Now we all know aging is a part of life and no matter what we do, getting old is inevitable. However, through years of research, certain factors in our lifestyle and what we take into our body have been shown to slow this process down or at least allow us to grow old gracefully by improving our quality of life.
Because I have spent so much time studying the effects of exercise and the physiology behind it as well as extensive studies of nutrition and nutrients, I decided to write this blog post on my top anti-aging factors.
So without further ado, here is The Crawford Anti-Aging Fitness Formula:
1.) Exercise and sweat
You should know that nothing comes closer to the fountain of youth as consistent exercise. Now when I say exercise, I’m not talking about a stroll in the park 3 days a week. You need to push yourself to break a sweat or allow your body to feel physical stress that will elicit a biological and hormonal reaction.
By exercising more intensely you are releasing good anti-aging hormones in the body naturally while controlling those hormones more properly which age us more rapidly. Our brains also send out signals like endorphins which aid in mood stabilization and sleep.
2.) Vitamin C
A water soluble antioxidant which is not produced by the body and must be obtained through food and supplementation. Vitamin C is a potent free radical quencher and it is essential for a strong immune system. Studies performed show that people who take vitamin c supplements live longer, healthier lives than those who don’t. Vitamin C recycles vitamin E, giving your immune system an added boost. Vitamin C also suppresses viruses in the body and strengthens connective tissue (particularly collagen, which keeps the skin tight and wrinkle free).
Also did you know that vitamin c keeps the lining of your arteries healthy and therefore protects from the build up of cholesterol repairing plaque.
Zinc is a component in over 200 enzymes in the body. Zinc is essential for growth, healing and control of hormones from organs such as the testes and ovaries. Zinc also aids in the ability to cope with stress effectively and support the immune system.
Pycnogenol is the registered trademark name for a mix of about forty different antioxidants that are extracted from the bark of a pine tree. Compounds in the pine bark have been found to enhance immune function and help strengthen capillaries (the tiny blood vessels tat deliver blood an nutrients to tissues and cells in your body, including the skin). Pycnogenol also provides added protection again damaging UV rays. Finally, tests have shown Pycnogenol extends the lifetime of vitamin C in the body.
They sell moisturizing creams now with this ingredient. Look up the all natural Derma E.
5.) Acai berry and grape seed extract
Acai berry has 10 times the antioxidant level of grapes and twice that of blueberries. Acai has 10 to 30 times the Anthocyanins of red wine.
Fruits such as the Acai berry that are exposed to lots of intense sunlight see an enormous amount of ultra violet light. This UV light will cause free radicals to form in the fruit. The fruits will then develop high levels of anthocyanins because they have very strong antioxidants properties and can stop the free radical production. The cool part is that the antioxidant properties of anthocyanins are still available even after they are eaten by another organism. Fruits with bright pigmentation tend to have the great ORAC values as a result and are loaded with anthocyanins! ORAC is a lab test that can measure the antioxidant activity of any substance and give it a number. The higher this ORAC number from the test the stronger the antioxidant properties of that substance.
6.) Lipoic acid
Known as the universal antioxidant, it can recycle all other antioxidants and raise levels of glutathione which is a powerful antioxidant that when taken orally is not well absolved by the body. Lipoic acid is critical for energy production because it helps break down sugar to be used by the cells and also protects the mitochondria (the “powerhouse” of the cell).
Strength is not a luxury as we age. It is absolutely
necessary for longevity and health. And this all
takes place at the genetic level.
The mitochondria are the energy factory of the
human cell. As we age our muscles begin to
show what researchers call “mitochondrial
dysfunction”. This is what causes all the bad
stuff associated with “sarcopenia.”
Sarcopenia is just the wasting away of muscle
due to age and under-use. As we age most of
us will experience a gradual loss of muscle.
The problem? Muscle is active tissue. It is
responsible for most of the calories we use
during the day.
The less muscle you have, the more body fat
you will gain if you eat the same amount of
Muscle loss is also related to the onset of many
bone diseases. The muscle that holds our spine
in alignment can deteriorate as we age and
cause major back problems. The same is true
for the muscle and tendons around the knee
and hip joints.
Can you see why muscle loss is a major deal?
I’m a big fan of taking some time out of your week, even if it’s only for one hour a week, to focus only on your breathing and totally clear your mind. Breathing…when did we forget to just take deep breathes? You know, the ones that we pull into the stomach and not heavy chest breathing like we’re having a panic attack.
Also think about how crazy your mind is working all day and all the crap it gets bombarded with. I mean…with all the crap and things that need to get done and relationship thoughts, it’s no wonder we can’t come up with some great thoughts and ideas to improve our lives.
So each week find a quiet place where you won’t be interrupted and shut off the phone or blackberry for an hour and just think about nothing except your breathing. Or you can do what I do and do a yoga class where the instructor focuses on breathing and meditation at the end.
