciously set up a negative goal image for our nervous system to accomplish.
In expecting old age, we do the very things that facilitate it. We taper off on physical and mental activities.
Studies have shown that wealthier people “live longer and have longer biologic time clocks (telomeres) than people who live in poverty.”
Telomeres are distinctive structures found at the end of our chromosomes.
They are essentially like time-keepers of the individual cell.
They tend to shorten as we age.
Now why bring up wealthy people. It has nothing to do with anti-ageing, you are thinking.
Well, just like the wealthier people have longer telomeres, almost the same thing has been observed among people with higher education.
People who are well educated seem to enjoy better overall long-term health and longevity. It makes sense because higher education generally equals success and success equals wealth.
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By higher education I do not mean higher degrees or PhDs.
If you can pursue them, do so by all means but what I value more is to become a Life Long Learner.
Become an avid reader of various disciplines and apply the lessons into your life.
Just as your body needs nutrients in the form of food, so too does your mind in the form of knowledge.
In a nutshell, keep challenging yourself physically and mentally everyday. Never settle into the status quo and always have something to look forward to. Don’t feed your subconscious mechanism(nervous system) with the belief that you are supposed to be old at a certain age. Keep pushing yourself and you will find that age really is just a number.
Contributed by Second wind
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