How Do You Slow Aging Steps
No one wants to get older but unfortunately, until they discover an elixir of youth, it’s fairly unavoidable.
But just because you have to get older, no one said you had to do it quickly. And no one said you couldn’t age well and keep your youthful good looks, energy and health!
Many of us make the assumption that getting old automatically has to mean getting covered in wrinkles, losing our ability to walk around and eventually developing incontinence and dementia. As it happens though, none of these things are inevitable and most of them are only partially related to age!
And you can see this too just by looking around! While some people seem to be struggling to stand up straight and remember their name at age 65, others are still playing sports and writing books well into their 80s and 90s.
Is the difference entirely genetic? Not at all! In fact, there are numerous lifestyle changes that can make all the difference to the way you feel as you age and many of the problems that are associated with old-age can actually be avoided entirely.
So yeah, Aging is still inevitable. But the way you age is almost entirely up to you!
The difference comes down to your knowledge and your ability to apply that knowledge to make the most of your own body and health. YOU have the choice and the sooner you take action, the more effectively you can stave off the most unappealing aspects of getting older.
Yes, that’s right, this isn’t just a book for ‘old people’. It’s for young people too. In fact, it’s more aimed at young people because you are the ones who have the time to ensure you get the very most out of your body and mind as you get older.
But How Do You Slow Aging?
Anyone can claim that Aging is something you have control over. The hard part is backing that claim up with some hard evidence.
How can you really slow down your Aging? And how can your decisions end up putting your body in ‘fast forward’ mode?
Here are some examples…
A lot of people will tell you that your knees have a finite amount of time before they start to tire out. The same goes for your back.
But more and more, we’re discovering that’s not true. The ‘functional strength’ crowd are making it very apparent that you can keep on training into old age and that in fact, things like running should give you more longevity.
The problem is just the way we’re training. And our lack of activity generally.
The way it goes for many people is that they stay very fit and healthy when they’re younger because they run around, play sports and generally engage in activity. Once they’re middle aged though, they slow down and they start sitting at the computer all day long. Their metabolism slows down yes but most of the changes they see in their body are really a result of being constantly stressed and constantly static. This results in muscle imbalances caused by maintaining the same posture for so long and it results in injury when they do get active. Don’t use your back long enough and it’s sure to go when you try and lift that suitcase!
This injury then leads to ‘corrective’ posture and biomechanics. You have a bad knee or back, so you put more weight on the other leg/you hunch over.
This in turn means that you actually exacerbate the muscle imbalances that you already had. And the longer this goes on, the more of a hunch and a limp you can start to acquire and the more pain you can expect to experience.
The solution is not to be less active but to be more active – while making sure to use the correct technique.
Meanwhile, staying active can also boost your energy levels and help you to start feeling better. That means the tiredness and sluggishness that we feel as we get older again isn’t inevitable.
Actually, when you combine the right exercise regime with the right diet, you can increase not only your heart strength and circulation but also the efficiency of your mitochondria. Mitochondria are the small ‘energy factories’ of your cells. They exist to help you convert glucose into useable energy (ATP) and their number and strength is one of the big determining factors that influences your energy output and the way you feel.
In fact, differences in mitochondria have been suggested to be one of the main differentiating factors between the energy levels of young children and those of older individuals. It’s why kids seem to be able to run around and around in circles for hours screaming, without ever tiring out.
Nutrition is also responsible for a large proportion of the problems you’ll struggle with as you get older. Contrary to popular belief, many of the health issues associated with old age are actually cumulative and result from years of poor nutrition. A lack of nutrients can lead to problems with vision, problems with hormone production, problems with bone density and much more. Thus by eating the right diet, you can stave off numerous conditions and stay healthier and stronger into older age.
Toxins, Cell Damage and Heart Problems Many of the health complaints associated with old age can also be combated with the right lifestyle. Sure, it’s always possible to be unlucky and to suffer from cancer with no ‘cause’ as such. But this is much less likely if you are able to protect yourself with the very best, healthy lifestyle choices.
For example, heart disease is one of the leading killers in men by far but it is very much possible to reduce the risk of this problem by getting plenty of exercise and sticking to a diet designed to keep your blood pressure and cholesterol at the most desirable levels.
Brain The same rules apply to your brain as to the rest of your body. In other words, if you keep your nutrition up and actually keep using your brain it will stay nimble.
The point is, you do have control over the way you age and if you take the right precautions then you can stay healthy, mobile and able well into older age.
Follow these tips and you’ll be able to fortify your body against the invading forces of old age!
A Very Important Vitamin that seems to be Underestimated. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is naturally present in very few foods, added to others, and available as a dietary supplement. It is also produced endogenously when ultraviolet rays from sunlight strike the skin and trigger vitamin D synthesis. Vitamin D obtained from sun exposure, food, and supplements is biologically inert and must undergo two hydroxylations in the body for activation. The first occurs in the liver and the second occurs primarily in the kidney.
