Are you looking to join the growing ranks of centenarians with a long happy life? The U.S. Census Bureau reports that there are around 84,000 centenarians in the U.S. and predicts that by the year 2040 this number will increase to 580,000. Why is this number on the rise? Genetics seem to play a role certainly as Boston University’s New England Centenarian Study reports around 50% of those studied had close relatives that lived to old ages. That wasn’t the only factor discovered though by any means. You may not be able to change your genetic disposition towards longevity, but there are many other natural solutions you can employ through diet, lifestyle, spiritual disposition, and mental attitude according to Farid Wassef, co-author of Breaking the Age Barrier, to live longer. According to David L. Katz, M.D., founding director of Yale University’s Prevention Research Center, aging starts on the inside and making some simple lifestyle changes can slow the aging process down starting on a cellular level.
Natural Solutions for Longevity
Staying active and exercising are important to live longer. A British study reported that participants engaging in physical activity had longer telomeres than those that didn’t stay active. Telomeres are the part of the chromosome that naturally shorten as we age. Exercise can help not only with longevity, but also improving health concerns usually associated with aging. First, regular exercise helps keep our weight down which reduces the risk of conditions such as heart attack, diabetes and cancers that can cause death. Reducing your body weight by even five to ten percent can help you avoid shortening your life due to these types of conditions. According to Steven Hawkins, Ph.D., one of the reasons older people have balance problems is that aging causes the bones in the inner ear to lose function which affects balance. Practicing yoga poses that concentrate on balance like the tree pose he says can help. We also associate more fragile bones with aging as after age 30 we start losing bone density at about 1 to 2% a year. Dr. Hawkins advises doing weight bearing activities such as walking can help increase bone density. And according to Bob Greene who wrote Twenty Years Younger, aerobic exercise, weight training, and strength training can all help prevent conditions associated with aging such as a slower metabolism and flabby muscles.
To reduce the signs of aging, the best diet is one that includes lots of lean protein, antioxidants from fruits and vegetables, healthy fats such as omega 3 fatty acids, and fiber. As important as what you do eat is what you don’t eat. Avoiding high salt, unhealthy fats, sugar, simple carbs, and processed foods is also part of a good anti-aging diet as these types of foods cause inflammation that negatively affect the heart, brain, kidneys, joints, and skin. Inflammation in the body attacks your body’s cells and can leave you looking older with wrinkles and saggy skin according to dermatologist Nicholas Perricone, M.D. Mark Moyad from the University of Michigan medical Center in Ann Arbor, finds that adding fiber to your diet can help reduce inflammation which leads to more stable cholesterol and blood sugar levels, better immune system functioning, and that wards off much of the damage and aging inflammation can cause. To be sure you get all the basic nutrients the body needs to perform its best and stay healthy, wholefood supplements can be a welcome addition to an anti-aging diet. This algae based supplement program gives you all the powerhouse nutrition that comes from AFA bluegreen algae including the vitamins, minerals, trace minerals, phytonutrients and the right balance of omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids along with probiotics and enzymes for good digestive health and to get the most out of the foods you eat. Since antioxidant protection is so important to an anti-aging diet to fight off free radical damage to cells, this antioxidant algae supplement can give you a boost of these protective agents. Antioxidants are also important for the growth of your own natural adult stem cells that give your body a way to repair damaged cells. Since fighting inflammation by boosting immune system function is another important part of an anti-aging diet, this immune support algae supplement provides a blend of 6 mushrooms and beta glucan. Numerous studies have reported the benefits of beta glucan and mushrooms in supporting immune system function.
Lifestyle for Long Life
In studies involving centenarians and why they are found to live longer, there are various lifestyle behaviors that have been identified as being contributing factors. Many of these factors have to do with being open to learning new things. Finding activities that challenge you mentally such as new hobbies, doing word puzzles, or keeping up with new technology can all help keep your mind sharp. Don’t be surprised to find centenarians on social media cites or Googling! Keeping close social ties is another lifestyle behavior that can contribute to a longer life as studies have shown this behavior can improve immune function and reduce the risk of depression. 82% of centenarians asked said they stayed in contact with friends or family every day. Activities that help manage stress are another contributor to a longer life as stress can really take its toll on a body. Walking, meditating, yoga, musical activities, getting together with friends, and volunteering are some of the ways our centenarians are dealing with stress. Laughing, being curious and being creative are other traits that have been found to contribute to living longer. One study at the University of Maryland reported laughing 15 minutes a day showed a 50% improvement in blood flow to the heart.
Get Your Beauty Sleep
Sleep gives your body time to shut down to refresh itself and repair damage done to cells according to Frank Lipman, M.D., physician of integrative and functional medicine in New York City. He also cites getting adequate amounts of sleep as serving to keep healthy hormone function and as needed to give your brain a break. A study at the Scripps Clinic Sleep Center in California in 2002 reported that participants getting 6 ½ to 7 hours of sleep were found to live longer than those getting over 8 hours or less than 6 ½. Other experts cite around 8 hours as the optimal amount of sleep.
Good oral health isn’t just about how you look although healthy, white teeth do make us look younger. Maintaining good oral health also reduces our risk of heart disease and stroke. Research from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, with the Centers for Disease Control, found that people with healthy gums in particular live longer than those with gum disease such as gingivitis and periodontitis. In fact those with gum disease had a higher mortality rate by 23 to 46%. That makes it extra important to brush, floss and get your dental checkups if you are striving to live longer.
If you are looking to make the list of centenarians, or just looking to have a healthy life on in to old age for however long that may be, then get started on your anti-aging diet, stay active in body, mind and spirit, keep your weight down, get adequate sleep and find a way to cut down on stress. These are the ways others before you have made it to over 100 years of age and good advice to follow for your health no matter what age you are.
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