Some people, when they touch their 70s or even 90s, remain robust and healthy, whereas others become frail or virtually incapacitated. How is this possible? Well, it can’t just be luck. New studies indicate that aging is largely determined by a few controllable factors, and by following a few steps you can turn back your biological clock, and can have a much younger body and mind. So, here are a few steps you can follow that will surely make you feel younger both, mentally and physically.
1. Lower Your Heart Rate
Heart diseases are one of the leading causes of death in the US. Studies show that an average American could live at least a decade longer if his/her heart pumped blood more efficiently. Therefore, you need to get a reasonable amount of aerobic exercise to lower your heart rate and allow your heart to pump blood more efficiently.
Reduced heart rate translates into healthier arteries, lower blood pressure, and a lower risk of heart disease. To counteract heart diseases, aim for a resting heart rate of 50 to 70 beats a minute, for 30 minutes, five days a week. Other good aerobic workouts include swimming, bicycling, and walking. To make this work more effectively, check your pulse before, during and after exercise.
2. Challenge Your Lungs
Many adults find that they have more trouble breathing as they age, even if they don’t suffer from asthma or any other lung diseases. This is because the lungs tend to lose elasticity over time, particularly if you live in an area with high air pollution, or if you are a chain smoker. Therefore, your lungs become “stiff” and cannot move air efficiently, and this causes breathing difficulties.
To counter these breathing difficulties, challenge your lungs and breathe in and out slowly through a drinking straw for approximately two or three minutes, once or twice daily. This causes the stretching of the lungs, and increases lung capacity, improving lung functions.
To make this work more effectively, start with an extra-wide straw, and slowly shift to a regular straw, when you get used to breathing this way. However, it is important that you breathe only through your mouth, and not your nose.
3. Shake Up Your Mental Routines
Adults who perform mentally challenging tasks, such as surfing the internet to research a complex topic, or memorizing a shopping list, were found to have better cognitive skills than compared to someone 10 years younger. This is because such thinking related tasks trigger the development of new neurons in the brain, and boost cognitive functions.
So, try to shake up your mental routines and try some fun things, such as if you’re right handed, use your left hand to write a note, or study the license number of a car in front of you, and try remembering it five minutes later. Listen to music and try learning the lyrics. To make this work more effectively, avoid performing the same tasks over and over again, and do different tasks daily.
4. Try This for Better Memory
People, who exercise more, tend to live longer than those who do not or exercise less. This is because physical activity boosts the flow of oxygen to the brain and enhances the levels of neurotransmitters, which improve your mood, as well as memory. The simplest thing you can do is try an aerobic dance class, such as power yoga, salsa or Zumba, as these activities provide sufficient physical activity that will boost your memory and learning capabilities.
5. Walk a Little Faster
People, who walk faster, live longer. This is because walking fast not only lowers your heart rate and blood pressure, but it also inhibits blood clots and improves cholesterol. To feel younger, every time you go for a walk, increase your distance and speed slightly. To make this work more efficiently, monitor your progress by measuring the distance and time taken for each walk. Set and achieve new goals, and give yourself a reason to challenge yourself.
So, now that you are familiar with the steps mentioned above, you can strengthen your body and brain to perform at the levels of a much younger person and at the same time feel good about yourself for accomplishing new goals every day.