The process of aging is universal. Everyone and everything gets older. Aging brings changes to our skin, metabolism, joints, vision, hearing, libido, immune system, and more. Therefore, we often assume it is the inevitable harbinger of steady decline. But the truth is, it is not our enemy. Our habits, lifestyle, and ultimately the way we treat ourselves and our bodies determine how we age.
What Causes Us to Age?
Research has found that the human body can survive up to 115-120 years. However, we consider people over the age of 60 to be “old.” Why? Because it’s common for people at this age to take daily medication, have much slower metabolisms, and no longer be able to participate in the same activities they used to because of limited mobility. Also, a majority of individuals living in the U.S. don’t live past their 70s or 80s.
But if aging is not the issue, then why can’t most people live past 100? Ultimately, it’s because of the way we treat our bodies. Long-term damage to the body causes the symptoms of aging. Also, the damage done to our bodies can also be the result of things that we don’t do for our bodies. Today, humans live more sedentary lives, are more stressed out, and maintain diets with higher sugar and fat content. Ultimately, the habits and lifestyles we adopt influence the rate at which our bodies age.
How to “Slow Down” the Aging Process
Have you ever heard the saying, “your body is a temple?” How about, “move it or lose it?” The truth about aging is we contribute to the aging process—especially when we don’t take care of our bodies.
Over time, our bodies are going to slow down naturally. However, changing habits or sticking to them is what controls how fast the aging process is carried out. If we keep up routine maintenance on our bodies, we can extend our youth.
Consistent (and Proper) Exercise
The best thing you can do for your body is to give it proper exercise at least a few times a week. Ideally, it should be done in some fashion or form every day. Having greater muscle mass not only keeps our skin tight, but also speeds up our metabolism, relieves stress, and can help flush out harmful toxins in our bodies. After all, a faster metabolism promotes younger and brighter looking skin and increases the effectiveness of our immune system. And with a healthier immune system, our bodies are not only able to fight off illness more efficiently , but can also clear out our systems of harmful substances that speed up aging.
A Healthy Diet
Another way to slow down the aging process is by maintaining a healthy and well-balanced diet. Primarily, we want to stay away from excess sugar and fat. These two ingredients have been found to slow down and damage our metabolism, promote weight gain, and prematurely age our skin. Excessive alcohol has also been found to contribute to the aging of our bodies, especially our skin.
Avoid Harmful Substances
Lastly, maintaining healthy hygiene and avoiding overexposure to harmful substances will contribute to slowing down the aging process. (In other words, take showers and stay away from exposed nuclear reactor fuel rods.) Finally, protect your skin from the sun, and avoid smoking—too much of either does the skin no favors.
Aging is inevitable. It’s the price we pay for being alive. But though we often like to blame aging for problems we encounter later in life, aging is really not our enemy. Not taking proper care of our bodies is! So take care of yourself, as it will greatly contribute to slowing the process down.