10 All-Natural Ways to Stay Young
Certain celebs (we see you, Jennifer Lopez!) somehow seem to age in reverse. Besides skipping sugar-because really, who would want to do that for a lifetime?!-are there secrets to beat the constantly-ticking aging clock? Absolutely, experts say. (And no, you don’t need an array of crazy pills and potions.) Try these 10 smart strategies that are natural age-erasers and find natural ways to stay young.
1. Give yourself a break
Recent studies show that stress causes physical changes in the body that can accelerate aging. Surges of the hormones adrenaline and cortisol cause blood pressure to rise and the heart to beat faster. These days, when our stressors seem unrelenting (a steady stream of job pressures, traffic jams, money problems), chronic doses of adrenaline and cortisol take a heavy toll on our physical and emotional health. “Sixty to 90 percent of all doctors’ visits each year are related to anxiety, depression, obsessive anger and hostility, insomnia, high blood pressure, heart attacks-all problems caused by stress,” says Herbert Benson, M.D., author of The Relaxation Response and a founder and director emeritus of the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine in Boston.
The most effective way to halt this destructive chain of events is to meditate, using what Dr. Benson calls “the relaxation response.” The technique involves repeating a mantra-a word, sound, phrase, or prayer-for as little as 10 minutes a day.
Try it! Once or twice daily, for 10 to 20 minutes, sit in a quiet place, close your eyes, relax your muscles, roll your head, neck, and shoulders, and breathe deeply. On each exhale, repeat your mantra (here are 10 possibilities to inspire yours). If other thoughts try to invade, says Dr. Benson, tell yourself, “Oh, well,” and return to your word or phrase. When you’re done, keep your eyes closed for an extra minute; slowly allow everyday thoughts to flow back into your mind. Still not into the idea of meditation? Do yoga, or something active and repetitive, like mindful running, instead. Focus on your breathing and how your feet land with each stride. Get your to-do list out of your head, says Dr. Benson.
2. Consume more fat
One of the most natural ways to stay young is by consuming more fat. The healthy kind, that is. Omega-3 fatty acids (found in salmon, walnuts, and seeds) help stabilize your mood, maintain bone strength, and help prevent visible signs of aging by reducing inflammation in the body, explains Nicholas Perricone, M.D., a leading anti-aging expert and author of 7 Secrets to Beauty, Health, and Longevity. “Omega-3s also boost the ability of the body’s enzymes to pull fat out of storage-from your hips, say-and use it as energy,” he says. “Omega-3s keep you healthy and your skin radiant.”
Try it! “Virtually every expert agrees that you need two grams of omega-3 fatty acids a day,” says Michael Roizen, M.D., chair of the division of anesthesiology at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio and coauthor of You on a Diet. Eat plenty of fatty fish such as wild salmon (a 3-ounce serving has 6.9 grams), as well as walnuts (one-half ounce has 9.2 grams), says Dr. Roizen. If you aren’t getting enough omega-3s from your diet, consider taking fish-oil supplements.
Source: Shape – Read More