Move it or Lose It!
Most young people have no problem keeping active. They run for no apparent reason, they skip instead of walk, and they usually can’t sit still as long as adults think they should. We should all take a lesson from these youngsters and move, move, move!
One of the top indicators of how well we’re aging is the length of the telomeres on our bodies’ chromosomes. Telomeres are like protective caps on either end of the chromosomes, and they shorten as we age.
During cell division, the chromosome’s DNA is copied, but the telomeres are not copied. Each time a cell divides, the telomeres become just a little shorter. Once the telomeres become a certain length, their cell won’t be able to divide again. This means the cell won’t be able to repair itself if it’s damaged. Short telomeres can lead to diseases we hear about too often, such as high blood pressure and cancer.
Fortunately, there is a way to keep your chromosomes’ telomeres from becoming too short – and causing you to age faster. Exercise! Studies have proven that, in general, people who exercise regularly have longer chromosome telomeres than people who are couch potatoes. Besides Synapse xt the well-known benefits of exercise, such as weight loss and an overall sense of well being, exercise will also let you keep your telomeres in check.
Health and fitness experts differ in the amounts of physical activity they recommend for adults to stay healthy. Some say that 15 minutes a day will do the trick, while others suggest a total of two to three hours a week. The important thing to remember is that you need to move. Any kind of exercise will help you hold on to those telomeres. Walk, swim, bike, work in your garden, clean your house at turbo speed, or try yoga. Just move your body. You’ll feel great, plus you’ll age slower than your friends who head straight to the recliner when they get home.
Playing Those Mind Games
Just like every other muscle in your body, your brain needs exercise. When you refuse to let your brain sit idle, you’re actually helping your brain stay young.
Your brain’s nerve cells, or neurons, carry information throughout your brain. When your brain processes the information, the nerve cells share information over spaces called synapses. When you use certain synapses over and over again, they become stronger, and your memory improves.
If you’re a sports fanatic, you probably know all kinds of statistics for your favorite teams and players. You can recall who won the championship game in 1972, who holds the record for the most points in one game, and the most valuable players for the last decade or two. That’s because you’re interested in the topic, talk about the statistics with other fans, and probably read every article you can find about the subject. You’re strengthening your sports trivia synapses every day.
Give your brain a workout every chance you get. Simply reading and writing can help strengthen your synapses, and learning new things can really give them a boost. Take a class, learn a new language, teach someone a skill you know, play board games, or do a crossword puzzle. And thank yourself for keeping your synapses active and your mind young.
Popeye was Right
Remember how Popeye ate a can of spinach whenever he needed extra strength to fight off Brutus and protect his beloved Olive Oyl? It turns out that Popeye had the right idea. He probably didn’t know that spinach is one of the top antioxidants, but he knew that it was a powerful food.
What you eat has a big effect on how well – or badly – you age. One category of food you’ll want to become friends with is antioxidants. They’ll help you fight disease and keep that youthful look.