Hoping to keep your youthful skin, flexible joints, and sharp mind even as the years pass by? Who wouldn’t want to do that?
One of the best ways to age gracefully is to avoid the things that make you age FASTER.
I apply my SHINING protocol to anyone over 40 years of age. Here are the basics:
H- Hormone balance
I- Inflammation which is one you want to minimize
N- Natural approaches until you need pharmaceuticals
G- Get moving. That means move, not Boston marathons or ridiculous bench presses
Here are the top 5 things to make you age faster.
Smoking cigarettes increases free radicals and MMPs (matrix metalloproteinases), which cause the degradation of collagen and elastin—leading to wrinkles and sagging skin.
2. Excess Sun
Overexposure to UV rays is a major cause of free radical damage to the skin and the telltale signs of aging—including wrinkles, blotchiness, and age spots. Most people have been told that sun exposure will keep their Vitamin D levels at optimal levels. That is not true. Sun does damage your skin but you need adequate Vitamin D levels or you will suffer higher rates of cancer, depression, heart disease, and bone loss. You are better off taking a Vitamin D supplement and avoiding sun exposure. Don’t believe me? Look at the skin that’s routinely exposed to sun and the skin that’s usually not. Compare the skin on your face to the skin on your bottom. Enough said.
3. Lack of Sleep
A UCLA study found that a single night of partial sleep deprivation activated genes related to biological aging. Lack of sleep can contribute to inflammation, memory loss, and mood changes with age.
Sleep is the first part of my SHINING protocol. Your body heals and makes hormones while you are sleeping. If you are not sleeping well, your health will suffer. Even one night of inadequate sleep will affect your life the next day. If you know, you know. Check out the book “Why We Sleep” by Matthew Walker PhD here . Reading this book will change the way you think about sleep.
4. Being Sedentary
Movement and exercise are critical for fending off age-related declines in bone density and muscle mass. Exercise also supports heart health, brain function, better sleep, and more. This is also part of my SHINING protocol. The G stands for Get Moving! This does not mean running the Boston Marathon or bench pressing 250 pounds. Walking, swimming, and playing any sport all count. Just get up and move!
Stress interacts with many of the mechanisms of aging—including blood sugar regulation, inflammation, hormonal changes, and shortening of telomeres. Shortening of telomeres has been identified as one of the hallmarks of aging.
When people ask me the leading cause of death, my answer is “stress”. That incorporates many issues but it will kill you. Cortisol (the stress hormone) is one of the few hormones that increase as you age. If you are in constant “fight or flight” mode, you will not live as long. An inexpensive and easy way to check that you are stressed is to have your DHEA-S levels measured. Compare your result to that of a 30 year old. DHEA levels go down as we age but that doesn’t mean we can’t replace the hormone. The H in my SHINING protocol stands for Hormone balance. DHEA supplements are over the counter and relatively inexpensive.
I have one more post coming your way in this series on healthy aging. I’ll let you in on my favorite supplements to keep you looking and feeling your best with age. Health coaching is what I do.
See you then!
#healthyagingmonth #healthyaging #antiaging #aginggracefully #aging #functionalmedicine #healthcoaching #stayyouthful #askdrtreacy #healthwithoutrisk
Judith E. Carroll et al., “Partial Sleep Deprivation Activates the DNA Damage Response (DDR) and the Senescence-Associated
Secretory Phenotype (SASP) in Aged Adult Humans,” Brain, Behavior, and Immunity 51, no. 1 (2016): 223-9.