How do you want to age? Five tips for rocking your life...
Have you given any thought to your longevity? How do you want to move, think, and be as you get older? Have you stopped to wonder about your quality of life in 30 years, 20, 15, 5 years, or even 3 months? Think of it in terms of how much physical, mental, and spiritual collateral you want to be occurring annually. If you don’t start investing now, your bank account could be depleted. No doubt there are natural occurrences that happen as we age; muscle loss, decrease in bone density, cognitive function, etc. But what can we do to function and perform optimally as we age? Here are five things you can begin doing now to help ensure your quality of life will be at a high level. Let’s dig in! #1.) Be a “superager” Do vigorous exercise and extraneous mental effort until “it hurts”. Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital recently did a study on individuals and how they age. You can read the article here. They studied ‘Superagers’ which is a term coined by neurologist Marsel Mesulam. Superagers are those whose memory and attention are “on par with healthy, active 25-year olds.” They found that there are areas of the brain known to be major hubs for general communication throughout the brain. These major hubs play a meaningful role in superager. “The thicker these regions of cortex are, the better a person’s performance on tests of memory and attention…” The recipe for becoming a superager? Work hard at something. These critical brain regions increase in activity when people perform difficult tasks for mental or physical effort. You need to work your body and your mind to maintain that crucial thickness of the brain. As I learned from training with the Navy SEALS, you need to learn to “embrace the suck”. This discomfort lends itself to building discipline and muscle, forging mental toughness. #2.) Meditation and yoga The GreenNote Fitness community knows the importance of both meditation and yoga. It’s good to also know of its importance for longevity. Both of these are shown to increase cerebral blood flow and decrease cortisol levels. If you haven’t already, begin to incorporate this into your daily practice. You can check out my meditation practices here and my yoga practices here. #3.) Limit alcohol consumption From an inflammatory, oxidative, and hormonal standpoint, alcohol consumption is one of the ‘best’ ways to age yourself. As a side note, multiple-time SuperBowl winner Tom Brady doesn’t drink any alcohol. Additionally he has a very disciplined approach to health and wellness. Not to digress too much, but it is my opinion that he will be the oldest, effective quarterback in NFL history. Period. Perhaps we will look at this in a future newsletter… #4.) Gratitude journaling Research shows that there are both biological and physiological changes from gratefulness that results in an longevity enhancing effect. I recently heard some health and wellness experts describe their morning routine which includes reading a daily devotional and then asking these three questions:
What truths did I discover in my reading? This helps one to pay attention and absorb what one is reading
What am I grateful for today?
Who can I help, pray for, or serve today?
#5.) Genetic testing Now more than ever it is relatively easy to discover what we are genetically predisposed for i.e. high risk for Type II Diabetes, prostate cancer, etc. Companies like 23andMe conduct the testing and other companies like DNAFit can take that data and provide personalized fitness and diet results. This takes much of the guess work out and puts us in the driver's seat. For sure we know that getting older is a fact of life. Isn’t it great to know that we have choices that can help us in our quality of life, no matter how long that may be. I am hopeful that your journey will be a long one…now go out and rock your life.
To your journey, Lisa Schaffer GreenNote Fitness P.S. Check out my Facebook page for inspiration. P.P.S. Discover GreenNote Fitness recommendations for recovery, supplements, protein bars & powders, nutrition, equipment, books and more at the GreenNote Fitness eStore **Do you have a friend that would benefit from this information? Please forward it to them!**