Anti-Aging – Part I – The Basics
At Strong Supplements we’re all about everyone looking and feeling younger; not only living a healthy active and productive life, but extending it in the best ways possible. That is why we are kicking off our new Anti-Aging Program. Starting today we will begin publishing an ongoing series of articles on anti-aging. We’ll look at anti-aging from multiple points of view, we’ll dig deep and strive to provide fresh and varied perspectives, after all anti-aging is not one size fits all. We want to provide our readers and customers with the weapons you’ll need to fight the ultimate fight – the war against aging.
Anti-aging is not for just the old or just for the young, everyone can benefit. It’s never too late or too early to start, the key is you just need to START. In many of our articles and their parts we will cover age specific, gender and special circumstance issues in the hope we will make a bigger impact on an individual basis. If there is perspective you’d like to see please feel free to make it known in the comments. We’d like to present as many perspectives as possible.
Anti-aging education is something we know we all can benefit from. We hope you enjoy our new program. Now, all that said, let’s jump into it.
Part 1 – Growing Young: Nutrition and Exercise
Recent scientific research has shown that aging comes down to two things: chronological aging which affects your internal organs the same way it does your skin, and external factors like environment and food consumption. While you can’t stop the days from passing, you can change your lifestyle to slow down the process.
The good news is anyone of any age can reap the time reversing benefits of good nutrition and exercise. Whether you are 18 or 85, you can still make a tangible difference in the way your body ages and even improve some of the effects you are already experiencing. Check out the following guide that takes an in-depth look at how nutrition and exercise, can affect the way your body ages.
What you eat can affect whether you develop chronic diseases, inflammation, or diminished eyesight, or even whether your skin shows signs of age. What you eat is likely the single most important attribute to staying young.
The old saying “beauty comes from within” is more than just a confidence boost for those awkward teenage years. We all know that eating tons of processed food and chemicals isn’t going to do our waistlines any favors, but making sure that what you do consume gives you the most nutritional bang for your buck will help determine whether you suffer from chronic ailments or not.
From a young age it is ingrained in us that a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and legumes will typically provides many of the nutrients you need, but not everyone understands exactly what to eat or why that is. It seems like everything these days is boasting “antioxidants” and “omega-3s” – things we know we should be consuming because the media tells us so. But why?
Oxidation is actually a process in which your body produces free radicals that can cause trauma to your cells in response to environmental toxins. The damage may not be noticeable at first, but free radicals accumulate in a sort of chain reaction: one attacks a cell to steal some of its properties, in turn making that cell a free radical, and so on. This means that as you age, the damage accumulates and shows up in the form of chronic diseases and inflammation and aging skin. This is where antioxidants come into play. They actually inhibit the potentially damaging oxidative molecules and prevent further trauma from occurring. Examples of antioxidants are Vitamins C and E.
Getting a variety of nutrients from your diet isn’t just about losing fat or building muscle; it can also affect the way your skin ages. For instance, if you tend towards a diet in processed foods, you are risking your skin losing suppleness and softness over time as well as having acne. Not consuming a sufficient level of amino acids limits collagen production as well.
So without throwing too much science at you, let’s get down to why you’re really here. Here’s are some staples that should definitely be in your diet if you are interested in preserving the longevity of your health and body:
Healthy fats (avocados, olive oil, nuts, etc.): These not only have been proven to prevent heart disease, they are also required for proper brain healthy and development and keep your skin fuller. Avocados provide important antioxidants and olive oil contains polyphenols which may fight age-related diseases.
A variety of colors of fruits and vegetables: Some fruits and vegetables have more antioxidants than others. In order to get a full spectrum of nutrients, you need to aim to eat the rainbow on your plate. They also contain minerals important to preserving bone density and antioxidants to aid in repairing skin trauma.
Fish: Contain omega-3 fats which also help prevent cholesterol buildup in the arteries and improve heart health.
Green tea: Rich in antioxidants, it also helps reduce inflammation.
Besides making you look sexy naked, exercise can also be one of your greatest allies in anti-aging efforts. It can reduce inflammation, improve bone density, lower risk for disease, and tighten up those parts of your body that time and gravity may be working their magic on. Let’s take a deeper look at how exercise works as your anti-aging solution and what you should be doing to get the full benefits from it.
As you age, your ability to gain bone mass and density decreases. This means that if you don’t take steps to prevent or treat low bone density, you are susceptible to osteoporosis. Besides consuming adequate Vitamin D and calcium, exercise is your greatest ally in preserving bone mass.
The best exercise for bone health is anything weight bearing. This can be weight lifting, running, hiking, tennis, dancing – anything that requires you to move your body against gravity (examples of non-weight bearing activities are swimming and biking). The only catch is that after you hit 30, you have reached your peak bone mass and will begin to lose bone mass after that time if you do not continue to exercise regularly.
So what happens if you are past 30 and are at risk? You still need to work out – exercise is the greatest way to build strength in your muscles to support your bones and improve balance which is important for avoiding potential slips and falls.
One of the coolest benefits of working out is the way it can reverse years of aging skin over time. Studies have shown that individuals over 40 who have exercised regularly had skin more like that of a 20- or 30-year-old than those who didn’t. Even better is that regardless of what age you are, starting to exercise can have immediate benefits on skin elasticity – that is, the ability of the skin to bounce back after being stretched.
Basically exercising causes increased blood flow which in turn increases the amount of nutrients your skin receives. This allows your skin cells to repair themselves quicker and bounce back faster, reducing loose skin and wrinkles and slowing down the loss of elasticity that occurs with time. Cardio aids in flushing out toxins and pumping nutrients to the skin cells, while weight training tightens the muscles that hold your skin and improves the overall elasticity. Combined with proper facial cleansing, this can also prevent acne.
Part of bad posture comes from sitting at a desk all day for years or spending hours hunched over in front of your cell phone or video games. Your chest muscles tend to shorter while your upper back muscles lengthen, creating an appearance similar to that of Quasimoto, the hunchback, before you hit 40. The good news is performing several posture improving exercises regularly (2-3 times per week should be enough) can help you reverse years of damage.
Yoga and stretching should be a part of your weekly, if not daily, routine. Yoga helps improve balance, circulation, and flexibility, all things that affect your posture and other forms of exercise. A major component of yoga is form and stretching, which forces you to learn how to stand and sit properly wherever your physique currently is. Not to mention it can be a major stress reliever, considering stress can be a huge cause of early signs of aging. Make sure you are performing chest opening stretches like laying with a foam roller vertically along your spine with your arms open to the sides.
Finally, make sure you are hitting your upper back during weight training. Warm ups should include wall angels to increase mobility and doorway chest stretches to open up the chest. Face pulls, rear delt flyes, and rows are all examples of exercises that will strengthen your back and pull your shoulder back into an upright position.
When it comes to aging, nothing beats proper nutrition and a good ol’ sweat session to keep you looking and feeling your best. Besides lowering your risk for disease, you can also improve your posture and the appearance of your skin, as well as your balance and flexibility.
Stay tuned for more articles – up next -> what you need to be doing and eating at different age levels to reap the full anti-aging benefits.
Questions – Ideas – Bitches -> leave them in the comments and we’ll discuss.