As the generation Xers are approaching late middle age, many of them are asking the same question: how do we continue to maintain an active life style and age without getting old?
The issues of the middle age are universal. The weight doesn’t come off as easily, the sleep is not as refreshing, the mind is not as sharp, and the energy is not as abundant.
The good news is that unlike the limited options available to the previous generation that could be summarized basically as “age happens- learn to live with it”, we benefit from an incredible amount of first rate research and anti-aging science and can empower us to fight aging and live a more youthful, energetic and fulfilling life well into our nineties and beyond.
The key to this youthful aging lies in addressing it on three fronts that can be called the Physiological Antiaging Trifecta.
First is exercise.
As we age the stress of the daily grind, poor sleep habits, and exposure to environmental toxins reduces our production of key hormones and key cells that produce energy and maintain function of our brain, skin, joints and organs.
High intensity exercise or HIT has been shown to improve production of sex hormones Estrogen and Testosterone that play a key role in all of the aging elements mentioned. It has also been shown to reduce the general state of inflammation by boosting body’s natural cortisol production and improve efficiency of replacing old cells and with the new more energetic and efficient ones.
Second is Nutrition.
Good nutrition is essential. Aging alters gastrointestinal function and makes it more difficult to absorb key nutrients that are critical in running of our metabolism, production of hormones, and reduction of cell-toxic chemicals. Some of the more common vital nutrients include Vitamin D, Zinc and Magnesium.
It is important to test for nutritional deficiencies and correct them on regular basis. Typically, this can be done by increasing one’s diet of green leafy and colorful vegetables but may also need to include high quality supplements that would be prescribed by a health care provider that specializes in antiaging.
Part of an antiaging nutritional program should also include supplementation with very special group of antioxidant and energy boosting supplements that include fish oil, mitochondrial support amino acids, and adaptogenic herbs that have been used for millennia in Asian cultures. Adaptogenic herbs in particular are rich in molecules that are able to penetrate the inner portions of our cells and block negative effects of toxic proteins and molecules that are triggered by stress and toxin exposure that would otherwise cause damage to these cells. These adaptogens can literally prevent cellular death and thereby slow down aging.
The third is meditation.
Mindfulness meditation in particular has been studied as a non-religious, scientifically proven method of reducing stress, improving function of our metabolism and retarding aging.
The benefit of mindfulness is based on its ability to reverse a phenomenon called the Stress Response. The Stress Response is a mental and physical state of being where the mind and body are stressed out of proportion to the environment they find themselves in. Where this response is supposed to only kick in when our lives are in danger and then turn off, the current exposure to multiple sources of stress keep it on all the time. This ultimately runs down our energy levels, burns out our cellular functions and our abilities to produce hormones and cortisol; in short it ages us.
Practicing mindfulness for just 15 minutes a day has been shown to turn off this stress response and by doing so retard the aging process.
So, generation Xers, get your Trifecta on and age youthfully!