The Fountain of Youth. People have been seeking it for thousands of years.
As we get older, chasing health and vitality becomes a preoccupation for many of us. But if you're looking for it in a pill or a miracle supplement touted by afternoon talk show hosts, you may be disappointed.
Instead, turn to the grassroots tips below -- what I call the...
Van Blarcom Fountain of Youth
1. Keep up with technology. Learn how to tweet, post, comment, and update your Facebook status. Then "friend" your kids and grandkids. You'll never feel out of the loop again.
2. Protect your skin. We all know the price of that deep bronze tan you once yearned for: wrinkles. So starting today if you haven't already begun, protect your skin with sunblock and limit time in the sun. Sometimes the fountain of youth needs a little help from common sense.
3. Eat your oatmeal. This article in Science Daily says oats are packed full of antioxidants that reduce bad cholesterol, heal cell damage, and help reduce wrinkles by plumping up the skin. Suddenly you'll find yourself repeating those 7 dreaded words from your youth: "Eat your oatmeal, it's good for you."
4. Hug more often. A Berkeley University study has shown hugging releases oxytocin, the so-called anti-aging hormone. Among its many attributes, it helps regenerate weakened muscles. So hug long and stay strong!
5. Cut back on sugars and processed foods. When it comes to speeding up the aging process and contributing to illness, the chief culprit is fructose because it promotes inflammation. Read more about all the diseases linked to fructose. And then go purge your kitchen cupboards.
6. Eat whole foods. Most centenarians are found in cultures that favor unprocessed, minimally cooked plants and regular exercise like daily walks. These seniors also manage their stress better with prayer, meditation and solid support networks.
7. Exercise and use the computer. These are not two separate tips. A Mayo Clinic study has found that computer use and moderate exercise (in conjunction with each other) can protect brain function in seniors better than if they only do one or the other.
8. Quit smoking. What's good for our health is also a good anti-aging strategy. Smoking ages the skin, causes wrinkles, and contributes to the raspy voice that identifies long-term smokers.
9. Get a pet. Life changes like retirement, loss of a spouse or children moving away can be isolating and depressing. Having the unconditional love of a pet is not only uplifting but there are proven health benefits too: lower blood pressure, reduced anxiety, better immunity, and less heart disease.
10. Get enough sleep. Research from University Hospitals has found that sleep deprivation can make your skin age faster. Study subjects who slept poorly had more fine lines, uneven skin color and reduced skin elasticity. Most of us need 7 or 8 hours a night, at the same time every night.
11. Try to think positive. Positive people live on average 7.5 years longer! And if that isn't reason enough to ditch your inner pessimist, several studies have found that those who see aging as an opportunity are more social and successful than those who don't.
Remember, if you're having trouble with #10 or #11, I'm here to help. Let's talk it out. Contact me here to set up a consultation.