According to a recent study conducted by Kaare Christensen and his colleagues at the University of Southern Denmark, a youthful appearance may actually be the answer to living longer.
The group studied 1,826 twins, all ages 70 and older. The twins were tested for both cognitive and physical ability and also underwent extensive blood tests to determine the length of telomeres. The group assessed perceived age using recent photographs of the test subjects’ faces. After seven years, the research team used death records to track the mortality rate of the twins.
Based on the study, perceived age is an exceptionally accurate biomarker of aging. Each pair of twins was assessed individually and it was discovered that out of the pair, the twin who looked older would often die first. The study also revealed that perceived age has a direct impact on physical and cognitive functions and also corresponds with the length of telomeres within our DNA.
Here are some tips for healthy aging (inside and out):
- Balance your hormones – As we age, our hormones naturally decline. When this happens, hormonal imbalance can wreak havoc on our bodies. Hormone testing is available to determine whether or not a hormonal imbalance is present. Some physicians will recommend bioidentical hormones to correct the issue and help to maintain an optimal balance.
- Nutrition – Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Avoid processed foods and foods that may have come into contact with environmental toxins such as pesticides or antibiotics. Eat wheat bread instead of white bread. Stay away from refined sugars and carbohydrates. Start a daily vitamin regimen.
- Fitness – Regular exercise is an integral part of looking and feeling younger and living longer. Cardio activity increases blood flow and prevents conditions such as atherosclerosis and hypertension. Another benefit of fitness is stress-reduction. Working out is a great way to blow off steam and minimize daily stress.
- Skin care – Unfortunately, the body’s largest organ is also the quickest to show signs of decay. There’s a lot more we can for our skin, outside of sun block creams and moisturizers. Oranges for instance, are a great source of collagen. Collagen gives skin its elasticity and lips their voluptuousness. For women, over-application of make-up year after year can really run its toll on the skin. Many chemicals found in women’s cosmetics can dry out the skin and cause wrinkles and blemishes.
It’s important to remember that how you’re aging on the inside is the key to how you’ll age on the outside.