The field of ‘anti- aging’ has mushroomed over the last decade. While one cannot reverse the body’s chronological clock, we can slow the biology of aging. This can be done via hormone replacement therapy, pursuing a healthier nutritional regimen, cosmetic make-over, supplementation of vitamins and anti-oxidants, detoxification strategies, etc.
Time tested ways of slowing your biological clock have often been overlooked as being too simple and perhaps not profitable. Here are a few approaches that you can incorporate into your daily lifestyle.
1. Consider reducing your caloric intake. I cannot give you an exact number as it will vary with each person’s level of physical activity, age, stress, etc. At age 50-60, reduce by 1/3, then at ages 61-70, consider reducing by 1/2. The simplest way to cut calories is to consume a large variety of vegetables and some fruit. Start each meal with 2 cups of fresh or frozen, raw or cooked, vegetables or fruit. You should then move on to reduce calories from grains, legumes and starchy vegetables. Limit animal sources of food, as they exact a higher burden on your energy and detoxification mechanism. If you are unable to refrain from animal products, try gradually reducing to at least 2 days per week. The ideas presented in this step should be done in consultation with a health professional trained in nutrition.
2. Exercise Regularly. Try doing half hour to 45 minutes of aerobic activity five days a week and some strength training twice weekly. Do not eat to make up for the exercise. Exercising taxes the body’s anti-oxidant system. Therefore, it is important to eat plenty of colorful vegetables and fruit to compensate. Regular use of certain basic antioxidants such as Vitamin C-1000, Vitamin E-200IU, Vitamin A 5 – 25,000 IU and 3 cups of green tea/ day is a good start.
3. Hydrate adequately with good quality water that is devoid of chlorine and fluorine. This will help eliminate toxins through sweating, and through regular bowel and bladder activity.
4. Manage Stress. Stress is attributed to anything that throws the body off balance (i.e. proper functioning). Evaluate what causes your stress. It could be the wrong job, excess alcohol, drugs, sex, gambling, etc. Find ways to eliminate or decrease stress by using strategies such as exercise, meditation, breathing techniques, laughter, social contact, eliminating toxic relationships, properly managing finances, etc. My favorite techniques are daily meditation and diaphragmatic breathing. If you find yourself resorting to obnoxious habits such as stress eating, find a way to eat colorful snacks such as, carrot sticks, celery or other vegetables and fruits that you like. Then, pick your treat and eat it mindful of your stress with the aim to thoroughly enjoy it. You should relax and eat this treat while sitting rather than on the run. You might say to yourself: “I am aware that I am stressed and because of that, I am craving ‘x’ food. I will enjoy it.” Savor it. No guilt! Believe it or not you will find yourself eating less of it over time.
5. Get adequate sunlight exposure to ensure vitamin D. Check with your physician about checking vitamin D levels to maintain a level of 50-60 ng/ml. At night, make sure that you get an average of 8 hours of sleep in total darkness. Both daylight and darkness send powerful cues to your hormonal system that helps itself regulate.
While this list is in no way complete, you would have at least started a program to make the time with your physician more productive and allow focus for additional needs based on family history, illness or other stressors. I wish you joy in your personalized ‘anti-aging’ program.
Dr. Varsha Rathod is a board certified Rheumatologist and Internist at Preventive Medicine in the Westport Plaza Area of St. Louis, MO. The practice has focused on a combination of traditional and holistic medicine since 1967. For more articles and information about integrative solutions please visit www.preventivemedicinestl.com or call Preventive Medicine at 314-997-5403.
The information presented in this publication is for general educational purposes only. It is not intended to be used for the diagnoses of any illness. It should not serve as a substitute for being evaluated by a certified healthcare provider. If you suffer from any of these conditions you should consult a physician or an appropriate health care provider.
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Article Added on Wednesday, March 14, 2012
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