Our chronological age is determined by our date of birth. Our real age, is determined by other factors. Real age can best be described as the age of our organs and body parts, in comparison with the age our birthdays give us. If you feel your internal clock is ticking faster than it should, there are steps you can take, to add years to your life.
Dr. West Conner, offers 20 steps you can take now, to decease your real age. Twenty steps may be overwhelming for some. I find that easing into situations is works best for me. Here are 5 of those steps that have benefited me. If you desire to master all 20, you will find them in the above link.
1 – Take a daily 30 minute walk.
30 minutes of walking each day, along with getting a total of at least 10,000 steps per day, can make your body 2 years younger in as little as six months. Dr. Conner suggests purchasing an pedometer to keep count of your steps.
I have different routes I take each day, and know in advance from previous walking about how many steps I will take. I now easily walk 10,000 or more steps every day.I am blessed to say that I walk about 5 miles, or the 10,000 steps outside my home each day, and walk about 2 miles through my house daily.
2 – Get Vitamin D from sunlight
When you walk, your body absorbs sunlight and converts it into active vitamin D. Dr. Conner says fifteen minutes in the summer sun or thirty minutes of winter sunlight with sleeves exposed is all most people need to keep their vitamin D levels adequate. Depending on how cold your winters are, you may not be able to expose your arms each time you walk. I try to as often as possible.
Dr. Conner says that keeping up your vitamin D levels will cause your real age to be one year younger. He suggests supplements of Vitamin D2 if you are not able to get enough sun. And adds, that darker complexioned individuals, may need more sunlight than those with lighter complexions.
3 – No smoking
If you do not smoke, don’t start. If you do smoke, you should quit. If you live with someone who smokes, you will need to avoid second hand smoke in order to drop 7 years from your real age. Dr, Conner states that sitting next to someone who is smoking for 15 minutes has been shown to have the same damaging effects as if you smoked one cigarette.
He suggests you keep your distance from smokers, and if your spouse smokes, lend support and encourage him or her to stop. While you wait, house plants may help. I have peace lilies throughout my home. I also keep windows open or cracked when possible while I wait for my spouse to quit smoking. I also make sure to not stay in a room while he smokes
4 – Good oral hygiene
You can take 6 years off your real age, by brushing and flossing teeth. Studies indicate, that the same bacteria found in the mouths of those with poor oral hygiene, causes blood vessels to age. Dr. Tom Mcguire says gum disease can actually shorten our lives. By keeping this bacteria from growing in your mouth, you will prevent it from growing on your blood vessels. Dr. Conner says that our hearts and blood vessels, are the major determining factor of our real ages.
5 – Aspirin
Dr. Conner says that taking 162mg of aspirin daily, you can remove 2 years from your real age, after only 3 years. It is important to swallow aspirin whole, with a full glass of water. This will prevent the aspirin from becoming lodged in your esophagus, or sticking to the side of your stomach.
He also recommend not using chewable aspirin, because they increase risk of tooth decay. Baby aspirin are 81 mg. I recall hearing years ago that one daily baby aspirin was beneficial for our health. Two of those each day will give you the 162mg.
These steps may seem juvenile, but there are individuals who are not able to brush and floss each day, cannot afford a $1.00 bottle of aspirin, live in neighborhoods where they cannot go walking, are not able to get vitamin D supplements, and are unable to quit smoking or get away from someone who does. If you can follow these steps, you will add years to your life, and life to your years.