Reboot, revitalize and recharge your body and life with this plan you can start today.
I see patients every day who feel older than they really are. They have low energy, can’t sleep, have brain fog and are holding on to weight. Most of my patients don’t realize that you have more than one age. You may not be able to control your chronological age, but you can control your vitality age. This determines if you have the quality of life of a 40-year-old or an 80-year-old. Studies show the younger you feel, the longer you live, so we have to get your vitality age to match—or be younger than— your chronological age.
Step 1: Add Essential Amino Acids to Your Diet
Rebooting your body means building back up shrinking muscle by taking in more amino acids (AA) that can help build it back up—specifically, conditionally essential AAs like leucine, arginine and glutamine. These AAs are found in animal and plant proteins such as eggs, fish, poultry meats, soy and lentils. Building up muscle means replacing fat tissue and feeling stronger and healthier.
Step 2: Boost Your Brain Health
If you find you don’t feel as happy as you once did, you can benefit from improving your brain’s health. How? I recommend to my patients a program of resistance and aerobic exercise to get the blood going to your brain. Work up to exercising five to six times per week; half the workouts should be devoted to resistance training. Exercise has an antidepressant effect for “mild” blues. So does trying something new! Many of my patients feel revitalized by starting new activities such as dancing, figure skating or hiking—whatever sounds fun to you.
Step 3: Learn to Manage Your Stress
One of the most important factors for managing the stress we all feel is getting enough sleep. When our bodies sleep, cells all over our body are rejuvenated. The average person needs and craves seven to eight hours each and every night. When you do not get enough sleep, you suffer mentally and physically. You gain weight and feel more stress.
To get more sleep, stay away from caffeine after 1 p.m. and try not to eat heavy foods at night. Keep your bedroom lighting natural and to reserve the bed for sleeping purposes only. Chamomile tea or warm milk before bed can also be a great way to wind down from your day (try adding tart cherry juice to your tea—it has melatonin, your body’s natural sleep chemical). If you find you stay up half the night worrying, write down what’s on your mind so that you can schedule a time to worry about it the next day. It might sound strange, but it really works!
And in case you needed another reason to focus on your sleep, know this: Sleep can help you lose weight as well. Those who sleep seven to eight hours per night have more of the satiety hormones in their bloodstream (which makes you feel fuller, longer) and less of the hunger hormones than those who sleep less than that. Also the body mass index of those who sleep seven to eight hours per night is less than those who sleep less than that, according to numerous studies.
Step 4: Add in Antioxidants
Getting enough antioxidants, like vitamin C, can go a long way toward keeping you young and your skin glowing.
For more information on Dr. Carolyn Apovian, www.drapovian.com.
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