One of the biggest indicators of measurable health is longevity. There are predictable factors surrounding those who outlast others. Time Magazine published a fascinating article earlier this year about three things that add up to increased longevity (and we’d argue vitality, too).
In the research trial highlighted, subjects cut their calorie intake by 12% and lost 10% of their bodyweight over a two year trial. The participants didn’t report negative emotional side effects (such as this is awful!), but they did experience a 4% drop in blood pressure, a 6% drop in total cholesterol and a whooping 47% drop in their C-reactive protein which is the primary marker of linked to heart disease.
Like the Washington Post article we featured recently, authors highlighted the importance of movement throughout the day. You can’t exercise away the bad effects of sitting too much. You’ve got to log gym time AND increase movement all day long.
Positivity, stress management and mindfulness
The article highlighted two different things here. First, they highlight a 25 year study that specifically examined peoples’ attitudes about aging (at around age 40) and these same people as they aged. Upon autopsy there were measurable differences in the brains of the positive vs. negative attitude groups in terms of hippocampus decline, plaque and tangles. All three are significant markers in Alzheimer’s disease.
It is not completely understood how attitude impacts the physical body. The primary hypothesis is that stress related negativity and anger have been shown to harm DNA by shortening the telomeres, or protective caps on the ends of our chromosomes. Which leads to their second point. Stress management, or rather people who manage their stress well through positivity and mindful dispositions fair better in terms of body fat, heart heath and overall aging markers.
“But if stress clearly accelerates biological aging, the opposite may also be true…mindfulness meditation can reduce stress and prevent people from ruminating in negative emotions, and some forms of meditation practice may even slow the biological signs of aging by stabilizing the telomeres.”
Read the full article here. Note that Time.com requires a subscription to read their magazine content online. The cost for that subscription is approximately $3/month.
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