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August 22, 2012

Slow Aging With These Healthy Habits

Aging and Healthy HabitsHow we live determines how well we live and how long we live. Do not underestimate the power and control you have over your own health. Your health habits go a long way to slow aging and improving quality of life.

You can live healthy longer if you do just three things: improve metabolism, reduce silent inflammation, and exercise regularly. To improve your health and increase your odds of living longer start with the following steps.

  • Get Plenty of Restful Sleep
  • Eat Well
  • Get Regular Exercise
  • Take Nutritional Supplements
  • Keep Hormone Levels Optimized

So many diseases are the result of declining metabolism, silent inflammation, and inactivity.  Poor metabolism contributes to obesity and obesity is a major risk factor for diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, arthritis, and many other chronic diseases.   Inflammation leads to heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, arthritis, and many other disease as well. Exercise is unique in that it can reduce inflammation and improve metabolism. Exercise reduces the risk of heart disease and cancer, too.

Metabolism is improved through good sleep, better nutrition, the right kind of exercise, and optimized hormone levels.   Inflammation is reduced by restful sleep, better nutrition, hormonal optimization, exercise, and nutritional supplementation.

Sleep

Sleep is taken for granted, until we encounter a few restless nights.  The effects of a few poor nights of sleep quickly take their toll on our health.  We do it every night without giving it much thought as to the purpose of sleep.  Sleep is when our bodies and minds rejuvenate.  Our brains process the day’s events and our bodies recover and heal.

Key hormones are produced at night, melatonin and growth hormone.  Melatonin helps to regulate sleep and establishes our circadian rhythm, which controls release of many of our other hormones.  Melatonin improves immune function enabling us to better fight infection and cancer. Melatonin is also a potent antioxidant, which decreases risk of disease including cancers.  If you struggle with sleep try melatonin before taking prescribed sleep medications, because melatonin has other important health benefits that prescribed sleep aids do not.

Growth hormone is a “healing” hormone in adults stimulating tissue repair.  It also improves body composition and works in concert with testosterone to maintain muscle mass, the real key to improving metabolism.  Growth hormone is released in pulses throughout the day and the biggest pulse occurs during deep wave sleep.

Sleep affects appetite.  We tend to eat more following a poor night of sleep.

Eat Well

Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables striving to eat all the colors of the rainbow each day.  This will ensure that you get all the necessary phytonutrients and antioxidants the body needs to function optimally.  Vegetables and most fruits are low to relatively low glycemic.  This means they do not cause an excessive spike in insulin.  Insulin is very inflammatory and contributes to fat gain.  Avoid processed food filled with sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and trans fat all of which increase inflammation.

The Right Exercise

Strength training and high intensity interval training (short bursts of exercise done at near maximal effort) elevate metabolism better than aerobic exercises – plus they can raise growth hormone and testosterone levels that help build muscle and maintain metabolism.  Though aerobic exercise can improve overall health, it selectively raises cortisol.  Cortisol is catabolic meaning it breaks down tissue. Strength training improves overall function by stimulating type 2 muscle fibers.  Having strong type 2 muscle fibers is critical for carrying out activities of daily living, activities which become more challenging as we age.

Take These Supplements

Our soil is depleted of nutrients. Taking supplements, thus becomes more important, but don’t get carried away with taking the all the latest supplements.  Keep in mind you get what you pay for, too.  Buy pharmaceutical grade supplements.  To get the best bang for your buck take a multivitamin and mineral complex, vitamin D, and fish oil (unless you eat fish 3 or 4 times a week).  These supplements will reduce inflammation and risk of cancer, heart disease, and stroke, improve cholesterol and triglycerides, and improve brain health.

TA-65 is a supplement that increases telomere length and in clinical trials has been shown to improve markers of aging.

Keep Hormones Optimized

We can live with low hormone levels, but not very well. To live life to its fullest optimized hormone levels are needed. Hormones enable us to maintain muscle and metabolism.  Healthy hormone levels stimulate tissue repair and keep inflammation in check.

Many studies show that individuals with hormone levels in the upper third of the normal range have less heart disease and cancer than those who have levels in the lower third of the normal range.  A higher quality of life is more likely with higher hormone levels.   Hormones affect every organ-system in the body.  So when levels are low we lose energy, gain weight, become moody and depressed, lose confidence and generally suffer from a lack of well-being.  Not the best way to go through life.

Reduce inflammation, maintain your metabolism, exercise regularly, and live young and energetically!

See related articles.

“Reverse Aging Process With This Supplement”

“Low Glycemic Foods”

“Natural Metabolism Boosters”

 

 

 

 

 

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Dr. Joe Jacko


Dr. Joe is board certified in internal medicine and sports medicine with additional training in hormone replacement therapy and regenerative medicine. He has trained or practiced at leading institutions including the Hughston Clinic, Cooper Clinic, Steadman-Hawkins Clinic of the Carolinas, and Cenegenics. He currently practices in Columbus, Ohio. Read more about Dr. Joe Jacko

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