In this day in age, everyone is still in search of the “Fountain of Youth.” While health and wellness trends come and go, there are simple ways to combat the symptoms and slow down the process of aging — without having to go on a quest for the mythical fountain.
Researchers have ascertained that the aging process is brought on by the shortening of the strands that carry our genetic codes. As these strands become shorter, they eventually start to die, which then tells our body it is time to die.
Here are six science-backed ways to slow down the aging process.
Increase your NAD+ levels.
Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD+) is a molecule found in all living cells. It’s called the Molecule of Youth and The Golden Molecule because it plays a crucial role in the proper functioning of all cells in your body; you’re literally dead without it.
David Sinclair, co-director of Harvard Medical School’s Paul F. Glenn Center for the Biology of Aging, in an interview with TIME describes NAD+ as “the closest we’ve gotten to a fountain of youth.”
NAD+ levels in the body naturally decrease as you age. But new, growing bodies of research are showing that by increasing NAD+ levels, cellular aging can be reversed and your expected lifespan can be significantly prolonged.
So how do you increase your NAD+ levels? There are ways such as eating NAD+ boosting foods and committing to exercise. But the latest breakthrough in longevity science is nicotinamide riboside (NR), a vitamin belonging to the vitamin B3 family that has been found to significantly elevate NAD+ levels in cells and tissues. Science-backed claims indicate that taking cell revival pills can, to put it simply, make you younger.
Manage Your Stress
It should come as no surprise that stress negatively affects the human body. Stress kills people; it takes a toll on your life and, as it grows, it becomes harder to deal with adequately. Research proves that the more chronically stressed you are, the shorter your telomeres become, which shortens your life in the process.
Stress often manifests itself in many ways including hair loss, digestive issues, acne, insomnia, anxiety, depression, sexual problems, hypertension, and in diseases like cancer.
In order to manage your stress first, understand what the sources of stress are in your life. Then remember that attitude matters. Instead of getting completely overwhelmed all the time, opt to view each stressful situation as a challenge for you to tackle. By considering circumstances this way, blood will flow directly to your heart and to your brain, enabling you to experience a brief but energizing spike of cortisol.
Another simple way to look and feel younger is to get out of your own way and clear your mind from time to time. With simple deep breathing exercises, and by reciting your personal mantra, you can calm yourself and be in the moment, alive and relaxed.
Scientific studies have shown that people who meditate, even just for a few minutes a day, tend to be happier and more focused than those who spend all of their time running around frantically.
In addition to giving you time to pause for reflection, meditation can help you live a longer and more fulfilling life. In the middle of our busy lives, going back to the basics of breathing could be just the thing you need for slowing down the aging process.
Work on Meaningful Relationships
All around the world humans crave love and closeness, and without these significant relationships, the sense of isolation can contribute to the aging process.
People who are married and have close friends are likely to live longer than those who experience life alone. Science has shown that having someone to live for, and with, can help you live longer and feel younger. Long-term friendships and relationships certainly help with your telomere health.
Emotional neglect, exposure to violence, bullying and racism all impact your telomeres, and the effects are long-term. Tight-knit communities and deep, meaningful relationships are incredibly beneficial for your emotional and telomere health.
Any form of regular exercise routine can contribute notable anti-aging benefits, but yoga, in particular, is especially helpful. Unlike other types of exercise, yoga is universally known for its meditative and stress-relieving effects, which make it the ideal anti-aging exercise activity.
Recently, researchers have discovered that biomarkers associated with cellular aging and stress-related inflammation decreased upon completion of a 12-week yoga program compared to measurements that were taken before the program started.
The meditative aspect of yoga also impacts the brain, helping keep its structure and function healthy. Yoga also is believed to ward off age-related diseases, and to aid in a good night’s sleep.
Very obviously linked to the aging process, sleep deprivation impacts skin appearance and the body’s ability to respond to environmental stressors.
Researchers have found that people who don’t sleep well display more fine lines, reduced skin elasticity, and uneven pigmentation. Additional research demonstrates that those who enjoy quality sleep are quicker to recover from stressors to the skin such as environmental pollution and toxins. If you are having trouble committing to a consistent sleeping pattern, consider trying Melatonin gel caps.
The above findings demonstrate that when it comes to getting older, age really is just a number. The body and mind don’t fundamentally have to reflect a person’s age, and making these things part of your lifelong habits is one very useful way to help slow down (or even perhaps reverse) the physiological process of aging.
Frank L. Jaksch Jr. is the Chief Executive Officer and a co-founder of ChromaDex. He oversees research, strategy and operations for the Company with a focus on scientific and novel products for pharmaceutical and nutraceutical markets. Mr. Jaksch earned a B.S. in Chemistry and Biology from Valparaiso University.