Despite the biological clock inevitably ticking away every minute of every day, there are things that you can do to slow down your rate of aging. And it’s never too early to start thinking about these things.
After all, most of us don’t give a second thought to growing old until we reach a certain age. However, it’s important to think about setting yourself up for success when it comes to your physical and mental health – and by taking the right steps throughout the course of your life to keep yourself healthy, you can reduce your rate of aging and stay youthful for years to come.
With that in mind, here are three of the best ways to slow down the aging process and keep yourself physically and mentally young for as long as possible:
Your body and brain rely on consistent movement to function properly, which is why regular exercise has been shown to reduce the risk of physical and mental health conditions.
Numerous studies show that a lack of exercise and the associated increase in body fat percentage affects every cell in the body. Your heart, blood vessels, skeletal muscles, bones, and brain are all impacted when you live a sedentary lifestyle, and you can age at a faster rate.
Regular exercise can lower your risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and neurological disorders. Part of the protective effects of exercise is due to its ability to stimulate the release of beneficial hormones in your body.
It can also activate known “survival genes” called sirtuins that can slow down the rate of cellular aging, keeping you younger for longer! We won’t go too far into the science behind all of this now, but if you’re interested in learning more, sirtuins are a fascinating group of genes!
Exercise can also improve your mobility, flexibility, stability, and balance. This means that as you get older, you won’t need to rely on others for support when you walk. You might not need to use a Zimmer frame or a medical alert system to stay safe on your feet like many older adults.
If you want to slow down your rate of aging, incorporating exercise into your daily routine is vital. Doing so will keep your body mobile and functional and your brain youthful.
The important thing is to find a form of exercise that you enjoy.The recommended amount of exercise for optimal health is 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise every week.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Just as exercise is important to keep your body and brain young and healthy, eating a diet that is full of nutrition is also essential.
Although you can’t stop your cells from dividing and aging, you can keep them as healthy as possible by eating a well-balanced diet. Those who eat a healthy diet not only look younger on the outside but they will also be younger on the inside.
Fruits and vegetables contain vitamins, minerals, and healthy fiber that are vital to helping your cells perform their usual functions, as well as antioxidants that can reduce oxidative stress that can cause cell aging. So, eating lots of antioxidant rich foods can protect your cells and slow down the rate of aging.
Make sure you eat lots of protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats too. Protein keeps your muscles, skin, hair, and nails youthful, carbohydrates provide you with energy to go about your day and perform exercise, and healthy fats are vital for your heart and brain.
Get Enough Sleep
Most people forget about how important sleep really is and they will happily run on four hours of sleep a night. However, sleep is essential for your health.
Persistently getting inadequate amounts of sleep increases your risk of developing a wide range of diseases that could shorten your life. So if you want to slow down the rate of aging, aim to get between seven and nine hours of high-quality sleep every night; this means sleep that goes through cycles of lighter and deep sleep.
During deep sleep, your brain gets washed with cerebrospinal fluid, which helps to wash away toxins. This occurs via the glymphatic system. Your muscles repair any damage and your organs take time to recover. Without this time to rest and recuperate, you will age quicker and you are more at risk of illness and infection.
Sleep is the time to unwind and relax. No matter how busy you are or how much you’d rather stay up and watch television in the late evenings, try to get into bed before 11 pm so that you can get a full night of high-quality rest.
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