Do these things to stay young

I love Blinkist! This morning, in just 10 minutes, I brought myself up to speed on how to stay young.

What was I reading?

The Telomere Effect by Dr Elizabeth Blackburn. A book in which she has revealed that the length of our telomeres - the part of our chromosomes which determine how fast our cells age and die - can have a direct effect on how quickly or slowly we age.

I recommend you read it too because this is what I learnt about staying young:

About Telomeres:

  1. The length of your cell telomeres will determine how old you look. 
  2. Telomeres sit at the end of a cell to protect it.
  3. Every time a cell divides a telomere gets shorter.
  4. Stem cells are other cells that keep you looking young and healthy. Therefore, if the telomere of a stem cell gets too short, they cannot replace stem cells which are unhealthy.
  5. UV light exposure will damage hair and skin cells.
  6. Shorter telomeres make people more prone to illness.

About Telomerase:

  1. An enzyme (a substance produced by a living organism which acts as a catalyst to bring about a specific biochemical reaction) named telomerase can restore telomeres.
  2. The restoration was discovered in 1978 when the scum found in ponds demonstrated growth was possible.
  3. Telomerase restores DNA that gets lost when a cell divides.
  4. Telomerase can reduce the speed of telomere decay, as well as prevent and reverse shortening.
  5. Telomerase is still being researched and can prove harmful by increasing cell growth, which is what cancer does!

Stress and Telomeres:

  1. Stress for short periods may not harm telomeres. Stress over months or longer can cause damage.
  2. Stress that is challenging (good-stress) - such as the stress caused in climbing a mountain - can prove beneficial to triggering a good body response; such as boosting oxygen levels.
  3. Stress that is hard to change (bad-stress) - such as caring for someone with a long term illness - can prove detrimental and trigger a bad body response; such as increased blood pressure.

Thinking Weakens and Detroys Telomeres:

Those who regularly read my blog will know how passionate I am about you becoming aware you are not your thoughts! Here is a post I wrote explaining how to control them. 

In Dr Blackburn's book it explains how the wrong type of thinking affects how healthy your cells are. This is what I learnt:

  1. There are obvious thinking patterns that will harm your telomeres. Such as being angry or depressed and eating more bad foods, which in turn produces bad health.
  2. In 2013 there was a study written and published in the Biological Psychiatry journal. Workers who were at the top of the scale of cynical hostility were shown to have shorter telomeres. They also had increased levels of telomerase which stopped any healing of the telomeres.
  3. Pessimism shortens telomeres also, making pessimistic people less likely to react well in stressful situations.
  4. Negative thinking and bad anxiety speeds up illnesses and cause cell inflammation. 
  5. Depression ages the brain, it reduces memory functions by destroying cells in the hippocampus. 

Restoring Telomeres:

  1. Studies have proved high intense interval training and moderate aerobic exercises are fantastic for restoring telomeres. 
  2. Resistance training had ZERO effect on restoring telomeres!
  3. Balancing exercise with rest is key to enable telomeres to recover and grow.
  4. A minimum of 7 hours uninterrupted sleep is recommended.
  5. Reduce belly fat to dramatically improve your all round health. Too much belly fat is an obvious sign your health is at risk.
  6. Stop your sugar intake and eat antioxidant rich foods such as vegetables, fruit, whole grains, nuts. Drink green and white tea. This will reduce oxidative stress.
  7. Eat anti-inflammatory foods like kale, broccoli, blueberries.
  8. Eat omega-3 fatty acids from fresh oily fish, flaxseed, sardines to sustain teleomere health.
  9. Live in a safe and pleasant neighbourhood. A neighbourhood that doesn't make you feel stressed and makes you feel welcome. Studies show those who are living in a stressful environment have shorter telomeres; this includes environmental factors like bad air quality in and out of the house and lack of open green spaces.

I hope these points help set you on the right course to staying young and healthy.

Don't forget to read The Telomere Effect by Dr Elizabeth Blackburn to learn even more.

Christian Jacques Bennett 

Image by Karen Warfel from Pixabay
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Christian Jacques Bennett Books
If I could send 2 books back in time for my teenage self to read I would send these. In these two books you have the combined knowledge and wisdom of every single spiritual and self improvement book you can get your hands on .