10 Steps to an Anti-Aging Lifestyle

A couple of weeks ago I published an article on anti-aging and our most popular “Ager,” SUGAR.  It was extremely popular and I got a lot of feedback on it, so I decided to put together a list of 10 things we can start doing, besides reducing our sugar intake, that will help to slow the aging process on the inside and on the outside.  It seems everyone in this country is obsessed with slowing the aging process.  We spend billions every year to slow the train down or try to turn it around completely.  We should spend a least a part of that money and time on adjusting our lifestyles to create real change and really slow the aging process while we prevent chronic degenerative diseases at the same time.  I put together a list of items to implement into your daily life to make a dent in slowing this aging wagon down. Buckle up and take some notes!

1. Stress.  Learn to control stress. Because stress will always be there waiting for you, it’s more about your reaction to stress.  You must find a way to control your reaction to stress, because the chain reaction of chemical responses in the body during times of great stress are immense.  Acupuncture is fantastic at helping to calm the nervous system and reduce your reaction to stress.  You can also try exercise, yoga and/or meditation. The key is finding what works best for you.

2. Whole Food.  You must eat real whole food.  Have you heard the term JERF (Just Eat Real Food)?  JERF it out!  Processed food is not nutritious and contains a chemical stew along with the highly processed food-like items.  You need real food to fuel the body and allow the body to repair and regenerate.  The body won’t repair and regenerate on food-like substances found in the drive-thru or freezer isle.  Stick to meats, eggs, vegetables, fruits not boxes, cans and bags of food-like items.

3. Antioxidants. Antioxidants help to counter the oxidative stress that ages us. Get plenty of antioxidants in your diet.  This includes lots of veggies but most importantly berries.  Berries are extremely high in antioxidants.  Try a combination of blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries. Don’t be afraid to add super food antioxidants to smoothies either.  Super foods like acai powder, maqui powder, cacao powder and maca powder are all good additions to add antioxidants and nutrients to your smoothies.  I prefer adding these to smoothies rather than taking multi-vitamin supplements.

4. Coconut Oil.  Coconut oil has a load of health promoting properties that protect your health, brain and body.  The lauric acid in coconut oil helps fight infections and boost immune function.  Coconut oil increases your energy with its medium chain triglycerides while helping you burn more fat. The fatty acids in coconut oil help to increase ketones which is helpful for brain function and is currently being researched for its effect on Alzheimer’s patients. The thyroid loves coconut oil as well which controls metabolism.  It is amazing to use topically to moisturize skin and hair.  Just remember that you should be getting organic unrefined virgin coconut oil.  Use coconut oil for all of your cooking. It is the safest oil to cook with as heat won’t damage the oil like with other more common vegetable oils.  Coconut oil also does NOT promote inflammation like most traditional cooking oils. You can also throw a tablespoon in your smoothies as well. It will fuel your body and keep you satiated longer.

5. Exercise and HIIT training.  Exercise is important to not only keep the qi moving and maintain muscle mass but also helps to keep your heart and lungs strong. HIIT training is becoming very popular these days.  Rather than exercising for long steady runs on the treadmill or elliptical it is proving better to exercise at a high intensity for short bursts.  You would go all out for 30 seconds and recover for 20-30 seconds for example.  It’s a sprint and recover type of exercise rather than a marathon.  When you do this HIIT training, it is only necessary for 20-25 minutes a day which appeals to busy people.  It’s important to do weight bearing exercise whether with actual weights or resistance bands or using your own body weight for resistance to maintain strong bones. Exercise, whether you want to do it or not, is essential for helping to control high blood pressure, obesity, heart disease, diabetes and osteoporosis.  So it’s vital to find something that you enjoy.  Just keep trying new things until you hit on that one thing that is fun for you and excites you. Have you tried jumping rope or hula hooping?  You don’t have to be in a gym to exercise.

6. Detox your home.  Your home is full of toxins!  Most of the chemicals in your home are known carcinogens or endocrine disruptors ( chemicals that mimic hormones in your body causing chaos and can lead to hormone imbalances and cancer). It is prudent to systematically eliminate all of these offenders from your home.  These culprits include cleaning solutions, laundry soaps and softeners, home fragrances like candles and plug-ins and bug spray.  You don’t have to go in and throw everything away and stress yourself out, just buy more green healthy products when it’s time to replace them.  There are plenty of green cleaners that work fine. In fact, vinegar is a big one for me.  Vinegar eats most everything off of surfaces from mold to soap scum.  There are plenty of green laundry soaps and softeners on the market today, in fact Target sells a variety of choices now.  Home fragrances are a big offender.  You breath these chemicals 24/7.  There are pure essential oil products that you can buy in candles and plug-ins that won’t cause severe health implications. Secondly, look at your personal care products.  Perfume/cologne is a big offender just like home fragrance.  I can’t tell you how many people that I see every day that have allergies, asthma and/or chronic cough but wear perfume every day.  Perfume causes these conditions! Shampoo, conditioner and body care products can also be full of harmful chemicals.  Start taking a look at your labels and start trading things out with healthier options.

7.  Check Your Vitamin D Levels.  D3 levels should be between 50-70 ng/ml to be healthy.  Most Americans are very low in Vitamin D.  I have found with my patients that levels usually come back between 25 & 45.  It is my experience that to get to that sweet spot between 50-70 that it generally takes 5,000IU’s per day.  You can ask your doctor, or me, to run a simple blood test to check your level.

8.  Enzymes. Take Digestive Enzymes when you eat. A broad spectrum plant based enzyme will help you to digest your food better which means that you get more nutrients out of your food to feed all of the cells in your body.  Nourishing your cells is essential to anti-aging.

9. Acupuncture.  Acupuncture not only helps to control stress, which is a big ager, but it will help all of your body systems to work better. A fine tuned machine lasts much longer without breaking down.

10. Sleep.  Sleep is non-negotiable, period.  I hate to hear people bragging about how they only get 4 hours of sleep.  This is not something to be proud of.  Your body needs sleep.  This is when your body repairs and rejuvenates itself.  All of the cells and organs in your body will repair and rejuvenate while you sleep.  If you do not sleep, this doesn’t happen and you look old not only on the outside, but also on the inside.  It takes so long to get into that deep restorative sleep that you have to sleep longer than 4 hours to get any rejuvenation accomplished in the body.  If you don’t get 7-8 hours a night, you are aging yourself.  Make a commitment to change this. Make a plan and stick to it.  Increase your sleep time in small increments over a months time and your body will thank you.

Bonus Tip:  Decide to be Happy.  This is a choice you can make.  Just like learning to not hold on to stress, you can learn to make the decision to be happy.  Consciously smile at yourself and the people around you. Make the decision to be happy every day.

Now stay young and beautiful my wellness revolutionaries!

This entry was written by Dr. Shelly Masters , posted on Tuesday March 25 2014at 02:03 pm , filed under Acupuncture, Health News and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink . Post a comment below or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

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