GUEST BLOG POST: Aging with Grace and Vitality by Claudia Spahr, later mom and author, Right Time Baby
You know what? It’s actually NOT true.
Studies show that if you have your child over 40 you’re four times more likely to reach the age of 100. Apart from that; the older mothers I know are fit and healthy. And motivated to stay that way. Kids, after all, keep us on our tip-top toes.
There’s plenty we can do to ensure we’ll still be able to run after the ball in the park. Want to be vibrant and healthy and prevent the classical aging diseases like brain degeneration?
This is my magic formula:
1. Eat well
2. Think life-affirming thoughts
3. Have a healthy lifestyle
1. With so much new research in the field of nutrition and studies appearing daily, we now know which foods are good for glowing skin, longevity and preventing brain degeneration.
Researchers have found that a diet based on plenty of fresh vegetables, fruit, nuts, olive oil and fish extends lifespan by 20%. There is also evidence to suggest that an alkaline-based diet is preferable because it prevents oxidative stress and cell damage which all lead to accelerated aging. Most of the foods in the Standard American Diet (SAD) such as white flour, processed foods, sugar, meat products and dairy are highly acidic and inflammatory, leading to diseases like arthritis and neurological disorders. We basically need to ensure our diet includes plenty of essential fatty acids (the omegas), essential amino acids, silica, cartenoids, folic acid, vitamin B12, Magnesium, antioxidants and sirtuins.
Some simple things you can do to introduce a healthier diet are:
a) Have a raw food day a week
b) Grow your own sprouts and add them to your salads
c) Start the day with a freshly made juice or smoothie
d) Detox once or twice a year
Detoxing or fasting will help get rid of toxins and heavy metals. Toxins impair healthy cell division. Heavy metals such as aluminum and mercury are linked to brain tissue calcifications. Fasting also boosts HGH (Human Growth Hormone) to enhance cellular repair.
2. Scientific evidence shows the enormous impact of belief and mindset upon our health. Belief affects our immune and endocrine systems, how cells behave and nutrition is used. Thoughts and emotions are always accompanied by a biochemical reaction the body. Or put differently science says for every emotion there is a chemistry that matches. You can have life affirming chemistry or life denying chemistry. Negative emotions degenerate us. Positive emotions regenerate us.
The Harvard professor, Ellen Langer, successfully proves in her numerous studies that those who free themselves from constricting mindsets can – with only subtle shifts in thinking, language and expectations – look younger and increase longevity. The writer Deepak Chopra also talks about how our thoughts control every cell in the body and that we have the individual power to influence and postpone aging.
Belief is basically the body’s strongest medicine. So by feeling healthy and young, you’re sending creating the right neural connections for your body to really believe it is healthy and young.
3) How you lead your life affects how you age. A stressful lifestyle involving lots of coffee to keep you going and alcohol to wind down is not so great for energy in the long run. Stress shuts down cell growth and weakens the immune system. Alcohol promotes cell mutation and coffee lowers the production of the anti-aging and regeneration hormone DHEA.
If you work in an air-less office with artificial lighting or sit at the computer for long hours it’s a good idea to get outside and exercise to compensate. Brisk walks in nature (or in the park if you live in a city) get fresh oxygenated blood pumping around the system. Healthy cells need oxygen. Ancient, eastern techniques such as yoga, tai-chi and qi-gong are wonderful for your health because apart from the fact that you can practice aged 80, they keep the internal organs supple.
Meditation has been shown to halt age-related brain degeneration by creating and more grey matter and establishing stronger connections between brain regions. In fact, training the mind is always beneficial for so-called brain plasticity. Studies reveal that doing crosswords, reading and writing help prevent age-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
And last but not least we should remember to have fun. With just 30 seconds of pleasure the body releases nitric oxide, an essential regenerative substance. From around the age of 40 nitric oxide starts to decline but we can stimulate it by allowing ourselves to have more pleasure.
Here’s to us older mums, aging with grace and vitality!
Claudia Spahr is a later mom and the author of Right Time Baby – The Complete Guide to Later Motherhood (Hay House UK). She is also a journalist and motivational speaker on nutrition, women’s health and stress management. She lives in Spain with her husband and two young children whom she had at 39 and nearly 43. Visit www.claudiaspahr.com.