We all seek longevity. Our existence is beautiful, but short event. Aging affects all known life. It is essentially a progressive decline in the function of our cells and tissues. The mechanism of aging was a mystery for many years. Lately, our understanding of the aging process at a molecular level has progressed substantially. Scientists now realize that there are a number of key processes that drive the course of aging. Modern research has uncovered that most of the driving forces are related to the DNA inside our cells . One of the earliest discoveries linking DNA to aging was a process called telomere shortening . Telomere shortening is process of DNA strands becoming progressively shorter each time a cell splits to form a new one. Eventually, the DNA strands become so short that the cells are no longer able to divide. As a result they cannot form new, healthy cells.
The inability of cells to divide is known as cellular senescence. Senescence causes the signs we commonly associate with aging. These include physical symptoms like bone and muscle loss and impaired vision. Highly reactive molecules produced as part of normal cellular function can also damage our DNA. These molecules are known as reactive oxygen species and they are capable of breaking up DNA and killing cells . Furthermore, when a cell makes a copy of itself, the twin is never perfect. The copy contains frequent mistakes incorporated into the DNA blueprint. Humans have specialized proteins for fixing this damage, but these proteins become less reliable as we age and this means that the copied cells accumulate mutations and become unstable . Today scientists have a better understanding regarding the mechanisms of aging. We are able to develop strategies that combat aging and age-related diseases.
Here we present some simple, yet effective strategies to improve health and maintain Longevity. Yes, You can start today and it is not too late;
Increase Your Muscle Mass and Mobility
A loss in muscle mass and strength as we get older, also known as sarcopenia. Muscle mass loos is distinctive feature of aging in humans. The reduction in muscle mass between 40 and 80 years of age is estimated to be between 30% and 50% . The age-associated reduction of muscle mass is caused by an imbalance in protein production in the body. Essentially, more muscle mass is broken down than is produced. Sarcopenia is also caused by a reduction in the body’s ability to repair damaged muscle . Muscle loss in the elderly is a major concern as it leads to reduced mobility and injury and also increases the risk of developing additional diseases . Physical exercise and increased dietary protein intake are two methods for combating age-related decline in muscle mass and improving health into old age.
Physical activity is known to stimulate post-exercise muscle gains in the elderly and has been shown to increase muscle strength in a number of studies . However, to sustain these gains the body also requires a steady supply of protein to build new muscle. Therefore, dietary protein availability before, during and after exercise is also critical for maintaining muscle mass . Although pharmaceutical treatments for muscle wasting are in development, continued resistance-type training coupled with a high-protein diet is currently the most beneficial strategy to boost muscle mass and improve mobility as we age. This is because the ability of the body to maintain and synthesize new muscle and to respond to muscle-building signals is conserved up to very old age .
Start With Fasting Program
Dietary restriction, without causing mal-nourishment, is the most studied anti-aging therapy and has been shown to promote healthy aging and delay the signs and symptoms of aging in animals such as worms, flies, rats and monkeys . It is still largely unknown exactly how modifying calorie intake can increase longevity, but is clear that both sporadic and periodic fasting can increase lifespan, even when there is no change in the overall calorie intake . Common metabolic observations in animals that benefit from fasting include removal of senescent cells, a lower metabolic rate and less oxidant production . These changes are intimately linked to a reduction in the creation of damaging free radicals inside the body as we age. It is also apparent that the health benefits are not dependent on calorie restriction or fasting as such, but simply through preventing a positive-energy balance by not overeating .
The latest fasting study using human data has shown a number of benefits, including that energy expenditure was reduced beyond weight loss and that oxidative stress was also reduced . However, one of the most impressive facts found recently shows that fasting effectively enhances stem cells’ capacity to rejuvenate tissues . Therefore, for good health and the potential of reaching full maturity, it is important to consider periodic fasting. Scientists are still unraveling the complex changes our diet has on the way we age. Consequently, they will be able produce drugs that provide the same health benefits, without the need for reduced food consumption.
