Want to slow the aging process and look younger by lengthening your telomeres? Here’s how you do it!
Extending your lifespan is always a fascinating topic. After all, people have written novels and movies on the fountain of youth! The key factor, of course, is to maintain the same quality of life while living a long life.
In other words, you’re looking to slow down the aging process. You might have noticed that some celebrities seem to do this very well. In order for you to achieve this, you first need to understand how telomeres work and how they’re related to the aging process.
You can lengthen your telomeres by:
- Restricting your diet or intermittent fasting
- Eating the right foods
- Exercising regularly
- Managing stress
- Getting enough sleep
- Getting enough sunlight
What are Telomeres?
In scientific terms, telomeres are the DNA sequences located at the end of your chromosomes that keep them intact and prevent them from fusing with other chromosomes (this would destroy or mess up your genetic information, leading to functional issues).
They consist of the same short nucleotide sequence (TTAGGG). This sequence is repeated numerous times, and, in young humans, telomeres are about 8,000–10,000 nucleotides long.
These telomeres shorten during cell division (a natural bodily process as you age), and once they reach a critical length, the cell stops dividing or dies. Scientific studies also support the fact that telomeres shorten with age and are associated with cell death and cell aging.
Telomere shortening isn’t just limited to physical appearance. An increased rate of telomere shortening is linked to many of the diseases that seem to affect the elderly such as cancer or heart disease.
Fortunately, reducing the rate of telomere shortening decreases the risk of disease along with the pace of aging. In other words, by paying attention to telomere length, you aren’t just preserving youthful looks. Your body will also function better into old age!
How to Slow Down the Aging Process
You can approach this from both sides. First, you can reduce the lifestyle factors that increase your rate of telomere shortening, which include the following:
- Lack of physical activity
- Elevated stress
- Exposure to pollution
Factors that Reduce Rate of Telomere Shortening
Additionally, you can also implement lifestyle factors that, based on studies, slow down the rate of telomere shortening, including:
- Dietary restriction
- Appropriate diet
- Regular exercise
- Stress management
- Exposure to sunlight
Since these lifestyle factors are inversely related to each other (more of one results in less of the other), it’s easier to focus on the latter.
Fasting can reduce the rate of telomere shortening, but you can also implement intermittent fasting into your lifestyle in order to gain this benefit. To bring this even further, you can even do HIIT exercise or a cardio workout on an empty stomach.
To slow down the aging process, your diet should be high in fiber, have plenty of antioxidants, and consist of low amounts of lean protein. Adding soy protein to your diet also seems to help. This type of prescription seems to match closely with the Mediterranean diet, which has been proven by studies to reduce many of the risks that accompany old age such as heart disease. You can also do a green juice cleanse in order to get the benefits of both fasting and dieting at the same time.
Physical activity has also been proven by studies to improve your telomere length, especially in middle-aged to elderly adults. The study focused on aerobic capacity but mentioned that any form of exercise would ultimately reduce the rate of telomere shortening by preventing obesity. As mentioned earlier, you can pair exercise with fasting for even better results.
Stress management may be a well-known predictor of how well someone ages, and research certainly backs this up as elevated stress leads to an increased rate of telomere shortening. Stress management is key to slowing down the aging process, and there are certainly many options to approach stress management: exercise being one of them.
Another approach to stress management is through mindfulness practices. This could take the form of journal writing, meditation, or other mental exercises that bring your thoughts to the present.
A study showed that less sleep led to shorter telomeres, so sleep is definitely something you’ll want to get right. Depending on your age, the amount of sleep you need to function will vary.
Improving your sleep and learning how to fall asleep are potential challenges on their own, so you can read tips on how to improve your quality of sleep here.
Exposure to Sunlight
Higher levels of vitamin D have also been shown to result in longer telomeres, so be sure to get that sunlight! When possible, switch that treadmill work out for an outdoor run. If you live in an area where there’s less sunlight in the winter, you may even consider taking a vitamin D supplement.
Slowing Down Aging: Lengthen Your Telomeres
Telomere length shortens with age, and the rate of telomere shortening is a good indicator of how well (or poorly) you’re aging. This affects your physical appearance, but it also affects your bodily health in relation to the risk of diseases that are typically associated with aging such as heart disease and cancer.
Cutting back on unhealthy lifestyle choices while increasing the amount or frequency of healthy lifestyle decisions will give you the best results. These healthy practices can even be done in conjunction with each other. For example, doing an outdoor cardio workout while doing a green juice cleanse after a good night’s sleep covers just about all of the bases (and there are certainly other ways to do this, too).
How long would you like to live a healthy life?
STARTING YOUR PATH TO HEALTHY LIVING
There is so much more to a holistic lifestyle than lengthening your telomeres. When you start your journey to healthier living, there seems to be so much information to weed through. It can be confusing and difficult to determine what you should focus on first.
That’s why we developed a short 15 Point Guide to Essential Health. Take charge of your own health. With a little help, you’ll be living a healthier, more fulfilling life in no time.