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Anti-Aging

Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional! -author unknown

Many of us are concerned about aging gracefully. But really, age is not like golf: you don’t want to stop at a low number. To get the most out of your years and your body, the smartest thing you can do is make an investment in your health now and make those accumulating years count. Here are some simple tips to keep yourself young and active even into your 90s!

SLEEP!

It cannot be emphasized enough. Sleep is unifying– everybody has to do it at least once every 24 hours. And it’s usually the one time of day where you’re not placing stress on your body, meaning your immune system doesn’t have any other distractions and can instead focus on healing. If you’re not sleeping well, you’re setting yourself up for bad days, poor health, and extra expenses to compensate for all the aches and pains that weren’t eliminated from a good night of rest and recuperation.

So how do you get good sleep?

  • Make sure you’ve purchased a quality mattress and pillow. If price is a concern, think of it this way: would you rather invest your money in a mattress and pillows that are going to last you for years and help you stay supported and relaxed, or would you rather take all that money and use it to buy coffee to keep you awake, pills to combat regular sleep-related headaches, products to relieve muscle soreness, and creams and lotions to bring your stressed skin back into balance?
  • Be aware of your environment. Lighting, sounds, temperature, and even the sheets and blankets on your bed will effect your ability to relax and let sleep happen. Consider keeping things like cell phones, computers, and TVs completely turned off or even in separate rooms so that you’re not tempted to suddenly spend 4 hours playing Solitaire or watching late-night infomercials.
  • Sleep doesn’t just *bam* happen unless you’re an Olympic athlete or an active 2 year old. Begin letting your mind and body relax an hour before you want to start sleeping for good. Read a book, take a bath, drink some (decaffeinated) tea, go for a short walk– something to let your body know that it’s time to switch from “get things done” mode to “night-night time” mode. Getting into a healthy routine can make all the difference.

EAT!

It’s cheesy, but true: you are what you eat. What does that even mean? The cells and nutrients of the foods you put into your body will be absorbed by your own cells. Do you want skin cells in your body that are 90% pizza rolls? Probably not. A balanced intake of food, or “diet”, will allow your cells to perform well, especially your skin (which will show signs of aging first).

  • Find foods that are rich in calcium, anti-oxidants, Vitamin C, and Omega-3s. These nutrients keep the skin organ strong and taut, repellant to damaging cellular activity, and supported by a good supply of healthy blood.
  • Enjoy your food! Commercial “diet foods” are usually processed with chemicals like sucralose to keep calories down and/or are very unsatisfying, making eating a chore. Instead of strictly examining every single calorie that goes in, think about the quality of food you’re consuming. Variety is key: by trying new foods and recipes, you’ll be able to give your body a little bit of everything it needs to work well and stay young.
  • If you have chronic issues like fatigue, bloating, and feel/look older than you are, consider getting tested by a nutritionist for food allergies. Chances are you’re consuming something that your body can’t break down, which means your body is wasting energy on that process rather than using that energy to keep you radiant, fit, and youthful!

EXERCISE!

Bodies are meant to move. As you age, you may find certain high-impact activities aren’t as fun or comfortable, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still make your body work. By exercising, you’re regulating proper blood flow, which is how oxygen is delivered to our cells. If cells are starved of the good stuff, they begin to fatigue. Over time, your skin will certainly show those signs. Not to mention that skin and muscle tissues aren’t separated by much, so if your muscles are strong and supplied by blood flow, your skin will be too. In short, by keeping up with regular activity/exercise, you’re telling yourself that you’ve got many more good years on the clock.

  • Look for classes that are appropriate for your restrictions and goals. (If you’re in your 90s, kickboxing may not be right for you.) The right classes will be comprised of the age demographic you fit into… or the demographic you’d like to emulate!
  • Personal trainers know what they’re doing! Working out for the first time could be a little daunting, so take advantage of what your gym has to offer. Trainers will show you how to do exercises correctly and safely. They will also tailor workouts to suit your needs (bad joints, wanting to strengthen some areas more than others, what you want to be able to do as a result from exercise).
  • If all else fails, walk! Walking can be done at any age for as much time as you like. By committing to being active as many times during your week as possible, you’re affirming that you’re worth that time and that your body is capable despite its age.

THINK!

There’s truth to the idea that you are only as old as you think you are. Keeping your mind nimble and engaged again extends the quality of life, making those advancing years golden… rather than tarnished.

  • Positive thinking isn’t simply being happy about everything. It’s about thinking of what you have and what you can do, rather than the things that aren’t/can’t be. Tell yourself you can’t do/be or aren’t something, and you’ll believe it. The beautiful thing? The inverse is equally true. Think young, be young.
  • Be silly! The best parts of the brain are stimulated when you’re laughing, meaning you’re preventing age-related diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia. Kids out-laugh adults 100-1 throughout the day– they’re engaging their brains 100 times more efficiently than those crusty old curmudgeons that sit on their porches and yell at the neighborhood kids for no reason.
  • The brain needs activity. Try puzzles like crosswords or Sudoku, memorize poetry, solve brain-teasers and riddles… anything that makes you use that grey matter.
  • Engage in some form of social interaction. Conversations with friends allow you to share your experiences, gain new perspectives on life, and create a bond between you and another living being. Bonds like that are the reasons many of us like life in the first place!

Keep that skin pretty!

The skin is the largest organ in the body. It absorbs what goes on it and spreads it throughout the rest of your system. Again, would you want your body to be comprised of petroleum and fillers? No!

  • Get some healthy doses of sun exposure. The sun is a fantastic source of Vitamin D, a vitamin that is essential to healthy skin. If you burn easily, be sure to use organic sunscreen (without chemical preservatives) to block those damaging rays.
  • Do you smoke? Why?? Aside from cancers and death, smoking exhausts the skin’s ability to regenerate. Every time you take a puff, your sabotaging your skin’s purpose– to absorb water, oxygen, and nutrients– by clogging it with smoke and tar. Quit smoking, and the year’s will come back to you.
  • Use only the best products on your skin. Here at Access To Health, we are big fans of Orenda and their product O-Tropin. This spray targets the health of the pituitary gland, a gland that regulates metabolism, energy, endurance, blood pressure, and much more. Because of how the product delivers its nutrients through the skin, the pituitary gland can get the full benefit of O-Tropin’s ingredients (GABA glycine, L-glutamine, etc.)

And of course… GET ADJUSTED!

Chiropractic’s philosophy is a simple one: keep your body healthy and free of interference, and it will heal itself. Consider having one worn-out tire on your car: it effects your gas mileage, your car’s ability to grip the road, and the safety of all those in the car and all those driving around you. The same can apply to your body: many large problems can come from small factors, especially your body’s ability to regenerate and take care of itself. Regeneration is how you stay young!

You’ll see a dramatic improvement in every other topic we’ve addressed above if your spine and nervous system are getting the information to every part of your body. Chiropractor’s are doctors trained to work with the skeletal system, meaning you can prevent/address/reverse joint pain, wear-and-tear, and avoid having dangerous and invasive surgeries like knee and hip replacements.

*thanks to Hugh MacEachran (Owner and Trainer of Orchards Athletic Club) for information on meditation, cellulite, and their relationships to anti-aging

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