How To Slow Down Aging And Stay Younger For Longer
We’ve all heard the legend of the ‘Fountain of Youth’ at some point or the other in our lives. We’ve heard stories of how those many travelers went on expeditions to find it, only to return empty-handed. Some did not even return forever. Yet, the human quest to look younger, even in ripe old age, continues. We may no longer go on expeditions to find a solution for aging. However, scientific studies are definitely performed every once in a while to help people find ways to retain their youthful looks for as long as they can.
According to one such study, environmental and lifestyle factors account for nearly 80% of aging in people as compared to genetic factors that account for only 20% (1). Which is why we suggest some lifestyle tips here to help you beat the aging process and extend your youth by a few more years!
1. Beat That Stress
This one may be the most common and oft-repeated advice. But, we’ll still tell you this, stress does wreak havoc in our lives. It also affects the length of the telomeres (the ends of our chromosomes). The length of the telomeres is responsible for the aging process in our bodies; the shorter it gets, the faster the aging process. Therefore, it’s imperative to maintain low levels of stress. Meditation is probably one of the best ways to achieve this, followed closely by exercise and yoga. So, get that yoga mat out, take a deep breath, and let go of all the negative feelings and thoughts!
2. Be Surrounded By Friends And Happy People
It goes without saying that cheerful people bring happiness into our lives. It becomes an added bonus if they happen to be our long-time friends. A recent study also showed that couples who’ve been married for long or individuals who managed to maintain old friendships were found to have longer telomeres (2). This considerably slowed down their aging process. Time to raise a toast to true friendship!
3. Eat Sparingly
A recent study suggests that caloric restriction, which requires eating less quantity of food without malnutrition, slows down the metabolic rate in humans and helps them stay younger for long (3). The researchers observed two groups of monkeys, one of which was put on a low-calorie diet for two years. The results showed that the group of monkeys on the low-calorie diet outlived the other group. So, while you might start restricting calories in your diet, make sure you also add anti-aging foods like dark chocolate, nuts, salmon, figs, turmeric, avocado, etc. This will reduce the risk of heart disease, improve your gut, and keep you fit and active.
4. Exercise Your Mind
While most of us go to great lengths to remain physically fit, more often we tend to neglect mental health. Exercising your mind is equally essential. Develop good reading habits, indulge in some games like crossword or scrabble, or try learning a new language to keep your mind working. A recent study also suggests that learning results in an increased number of neurons, which keep the brain active and young (4).
5. Get Some Sunshine
Of late, a sunscreen is a must-have for every person. It is as though stepping out without applying one, even during winters, is bound to give you cancer. However, your body does require some amount of sunshine, which is a rich source of vitamin D and helps you absorb calcium and strengthens your bones. In fact, the Cancer Research UK, suggests spending at least 15 minutes without a sunscreen in the midday sun (5).
6. Put On Those Dancing Shoes!
There comes a time in everyone’s life when they think they are too old to dance. But, never say never. There is no age limit when it comes to learning new things, including dancing! A new study also reveals that dancing is, in fact, a very effective type of exercise, which might actually reverse the effects of aging (6). So, what are you waiting for? Put on your dancing shoes and dance your way to a youthful life!
7. Have A Sound Sleep
Sleep experts have always told us that the sleep between 11 pm to 3 am is essentially responsible for regeneration and nutrition (7). Which is why we were always told to go to bed early to wake up young. Now, a research conducted at Harvard Medical School substantiates this belief (8). The research revealed that when people who slept less than 7 hours started going to bed one hour earlier, they showed positive blood pressure changes. This went a long way in reducing their risk of heart attacks and stroke. Not to mention, a sound sleep helps you wake up feeling refreshed and active in the morning.
We hope these tips prove helpful in retaining your youthful looks for a longer time. We may not have found you the legendary ‘Fountain of Youth.’ Nonetheless, we did get you the solid backing of science, which is sure to sail you through in your quest for everlasting (more or less) youth!