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Lifetime Health and Anti-Aging Strategies

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 6 18

There Are Two Magic Bullets for Lifetime Health

Much of the Western world, and particularly Americans, have an ongoing search for the magic bullets that will aid in staving off the effects of aging. The answers to that quest are the same as those for questions about staying healthy for a lifetime, for weight loss and control and for stamina and aging. Hold on, I'm about to give you the keys to the Fountain of Youth: eating a nutritionally balanced, calorie-appropriate diet and getting moderate levels of physical activity most days of the week.

Like many, you might have been hoping that the answer lies in a pill or two, or maybe even a surgeon's knife. But the best way to look and feel your best every day of your life is to follow what has been health care's mantra: Diet and exercise.


How Physical Activity Effects Your Health and Aging

[507] In a scientific study performed in Portugal and whose results were published in the September 2011 edition of The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, researchers found that study participants in the age group 65 to 95 years of age reported increased vigor and slight improvement in mood after a 16-week strength-training program.

[514] An article written by physicians at the Klinik fur Neurologie in Berlin, Germany addresses the known improvements in cognitive function created by physical activity not only in the normal aging brain, but also in neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases.  The article explains that human experiments have demonstrated that physical activity increases the volume of grey matter in the brain in the areas of learning and memory, along with improvements in cognitive function.

Not only does regular physical activity improve thinking ability, memory and mood, but it helps to promote heart and lung health. Exercise helps you to keep up a weight within advised limits or will help you to shed excess weight.  Regular exercise helps boost self-esteem and self-confidence.  Considering all the potential benefits of regular physical activity, it would be difficult not to see the association this element brings to lifetime health and anti-aging.

Aging, after all, is at least partly seen as the decline in physical and mental functions. When your body is at its best health levels, you are not going to feel as old. And when your body is not at its best health levels, you can feel old regardless of the number of birthdays celebrated.


Balanced Nutrition to Fuel Your Body's Engine

Actually, you body has millions of engines--the mitochondria that are the powerhouses of each cell. Enzymes and hormones need proper nutrition to be produced and to function adequately. You know your teeth and bones need calcium and vitamin D; iron is necessary for your blood to carry oxygen; potassium, sodium and magnesium in proper balance allow your muscles, including your heart, to function at their best.

The adage, "Junk in, junk out," is nowhere more true than in your body. Feed it mostly empty calories from sugar-based foods and drinks and those cell engines will be spitting and sputtering while trying to function.  Too much cholesterol, such as from animal fats, fried foods and large amounts of dairy will slowly but surely clog your arteries.[514] The same article that addresses the value of physical activity for brain function also addresses the value of good nutrition.

Diet is a word that has come to be associated with reduced or restricted calories or foods. Diet, however, is simply the term for all the foods you eat. You needn't adhere to a calorie-counted diet to eat healthy.  An eating plan such as that set forth by the [523] U.S. Department of Agriculture's My Plate ensures you will  receive adequate, balanced nutrition each day.

The Mediterranean diet or eating plan is one that is espoused by nutritionists and health care providers alike. This eating plan is based on the eating habits of a group of people indigenous to the southern Mediterranean region who enjoy long, healthy lives.

The DASH diet is another [524] eating plan that has received a great reputation as a healthy, nutritional eating plan. DASH--dietary approaches against hypertension--is often recommended by health providers to their patients who have hypertension, but you need not wait to develop the condition before choosing this eating plan.

Talk to your health care provider about what eating plan(s) are right for you and your general health condition. Your health care provider can also recommend whether nutritional supplements such as a multi-vitamin would be helpful. You want the engines of your cells purring along like kittens, helping you to meet whatever your life goals may be.


Aging Versus Getting Old

Remaining vital both physically and mentally is the goal of most people. It is the absence of vitality that makes a person feel or seem "old." "Old" is synonymous with obsolete, of low value, decrepit. We can't stop the hands of time; we will grow older day by day--but we don't have to become "old." Aging is a fact of life; how you do so is up to you. You can choose to make good decisions now about your nutrition and physical activity, or you can wait. Just remember, though, time waits for no man.

Do right by yourself and choose lifetime health; aging will take care of itself along the way.


