Rewind your mind/body-clock for summer

Pretty woman

Rewind your mind/body-clock by harnessing the anti-ageing power of summer!

 

by Jayney Goddard MSc, FCMA, FRSM
President, The Complementary Medical Association

There’s never been a better time than right now to begin to rewind your biological age – so that you get younger physically.  Ageing is a phenomenon that affects us – as a totality. So our bodies, minds, emotions all age – but not at the same rate.  However, each one of these disparate elements, or parts of ourselves, affects the others. For example, if you have an aged mental outlook, this would affect your physical body and all its systems and this would cause your body to age prematurely.  Fortunately, the reverse can be true and by readjusting your mental outlook, you can have a profound affect on your body – and it also works the other way around – by exercising your body in such a way that you are giving your body ‘youth cues’ you can initiate a profound anti-ageing effect upon your mind.

 

My best advice to you – right now – is to engage in a little ‘mind/body gymnastics’ in order to re-set your mental outlook and I’m going to show you just how to do this by harnessing the power of summer to set a really effective mind/body anti-ageing or – as I prefer to call it ‘rejuvenation’ - campaign in motion. 

 

Nutrition and Hydration to get your bod looking awesome – and your mind in tip top shape:

Have you heard the saying “Abs are made in the kitchen”?  Well, it is true – let me explain a bit further:  It is crucial to exercise – our lives depend on it – but many of my clients bemoan the fact that while they absolutely beast themselves at the gym, they still can’t see any muscle definition.  This is because – and this applies especially to us ladies – we need to reduce body fat in order to actually see the muscles that are lying underneath.  There truly is no amount of exercise that you can do which will cause your abs to show, or your pert glutes to pop, it they are softly hidden under a layer of fat. So, while we will come on to the best exercises in a moment, I want to talk about what we should be consuming in order to actually look leaner and have more muscle definition – as this is what will help you look and feel sleeker, sexier, and enable your mind to function far better!  

 

So, happily, the foods that we are more inclined to eat in summer hold the key. Think cucumbers, lettuce, watermelon, in fact the whole rainbow of colourful salad veggies and fruits.  As long as you incorporate sufficient protein – in the form of pulses, tofu, tempeh and small portions of nuts etc. you will have no need to count calories – as this way of eating is termed “calorie poor, nutrient rich”, which means that you are getting enormous bang for your buck in terms of healthy nutrition, while consuming few calories.  In fact, not only will this approach to eating help you to look and feel fabulous – it is going to be instrumental in helping you rewind your biological age. Here’s why: 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.  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.org), which sets out exactly how to safely (and deliciously) swap to a plant-based diet.

 

Another huge advantage to eating lots of juicy fruits and veggies is that they provide tremendous hydration This is crucial for optimal health, but also helps to actually make us look younger, by plumping skin and getting rid of fine lines from the inside out.  Importantly, optimal hydration enables our brains to function better – so that our thought processes are more efficient.

 

Exercise - mindfully

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. Walking is also linked to improved mood and enhanced cognitive function. Crucially though, it is vital to also do resistance training – going to a gym is fine – but many councils have outdoor gyms and exercise equipment and this is way more effective.  Don’t forget too that you can perform isometric exercise, which is an extremely effective system of using your own body-weight to load your bone and muscle.  When you exercise, involve your mind – visualise the exercise, see your muscles working and getting stronger. By harnessing the power of your mind’s eye, you’ll gain so much more than you would if you just fling a few weights around.

 

Last but not least – get some 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 – even in people who 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. 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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