Several years ago, I learned about telomeres. They are compounds at the end of our DNA carrying chromosomes. They function like the little plastic tips at the end of shoelaces and their job is to keep chromosomes from unraveling (just like the shoelaces) and hence slow the aging process.
According to Dr. Dean Ornish, clinical professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco and recent findings reported in The Lancet Oncology, embracing a few healthy lifestyle choices, some which many of us are already doing, we can slow down and in some cases reverse aging at a cellular level.
At the top of the list, BEING SOCIAL. Spending time talking with others is paramount to our health and apparently much more important to our anti-aging than we can imagine. Participating in a group such as a book club, a softball team, a billiards league just to name a few, or a spontaneous lunch with friends, will all work.
GOING FOR A RUN, a walk or any form of daily aerobic exercise will satisfy this key component in the anti-aging recipe.
Practice YOGA AND MEDITATION DAILY. As we all know by know, chronic stress places a huge role in accelerating the aging process. Look, life is stressful. I have recently become aware of how many people feel they cannot control their levels of worry, fear, hurt, frustration, and more. I believe we have TONS more control over these emotions than some of us think. Those emotions are all a choice. Clearly not everyone has an hour a day or the desire to practice yoga, but even a few postures followed by some quiet meditation time will work miracles. Not in a day or a week, but over the course of time. Just close your eyes and focus on your breathing or your heart or a simple mantra like OM. Giving yourself the permission to JUST BE is, in my opinion, something that should be taught in elementary school and practiced through life. I particularly love that the following quote is on my calendar today as it best sums up what I am trying to express. It’s more insight from the Dalai Lama and it goes like this:
“I believe each human being has the potential to change, to transform one’s own attitude, not matter how difficult the situation. We are human beings, and we have this marvelous brain and marvelous heart, so there is potential to develop a proper mental attitude through which we can have a happy, more peaceful life.”
The 4th and final anti-aging habit is to EAT A WHOLE-FOOD, PLANT BASED DIET. Filling your plate with fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, soy and non-dairy fat is proven to be a big longevity booster.
Today is not just Vegan Feast Thursday, but also the day we turn stale, to fresh. Why not consider a fresh approach on life? A fresh plate of colorful fruits and veggies over a burger, a fresh approach on exercise, a re-freshing meditation experience or a fresh conversation with your loved ones.
If we choose to live in the present, than today is the very best day ever. Reread the quote and know that you really do, to a very great extent, control your own health and happiness. Namaste!