If you want to stay younger longer, you understand how important it is to have a healthy operating system. Your metabolism is your operating system. Just like a computer, it slows down over time. You may find yourself gaining weight and feeling sluggish. From the time we are 28 or so, we begin the dying process at a cellular level until eventually this catabolic action overtakes the entire body. Sounds scary, but aging is the natural order of things. That doesn’t mean that we can’t take healthy measures to avoid premature aging.
Every cell in our bodies has little energy generators called mitochondria. They burn up calories. If you don’t have enough of these incinerators, your calorie-burning rate declines and you become fatter and have less energy. And did you know that only one-third of our aging is dictated by genetics? Two-thirds is determined by our lifestyle.
Without taking positive action of exercising such as walking, lifting weights, dancing, swimming, or doing heavy labor of some kind, we lose muscle mass as we age. These activities delay that loss.
How about fighting back?
By just altering our lifestyle habits and choices we can prolong our vitality and delay premature aging. Here are 8 ways to take charge and fight back.
- Jump into life. Instead of sitting, go for a brisk walk, lift weights, swim, ride a bike, or use elastic tubing to build resistance. You get the idea. Build your muscle mass and those little fuel-burning mitochondria. In other words, enjoy some sort of physical activity daily for at least thirty minutes.
- Eat more often, but less at each time. Eating a little every three hours is much healthier than eating more, less frequently. You will also feel fuller and have more energy.
- Get enough sleep. Studies reveal that people who sleep less than eight hours a night weigh more than those who do get eight hours. When you are tired, you are more apt to pursue sugar and low-nutrition snacks that rob you of more energy. So turn off the computer and the television earlier and let your mind calm into a better slumber.
- Question your food choices. Before you consume something, ask yourself this simple question, “Is this food contributing to my best health and nutrition? Your answer will tell you that a shift may be best. If you eat by color, avoid the beige foods and add some color to your diet.
- Consume more protein. Your body has to produce more energy to process protein. This is a good thing and I have found that the heart-healthy Vi-Shake by Visalus is an intelligent and extremely tasty alternative to one of your meals. Its protein-fiber blend containing calcium, vitamins, and minerals has helped me maintain a healthy weight that is just right for me. For others, the product is a wonderful weight loss product while athletes use it to gain lean muscle mass.
- Drink plenty of clean water. The body must hydrate to maintain a healthy state.
- Practice deep-breathing techniques. Bringing oxygen into the body is part and parcel to the fuel-burning process.
- Watch your self-talk. If you are apt to say “I’m not as young as I used to be,” or “At my age, I can’t do that anymore,” and “I’m too old for that,” you have sent powerful shutdown signals to your body and soon your “old folks” mentality is going full steam. You are the architect of your aging process by your very attitude, words, and the images you choose.
As you should realize, none of these steps are complicated or earth-shattering though they may take some time to develop as a new habit. The more you can embrace them, the more vitality you can bring into your life. And while you’re at it, how about falling in love with life if you haven’t already. The choice is yours.
Bob Fagan takes a holistic approach to his coaching and this includes your health. He offers free coaching for customers of www.rsfagan.bodybyvi.com. Join Bob for his “90-Day Challenge!”