The fountain of youth has been a human dream since at least the European Age of Exploration. We have always wanted a quick way to be younger and stay there permanently. Who wouldn’t want the energy and beauty of youth on a permanent basis?
Before we get started, keep in mind that genes play a role in the aging process. As we age, our cells divide. Each time a cell splits, 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 and eventually death.
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, to slow aging could be a real possibility. So, here are our tips to be younger. Remember to consult with a doctor before trying anything related to your health.
Slow Aging With Interval Training
Exercise has 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 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 exposure to harmful chemicals that harm the body’s cells. 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 “fun” chemicals can also be a problem. While some things should be absolutely avoided( like hard drugs and cigarettes), moderation is the key for others.
For a little bit of anti-aging laughter, check out “Jeff” as he tries to find the fountain of youth.
Meditation and Mindfulness
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 the time.
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 slow down the aging process. Both appear to, under some circumstances, “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 keep you looking and feeling younger. 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 to stay young or a fountain of youth, there are steps you can take to possibly slow aging and at least look and feel younger. We’ve given you several good ones. Try to find more of your own.