Friday, July 10, 2015

Beat Aging Naturally

We have all heard the story of two older women. One says "I want to grow old gracefully." The other one answers "I going to fight it kicking and screaming." There is something to be said for both approaches.

When I had just turned forty I mentioned a problem I was having to my doctor. Instead of asking more questions or doing some tests he answered, "Well, you are getting older." Even back then I knew enough to change doctors. Lazy doctors automatically blame aches, pains, indigestion, fuzzy thinking and the like on aging. Many in today's society think we are designed to fall apart after we turn forty, fifty at the latest. This is the furthest from the truth. There are real life people that are enjoying happy, healthy lives into their eighties, nineties and even over 100.

What can we do to be among those people as our birthdays begin to mount up?

Of all the studies on longevity and successful aging there are two key things that seem to make the biggest impact, diet and exercise. I know, that's the last thing you want to hear, but it is the truth. The problem is that everyone gets a different picture in their minds when they hear that phrase. Just what kind of diet and what kind of exercise works best?

Whether you refer to it as an Atkins style diet, a Ketogenic diet, or a Paleo diet you are getting close. They all have a few things in common, but they don't always completely hit the mark. This is because once again we all get a different picture in our minds as we read those words. So, what are the common denominators of these diets that work so well?

Get rid of:
•    Sugar and artificial sweeteners
•    Processed foods
•    Starches
•    Industrially grown fruits and vegetables
•    Industrially grown meats and dairy
•    Alcohol in excess
•    Tobacco products
•    Unnecessary medications

Add in:
•    Natural herbal sweeteners such as pure stevia, not an artificial sweetener made from stevia.
•    Home cooked meals
•    Low glycemic foods
•    Raw foods
•    Organically grown fruits and vegetables
•    Organic, free range meats, eggs and dairy
•    Good fats such as coconut, nuts, avacado, and real butter
•    Herbs, spices and supplements

By eating this way you are eliminating a majority of the toxins in our world. In addition to these things you can look for personal care and home care products that are made from all natural and safe ingredients. Watch the manufacturers, they have been known to call something natural and safe when it is the farthest thing from it. To be 100% sure you may decide to make your own.

The 'good' foods above, eaten in the right proportions improve your leptin and insulin receptors. This moves you away from diabetes and obesity and towards a strong and healthy metabolism. Numerous studies show a diet higher in good fats and clean proteins keep your appetite satisfied better. Unlike the high card, grain based diets you won't need to eat six times a day. Three or less meals a day will keep you perfectly happy and healthy.

Eating this way improves your thinking ability. Many people think that fuzzy thinking is a natural by product of aging. It's not. Fuzzy thinking can be caused by many different things. Things that we can control. Among them are:
•    Dehydration
•    Lack of good fats in the diet
•    Lack of magnesium
•    Lack of Vitamin D
•    Medications

Magnesium and Vitamin D also play a significant role in bone strength and health. Many people think of calcium when they think bone health. Without the proper amount of magnesium and Vitamin D that calcium cannot get into the bones. It ends up in places where it doesn't belong, such as joints and muscles. The image of a bent over little old man or woman can be a thing of the past. The truly healthy man or woman can walk straight and strong all of their days.

Another sign of aging that we think of as inevitable is a loss of eye sight. Dehydration can play a part of that as well. So can sugar and grains. Dropping these things from your diet can keep your eyesight strong for many more years.

Sometimes it is hard to get all your nutrition from your food. Do not be afraid of supplements. They may be just the thing to keep you from having to take medications. Turmeric is one that has been showing great promise in the area of aging. It has also been shown helpful in fighting degenerative diseases and even cancer.

Exercise also plays an important role in healthy aging. Many of the so called ageing diseases are really caused by a sedentary lifestyle instead of by the number of birthdays you have enjoyed. Once again, not all exercises are equal when it comes to aging. What should we be looking for? Things that build muscle! I think I just heard someone cringe. It used to be taught that as we age we automatically lose muscle, no matter what we do. Studies are showing that isn't 100% accurate. We may have to work harder to keep and build muscle, but it is possible to do so.

The biggest problem is that as we age we become more afraid of hurting ourselves. Therefore we don't climb the ladder that we used to climb without hesitation. We take the elevator instead of the stairs, because after all we have 'earned' it with the number of years we have lived. Our younger friends and family want to 'help' us by doing the lifting and carrying for us. The trouble with all these things is that they add up to less exercise, and especially of the type that builds muscles. The healthiest old people are the ones that have kept physically active! The harder that activity is the better! I have a relative whose father (and mother) still does roofing in his eighties! Looking at him you would think he was in his sixties! He has better arm muscles than most twenty year olds I know!

Diet and exercise. They are not the easiest things to incorporate into your lifestyle, but they could be the most important. A strong healthy body and an equally strong and healthy mind are rewards worth working towards.


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