9.) Eat food with colors especially GREEN
Greens are packed with amino acids…AKA protein
Greens give you lots of insoluble fiber…like a sponge
Greens promote bodily homeostasis…necessary for optimal health
Greens are alkaline…which promotes healthy cells
Greens are made of chlorophyll…liquid sun energy
10.) Raise your good hormones to combat the bad ones
Problem hormone: Cortisol
Solution hormone: Growth hormone
Problem hormone: Insulin
Solution hormone: IGF-1
Problem hormone: Estrogen
Solution hormone: Testosterone
How to stimulate solution hormones: Believe it or not both men and women contain all the same hormones. Women of course have lower levels of testosterone than men but higher estrogen than men.
Ways to naturally increase your Good Hormones
◦Do more anaerobic interval training. That is things like strength
training and short bursts of exercises at a higher intensity.
Just lifting 5lb weights everyday wont cut it.
You need to do full body exercises with a little more resistance.
◦ Eat a balanced meal of protein and carbs 1.5-2 hours before your
strength training or anaerobic training.
◦ Replenish your body with a protein shake almost imediately after this
type of workout.
◦ Get sleep..If you are sleep deprived, that will lower the release of GH
in your body because when you are sleeping is when your body releases this
11.) Green tea
EGCG found in green tea may block the mutation of cells and reducing cell damage. It may also block the liver enzymes that convert pro-carcinogens into carcinogens (harmful cells)
Scientists have revealed that green tea is 10-100 times more potent than black tea and can block enzymes that cause cancer cells to grow.
Tea increases the blood’s antioxidant capacity.
Green tea has been shown to reduce damage to blood vessels in smokers.
Green tea’s polyphenols can boost white blood cells, and might be an effective supplement to chemotherapy and radiation treatments that impact bone marrow and lower white blood cell count.
A cup of green tea may provide 10-40mg of polyphenols and has antioxidant activity greater than a serving of broccoli, spinach, carrots or strawberries
12.) Essential fatty acids
Salmon is my favorite source of essential fats:)
Omega 3’s (Fish Oil and High-lignan Flaxseed Oil)
Omega 6’s (GLA or Evening Primrose Oil)
These are the unsaturated fats which are needed in your body for many functions. These functions include:
- Hormone production
- Energy source
- Blood thinner
- Nerve function
If you are not drinking tons of water each day, then stop everything and at least pick up that habit! Our bodies consist of 75% water and when we look at our bodies on a cellular level, each cell contains water.
One of the biggest problems with aging and breaking down of our cells is dehydration. We are just not supplying our bodies with enough H2O. Either you don’t drink enough water or you are taking in too much food and other liquids that act as a directic like high salts,coffee, and sugars.
Make sure that the water you are drinking is purifed and keep those cells full and healthy!
There are many reasons why some people can’t achieve a restful nights sleep. Sometimes you might sleep but it is a light sleep and we need to have a deep restful REM sleep.
During sleep at night your body releases certain anti-aging hormones in your body like growth hormone, which repairs and recycles cells. Over time without sleep, your body will reduce the amount of growth hormone released in the body causing aging.
How you can reduce the problems that cause you to loose sleep:
Caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine can cause us to lose sleep. Try not to drink liquids before going to bed, and stop smoking. Smoking not only harmful to your body but it can cause you to lose sleep. Excessive noise in the house, the TV or radio in the bedroom and snoring are some more reasons that can keep us from sleeping. Don’t try to go to bed and watch TV or listen to the radio; this will only keep you awake longer. You can learn to enjoy exercises to reduce muscles spasms and/or arthritic symptoms. You can also reduce eating unhealthy foods that cause heartburn, or drinking caffeine-based substances before you go to bed to improve your sleeping pattern.
Napping is not good if you take one during the day for more than 25 minutes. I realize that maybe your not getting enough sleep during the night and you get tired in the afternoon. However, when you lie down during the day and sleep for a long time, when it is time to go to bed, you’ve had just enough sleep that you’re not as tired.
Before you lie down to rest, you should also consider drinking a warm glass of milk. Studies have shown that warm milk helps a person to relax.
15.) Love and affection
Finally spend most of your time around people you love and love you back. Don’t hold back your feelings and show affection to those you care about. Human contact is soo important. Even just a rub on the shoulder from someone can lift you up. You need to give however to recieve. Make yourself inviting and don’t put up a wall. Showing and recieving love I think is the best way to stay young and be happy.
Their just jealous you stay fit from reading my blog!
Don’t turn out to be one of those grouchy people and stay away from the crabs!
Life is too short not to make yourself happy. Take care of your body and your mind, cause at the end of the day no magic formula or surgery will work as well as what you do daily. We are all destened to get old, but there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy the process and live a good quality of life.