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Comments

Oct 8, 2011 9:18am
danmont
You are absolutely right! physical activity and healthy eating are the key to live longer and healthier.
Oct 9, 2011 6:04pm
LLWoodard
Danmont, thanks for the comment. My belief is that each of us must take more personal responsibility for our health and well-being rather than look to cures or health care providers to "fix" us once we're "broken."
Oct 9, 2011 6:05pm
LLWoodard
Dchosen1, appreciate the read and the comment.
Oct 12, 2011 1:11am
smita
great article. I know someone who is looks 10 years younger by doing yoga and follows a very healthy diet.
Oct 12, 2011 5:52am
WebAddict
Hey, great article you wrote here. I haven't live that long to know but I'm sure they work. :D
Oct 12, 2011 5:00pm
LLWoodard
Smita, I bet your friend who looks 10 years younger also feels fit and healthy. To me, those are two areas that as they diminish lead to a person feeling older and less energetic.

WebAddict, thanks for the read. Young people such as yourself may not give a lot of thought now about how to avoid growing old--old in the sense of vulnerable and less independent--but now is the opportune time to establish good eating habits and getting regular physical activity.
Oct 13, 2011 4:06pm
washingtonfamily
Good article. I believe we all can live to 100 years without taking 18 prescription drugs daily. I am definitely planning on doing just that
Oct 14, 2011 9:46am
LLWoodard
Washingtonfamily, you make a good point about prescription drugs and with the recent news that points to concerns about the safety of taking dietary supplements, eating a balanced diet takes on increased importance.
Oct 14, 2011 6:53pm
southerngirl09
Congratulations on a well deserved Featured Article. Unfortunately, diets now are awful, too much eating out - especially fast foods. I hope your article will help to direct people to eat healthy foods and to exercise. Thanks for sharing!
Oct 15, 2011 10:28pm
LLWoodard
Southerngirl09, I hope the article will inspire people to make their health a higher priority. The truth is, the message isn't new--most of us just haven't been paying attention.
Oct 22, 2011 4:31am
Albert
According to Ayurveda, premature aging of the skin is caused due to the aggravation of vata dosha, which naturally increases with age.Some anti aging treatment, home remedies and herbal treatment for premature skin aging are:
Massaging face with ghee, almond oil or coconut oil before going to bed.
Applying fresh aloe Vera gel to the skin
Using grated cucumber in a face pack.
Oct 23, 2011 11:29am
LLWoodard
Albert, appreciate your additional information. Thanks for stopping by.
Oct 23, 2011 5:46pm
Lucky2012
Great article. Love the last tip/comment about almond oil - buy it in Gallon containers = much cheaper.
Oct 24, 2011 4:10am
JudyE
Great article - all so true - junk in, junk out - no magic pills - what a shame (about the pills that is).
Oct 31, 2011 9:47am
Tom_Carver
And I was so sure that the pills were working...Seriously, a very fine article, well written, I enjoyed reading it even if I now feel older. Voted up.
Oct 31, 2011 9:34pm
LLWoodard
Awww, Tom_Carver, there was no intention of making anyone feel older--although "older" isn't the "bad" word--old is. As a society we revere old trees, old cars, and aged wines; one day maybe our culture will embrace seasoned people, too. We can work on that, one person at a time.
Feb 12, 2012 2:15pm
Lynsuz
Great article. I don't believe in popping pills or using high dollar creams to appear younger. I embraced my youth the same way that I embrace my age one day at a time. Eat right, get plenty of sleep, exercise and enjoy life. Linking here and bing and tweet.
Feb 20, 2012 7:57pm
LLWoodard
Thanks, Lynsuz. I'm with you -- won't be any visits to the plastic surgeon from me, either.
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Bibliography

  1. R. Martins, et al. "Effects of strength and aerobic-based training on functional fitness, mood and the relationship between fatness and mood in older adults.." Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness. 12/09/2011 <Web >
  2. B. Steiner, V. Witte and A. Floel "Lifestyle and Cognition: What Do We Know From the Aging and Neurodegenerative Brain?." Nervenarzt. 14/08/2011. 12/09/2011 <Web >
  3. United States Department of Agriculture "Choose My Plate." USDA MyPlate. 26/08/2011. 12/09/2011 <Web >
  4. Unknown "The DASH Diet Eating Plan." DASH Diet. 9/9/2011. 12/09/2011 <Web >

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