Have you ever noticed that there are some people who seem to defy their age on an ongoing basis? They remain strong and active, pursuing life with a passion well into old age while others are ready to give up on everything near and dear to them before they are forty. There are reasons that some people seem perpetually young, and you can tap into this fountain of youth with a bit of knowledge and some work. Do you want to age early or remain engaged and vital for your entire life? This is determined largely by the choices that you make every day.
Stop talking about how old and dysfunctional you are. We believe what we hear repeated over and over and even if the dialogue comes from our own mouths, when we repeatedly hear negative statements about ourselves, we tend to conform to what we hear. When you talk about yourself the saying “If you can’t say anything good, don’t say anything at all.” applies here just as it does anywhere else.
At David’s Way we teach to make your world small. This means cutting out negative people who drag you down and create chaos that keeps you from being able to focus on your goals. It also implies cutting out activity and obligations that hinder you from creating the life that you want. Negative people age you by the process of “social contagion” where you pick up negative habits. Follow after people who make you kick it up a notch and reap the benefits of choosing your friends wisely.
Learn to be resilient. When we are resilient we can take the detours that life throws at us with a better attitude. Without this miracle working personality trait, every wave in the ocean seems like a hurricane and we will stay full of anxiety all the time. Ongoing anxiety leads to depression in most people. Look in the mirror and make the expression you have when you are depressed, then immediately “put on a happy face.” See the difference? Resilience allows you to smile through the toughest times because you know that the wave that knocked you down and nearly drowned you is gone now and you just might body surf the next one. Get up and move on after a setback. You can choose to move up or stay in your misery. Get up and create the life that you want instead of allowing life to make you a victim
Okay, now let’s get down to the nitty gritty. Don’t eat added sugar. Sugar is so calorie dense that if you make a habit of eating it you will probably eat too many calories. It will also cause insulin spikes and the resulting hunger. You will overeat and have too much body fat. Excess body fat contributes to ill health by changing your hormone levels, causing impaired flexibility and gait, increasing blood pressure, increasing your risk of cancer, heart disease and psychiatric symptoms due to impaired self-esteem. Sugar also leaves a by product of it’s metabolism behind in your skin through a process called glycation, which makes your skin look dull and dry and wrinkle much easier.
So often women tell me that they don’t get enough protein. Read David’s article, Looking Good As We Age to understand some of the reasons that this is a critical issue. Sarcopenia, or the natural loss of muscle that accompanies aging, is a debilitating condition that can be lessened or even reversed by proper diet and weight bearing exercise. In this article you will find specific recommendations for your protein needs to be met. It’s necessary to add weight bearing exercise into the equation to reverse muscle loss. We all know the little ole’ lady with the stooped posture and shuffling gait. This can happen to you much earlier than you can possibly realize if you neglect your diet and refuse to get active to preserve and build muscle. Regardless of your age, do you ever want that stooped, frail body? Look no further than Ernestine Shepherd, the World’s Oldest Female Bodybuilder, to see what is possible. Ernestine is in her eighties and still turns heads and trains other women to be strong. She is neither stooped nor frail. She eats over 200 grams of protein a day and is a strength trainer. She began working out at 56 and is the perfect example of what is possible when we make an effort. She rocks a bikini better than most much younger women.
Get your sleep! When we sleep our bodies repair the microtears brought about by exercise. This repair process translates to new muscle. Our skin is also repaired and renewed during sleep. Think about the way you look after staying up all night as compared to the way that you look after a good night’s sleep. When we never get enough sleep the damage accumulates and deep lines and wrinkles form much easier. If you don’t get enough sleep every night do try to get all that you can. There is evidence that we can repair some of the damage done by missing sleep. At one time it was thought that you could not “catch up” on sleep. Now there is evidence that we can recoup a lot ot it.
Avoid too much UV light from sun exposure. Too much sun acellerates the aging process almost as much as smoking cigarettes. Cigarettes rob your skin of the all important Vitamin C that is integral to collagen formation. Don’t smoke.
Decide now, regardless of your age, to become proactive instead of reactive and enjoy your entire life in better health… and don’t throw away that bikini.