We all become older, there is no escape. Aging is inherent to life and not negative. With the years you acquire wisdom and knowledge, and often also more rest and perspective. But getting older with flaws is no fun. How does the process of aging actually work in our body? And can we do something to slow down this aging, so that we stay fit and vital for as long as possible? In this blog we list the most important points for you.
At some places in the world people are significantly older than normal, including places in Japan, Sardinia and Greece. There, 100-year-olds are a much seen phenomenon. And no 100 year olds with a walker, they are still very active in old age.
These spots are also called the Blue zones. The people in the blue zone have a number of characteristics in common. In this way they move a lot, they have a rich social network, despite their age they are still an active part of society and they eat a diet rich in vegetables and fruit.
What can we learn from these people and current science? Below are some tips that help slow down the process of aging.
Tip 1: keep moving!
Our body is made to move. By regular movement you support the blood circulation in all parts of the body including the brain. It appears that people who exercise a lot have a smaller chance of getting Alzheimer’s. Movement also ensures that growth hormone is produced and this hormone ensures that cells can recover and renew. As with everything, balance is the magic word here. Moving too intensively may actually encourage aging. But regular movement that suits your body offers many benefits. Walking and other quiet ways of moving such as gardening and dancing are a nice basis. Regular strength training ensures that there is less muscle breakdown in the body. The more muscles you have in old age, the better this is for your health.
Tip 2: laugh a lot and maintain your social contacts
Laughter is healthy, it is often said, but it is actually true. Laughter relaxes and puts things into perspective.
People who have a warm social network live longer. All people in the blue zones have close contact with their relatives and children. In addition, they often have a loyal, small group of friends that they regularly meet. In the hectic life of the day it is sometimes difficult to make time for friends and family. Usually the agenda has to come to an appointment. You do not have to have many friends, but a few real heart friends are worth gold.
Tip 3: set goals
Having a goal in life is very important for your happiness and vitality also at a later age. For example, it appears that grandparents who are intensively involved with the grandchildren and who regularly watch out are less troubled by diseases that may occur later in life, such as Alzheimer’s.
Tip 4: eat a lot of unprocessed food with antioxidants
As you have been able to read, antioxidants protect your cells from the effects of free radicals. Antioxidants can be found in all brightly colored fruit and vegetables, but also in fresh herbs and spices. Try to get as much color as possible on your plate every day. Real antioxidant boosters are:
blueberries and all forest fruits;
kale and all other gays;
garlic and onions;
Tip 5: eat in moderation
Studies show that mice that receive a reduced calorie diet live much longer than their well-fed counterparts. In this society, food is so abundant that it is very easy to eat more than you need. Especially if you eat fresh and unprocessed, you need much less than you might think. Eat so that you are 80% full and then stop. Frequently a fasting day or period also appears to have a beneficial effect on the cell renewal process.
There are also a number of factors that can encourage aging. Smoking is number 1, because this creates a lot of free radicals. But sugar, stress and certain chemicals that come into contact with us through our food and the environment can also accelerate the aging process.
Tip 6: avoid sugar
We now know that sugar is not so good for us. It increases blood sugar levels, only causes more tension and obesity, but also contributes to aging. Sugar molecules in the blood can attach to certain proteins. Then there are particles that are difficult to break down: AGEs (Advanced Glycation End Products) These particles can attach themselves to structures in the body, so they cause wrinkles, but also make the artery walls stiff, which causes arteriosclerosis. You can therefore avoid refined sugar, with an exception here and there. Get your sugar from natural unprocessed sources such as fruit.
Tip 7: avoid stress
Too much stress feels very unpleasant and exhausts, but it can also increase blood pressure and accelerate aging. The stress hormone cortisol can, when it is too long in the body, prevent recovery processes. When you have stress for a long time you can sometimes also clearly see it in someone: gray skin, faster wrinkling.
Tip 8: avoid toxins
We come into contact with many chemicals that are in our environment without us wanting to. Think of air pollution, hormones and residues of medicines in drinking water, fire retardants and such in furniture, micro plastic particles that come into our food via packaging and pesticides on our food. Unfortunately you can not avoid all the toxins, but if you become more alert you can take a number of measures.
Eat where possible organic vegetables, avoid plastic packaging as much as possible, use a water filter and try to be as much as possible in the forest and nature.