Looking to slow aging? Sadly, as of 2013, there is no magic formula to remarkably slow the aging process. However, there are fairly well-established techniques and lifestyle changes you can use to possibly live longer and have a higher quality of life.
Before we get started, it’s important to mention that our genes play a role in the aging process. As we age, our cells divide. Each time a cell divides in the human body, telomeres, which are located at the tip of a chromosome, shorten. When the telomeres can no longer shorten, the cell essentially dies. This, along with other chemical and biological processes, contributes to aging.
However, some evidence suggests telomere shortening and other bodily processes related to aging can be slowed down. Much of this is cutting edge science and not completely proven (or understood). Still, it might be possible to slow aging. So, here are our tips to be younger. Remember to consult with a doctor before trying anything related to your health.
Exercise has long been known to help with overall health and creating a younger look. However, all types of exercise are not the same. One particular type has been shown to slow aging: interval training. A recent study showed that high intensity interval training reduced telomere shortening. It also boosts human growth hormone production, the depletion of which is a key part of aging.
Interval training involves high intensity bursts of activity followed by a period of rest. Rather than a slow, steady workout, interval training briefly pushes your body to the limit, then gives a short break. A good example of an interval workout is Beachbody’s Insanity. You can see our Insanity review here.
While it’s true there are examples of one hundred year old obese smokers, this isn’t the norm. The key to slow aging (or at least not speed it up) is to avoid consuming harmful chemicals that can harm the body’s cells. Taking in substances like nicotine, alcohol, and other drugs wreak havoc on the body.
While a boring, stressful life can lead to an early death (see next tip), overdoing it on the chemicals can also be a problem. While some things should be absolutely avoided( like hard drugs and cigarettes). For other things, moderation is the key.
For a little bit of anti-aging laughter, check out “Jeff” as he tries to find the fountain of youth.
Short term stress is normal. Look at a cat. He can be in a fight one minute and after a few minutes fall asleep on a chair and never give the fight a second thought. Modern humans, on the other hand, suffer more from long term, chronic stress. Rather than a short burst of adrenaline followed by long periods of relaxation, we are on “high alert” nearly all day.
And, this is bad for our health (and it speeds aging). The antidote seems to be meditation and mindfulness. Meditation can simply be defined as purposeful relaxation. Mindfulness on a basic level is living in the present (not being burdened by past or future stress). A recent study showed that mindful meditators had significantly more telomerase activity than those who didn’t meditate. Telomerase repairs telomeres.
So, while mindfulness and meditation aren’t proven to slow aging or make you younger, there seems to be a lot of potential there. If anything, being more mindful will make your living years much more relaxed.
Finally, there is some evidence that extreme calorie restriction and taking the supplement resveratrol can help us slow aging. Both appear to be able, under some circumstances, to “turn on” longevity genes and help the people doing the fasting or taking the supplement live longer.
This is very controversial and by no means proven. However, it may be possible to restrict calories by forty percent and slow aging. Likewise, taking a resveratrol supplement could slow aging. Make sure to consult with a doctor before pursuing either of these methods, especially calorie restriction.
So, while there may not be a magic formula, there are steps you can take to possibly slow aging. We’ve given you several good ones.