How to halt and reverse aging!
Do you ever look at someone and wonder what age they are? Are you often surprised how some of your high school friends have aged terribly and how others appear to have found the fountain of youth? We often blame it on our genes, on the hand we were dealt but an amazing new book, The Telomere Effect explains to us how we can maximize the hand we are dealt and minimize the aging process (the crow’s feet, aching joints and sagging skin)
I am always researching and reading the latest and greatest health news. I have a responsibility as a Nurse Practitioner to stay abreast of the latest research and knowledge as it pertains to my practice.
I have just finished reading The Telomere Effect by Elissa Epel and Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn. Dr Blackburn discovered telomerase and the role that it plays along with telomeres themselves in not only halting but also reversing the aging process. Dr Epel is a lifestyle psychologist who specializes in showing how specific lifestyle and psychological habits can improve quality of life slowing down the aging process by direct protection of telomeres.
There is so much crammed into this book that it is hard to pick just 5 Top Tips to halt and reverse aging but here are 5 Snippets and hopefully many of you will buy the book or stay tuned for the Synergy Health and Wellness Seminar Dates! The premise of the book is that shorter telomeres are an indication of premature cellular aging and what we do or don’t do in terms of diet, exercise, stress, depression and even environmental toxins have a direct effect on telomere length.
I love the observation that “Cells are listening to your thoughts”. According to Epel and Blackburn a small dose of stress does not damage or shorten telomere length but subject the individual to chronic long term stress, stress that is not resolved and these individuals have noticeably shorter telomere length. Those people who are caretakers or suffering from job burnout or going through a protracted divorce, for example are all subject to severe and prolonged stress. We all know that inflammation is bad for us but did you know that shorter telomeres promote inflammation.
Recommendation: Try stress reduction exercises such as meditation, yoga, journaling to reduce the amount of stress in your life. Even better identify stress triggers and try to negate or minimize them.
Depression & Anxiety:
Like stress depression and anxiety wreak havoc on telomeres and studies show that they shorten telomeres. The more severe the disorder (think mild versus major depressive disorder MDD) the shorter the telomeres. More than 350 Million people worldwide suffer from depression and studies show that telomeres are shortened in those with depression and there is also a link to the duration of the depression or anxiety episode. Telomerase, an enzyme that is secreted in response to shortening telomeres is increased in depressed individuals in an attempt to counteract telomere shortening.
Recommendation: Early identification and treatment for depression and anxiety is essential. Treatment modalities such as mindfulness based cognitive therapy and mindfulness itself can also be used in treatment and again modalities such as yoga and meditation have been shown to be effective in the treatment of both depression and anxiety.
Its well known that exercise helps with stress reduction, improves symptoms of anxiety and depression and aids in weight loss – so it’s a no brainer to exercise daily. What The Telomere Effect reports is that HIIT type exercise programs (think of all the programs available at Synergy Fitness Boca) increase telomerase activity helping to increase telomere length.
Recommendation: HIIT exercise programs 5 times a week for 30-45 minutes a time will help protect telomeres. Add in resistance training to your program as well.
What’s the best diet to protect your telomeres, increase their length slow or reverse the aging process? Easy! Fruit, vegetables, wholegrain, fish, chicken, Omega 3 rich foods, alcohol, fat, processed food avoidance. Also avoid those foods that cause inflammation (these may differ from individual to individual) but cow’s dairy, fatty red meats, cheese, soda, processed and cured meats.
Recommendations: Follow a clean diet with fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Mediterranean and Okinawa diets are good examples. Limit alcohol, processed and refined foods!
Vitamins, Minerals, Supplements:
Epel and Blackburn would rather that we get the majority of our Vitamins and minerals from our foods eating those foods high in antioxidants. But we may not get enough of certain vitamins and minerals from our diets and they suggest that adequate amounts of Vitamins D, B (folate) C, E and Omega 3’s promote telomere length and telomerase.
Recommendations: Eat plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts, wholegrain, legumes and low fat proteins such as chicken and fish. Eat Omega 3 rich food and reduce foods that cause insulin resistance and inflammation.
Lack of sleep, insomnia and sleep deprivation all lead to shorter telomeres. If you are tired during the day you are not getting enough sleep – Simple as! But lack of sleep is implicated in depression, anxiety and so much more. Sleep should be of good quality, the same time each day and for an adequate amount.
Recommendations: Go to bed at the same time each night, if you tired during the day go to bed earlier. Avoid alcohol and drugs and for more sleep information check out my previous article on sleep. (http://bit.ly/2dE7N45)
There is so much more in this book than mentioned above and I urge you all to buy it and implement the strategies included. Stay tuned as we will be doing a more comprehensive lecture on how to halt and even reverse aging by promoting telomere friendly strategies in all areas of our lives.
The Telomere Effect: A Revolutionary Approach to Living Younger, Healthier, Longer by Elizabeth Blackburn and Elissa Epel is published by Orion Spring
Synergy Health and Wellness Dolores@synergyhealthandwellness.net
For more confidential help or if you have a topic you would like discussed – you can call me at 561-866-1211. Thanks Dolores