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When you ponder the words anti-aging, you most likely will begin thinking of plastic surgery, miracle creams and injectable skin rejuvenation. Procedures and products can change our outward appearance, but they cannot do anything for our internal clock. While many of Americans will contribute to the billions spent on products and procedures to keep a youthful exterior, it is important to realize the best anti-aging is nearly free.
Exercise is essential to anti-aging. Moderate exercise stimulates growth hormone release, improves serotonin production, and lowers the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol is produced in the body at high levels when we are stressed. It dampens the effectiveness of our other hormones, causes middle weight gain, and lowers the body’s immune response. Exercise can lower stress, and it can be as simple as brisk walk, and will only cost you a good pair of walking shoes.
In order to exercise, we must have the energy to be motived to move, and sleep is vital to a good energy level. Insomnia hinders metabolism and hormone production. Chronic insomnia can also increase the severity of age related diseases such as type II diabetes, hypertension, obesity and memory loss. To boost sleep naturally, try melatonin, magnesium, 5-HTP or valerian root. It is a medical fact that sleeping less than 8 hours increases skin aging at a cellular level.
While sleep can improve your skin health and may decrease your need for the next best miracle cream, adequate hydration is also important for your skin as it helps to reduce fine lines and wrinkles. Most of us take hydration for granted, but it is truly essential to life. The average body loses 2-3 quarts of water a day. It is important to hydrate throughout the day and not wait until you feel thirsty.
Along with water, good nutrition is a must for longevity. Eating organic, whole foods and reducing processed foods, dairy and grains helps to lower chronic inflammation in the body. It is said that inflammation contributes to 80-90% of all human diseases and cancers. Anti-inflammatory diets, such as the Zone and paleolithic diets, show a direct correlation to longevity.
Finally, to live a long, youthful life studies show that happiness is crucial. Chronic stress ages the body. Finding joy and happiness rejuvenates the body. Clinical data shows that having faith in a higher power outweighs diet and exercise as a positive variable to health and longevity. Studies have also shown that older adults report a greater degree of happiness when they have faith based upon something greater than themselves vs. adults in their twenties with no faith-based relationship.