We all could maintain a biological age that is many years younger than our chronological age by eliminating negative behaviors, thus slowing down our personal time clocks. How rapidly we age depends largely upon how physically, nutritionally and intellectually fit we are. Researchers at the Human Nutrition Center at Tufts University created “biomarkers” to measure aging. Their conclusion was that declines in every biomarker were greatly influenced by high-fat diets and by the lack of aerobic and strength exercising. Other negative habits that can sabotage your health and induce premature aging are chronic stress and depression, drug use, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption and negative attitudes.
One looming threat to aging adults is the steady loss of lean body mass (muscle and bone). Without resistance training, muscle mass typically will decrease 40 percent between ages 30 and 70.
Strengthening the muscles can become our fountain of youth by increasing bone density (helping to prevent osteoporosis), increasing muscle mass (which consumes more calories than fat, thus helping control weight), increasing body balance and enhancing your physical appearance.
It is important for your body to maintain proper cardio fitness. You will be strengthening the entire cardiovascular system by performing aerobic activities. These are generally defined as any rhythmic activities that involve using large muscles in your arms, legs and hips for a sustained period of time, and repeating such activities at least three times a week.
Maintain flexibility. You can look and feel younger just by the way your body moves. Stretching the muscles and keeping the joints loose will help you to walk without stiffness, improve posture and make everyday movements easier. Studies tell us that sedentary lifestyles have more to do with loss of flexibility than biological aging.
Many scientists think much of premature aging is caused by a build-up of free radicals, which are electrically charged particles that attack the body’s cells. High-fat diets are one of the major causes for this build-up. When too many fat molecules are consumed, the free radicals cause plaque to build up in the arteries. Eating fruits and vegetables can be an antidote.
In addition to this, studies have shown that being optimistic can improve your immune system and even extend your life. Optimists deal with a troubling situation as an isolated incident and accept that it will eventually go away. They don’t assume blame, but if they are at fault, they accept it, learn from it and move on; they remain in control. Pessimists dwell on the bad and let it take control of them. They tend to blame themselves and have feelings of helplessness.
Anderson, Sally. “Stay Fit to Stay Younger.” Tampa Bay Times. Web. 21 May 21012. <http://www.sptimes.com/2007/08/28/50plus/Stay_fit_to_stay_youn.shtml>.