The older I get, the faster the passage of time seems to happen. Wasn't it just last week that it was January of 2017? I remember being a child, and thinking of the two long months of summer vacation, and whatever was I to do with the time. Nowadays, two months seem to go by in the blink of an eye!
Now that the holidays are behind us, I think it is a great time to slow down and remember to do some positive things that will feed not just our bodies, but our minds and our spirits as well. Life is speeding by, rotating around the sun at 1000 miles an hour, so here are 8 ways to help your mind and body catch up, and age gracefully into the coming year.
1. Challenge Your Brain!
Do you ever feel like you can't even remember how to do long-division anymore? If you do, take a class at the local community center or college, do some sudoku, or sign up for daily brain challenges on an app like Lumosity. Whatever your continuing to learn new things has been proven to prevent or slow down the physical progression of age-related Alzheimer's and dementia.
2. Challenge Your Physical Self
Exercise doesn't have to be a chore. In fact, it should NOT be a chore. The best kind of exercise is when you are able to find an activity that you enjoy, that you love, that you can dedicate yourself to and feel like you are having fun! I remember reading an article about Fauja Singh, who at the age of 101 finished the Hong Kong 10K in record time! Or Harriet Thompson, who at 92 was the oldest woman to finish the San Diego marathon--a full 26 miles! While these two may be hard examples to beat, it is their determination that inspires me. Because when you keep active, your circulatory system, cardiovascular system, respiratory system, basically all your internal organ systems run better, no matter the age! You don't have to run a marathon, but challenge yourself to some daily activity, and try out different things to find the activities you enjoy doing the most.
3. Take Ginko Biloba
Alzheimer's and dementia are two of the biggest handicaps affecting aging people. Even if the physical body is in tact, when the mind deteriorates, it takes away all quality of life. Ginko Biloba is a supplement that has been widely used all over the world for the treatment and prevention of Alzheimer's and dementia. The Ginko tree is native to China, and has millions of years of history, it being the longest living tree in existence (the oldest of these has lived 1000 years!). It has been traditionally used as a food source, and more importantly, as a source of traditional herbal medicine. Research has found that extracts from the Ginko leaf can help to improve circulation to the brain, having a positive effect on memory and concentration. New research even indicates neuro-protective properties, reversing damage in Alzheimer's patients.
4. Sun Protection
Wearing sunscreen isn't just about skin cancer. Would you wear it more if it could help you avoid that wrinkly turkey neck? Harmful UV rays not only cause skin cells to mutate, it can also cause skin to age prematurely, to have more age-spots, and to appear dry and dull. So while sun-bathing and getting tanned is popular, to make sure you look 10 years younger than all your friends, I recommend that you don the sunscreen and the wide brimmed hats because it's almost always sunny in Southern California.
A beautiful night's rest makes everyone feel better. Most people do the best on 7 to 8 hours of rest per night. During sleep, your body is actually healing and recharging itself. So getting enough hours a night can be more useful for your tired skin than the most expensive of anti-aging creams.
Can't sleep at night? Here are a few tips:
- Turn off anything with a screen about 1-2 hrs before bedtime. Blue light from electronic devices can interfere with sleep patterns. And anything on a screen is too stimulating and may interfere with your body's ability to sleep well. If you really need entertainment, listen to an audio book or podcast instead!
- Play some white noise or calming music
- Diffuse some calming essential oils
- Take Melatonin, the hormone that tells your body it is now night time, and it's time to rest.
- Get Acupuncture to help balance your internal organ systems, de-stress, and relax for a better night's sleep.
6. Don't Forget Romance!
As we age, your sexual habits may not be the same as it was in your 20s. But studies have shown that people who have more sex are not only happier, but also living longer as well. So take time to appreciate one another, because you may just be the secret to helping each other live longer and feel younger!
7. Take Fish Oil
Omega 3 oils from deep sea fish were originally thought to be just great for heart health. But extensive research into fish oil has found that there are two very distinct forms for omega-3 oils that are most beneficial, each with their own functions.
DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) is an omega-3 that is crucial for the foundation building of cell membranes in the brain, nervous system, and eyes.
EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) is an omega-3 that supports cardiovascular, circulatory, mood health, and even your immune system.
It is important to note that not all fish oils are created equal. The best fish oil is one that has been purified to remove all traces of heavy metal toxins such as mercury, and that is highly concentrated for maximum efficacy . Also, the carrier molecule for fish oil matters a lot, because the cheaper the fish oil, the higher the likelihood of it containing a carrier that may end up being harmful when accumulated in the liver.
Last but not least, Acupuncture is one of the greatest tools to help you age gracefully. Whether it is helping you prevent flus and colds, taking away pain, helping to boost circulation, or even beautifying your skin for natural anti-aging, I hope you will call upon Acupuncture to help you through your various health needs in the coming year.
Happy New Year Everyone!