A guest post by Brianna Lamberson.
image via refinery29
“Aging is not lost youth but a new stage of opportunity and strength.“
– Betty Friedan
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Aging is a gift. It means you still have a life to live. But too many people accept that typical signs of aging are simply an inevitable fact of life.
Aging expert, Dr. Sara Gottfried, believes that aging is 90% lifestyle and 10% genes. It turns out, aging poorly is an option if we’re committed to adopting healthy habits that naturally age-proof us.
As we learn more and more about the human body, it’s genes, and what causes disease, the more we discover how malleable our bodies actually are. Since our genes are capable of change, what we eat and how we live directly influences how we age and what kind of health we will be in.
Our bodies are designed to adapt. What we put in, we get out. Health is fluid not fixed.
I think it’s important to begin with our views on aging.
It’s like Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.”
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My view is that if you think you’re old and that aging means gaining extra weight, losing energy, mental clarity, or good health then that’s probably what you’re headed for.
However, if you believe that aging is a blessing and that you can live a healthy, active, vibrant, and beautiful life well into your golden years then you probably will. I believe Mr. Twain was onto something when he said,
“Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.“
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The way we think about ourselves and our limitations determines our experiences. Be willing to challenge the assumption that age means loss of good health, beauty, energy, or agency.
Genetic age is a real thing.
“The secret to staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age.” – Lucile Ball
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Once when I was working in a boutique I had a regular customer who’d come and browse the clothing. We’d talk about style, her job as a teacher, and her month long trips to Italy. I always assumed she was in her late 40’s. It never occurred to me think about her age because she dressed so stylishly, had glowing skin, and was thin and tan.
One day I saw her out at a restaurant for her birthday. We hugged and I wished her happy birthday. Her husband who appeared a bit older than her, giddily jumped in and asked me to guess her age.
I couldn’t. But she smiled humbly as her hubby and grown son revealed she was turning 67.
Science is now able to assign a genetic, or biological, age based on the health of our genes. Maybe my friend really was in her 40’s after all? Lifestyle and diet help us lie about our age; we can actually be biologically younger than our chronological age.
People who break the conventions of age.
It helps to see living examples of this. Check out Ernestine Shepherd, the world’s oldest female body building champion. She started her fitness journey in her 70’s giving us no excuse not to prioritize fitness. Lest you think she’s an anomaly, travel to Okinawa, Japan, the world’s largest population of centenarians (people aged 100+).
There are countless factors that help prevent or reverse aging. Here are 7 holistic anti-aging tricks that actually work at any age.
Before we dive into the science backed strategies for holistic anti-aging, I want to let you know that I’ve created a free mini course that walks you through 7 unique lifestyle habits you can implement this week to get you started living a cleaner, younger life from the inside out. You can sign up for free over here.
Exercise isn’t necessarily holistic but it’s worth mentioning. There is nothing, nothing, more powerful at preventing and reversing aging than exercise. Focus on low impact, high intensity exercise like yoga, power walking, swimming, and body weight exercises. You need to move your body!
2. Clean water
As it is, we struggle to drink enough water. But the quality of water you drink is even more important to health of our cells than just getting enough. Make sure you’re drinking purified water. I drink reverse osmosis water that has lead and other heavy metals, chlorine, and fluoride filtered out. You can easily find this water your local health food store or Whole Foods Market.
Telomeres are the nucleotides that “cap” the end of our chromosomes. The link between shortened telomeres and age related disease is undeniable. Our diet and lifestyle, including the amount of stress we experience, shortens or preserves the length of the telomeres.
Telomerase is an enzyme that helps to maintain the length. However, more research needs to be done on the consumption of this enzyme. I highly recommend the book, The Telomere Effect, by doctors Elissa Epel and Elizabeth Blackburn for further study.
Our gut health is our health. Keeping your gut healthy is one of the most important aspects of maintaining overall immunity, health, and beauty. Make sure you’re getting enough fresh fruits and vegetables, fermented foods like sauerkraut, and probiotics. I like taking this probiotic from Natren called Healthy Trinity.
As we age we lose collagen. Collagen is a vital protein our bodies use to repair the gut, heal joints, and replenish the skin. Taking a collagen supplement is the best way to help fortify your joint, gut, and skin health. You can learn more about it’s age defying properties here.
6. Stress Reducing Meditation
We’ve talked about the effects of stress on telomeres. Reducing stress or altering our response to stress is key if we hope to age gracefully. Stress causes our blood pressure to rise, and creates the fat storing hormone cortisol. Cortisol can cause brain damage, raises the blood glucose levels, and suppresses the immune system.
Aging and disease, in large part, are really an issue of excess inflammation in the body. Turmeric is one of the most powerful anti-inflammatories in nature. Adding this herb to your diet or skin care routine will help to reduce inflammation.
Let’s not stop here
If you want to learn more about how to optimize your health and life with simple changes, you’re invited to subscribe to my blog where you’ll get access to a free 7 day video course all about how to live a cleaner, better life from the inside out.
Brianna is a Certified Holistic Health Coach and author of Simple Is The Cure. She helps stressed out creatives simplify life and health so that they can achieve their dreams and change the world. She and her firefighter husband along with their dog Beau live in Knoxville, Tennessee.