It’s time to start thinking about anti-aging as aging gracefully. There are a slew of products and gimmicks on the market today advertising the ways in which they will make you look and feel younger, but true anti-aging regimens don’t come in a prescription, bottle or box. Aging gracefully is really about decreasing chronic illness, preserving cognitive function and body structure as well as increasing quality of life. So, how do you slow down the aging process naturally?
4 Tips for Increasing Vitality To Age Gracefully
- Take charge of your diet. What you put in your body will change the way you age. What you don’t eat will also change the way you age. Eliminate foods you shouldn’t be eating and add back foods you need such as plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables for optimal nutrient intake.
- Understand the mind-body connection. Mind-body techniques such as meditation and yoga are excellent ways not only to calm your mind, but to reduce stress and even increase the functionality of nerves in the brain. These are amazing tools that have long term, positive effects on all aspects of your physical and mental well-being.
- Sleep. Simply put, a good night’s sleep heals your body and your mind. Address any sleep issues you have with a physician, which can be related to a hormone imbalance, improper diet and food sensitivities and lack of exercise.
- Move and stay active. Get out and move your body the way it is meant to be moved, every day. Staying active and participating in cardiovascular activities such as walking, jogging, biking and swimming as well as mind-body techniques such as yoga help the body and the brain stay young and healthy. Remember, adding back movement does not mean you have to go to the gym. Gardening, dancing, playing with kids or grand kids are excellent ways to move and have fun.
Hormones’ Role in Aging
Part of aging is that most hormone levels decrease. This, however, is not a bad thing and not a cause to run to your doctor for hormone replacement. The goal is hormone balance. We don’t want to give a 60-year old woman the hormones she had when she was 18. It’s all about being natural and healthy, achieving the right balance for your age and stage of life and to match the symptoms at hand.
Lifestyle Choices and Hormone Balance Are Important to Aging Gracefully
Did you know that by maintaining your muscle-fat ratio you can balance your hormones naturally? It’s true that fat levels go up and muscle mass goes down as we get older. That’s a normal consequence of aging. Insulin resistance also goes down when you have more muscle mass and less fat, which is why diet and exercise continue to be an important part of overall wellness as we age. Where you gain fat on your body also changes as you age, and fat accumulation is often a consequence of stress, sleep patterns, diet, food choices and nutrients (or lack thereof). When we are able to keep these lifestyle choices in check, we can keep the hormones in balance as well, and subsequently age gracefully.
You Have the Power to Age Gracefully Within You
You have a lot more control than what you think over your hormones and aging body. The goal of aging well should be to avoid memory loss, decrease the incidence of cancer, stroke and heart disease, and maintain function as well as physical and mental acuity. We can all achieve this by staying active and engaged with people we love, with the community and through a proper diet, exercise and maintaining overall wellness.
Age is just a number. It’s time to stop thinking about getting old and rather focus on aging gracefully. It’s time to change our mindset!
And, learn more about the secrets of aging in Dr. Rao’s new book coming out summer 2016: Finding Balance: Empower Yourself with Tools to Combat Stress and Illness. Find out how to get your copy: http://www.drmonicaaggarwal.com/books.