By Susan Brady | 11/18/2019

You Have More Control Over Aging Than You Think

You Have More Control Over Aging Than You Think

Let’s face it, only the young daydream about getting older!

Children thrive on birthdays and enthusiastically look forward to each new year of advanced age.   

Teenagers are eager to reach those major milestone birthdays, signifying independence and the privileges that come with adulthood. 

But as we approach middle age, most start wondering how we can turn back the hands of time to the days of our more youthful body and mind.  With the population of aging adults now outnumbering children for the first time in US history, there has been a surge in anti-aging research and medicine. 

Much of the research has been focused on our cellular DNA, the chromosomes that make up the DNA, and most specifically a part of the chromosome called telomeres.  Telomeres sit at the ends of a chromosome, like the protective caps on shoelaces, and protect our DNA and genetic material from damage. However, each time our cells replicate, these telomeres get shorter and shorter.  After the thousands of cellular replications that occur over our lifetime, the telomeres get so short that they can no longer protect our genes. The shortening of telomeres cause our cells to age and stop functioning properly, which then increases our susceptibility to disease.  Many scientific studies have shown a strong connection between the shorten of telomeres to aging, chronic disease and death.  

However, even though telomeres naturally shorten over time, it turns out that our lifestyle and dietary choices can actually impact the rate of telomere shortening. Habits such as smoking, excessive stress, lack of exercise and diet full of processed foods can accelerate the shortening of telomeres.  And, you guessed it, a healthy lifestyle and eating habits can delay the shortening of telomeres and may even encourage lengthening of them! Here are some key things you can do to protect and lengthen your telomeres.

6 Ways to Lengthen and Protect Your Telomeres:

1.Maintain a healthy weight and body composition.  Obesity has been associated with shorter telomeres.  Excessive fat, especially abdominal fat, creates systemic inflammation which can cause telomere shortening. 

2.Get active. Exercise and physical activity can help both preserve and lengthen telomeres. Currently, it appears that aerobic exercise is more effective than resistance training in lengthening telomeres. However, resistance training is key to preserving muscle mass and maintaining a healthy body composition. So be sure to included both in your weekly exercise routine.

3.Manage stress.  Both chronic and perceived stress have been linked to shorter telomeres.  Stress hormones can cause damage to telomeres and increase the rate of deterioration. 

4.Get adequate sleep.  Short sleep duration has been associated with shorter telomere length. Adequate sleep is essential for eliminating toxins from the body and rebuilding our cells.

5.Eat a diet rich in antioxidants.  Antioxidants can protect DNA and telomeres from free radical damage.   Eat 10 servings of vegetables and fruits a day along with foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids (fatty fish, walnuts, flax and chia seeds) and high quality vegetable and animal proteins.

6.Fasting for 12-16 hours each night at least 5 days per week.  Intermittent fasting reduces oxidative stress and promotes cellular repair.  

Although telomere shortening is only one factor in the cellular aging process, it is one that you can influence. With the average adult living well into their late 70's and 80's, why not ensure you live these years in good health. It’s never too late to take action to protect yourself from the typical conditions of aging.  

That’s one reason why I have created the Healthy Aging Summit.  This online summit brings together 42 experts in the health and wellness field to discuss the steps you can take to stay healthy, active and vibrant at any age.  From tips to preventing chronic conditions associated with aging to the secretes that will keep you looking and feeling your best. 

Join me for the FREE online event, November 21st-24th, and learn the keys to aging in good health and with vibrance and vitality!

Click Here to Register!


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Susan Brady

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