Article by: Erin Nielsen, PT, CPI, PBCE
As a woman in her 40’s, I am super passionate about living the best life possible and looking and feeling younger while doing it.
Aging – a tough subject – right? Believe me, when I hit 40 – I couldn’t believe it! Inevitably – we all go through Chronological aging, but the good news is that we ALL have control over our Physiological aging.
There have been some really interesting studies that link our aging process directly to how much inflammation is occurring in our body. There are many lifestyle choices that produce chronic inflammation and therefore accelerated aging that we can improve upon to slow down our aging process.
Have you ever heard of the word Telomeres? – Here’s a quick explanation of exactly what they are. ..
Deep within your DNA, are the building blocks of every cell in your body. At the end of each strand of DNA is a small amount of genetic material called the telomere (tee-lo-mere). The telomere controls aging and every time your cells divide, your telomeres get shorter.
As your telomeres get shorter, your body produces cells that are older and weaker. So the shorter your telomeres, the “older” your body looks and feels. But when you slow this shortening, you may be able to extend your lifespan, and feel and look younger longer.
We can all slow the aging process by simple nutrition and lifestyle changes that can slow down the shortening of and in some studies even lengthen the telomere.
Here are some great examples!
- Nutrition Changes –Add these nutritious and thankfully delicious foods to your diet for great anti-aging benefits.
Grass Fed beef
Red Wine (in moderation)
Foods high in Vitamin E – Nuts • Nut oils • Seeds • Apples • Beef • Seafood • Avocados • Spinach
Dark Chocolate – 70 to 75% or higher Cacao content is best as that will assure lower sugar and higher anti-oxident potency.
In summary, a diet high in anti-oxidants and healthy fats produces the perfect environment for anti-aging.
Also a Nutrition plan lower in added Sugar will help prevent accelerated aging as well. Sugar causes glycation and free radical damage to your cells and therefore inflammation, leading to accelerated aging.
Therefore the less sugar you eat – the less chronic inflammation and skin damage – so the younger you can look and feel. It’s Ok to splurge once in awhile, however if you have large amounts of sugar everyday – you will look older much faster.
- Reduce stress- Stress plays a huge role in our health, weight loss, and aging.
Increase stress = increased cortisol = chronic inflammation = accelerated aging
Here are some easy ways to reduce stress:
- Pray or Meditate
- Take a walk in Nature
- Write down 3 things each day that you are grateful for – this helps improve our happiness and therefore stress is reduced.
- Get Enough Sleep- Dim the Lights When Darkness Falls
When sleep is cut short – you disrupt vital time for your body to process even moderate levels of oxidative stress. Without ample healing time during sleep, your body will experience accelerated aging and even neurological decline. Yikes!
Eat Animal Fat and/or Olive Oil at dinner (and lunch, and breakfast)-They are excellent sources of oleic acid, a precursor to the sleep-inducing oleamide.
Stop Alcohol Consumption At Least Two Hours before Bedtime- If you plan on drinking alcohol, do so earlier in the evening. Alcohol consumption too close to bedtime can impact sleep. It will be poor quality sleep with frequent disturbances.
Dim the lights both outside and inside your home – your body needs to start winding down, and excessive artificial lighting will get in the way of that.
Don’t Check Your Email before Bed -Whatever you read will only keep you awake, worried, or distracted.
Turn off All Screens an Hour or Two before Bed – Smartphones, laptops, computers, TVs, tablets – they all emit melatonin-disrupting blue light directly into your eyes. We need melatonin to start the process of getting sleepy. If you disrupt melatonin production with artificial light you will have a much tougher time falling asleep. Read a book instead.
Clear Your Mind – Meditation or prayer can help clear your mind, or you could make a to-do list for the following day so that you don’t lie awake thinking over everything.
Use White/Brown Noise Or nature sounds before bed. Falling rain is a good sound to fall asleep to.
Make Sure Your Room Is Dark and Cool – (The ideal temp for sleep is 65°F).
To transition into sleep mode, don’t watch TV or go online for an hour before bedtime.
Eliminate or Cover Up Any Sources of Light In Your Bedroom – Even the tiny blinking ones and be sure to have black-out blinds over your windows. Complete dark allows melatonin production from being disrupted – melatonin helps you sleep.
- Play! – A New Zealand study found that we are 82% more productive and experience improved sleep after vacation. It also showed that enjoyable activities improve immune function, while stressful ones depress immune function.
Many of us feel guilty taking time away from family or job responsibilities for social interactions, but in reality it is much needed for our health and well-being and will ultimately make us better parents and coworkers. So go spend time with your friends and take time for yourself – you family and body will thank you for it!
- Exercise the right way – Short burst workouts are much better than long boring cardio that damages joints, makes you retain fat, and accelerates aging.
Your body wasn’t made to endure long boring cardio. A recent article in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that: Cardio causes immense oxidative damage and a flood of free radicals to the body.
(Cakir-Atabek, H., Demir, S., Pinarbassili, R., Bunduz, N. Effects of Different Resistance Training Intensity on Indices of Oxidative Stress. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. September 2010. 24(9), 2491-2498.)
In truth, all exercises causes some form of oxidative stress, however when done for prolonged periods like with long boring cardio – the damage produces chronic inflammation throughout your body that causes damage to your organs and your skin – the result? You look older.
Short Burst Workouts on the other hand will help you defy aging! A study published by the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism showed a minimum of ten minutes high intensity exercise dramatically increased circulating HGH which promotes youth hormones, lean muscle building, and fat burning.
In addition to increased fat burning, increased HGH can help slow down and even reverse the signs of aging. Your skin, energy, and memory can all improve. No more waking up each day to a new wrinkle on your face or loose saggy skin.
I am living proof of what short burst workouts can do for you. Many people don’t believe me when I tell them I’m 41 years old – most people assume I’m still in my twenties!
There is a way to look younger and have the body you’ve always wanted – all while you work out LESS and ignite your hormones to finally burn fat and defy aging at ANY AGE. After all, if I can have the skin and body of someone much younger, imagine what these workouts can do for you?
For more tips on how to look younger and sculpt a lean body at ANY AGE – take a look here: www.tonedintenfitness.com <
Article by: Erin Nielsen, PT, CPI, PBCE
Erin has been a treating Physical Therapist for the last 18 years creating comprehensive and customized rehabilitative and fitness exercise programs for healthy and unhealthy individuals.
She is also a certified Pilates instructor and personally knows the transformative benefits it brings, like core strength, long, lean, flexible muscles, and improved posture. Additionally she is a Primal Blueprint Certified Expert.
Her true passion is to help people look and feel young, healthy, happy, strong, and free of pain and injury.