How meditating can make you look younger!

If I told you meditating would slow down the aging process would you finally commit to a daily practice? Scientific evidence is showing this to be true. Meditating can slow down aging. But how? At the end of our chromosomes are stretches of DNA called Telomeres. They contribute to your speed of aging depending on the command you give them. You can control them if you learn how. Learning what Telomeres like and dislike can work for you and help you slow down the aging process. 

Meditating and practicing Qigong will lengthen telomeres because both reduce stress and when we do this we increase something called telomerase, an enzyme that replenishes telomeres. Cardiovascular exercises are also good for maintaining long telomeres along with avoiding processed meats and eating fresh whole foods. Longer Telomeres equals slower aging. I’m not talking about avoiding stress because that’s impossible we are going to feel stressed and have stressful life situations that show up. It’s our response to these stressful situations that makes the difference. 

There are two different responses to stress. The challenge response and the threat response. The threat response creates anxiety, makes you feel ashamed and ages you. This type of response came from the times when we fought off predators, it prepares our minds and bodies for the trauma we’re about to experience. Our body reacts by constricting our blood vessels, releasing cortisol through our adrenal glands and increases blood pressure along with other things. Just by feeling threatened stress gets into our cells. Guarding our stress, not allowing the situation to create a feeling of stress in our body is important. So how do we do this? 

Instead we need to respond with the challenge 84 The challenge response helps you think about resources that will help the situation instead of feeling threatened by it. When you implement the challenge response, your blood is oxygenated which allows blood to flow where its needed to the heart and brain. Your adrenal gland gives you a shot of cortisol to increase energy. The challenge response is associated with making accurate decisions, and allowing us to do better on tasks. It’s also associated with better brain aging and reducing the rate of dementia. Athletes who have a challenge response win more often. But how do we switch from a threat response to a challenge response? Practicing viewing situations differently will create a habit of feeling challenged instead of threatened. 

Keeping your telomeres long also has a lot to do with what you eat. As stated earlier telomeres don’t like processed meats, red meat and sugar. Telomeres like whole foods. Eating fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, low fat high quality sources of protein along with foods high in Omega 3 like  (salmon , tuna, leafy green vegetables, flax oil and flax seeds). It’s recomended to minimize red meat and try being a vegetarian a few days a week to help lengthen your telomeres and keep you looking younger longer. Following a Mediteranian style diet will keep telomeres in good health. One of the biggest benefits to telomere health is cutting back on sugar. Three studies found that shorter telomeres were linked to drinking sugary drinks.

Studies also found that Moderate Aerobic endurance exercise 3x’s a week for 45 min & High Intensity Interval training kept telomeres strong and long. Sleeping at least 7 hours a night was also beneficial although if your body needs longer than that do it. The toxins in and around us also lead to poor telomere health. Carbon minoxide, Lead, Pesticides, Cadmium found in cigarette smoke all lead to shorter telomeres. Creating a household environment free of toxins lead to better telomere health. 

Doing this research led me to the question of telomere supplements.Can you just buy telomere health? Yes and no. You can buy telomere supplements but, their not the best way to create telomere health. You want slow natural telomere growth, rapid growth like taking telomere supplements can cause cancer. The natural process of eating right, getting enough sleep, meditating and doing proper exercise will properly maintain your telomere health and keep you looking younger longer.