Another year is nearly spent as a new one looms upon us. Whether you like it or not, time is passing, and Father Time spares no one the ravages of his mighty sickle. He can be a real bastard unless you come up with a strategy to defy his mighty wrath! I suppose I’m sounding a bit dramatic, but there are things you can do right now to slow the aging process and feel years younger. Why not try a few of these healthy, inexpensive suggestions before shelling out a fortune to the plastic surgeon!
Eat less sugar. Sugar depletes your body of important minerals needed for a healthy metabolism. It depresses the immune system making your body susceptible to pathogens that will make you sick. High glycemic diets – high in refined sugars and processed foods (bagels, donuts, fried fast food, and white bread) have now been associated with many forms of cancer. Sugary diets raise triglycerides and increase your risk of diabetes and heart disease. Go with whole grains, fresh fruit, and veggies all rich in fiber, vitamins. and minerals.
Quiet your mind and meditate a little everyday. Stress can cause or at least exacerbate every major disease. The stress hormone cortisol can actually shrink the hippocampus, the part of the brain essential to thinking and memory. High levels of cortisol can also cause you to store more blood sugar and accumulate ugly, stubborn brown fat around your middle. Take a few moments everyday, put on some music and try to relax and meditate.
Eat more fish and less meat! The Omega-3fatty acids in fish are among the most heart healthy on the planet. Eating fish can help lower blood pressure, improve your mood, and feed your brain. Only two servings of broiled or baked fish a week or ½ gram of fish oil a day from fish or supplements is all you need to accrue the benefits of consuming this super nutrient. Eating less meat will help cut saturated fat (the bad kind) that clogs arteries and causes heart disease and obesity.
Doctors often don’t check homocysteine levels, but they should. According to experts, the lower your homocysteine, the healthier you are. A level of 9 umol, is generally considered optimal. Those with higher levels are dangerously at risk for heart attacks and strokes. Simply by supplementing with these three common B vitamins – Folic Acid, B6 and B12 you can bring homocysteine levels back to normal.
There’s no better anti-aging strategy than daily exercise. Anaerobic weight training twice a week for ½ to 1 hour will tighten and tone muscles and strengthen bones and joints. Working out 3-4 times a week for the same amount of time can help you build the lean muscle that will rev up your metabolism. Aerobic exercise 2-3 times per week for ½ hour to 45 minutes is sure to strengthen your heart and lungs and help you burn fat. Regular exercise relieves depression and anxiety; it lowers blood pressure and cholesterol; and it keeps your weight under control.
In 2023, make more connections. People who live and work and socialize with other folks live longer and enjoy life more. Making friends, volunteering, or working for a cause and just having good friends and enjoying conversations are life-extending and health enriching.