Vitamin D promotes calcium absorption in the gut and it is also needed for bone growth and bone remodeling by osteoblasts and osteoclasts . Without sufficient vitamin D, bones can become thin, brittle, or misshapen. Vitamin D sufficiency prevents rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults . Together with calcium, vitamin D also helps protect older adults from osteoporosis.
Vitamin D has other roles in the body, including modulation of cell growth, neuromuscular and immune function, and reduction of inflammation . Many genes encoding proteins that regulate cell proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis are modulated in part by vitamin D .
Think about vitamin D when you’re catching up on summer rays. It’s sometimes called the “sunshine vitamin” because it’s produced in your skin in response to sunlight. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin in a family of compounds that includes vitamins D-1, D-2, and D-3. It can affect as many as 2,000 genes in the body.
Vitamin D has several important functions. Perhaps the most vital are regulating the absorption of calcium and phosphorous, and facilitating normal immune system function. Getting a sufficient amount of vitamin D is important for normal growth and development of bones and teeth, as well as improved resistance against certain diseases. If your body doesn’t get enough vitamin D, you’re at risk of developing bone abnormalities such as soft bones (osteomalacia) or fragile bones (osteoporosis).
Vitamin D Fights Disease
In addition to its primary benefits, research suggests that vitamin D may also play a role in:
- reducing your risk of multiple sclerosis, according to a 2006 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association
- decreasing your chance of developing heart disease, according to 2008 findings published in Circulation
- helping to reduce your likelihood of developing the flu, according to 2010 research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Vitamin D Fights Depression
Research has shown that vitamin D might play an important role in regulating mood and warding off depression. In one study, scientists found that people with depression who received vitamin D supplements noticed an improvement in their symptoms.
In another study of people with fibromyalgia, researchers found vitamin D deficiency was more common in those who were also experiencing anxiety and depression.
Vitamin D Boosts Weight Loss
Consider adding vitamin D supplements to your diet if you’re trying to lose weight or prevent heart disease.
In one study, people who took a daily vitamin D supplement did not lose a significant amount of weight, but were able to improve their heart disease risk markers.
In another study, people taking a daily calcium and vitamin D supplement were able to lose more weight than subjects taking a placebo supplement. The scientists said the extra calcium and vitamin D had an appetite suppressing effect.
How do you get it? Vitamin D that is.
Your body produces vitamin D naturally when it is directly exposed to sunlight. A little can go a long way. All you need is 10 minutes a day of midday, pre-sunscreen sun exposure, especially if you have fair skin.
Besides getting vitamin D through sunlight, you can also get it through certain foods and supplements to ensure adequate levels of the vitamin in your blood.
Beware of “Vitamin D-deficiency ”
Many lifestyle and environmental factors can affect your ability to get sufficient amounts of vitamin D through the sun alone. These factors include:
- use of sunscreen
- spending more time indoors
- living in big cities where buildings block sunlight
- having darker skin
These factors contribute to vitamin D deficiency in an increasing number of people. That’s why it’s important to get some of your vitamin D from sources besides sunlight.
The symptoms of a Vitamin D deficiency in adults include:
- general tiredness, aches and pains, and a general sense of not feeling well
- severe bone or muscle pain or weakness that may cause difficulty climbing stairs or getting up from the floor or a low chair, or cause the person to walk with a waddling gait
- stress fractures, especially in the legs, pelvis, and hips
Doctors can diagnose a vitamin D deficiency by performing a simple blood test. If you have a deficiency, your doctor may order X-rays to check the strength of your bones.
What to do if you’re deficient
If you’re diagnosed with a vitamin D deficiency, your doctor will likely recommend you take daily vitamin D supplements. If you have a severe deficiency, they may recommend you take high-dose vitamin D tablets or liquids. You should also make sure to get vitamin D through sunlight and the foods you eat.
Food sources of D
Few foods contain vitamin D naturally. Because of this, some foods are fortified. This means that vitamin D has been added. Foods that contain vitamin D include:
- egg yolk
- milk (fortified)
- cereal (fortified)
- yogurt (fortified)
- orange juice (fortified)
It can be hard to get enough vitamin D each day through sun exposure and food alone, so taking vitamin D supplements can help.
How much do you need?
There has been some controversy over the amount of vitamin D needed for healthy functioning. Recent research indicates that you need more vitamin D than was once thought. Normal blood serum levels range from 50 to 100 micrograms per deciliter. Depending on your blood level, your vitamin D intake needs may be increased.
The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences reports new intake recommendations based on international units (IUs) per day. IUs are a standard type of measurement for drugs and vitamins. IUs help experts determine recommended intake, toxicity, and deficiency levels for each person.
One IU is not the same for each type of vitamin. An IU is determined by how much of a substance produces an effect in your body. The recommended IUs for vitamin D are:
- children and teens: 600 IU
- adults up to age 70: 600 IU
- adults over age 70: 800 IU
- pregnant or breastfeeding women: 600 IU
Meet your needs for Vitamin D
Some sources suggest that considerably higher daily amounts of vitamin D — as high as 2000 IU per day — are needed.
Although the exact amount may be in question, the importance of vitamin D is not. Talk to your doctor for guidance on how to ensure you get the right amount for your body might require.