want to slow the clock?

try these sci­en­tif­i­cally-proven steps to pro­mote cell health

Good Health Choices - - Be Informed -

Ad­dress your is­sues

While short stints of stress can dam­age our chro­mo­some pro­tec­tion, self-re­pair mech­a­nisms step in to elim­i­nate the stress once it has passed. Long episodes of men­tal strain and un­re­solved trauma, on the other hand, have a far greater im­pact on our telom­eres. Med­i­ta­tion can be par­tic­u­larly ef­fec­tive, with stud­ies show­ing peo­ple who prac­tise med­i­ta­tion ev­ery day for at least three months have a 30 per cent higher telom­erase level than oth­ers.

Get out of breath

Ger­man re­searchers found walk­ing or run­ning at a rate of around 60 per cent of our max­i­mum level was more ef­fec­tive than weight train­ing for pro­tect­ing cells. If we ex­ert our­selves to the point that we feel chal­lenged but can still eas­ily hold a con­ver­sa­tion, for three 40-minute ses­sions per week, we boost the ac­ti­va­tion of telom­erase.

Make it 7+

Rest is so vi­tal for our health that stud­ies have found the longer we sleep, the longer our telom­eres are. Ex­perts say we should all be get­ting a min­i­mum of seven hours’ shut-eye a night. Black­burn says get­ting five hours or less sleep each night has a neg­a­tive ef­fect on hor­mones and in­sulin reg­u­la­tion, and leads to shorter telom­eres, which hin­ders cell re­newal.

Stay fo­cused

Be­lieve it or not, a wan­der­ing mind can be detri­men­tal to cell health. A study con­ducted by the Univer­sity of Cal­i­for­nia San Fran­cisco has shown peo­ple whose minds are of­ten wan­der­ing, rather than be­ing fo­cused on the task at hand, have much shorter telom­eres on im­mune cells. But good news: con­cen­tra­tion can be trained with mind­ful­ness.

Eat fresh

Pre­ma­ture age­ing of the skin is caused by ag­gres­sive en­vi­ron­men­tal sub­stances, though these can be com­bated with cer­tain an­ti­bod­ies. Eat­ing 150g of veg­eta­bles (like onions, cap­sicums and toma­toes) ev­ery day can sup­ply us with these cell pro­tec­tors.

For­get flour

Foods rich in sim­ple car­bo­hy­drates, like white breads, cakes and pas­tries, prompt our pan­creas to re­lease more and more in­sulin, of­ten to the point of ex­haus­tion. The in­sulin­pro­duc­ing cells age too quickly and die, which can lead to di­a­betes. The su­gar spike that of­ten comes from these foods is also detri­men­tal for cell health, and even our ap­pear­ance, as su­gar ‘gums up’ pro­teins re­spon­si­ble for pro­mot­ing healthy, sup­ple skin.

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