What is aging? Biologically speaking, there are cells in the body such as the circulatory system and the nervous system that do not reproduce. As these cells die, the body replicates and replaces them. At some point the ability to reproduce new cells starts to fall behind the rate of cell death and there becomes a deficit. Similar to a balding man losing the ability grow new hair to replace what falls out.
Several factors contribute to this decline of reproduction such hereditary genes, lifestyle habits and dietary nutrition.
As more cells die off and fewer new cells replace them the work force falls behind in productivity. Consequently, another factor in aging is waste management as dead cells are waste and working cells produce waste the removal process begins slowing down.
What can be done to slow the aging process? Avoid cell damage from environmental factors such as exposure to toxins, smoking and overexposure to sunlight.
1. Exercise to increase DNA protection. At the end of DNA strands are protectors known as Telomeres. When a cell reproduces the DNA is copied except for the Telomeres which are split between the two cells. Each time cells divide Telomeres get shorter and shorter until they are too short to divide any more so the cell can no longer reproduce.
In a scientific study of 1200 sets of twins it was concluded that those exercised intensely for 3 hours a week had longer Telomeres than those who did not. Longer Telomeres can divide more times than shorter ones increasing the cell reproduction life cycle.
2. Sugar AGEs the body. AGEs stands for Advanced Glycation End-Products which are formed from the bonding of sugar molecules and proteins, fats or nucleic acids without a control enzyme. The sugar consumed especially fructose (which glycation rate is 10X glucose) the more chance AGEs will be formed. AGEs are also introduced to body through overcooked foods and caramelized foods. Food should be raw, steamed or boiled and avoid overcooking meat. Sugar should be, if eaten at all, consumed with adequate fiber to slow absorption.
When AGEs are formed with collagen or elastin proteins skin is prematurely aged and joints have increased inflammation.
AGEs formed in blood vessels cause them to become stiff.
AGEs are responsible for shrinking LDL cholesterol to a size that will stick arterial walls forming plaque.
AGEs interfere with bone development, repair and strength.
3. Sleep is to allow the body to repair itself.
Get more sleep to control weight gain as hormones that control weight and appetite are releasing during sleep.
Lack of sleep contributes to heart disease, hypertension and diabetes.
Sleep is necessary for reasoning, thinking and learning.
In men lack of sleep lowers testosterone levels needed for libido and development.
Lack of sleep can lead depression.
Contributes to memory loss.
4. Social engagement. Numerous studies show social relationships increase life span and improve mental, physical and behavioral health. This includes friendships with people and pets.
5. Eat right. Ensure you get a good mix of protein, healthy fats, fiber and anti-oxidants to repair and protect your body.
As we can see a longer life comes down to healthy nutritious diet avoiding sugar, a consistent exercise program, sleep and friendships.