6 Must do’s to Slow Down Your Ageing Process
In part 1 of this 3 part blog series on how to slow down your ageing process I mentioned that getting correct levels of nutrition into our cells and especially our mitochondria is critical for us to be able to maintain good energy levels. I also mentioned that anything that causes inflammation in the body is something that should be avoided where ever possible. Stress is a big cause of inflammation and the best way to deal with stress is to adapt a daily mindfulness stratagie and this can be done through the use of affirmations.
I would like to move on to the next 3 most important needs that we consume on a daily basis – Oxygen, Water and Nutrition.
The incredible benefits that correct breathing and focused breath work can have on the health and rejuvenation of our body and mind is massively overlooked. To give you an example of this I would like to focus on just one primary organ in the body - The Liver - and the effect that a correct breathing technique can have on it and the immediate health benefits it can produce for the rest of our body.
When we take a full breath in our lungs inflate and as they inflate they cause our liver to move on average 3 cm. With a deep extended breath into the lungs your liver will move approximately 5 cm. This movement of the liver is critical for correct liver function and is needed to clean our blood, reduce the acid levels in our body and remove free radicals from our blood through the production of a substance called Glutathione which is manufactured in the liver.
There are many such positive reactions being carried out in the body as we breath and breathing with purpose and awareness will lower inflammation and provide essential nourishment in the form of oxygen to our cells.
Breath into the tummy and fill the lungs from the bottom up.
Take the time to do some breathing exercises and the best time to do a round of breath exercises is before each main meal. This will take some tension and stress out of your body before you eat and will cement the habit into your daily routine.
Our body is made up of about 75% water and even a small decrease in that level can lead to a state of dehydration. Once you start to feel thirsty you are most lightly about 20% dehydrated and at that stage you are probably losing your ability to concentrate and perform tasks accurately.
Your cells need water to thrive and if you have ever seen a piece of fruit or even a persons skin that has had the moisture removed from it you will agree that it is very unhealthy looking. But because we can’t see what is going on inside of us we forget that the very same process of drying out could be happening to us and all our internal parts. The RDA is 8 glasses but this is not achieved by many people because they assume that by drinking tea or coffee they are getting enough water. The reality is that tea and coffee are both diuretic – in other words they dehydrate you.
Drink plenty of water. No matter whether you are working from you home, car or an office you need to be able to get a visual reminder of how much water you are consuming so I recommend you buy a reusable water bottle and make sure that you know how much it can hold. Then, aim to drink about 2 litres daily but you will need more if you are exercising. Try take 2/3 of your daily intake in the first 8 hours of your day and then gently sip the rest of your daily intake over the rest of your day. This will insure that you stay hydrated and energised during the day and make sure you don’t cause accelerated ageing through dehydrated cells.
Nutrition is something that we tend to focus a lot on. It is a great topic of conversation but sometimes people get confused between eating what they like and eating what they need and what is good for them. Poor food and nutrition is probably one of the biggest issues people face and is a major cause of premature or accelerated ageing. Consuming the wrong food and drink can lead to inflammation especially around our joints and can also cause untold damage to our liver, intestines, bowel and much more. Poor food choices can lead to weight gain and increased levels of acid in the body. It is these increased levels of acid that amplify the amount of Free Radicals in our system and that in turn causes premature ageing.
I am sure this is not the first time you have heard the information above but the important thing here is to take matters into your own hands, literally. Everything we place in our mouth is put there by our hands, so be careful what you pick up. Over the years I have developed the habit of looking at my food in my hand before I put it in my mouth and at the same time asking the question “What is this going to do for me, give me energy or make me tired”. That simple question helps me to make the right choices most of the time and most of the time is good enough for me.
I think it is important not to become obsessed with food for two reasons, firstly when you become obsessed with anything it leads to an unhealthy mind-set which increases stress levels and secondly I think it is good to give the body a rest from continuous digestion. Fasting is becoming more and more popular and there is now good scientific data to show that controlled fasting for up to 48 hours at a time and within reason can have many positive effects on our health.
Personally I like to fast for about 14 hours in the 24 hour period. That basically means that I will eat my last piece of food at 8pm and then not eat again till 10am the next day. I do however continue to drink water during this period. Then once per month I extend this fast to 36 hours.
Look at what you are eating and ask yourself “Is this good for me” at least then you are making an informed decision to eat what is in your hands and you are eating with purpose. Often times you will find that the healthier foods are tastier. Give your intestines a break every now and again and try some controlled fasting. Make sure you consult your doctor about fasting if you are taking any medication or are under medical supervision.