Published: Monday, November 27, 2017 @ 3:37 AM
By: Jason Lemon - for the AJC
— People’s longing to be forever long has lone driven the search for the Fountain of Youth.
As we age, our mental and physical abilities eventually grow weaker. Our faces and our overall appearance begins to show the signs of our life experiences. This is reality.
Despite scientific breakthroughs and increasing promises of extended average life spans, aging remains an inevitable fact everyone has to deal with. While some turn to plastic surgery and other cosmetic remedies to hide the effects, there are actually numerous factors show by science to counter the effects of aging.
If you want the best shot at living an extended lifespan while remaining physically and mentally sharp, you might just want to take a hard look at your lifestyle and see what you can change.
Here are four things you can do to combat aging.
1. Dance regularly
In general, physical activity is important to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. It keeps us younger, while also making us look and feel more physically fit. But according to one recent study, dancing may be the best physical activity of them all to reverse the effects of aging on the brain.
Published this summer in "Frontiers In", a study by German researchers suggests that dancing has an anti-aging effect on the brain. For the study, researchers looked at elderly volunteers, with an average age of 68. All of the volunteers were trained for 18 months, half with a dancing routine and half with endurance and flexibility training.
All of those who took part in the study showed an increase in the hippocampus region of the brain, which is prone to age-related decline and is affected by diseases like Alzheimer's. But only those who did dance routine saw a noticeable difference in behavior.
2. Have more sex
A study published earlier this year and conducted by researchers at the University of California in San Francisco, looked at the sexual habits of 129 mothers in relationships over the course of a week. The research showed that the woman who had sex at least once during the week had significantly longer telomeres than those who did not. DNA strands have telomeres – nucleoprotein caps – at their ends, which protect chromosomes from deteriorating.
According to Business Insider, telomeres naturally breakdown due to aging, poor diet, and high alcohol use. However, physical activity, eating well and, according to the study, having sex counter this effect. Previous studies have shown that these telomeres may even help you live longer. They also help maintain physical and mental health as you age.
3. Sleep well
Who doesn't love sleep? Yet it seems the older we get, the busier we are and the less time we have for it. Well, here's one very good reason to make time to relax your eyes and rest.
A study published in 2013 suggests that sleep deprivation actually makes your skin age faster. Commissioned by Estée Lauder and conducted by physician-scientists at University Hospitals Case Medical Center, the study found that individuals who slept poorly showed increased signs of skin aging. Those that slept less all assessed their own appearance and skin as worse than those who slept well.
So, to combat those pesky wrinkles, better make time for some serious shut-eye.
4. Eat less
Although all of the above may sounds like positive things to increase in your life, this one may not. Regardless, science suggests that a calorie restrictive diet not only counters the effects of aging, it may also help you live longer.
Many scientists and nutritionists believe that a 30 percent reduction in daily calorie intake may significantly slow down the physical processes that make cells heal slower, which opens up the brain and body to disease. Studies have also shown that calorie restrictive diets in mice help combat the effects of aging on the brain.
If the scientists are right, cutting down on your daily consumption can help you shed a few pounds while also keeping you young.
Of course, as we said above, aging is a reality that all of us must face, regardless of the choices we make. But with these simple life hacks, you can hopefully curb some of the effects and perhaps even prolong your life.