Posted on by Teri Cochrane
Rethinking aging? I am!
This summer, give your body a boost by focusing on these smart longevity plays and my “anti-aging rules of thumb."
I’ll say it again: “The thought becomes the thing.” The work of Dr. Bruce Lipton has revealed how brain waves (aka our thought patterns!) can actually direct cell activity and influence the potentiality of our biological outcome. Negative thinking can decrease our IQ in real time, making it difficult to think clearly and make good decisions. Conversely, positive thinking can increase levels of dopamine and serotonin (our feel-good neurotransmitters) and may even improve memory and bone density. Incorporate affirmations into your everyday life – whether it’s a note on the fridge or a spoken mantra. “I am whole,” “I live with love and abundance,” are some good places to start.
Limit Sun Damage
The sun is an excellent source of vitamin D, and has been shown to significantly boost the mood. However, too much direct exposure to UV light can result in the predictable baddies: sun spots and skin damage, brittle hair, cataracts and skin cancer. Always, always wear sunscreen (use the EWG’s “Skin Deep” database to find non-toxic options) and wear sunglasses with 100% UVA and UVB protection. If you are going to catch some rays without sunscreen, limit your time to 15 minutes or less – just enough to soak in some vitamin D. Any further exposure can result in damage.
My longevity play includes a healthy lifestyle, regular movement and exercise – not restriction, negative self-chatter and over-exercise! Here are some workout tips I use to keep my body and mind active and engaged.
This is a personal favorite of mine. Our quads are the largest muscles in our bodies, and engaging them with leg presses is a fantastic way to promote cardiac health without over-taxing the heart. According to a study by Harvard Medical School, “leg workouts boosted the flow of oxygen from the bloodstream into the muscles by 53% without making the heart work harder.” Because the quad is the largest muscle in the body, leg presses also burn more fat than any other single muscle-group exercise.
Any form of aerobic exercise will help reduce stress and strengthen your cardiovascular system by improving circulation and lowering blood pressure. Every morning I’m up with the birds for a heart-activating run to start my day – 20 minutes and 2 miles. This ritual not only strengthens my body, but clears my mind by boosting my endorphins and feel-good serotonin.
Think free weights, push-ups, squats and resistance bands. Strength training exercise targets muscle mass and body fat. Reducing excess fat can help lower the risk of cardiac disease and strength training may help to boost levels of good cholesterol. One of the biggest markers of cardiac health is our waist circumference, and strength training burns fat around the middle.
Anti-aging snack for 2? Meet my Fig & Ricotta Pain Grillé.
This Mediterranean and French-inspired treat makes for a healthy breakfast, antipasto, and works as the perfect pick-me-up for some mid-afternoon fuel.
Figs have long been considered a superfood fruit, and the ancient Greeks even considered figs the food of lasting prosperity. Rich in soluble fiber, potassium and vitamins A and K, figs fight the oxidative stress that contributes to cellular damage and decay. Their potassium content may reduce the urinary excretion of calcium caused by excess sodium, helping to prevent the calcium leaching that leads to osteoporosis.
Meanwhile, ricotta, as a fresh cheese, boasts a low level of fermentation and sodium and is easily digested, even by those with fat malabsorption.
Fig & Ricotta Pain Grillé
You will need:
- 3-4 figs, ripe
- ½ cup organic, grass-fed ricotta cheese
- 3-4 slices gluten free bread or crackers of your choice
- Drizzle of honey
- Toast the gluten free bread lightly, until golden at the edges
- Spread each slice with 1-2 tbsp of ricotta
- Drizzle with honey
- Thinly slice figs and layer on top of toast
Voila! Simple, delicious and ideal for boosting your bone strength and antioxidant intake.
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