The secrets of healthy aging: Look younger, live longer

By Dr. Swati Soni

Apr 26, 2022

 Aging is an inevitable part of our biological system. It is the natural physiological process that is defined at the very beginning of a new life. By knowing this look younger concept, anyone may argue the need and value of healthy living if it is pre-decided that our cells are bound to grow, divide and die at particular intervals. Hence, we need to understand here that there are two types of aging- Intrinsic and Extrinsic aging.

Intrinsic and extrinsic aging vs Look Younger

Intrinsic aging is determined by our genetic code and is innate to ourselves which could barely be manipulated. Until now, researches are in progress on whether or not this genetic work could be affected by medicines or any other factors. Therefore, it becomes a point to least bother about this part of aging.

We are focused on another type which is Extrinsic aging. It is this type of cell maturity that gets affected by various factors which are part of our living. E.g. Nutrition, stress levels, medications, lifestyle, environment, etc. These factors also lead to the stage which is commonly known as early or premature aging, which means our cells grow earlier, mature earlier, die earlier, and become less functional before their actual determined time. This early or immature process makes one’s chronological age younger than the biological age(age of our cells and organ functions) as well.

You must have heard about various superstars /legends who look like or act/feel as if they are decades Look younger than their actual age. Whereas some people look even much older than their chronological age. This difference is the net result of genetic and environmental aging.

Now when we say looking younger, it doesn’t mean that only if our skin feels healthy and youthful, we may claim ourselves as free from early aging signs. Although skin aging is one of the reflections of internal health, there are other factors as well which determine the internal age of the system and have a negative effect when we are exposed to premature aging factors. E.g. occurrence of chronic diseases, development of lifestyle disorders, decline in mental and cognitive functions, hormonal imbalances, etc.

Why do we age? 

When the organ cells enter into early aging, it leads to a gradual decline in organ functions and initiates disorders linked to those organs like diabetes, heart issues, skin disorders, cataracts, high blood pressure, etc. The development of diseases is mostly the result of our faulty lifestyle and immature cell growth which are inefficient to deal with day-to-day physiological stressors. When our cells do not receive appropriate growth and the functional environment from nutrition, relaxation, brain commands, and non-chemical exposure, they start behaving funnily and sometimes even starts degrading themselves due to deficiency of functional ingredients or even by exposure to toxins from the environment which damages the cell wall and its genetic code.

Another factor here to understand is that the life expectancy in today’s world has increased, which means people are living longer on average. Advance healthcare techniques, modern medicines; awareness about various illnesses, and better nutrition have extended the average human life. Although a long life need not necessarily be a healthy life. Living long with compromised health and dependent on various medications taken irrationally actually ages one internally but keeps them alive. Hence, it is of utmost importance that one must learn to age healthily and gracefully where the quality of cells is better, the presence of diseases is lesser or negligible, mental health is sound, and overall better quality of life.

Factors that contribute to early aging

  • Unhealthy lifestyle
  • Stress and negative emotions
  • Malnutrition – either excessive or lack of nutrition
  • UV radiation exposure (directly damages genes and leads to aging)
  • Smoking
  • Excessive alcohol
  • Pollution – air/ water/ sound
  • Living with any painful condition for long without any intervention
  • Lack of sleep /disturbed sleep
  • Irrational usage of gadgets
  • Unaware about self-health and healthy lifestyle ( leading to involvement in unhealthy lifestyle)

Factors that support healthy aging and Look Younger

Optimum nutrition support: Reduce junk / packaged foods and focus more on organic produce, fruits, vegetables, and wholesome meals.

Manage or reduce stress: Make relaxation a part of the lifestyle and practice meditation, breathing, and get into hobbies to unwind from stressful routines.

Healthy sleep routine: Try to keep fixed sleeping hours, and get a minimum of 6-8 hours of sleep daily. Sleep is the best time when your body recovers from any wear and tear hence giving this natural healing process the attention it deserves.

Regular physical activity: Regular exercises reduce the impact of stress on the body and improve blood and oxygenation which improves cellular health.

Mental exercises: Our brain is the control panel of the body so we must focus on brain exercises just like physical ones to keep the cells of the brain agile and healthy. Learn a new skill or language, listen to music, meditate, get into cognitive tasks, etc to keep brain cells active.

Protect from sun rays: UV damage is not an unknown factor today, hence cover yourself when moving in direct sun, also wear sunscreens during the daytime.

Since ageing is an inevitable process, many believe that it could be stopped by blocking the errors in lifestyle, while others may think it’s completely out of control. A balanced lifestyle would be the rational method to deal with this phenomenon logically and also control unwanted early aging of cells and look younger. Hence, follow a healthy lifestyle, be aware of your system as per your genetic makeup and family history and habits and let go of any unwanted negative emotions to improve your quality of life. 

 

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