Americans are enjoying longer years of prime physical and mental vitality. A recent study from the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology measured people’s biological age and found that the pace of aging has slowed over the past 20 years. Researchers concluded behavioral changes are helping people stay younger longer. There’s a lot we can control through diet, exercise, and lifestyle. Here are ways to slow down aging.
Reduce your tension
Elevated cortisol levels caused by chronic stress can damage collagen, trigger inflammation and exacerbate acne. Reducing chronic stress helps slow the aging of your skin. Stress accumulated over a lifetime accelerates epigenetic aging, a predictor of the rate of biological aging.
You can lower stress through yoga, sleep, meditation, therapy, and even herbal supplements applied topically or taken orally.
Treat your skin to creams that affect genes
New skin care formulas can help switch on collagen production disrupted by the aging process. Look for formulas that help activate collagen and assists in repairing itself. These creams can keep gene activity robust by boosting communication among your healthy skin cells.
Cut meals down to size and eat often
Eating smaller meals more often will control your insulin levels, which likely is one of the factors that determines how fast you age. Try having six small meals a day to prevent big spikes in insulin that can harm cells. Or consider eating all your meals and snacks within eight to 10 hours each day. Early research suggests this strategy may have antiaging benefits. Stop eating after dinner. Your metabolism slows just before sleep.
Eat anti-inflammatory food
Dermatologists say the strongest accelerator of aging is probably inflammation, but you can fight the damage through diet. Eating anti-inflammatory foods allows genes to refocus their energy from fighting inflammation to concentrating on collagen production. Eat more olive oil and fatty fish such as salmon and tuna. Eat at least five or more servings daily of a variety of fruits and vegetables like blueberries and strawberries, spinach, kale and watercress. Snack on nuts like almonds and walnuts. Limit processed meats, fried foods and refined carbohydrates.
Adjust your Omega-3 fats
A lower ratio of omega-6 fatty acids to omega-3 fatty acids gives the longest and youngest telomeres the lowest levels of oxidative stress, according to a study. Aim to eat at least 1.25 grams of omega-3s fatty acids a day. That’s the equivalent of about three ounces of salmon. Limit eating high-omega-6 fats such as grapeseed, corn, sesame and other vegetable oils.
Higher intakes of omega-3 fatty acids are linked to both a 15-percent reduction in damaging oxidative stress and longer telomeres. Telomeres are protein caps that protect the chromosomes that normally shorten as we age.
Drink from the exercise fountain of youth
Working out is the closest thing we’ve found to the fountain of youth. Exercising at least 30 minutes or more of moderate to intense cardio and resistance exercise 5 days a week should be your goal. Strength-training workouts are equally important.
A recent study found that participants who did cardio for 30 minutes five days a week showed a biological age nearly nine years younger than sedentary people. Exercise reduces two culprits in aging cells and shortening telomeres—inflammation and oxidative stress.
And keep moving
Moving throughout the day is highly important in addition to your workout. If you have an office job, try to swap standing, walking and sitting each day. Every little bit counts!