It has got to be one of the most common complaints, and one that’s heard from generation after generation as they ‘get on’ in life; the heart’s saying yes, but the body’s saying no. The reality is – whether we like it or not – oftentimes you need to have both those parts of the equation on board the yes train if you’re going to continue doing everything that you love to do as you get older.The body ages, and there’s nothing you can do stop it from doing that. What you can do, however, is slow the rate at which you start to become achy, inflexible and more easily convinced that you’d rather just stay seated than be active like you used to be. As is the case with pretty much any physiological aim, the best approach is to pair lifestyle changes with amendments to your diet and – last but not least – smart supplementation with quality products.
So if you’d prefer to NOT be one of the ‘young at heart only’ crew, read on about 4 principal ways to prevent premature body aging along with a few recommendations of products that are manufactured by one of the highest-purity nutraceutical supplement manufacturers in the world.
And yes, we’re skipping the obvious ones like avoid substance abuse, not smoking, avoid trans fats etc.
1) Eat More Fruits and Vegetables and WAY Less Meat and Fewer Processed Foods
The health benefits and extension of body longevity that comes from eating right are well established and to look at it from a detailed perspective would take the entirety of this blog. So, in the interest of keeping it brief we’ll focus more on why you should eat less meat and more fruits and vegetables.
First off, we’re not telling you to eat NO meat and go vegan (although that in itself provides fantastic health benefits), just to eat less than you currently do. And if you eat red meat often, eat it WAY less than you currently do. The reason we say this is because human beings weren’t designed to eat meat. The fact that we don’t have pronounced incisor teeth in our mouths the same way dogs, wolves, bears etc. do is the indisputable evolutionary fact of this.
We’ll get to the point. The fact that we’re not designed to eat meat means – more importantly - we’re also not designed to digest it either. Your gut has no choice but to process the meat if you eat it, but what happens as a result is plenty of oxidative stress on the body. Long story short, oxidative stresses make your body age considerably faster and both on the outside and inside, and the antioxidants in brightly-coloured fruits and vegetables work to counter the free radical damage that comes from oxidative stress.
AOR is the nutraceutical manufacturer we alluded to above, and their Astaxanthin Ultra formulation is a great choice to pair with your smarter eating habits, as it’s a powerful antioxidant that works to minimize the cellular damage of oxidative stress. Same can be said for their Antioxidant Synergy, another good choice here.
Last but not least here, consider eating to the point you are only 80% full, and not completely full. That’s the premise behind the practice of Hara Hachi Bu by the Japanese Islanders of Okinawa. They maintain great physical health well into their old age, for a variety of reasons, but this practice is particularly interesting.
2) Get The Sleep You Need – Every Night
You’ve no doubt heard the age-old insistence that you need to get at least 7 hours of sleep a night. That varies depending on the person and their age. Some will need more, some will need less, but it’s a fairly good ballpark figure. So when you do get your full night’s sleep, you will pass through all of the N1, N2, N3 and REM stages of sleep.
They’re all great, but in as far as maintaining the health and vitality of your physical form, the N3 stage is absolutely golden and you NEED to go through it if you want to prevent premature aging. During N3, blood supply to your muscles increases, energy is replenished, and you benefit immensely from the release of growth hormones that develop, maintain, and repair components of the body that need it.
3) Engage in Regular Resistance Training
This one is also a biggie, but before we get into it let’s be very clear – we said RESISTANCE TRAINING and not WEIGHTLIFTING or BODYBUILDING.
You should be pleased to hear us make this insistence for 2 reasons. First, resistance training may take longer to complete, but it’s WAY less physically taxing on the body. It’s designed to promote functional strength and flexibility via muscle toning as compared to the muscle building of weightlifting. And as someone who’s more interested in staying in shape long-term and maintaining a healthy ‘working’ body that is exactly what you’re after.
Second, resistance training and its lower-weight / higher rep equation (as compared to higher-weight / lower rep for weightlifting and bodybuilding) is vastly more conducive to your brain’s production of BDNF (brain-derived neurotropic factor), which is the equivalent of fertilizer for your body and brain and is immensely beneficial in preventing premature aging.
Now, we know what the standard objection will be here – “I’m often too tired to exercise.” Well, fair enough, but AOR’s Magnesium / Potassium Aspartates formulation is an example of a natural supplement for more energy that helps you overcome fatigue. It’s great for treating chronic fatigue syndrome too, as magnesium and potassium aspartates are essential nutrients in process by which energy is created at the body’s cellular level (ATP).
Many adults suffer from metabolic exhaustion but they’re unaware of exactly why they fell as out-of-gas as they do, but once you find an effective way to address exhaustion you can start with your resistance training and then you’ll soon find yourself in a better body that you can keep into your older age!
4) Focus on Being More Flexible
We’re going to begin here by saying that any of you who think that Yoga and Pilates are only for women really need to ditch that way of thinking. These 2 health and wellness practices are so tremendously beneficial for healthy body aging for both genders that we really recommend them as enthusiastically as possible. As you may be discerning, there really is something of a connective theme here - and yes, you need to be flexible and limber in order to be more active, which in turn leads to more flexibility. It’s a positive cycle!
The flexibility is a good place to start, and a men or women can start doing yoga or Pilates at any age or point of their life. Every studio will have a beginner’s class, and some have over 50 or beginners classes for men or women exclusively. And for those of you who have a stiff back that prevents you from doing activities with intensity,trunk rotations are as simple and exercise as you’ll find and it’s quite amazing how they loosen up your hips and back in a short period of time.
And if your joints are already ‘shot’, consider AOR’s MSM + Glucosamine to get you back to limber to an extent you might not have thought possible, and then give Yoga or Pilates a shot, bet you anything you stick with it.
Anyone can be at their best at any age, and while it’s increasingly challenging as you get older, it’s no less doable. So here’s to all of you who have no plans of slowing down.