Harness the power of summer to have fun with realistic, effective anti-ageing, rejuvenation approaches that really work and rewind your body-clock.

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Harness the power of summer to have fun with realistic, effective anti-ageing, rejuvenation approaches that

really work and rewind your body-clock.

By Jayney Goddard MSc, FCMA, Lic.LCCH, Dip.ACH

President, The Complementary Medical Association

 

Summer is the best time to really take a look at ways in which we can set a really effective anti-ageing or – as I prefer to call it ‘rejuvenation’ campaign in motion.  Let’s face it, through the winter we tend to stay indoors, being all cosy and warm, eating comfort foods and generally getting a bit lazy.  We can become sluggish, gain weight, our skin suffers, hair gets lanky and dull and we end up a bit more unfit than we’d like to be.  Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule – and if you are one of these virtuous exceptions – congratulations – and I’m full of respect and awe for you.  However, for the majority of us, the winter slump is pretty much the norm.  So, once winter is over we start to see all the ‘get your body bikini-ready’ types of articles rearing their rather pressurizing heads – offering ‘quick fix’ solutions which promise to make us lose a stone in 10 days and so on.  We know that these are preposterous – but there’s always the hope that there really is a fairy godmother who is waiting in the wings to wave her magic wand and enable us to magically get fit, slim, have instantaneously perfect skin and glossy hair – with just a fairy dust flick of her delicate wrist. 

 

At some point, reality kicks in and we know that we have to take control and get into a groove – to develop a set of habits and behaviours that we’ll easily be able to stick to so that we feel motivated and will enjoy doing again and again.  Essentially, my cunning plan is to give you a set of ideas that you can use to trick yourself into embracing a completely holistic anti-ageing/rejuvenation programme that actually works – and the side effect of all of this is that we get fitter, healthier and begin to re-wind our body-clock – thus becoming biologically younger.

 

Hydration and Nutrition:

Summer is the time when we feel more inclined to eat moisture-rich, juicy foods. Think cucumbers, lettuce, watermelon, in fact the whole gamut of salad veggies and fruits.  This is fantastic from a hydration point of view – as we know, hydration is key to optimal health, but also helps to actually make us look younger, plumping skin and getting rid of fine lines from the inside out.  Nutritionally, from an anti-ageing perspective, the approach with the best research and most compelling evidence is a caloric restriction programme (CR).  There is now ample evidence that  CR really does slow, halt and even reverse ageing – but the key is to keep the diet ‘calorie poor’ but ‘nutrient rich’.  This ensures that you have optimum levels of the micro-nutrients: vitamins and minerals and the macro-nutrients: proteins, fats, carbohydrates.  The easiest way to do this is to follow a plant based diet. The latest and most compelling research proving the health benefits of a plant based diet is drawn from the Seventh Day Adventist 2 study which started in 1980 and has tracked over 96,000 people. Check out the website for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), which sets out exactly how to safely (and deliciously) swap to a plant-based diet. You won’t go hungry either – a good plant-based diet will ensure that you get a lot of food. The foods we use in this way of eating are so low in calories but high in nutrients that you can munch away, safe in the knowledge that you are reaping the anti-ageing rewards and rewinding your body clock.

 

Exercise:

Lots of research points to the idea that all exercise, no matter what type, is more effective when undertaken outdoors.  Summer’s here – what are you waiting for?  Set achievable goals – if you’re unfit – walking is the very best exercise you can do.  Aim for at least 30 minutes four to five times a week.  This will help strengthen your bones, thus staving off and even healing osteoporosis.  You’ll build muscle and burn fat too. If you can walk in a park, so much the better, nature provides huge health advantages – which directly translate into anti-ageing benefits.  Many local councils have built outdoor ‘gyms’.  Use these and as you get fitter, look for things that will keep you interested and challenged – outdoor sports such as tennis are ideal, or if you’re not up for that see if there’s a local tai chi or yoga class which practices outside, weather permitting.

 

Sunshine:

Sunshine is vital for health – it helps to set our metabolic clocks, regulates our hormones and by reacting with the melatonin in our skin forms Vitamin D3 – a hugely important anti-ageing/rejuvenation nutrient.

Low blood serum vitamin D3 levels are associated with a variety of health issues that have a huge impact on the rate at which we age. These include multiple sclerosis (MS), arthritis, osteoporosis, and cancers – especially skin cancers.  Previously, it was thought that sun exposure was the direct cause of many skin cancers but we are beginning to question this concept. Low levels of Vitamin D are found in people with skin cancers – and this would occur if these people had little sun exposure. This leads researchers to question whether constant over-use of sun protection is actually healthy – I believe it isn’t. It seems that the best ‘dosage’ of sun to get your Vitamin D levels up is about 20 minutes morning and evening without getting burnt.  In Northern Europe this level of exposure is optimistic to say the least.  My advice would be to ask your doctor for an NHS Vitamin D test (it’s just a finger prick blood test).  This will ascertain whether your serum levels are low, and if so, you’ll need to supplement with Vitamin D – however, make sure that you take D3 (cholecalciferol), which is the form that our bodies can actually utilise best.

 

 

 

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