Improve Your Mood
Human health and well-being is influenced by mood and how we respond to stress and the external environment. This is evident since individuals with mood and stress-related disorders are found to have significantly shorter lives in comparison to healthy individuals . Depression is also linked to premature ageing and, although these conditions may have a genetic association, their symptoms can be modulated with targeted lifestyle changes and therapeutic intervention. This is significant since how we manage hardship can impact how the body responds on a molecular level. Intense and prolonged acute stress responses lead to high levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, being produced by the body. Too much cortisol can lead to high blood pressure, destruction of tissue and systemic inflammation. This occurs because the body loses the ability to respond to cortisol.
Inflammation is a key player in aging, and stress-associated inflammation has been linked with insomnia, depression, anxiety, and Alzheimer’s disease . Markers of inflammation are increased two to four times as we grow old. Understanding how to cope with stress, anxiety and depression is vital in promoting healthy aging. Stress reduction techniques can improve longevity and contribute to a reduction of disease symptoms . Preventative strategies for depression and cognitive decline can include various mind-body interventions. Meditation and Tai-Chi and Yoga are widely reported to reduce stress levels. Therapeutic interventions for improving mood and treating cognitive disorders are also available. They could stop the negative impact on healthy aging by addressing the underlying problem.
Our Small Advice: Don’t dwell over insignificant things. Stop with mind-shrinking, anxiety-causing social network addictions for a moment. Try to live consciously and enjoy small, simple moments of your life. You will soon realize how unique and lucky you are to be alive. You are privileged to witness unlikely life on our blue little planet in vastness of hostile universe.
Improve Your Sleep
Sleep is vital for physical and mental health and is one of the most important factors in maintaining overall health. During deep sleep, damaged cells throughout the entire body are destroyed by a process known as autophagy and damaged DNA is repaired . Cellular waste products are also flushed out of the brain and memories are organized, which the brain is unable to perform when it is awake . Our sleeping ability alters as we age and it becomes harder to get a restful night of sleep with time. Sleep itself is partitioned into several unique stages. Deep sleep stage is particularly useful for minimizing a number of medical conditions, including decline in cognitive function.
It was long believed that older individuals require less sleep, but new studies are questioning this assumption and it is most likely that older individuals simply find it more difficult to sleep, rather than actually requiring less sleep . Excess exposure to light in the modern world could leading to sleep disturbances. Interestingly, exposure to light, particularly blue light, prior sleep has a detrimental effects on our ability to fall into deep, restful sleep. Even using e-readers before bed has been shown to negatively impact sleep . This is because an additional set of sensors in the human eye were discovered in recent years and these sensors are programmed to detect light and decrease the amount of healthy sleep pattern . It is therefore advised to reduce exposure to white light in the evenings, particularly in the hours running up to bed time. Additionally, regular exercise is known to improve sleep quality and restfulness and although there is no firm evidence linking diet with sleep quality at present, data show that maintaining a healthy weight will improve sleep quality by minimizing obesity-related diseases .
Get Rid of Senescent Cells
Although aging itself is currently inevitable, prolonging longevity and promoting healthy aging are both currently achievable. Modern science and our understanding of the aging process at a molecular level provides us with a number of strategies for combating natural decline. Maintaining muscle mass, reducing inflammation, enhancing mood and improving sleep are preventative measures that are biologically intertwined. These processes all act together to induce positive cellular and DNA changes inside the body. However, it is evident that senescent cells are a key hallmark of aging. Their reduction could hold the key in preventing aging.
Scientists are currently working on methods to clear these cells since their removal has already shown to reduce the features of aging in mice . The main aim of this cutting-edge research is to develop drugs that can target these damaged cells. Their destruction would restore the body’s ability to repair itself, potentially forever.
Make sure to Exercise, Fast, Meditate and Sleep Regularly until first drugs that target senescent cells become available. Live Long and Prosper.
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