May 1, 2011

IRAN: The anti-aging strategies

TEHRAN / Tehran Times / News & Features / May 1, 2011

Every body wants to look young and stay young. Unfortunately, you are thinking of yourself as young today; by tomorrow, you may not be so sure when you look more closely at yourself in the mirror.

Aging is inevitable, and no one can turn back the time clock. The Creator has genetically programmed everyone to age and to die in order to ensure human mortality.

What we can do is to slow down the aging process, so that we may live longer and have a better quality of life as we approach our inevitable end.

- To combat aging, we need anti-aging strategies

One of the most important anti-aging strategies is time. To slow down the aging process, time is of essence. It is important to be concerned about aging as early as possible, so that positive actions may be taken to combat aging, because the effects of aging are cumulative.

Dr. Huber Warner of the National Institute on Aging (NIA) once commented: ""The problems that lead to aging are cumulative, and the sooner you start correcting them, the better off you are in the long run.""

So one of the most important anti-aging strategies is to start correcting problems responsible for accelerated aging.

Changing wayward lifestyle is correcting some of the problems leading to accelerated aging. Stop smoking and quit alcohol addiction. Cigarette smoke damages the immune system.

The tar in cigarette smoke is composed of chemicals, poisons, and corrosives, such as hydrogen cyanide and carbon monoxide, which deprive your heart and other organ tissues of essential oxygen for optimum function, in particular, the immune system.

Other lifestyle changes you need to make may include sleep deprivation. Do not be a thief of time by sleeping less. Sleep deprivation may lead to insomnia and other health problems further down the road.

- Physical strength
Maintaining physical strength is one of the important anti-aging strategies. When you are physically strong, you retard the aging process. Unfortunately, physical strength declines with age.

As you become less robust, you have less energy, leading to reduced physical activities and muscle weaknesses; and thus a vicious circle of inertia and reduced physical strength is formed.

- Immobility Immobility is the No.1 cause of accelerated aging among the elderly. Remember, it is never too late to take up weight training to increase muscle strength to slow down the aging process.

- Eating right

Eating right is also one of the anti-aging strategies that you may adopt to retard aging. Food is a double-edge sword: it may give you health, but it may also bring about death of body cells.

To stay young and healthy, eat natural and whole foods, not their processed counterparts, such as those that come in boxes or packages in the supermarket.

Stress hormones adversely affect the immune system, leading to disease and accelerated aging.

Relaxation of the body and the mind is one of the anti-aging strategies that you can acquire through practice, such as meditation.

Adequate restful sleep -- sleep without the aid of medication -- is conducive to body and mind relaxation.

Dr. Douglas Whitehead, an urologist, once said: ""Giving up on sex at any age can be symbolically giving up on all of life."" Maintaining sexual health at any age is also one of the natural potent ant-aging strategies to keep the body fit and the mind sound.

There are, of course, many other anti-aging strategies. What is important is that you must not only look young, but also feel and act young. Do not let it become ""the mind is willing, but the flesh is weak.""


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