As we age, damage accumulates in our bodies due to everyday exposures that will ultimately result in cell death. Over time, these factors will naturally predispose us to cancer and other diseases. There are several factors that influence the aging process of the human body. Lifestyle choices and habits play a large role in determining how the aging process will go. Important factors and habits that influence the aging process in our bodies include hydration, sleep, mental state, environmental toxins, and exercise. Improving any or all of these factors in your everyday life can significantly improve the way your body ages.
Dehydration increases toxins and raises our risk for disease and death, meaning water plays an important role helping to remove toxins in the body. The recommended fluid intake for the males is 3.7 liters of water and 2.7 liters for females. Fortunately, this number includes water consumption from other sources. Drinks such as coffee, tea, and juice contain water as do foods such as fruits, soups, and yogurt.
However, hydration isn’t just about drinking more water, it’s also about getting more water into our cells. Improving our cell’s electrical current is the best way to keep them hydrated. One way to do this is decreasing our EMF exposure, which comes from everyday electrical devices. This can help increase electrolytes which, in turn, helps increase fiber intake. Increasing your electrolyte intake is a great way to stay hydrated without having to drink more fluids. Foods rich in electrolytes include fruits like bananas and strawberries and vegetables such as spinach and kale.
Growth hormone plays a major role in both longevity and maintaining a youthful appearance. It regenerates cells throughout the brain and body and works with testosterone to promote muscle growth and fat loss. The best way to promote growth hormone is with sleep, and the best way to improve your sleep is by boosting your melatonin.
Fortunately, there are many natural ways to boost your melatonin. Treating yourself to some dark chocolate, pineapple, or tart cherries after dinner is an easy and delicious way to increase your melatonin. Another method is to go outside during the day to get some natural light exposure. Conversely, at night, be sure to sleep with the TV and other devices off, as it is important to sleep in a dark setting. Using devices before going to bed can also make it harder to fall asleep because your brain activity remains high after engaging these devices.
3. Mental state
Age is a state of mind, and when your mental wellness isn’t in top shape you’ll age more quickly. You’ll also age much faster if you’re often stressed, depressed, have anxiety, or are simply overwhelmed with negative thoughts. According to the World Health Organization, 3.8% of people worldwide deal with depression, and that number jumps to 5.7% of adults over 60. Feelings of depression also often lead to stress, which in turn can have an adverse effect, not just on your mental health, but your physical health as well.
To combat this, try to shift your focus by having a more positive outlook on life. There’s a link between our immune cell count rising and falling based on whether our mood is positive or negative. Socializing, getting a hobby, meditating, maintaining a healthy diet, and spending time outdoors are just a few of the ways you can help boost your mental and physical health.
4. Environmental Toxins
Examples of environmental toxins range from pollution and pesticides to plastics, cosmetics, and detergents, and they are all forms of stress on the body. Environmental toxins disrupt your hormones and cell activity, which has adverse effects on neurological function, reproductive function, immunity, and behavior. While there’s no way to fully remove yourself from environmental toxins, there are several ways to limit your exposure.
One way to reduce your exposure to these toxins is by eating organic foods and washing your produce. You should also use glass instead of plastic, or failing that, be sure to atleast use BPA free plastic. Drinking filtered water, as opposed to water straight from the tap, using natural household cleaners and fragrant free detergents is another way to avoid environmental toxins. Finally, be sure to avoid pesticides and fertilizers, as they have toxic metals that damage soil which mix with runoff water that eventually makes its way to us.
Along with avoiding toxins, there are also ways to detox your body!
Falls are the leading cause of traumatic brain injury in people over 45, therefore it is essential to strengthen and improve our coordination. As we age, our bodies’ proprioception, or spatial awareness, naturally declines, leaving us more vulnerable to these falls over time. To combat this, be sure to exercise as regularly as you can, with an increased emphasis on balance-oriented exercises and functional movements like bending, twisting, and moving side to side.
One important thing to note is to stay within your limits when exercising. Exercise is about pushing yourself to increase strength and endurance, but there’s a happy medium between working hard and pushing yourself too far. Exerting yourself too much could lead to a fall or other injuries these exercises were meant to help prevent. To prevent this, be sure to stretch before and after any higher intensity exercises.
As our bodies age, they naturally decline due to several factors in our everyday life. While there’s no magical way to reverse the aging process, there are ways to make sure the process goes as smoothly as possible. Staying hydrated and getting a good night sleep are two ways to improve your physical health, as well as limiting your exposure to environmental toxins. While maintaining physical health is crucial to aging gracefully, it is also important to keep track of your mental state and avoid feelings of stress, anxiety, or depression by keeping your mind engaged, challenged, and maintaining a positive outlook on life. Finally, to prevent falls or other serious injuries be sure to exercise as regularly as you can to improve your coordination and balance.