If you’ve ever moaned, “Ugh. It’s tough growing old.”, you’re likely in pain or you can’t do the things you used to do. But all is not lost! You can control how well you feel and how fast you age. However, before laying out the foundation of youth, here’s why your body is aging in the first place.
Blame It On Blood Sugar
One of the key suspects in what causes your cells to deteriorate is your own circulating blood sugar (glucose). In a process called glycation, these glucose molecules cling to proteins, and a chain of chemical reactions take place in your body. The end result? Proteins clump together, known as crosslinked proteins, which accumulate over time and disrupt the normal functioning of your cells.
Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs)
These “crosslinks”, also known as advanced glycation end products (AGEs) or glycotoxins, seem to ‘stiffen’ tissues. A stiff body is an aging body. But remember my mantra: “Your age is a given. Growing old is an option.” So don’t throw up your hands just yet. Read on…
Why You Get Stiff
Collagen is the most common and longest living protein molecule in your body. Skin care companies spend billions of dollars trying to replicate it and sell it as their revolutionary secret to erasing wrinkles. Collagen provides structure and support to not only your skin, but to your joints and organs as well.
In addition to AGEs, the following factors promote the breakdown of collagen resulting in skin laxity and wrinkling:
- Hormone loss (estrogen levels decline after menopause)
- Sun exposure
- Cigarette smoke
- Other sources of free radicals
The condition of your skin is a good reflection of what’s going on internally. When glucose binds with collagen (part of the aging process), collagen loses its suppleness and becomes less flexible. As a result, your lungs, arteries, tendons, and other tissues stiffen. Stiff = Less efficient. For example, when your arteries are stiff, they lose their contractility and can’t pump as much blood through them due to their limited inability to expand and contract.
Age-Related Diseases Linked to AGEs
Continue reading “How to Slow Growing Old”
Your metabolism is the rate at which all the chemical reactions in your body work as a whole to create the energy you need to thrive. Think of your metabolism as the engine in your car. Sometimes it can be a high performance machine, but without good care, it can run like a slug. Here are some tips to keep your body working at optimum speed.
Signs of a Sluggish Metabolism
The most obvious signs that your metabolism has plummeted are:
- Weight gain
- Inability to lose weight despite restricting calories
- Not feeling hungry
Causes of a Deaccelerating Metabolism
The main reasons your metabolism may be slowing down:
- Age: Your metabolism is thought to slow about one to two percent per decade.
- Low percentage of muscle mass: When your muscle mass diminishes, your basal metabolic rate (the number of calories you burn while at rest) diminishes as well.
- Not eating enough food! Insufficient calories can cause you to go into “starvation mode” which can slash your metabolic rate. Severely restricting your caloric intake is one of the key reasons that diets don’t work and wind up making you fatter in the end.
- Lack of exercise and physical activity: In a UC Davis study, they found that the resting metabolic rate in highly trained runners was reduced by 7 to 10 percent when daily exercise training was stopped.
- Dehydration: Your organs need water to function every day. When you don’t get enough water, your organs will slow down and can eventually shut down.
- Hypothyroidism: The main purpose of the thyroid hormone is to keep your engine running. When your thyroid isn’t producing enough thyroid hormone, your metabolism will slow down.
How to Preserve Your Metabolism
To ensure a healthy metabolism: Continue reading “How to Ignite Your Metabolic Furnace”
Signs of aging include more than receding hairlines and gums, wrinkles, painful joints, and clogged arteries. As with everything else, your voice ages too, and most people don’t think about taking care of their “voice muscles” like they do their biceps. Have you ever talked to someone on the phone and determined the person is old just by the sound of his/her voice? You’ve likely heard an older person speak with that classic gravely, weak. raspy, wavering, hoarse, and/or breathless voice. With that said, how old do YOU sound?
Why Your Voice Makes You Sound Old
Over 30% of people over age 65 have voice problems. As you age, your larynx (a.k.a. voice box) changes. The following 12 reasons may be causing your voice to become hoarse and weak and thus, sound old:
- Your vocal cords are less elastic (just like aging skin and muscles) and are unable to work in the same way as when you were young. Your vocal cords move and vibrate to make sounds. When the surrounding muscles move, your vocal cords either tighten or loosen. To make higher sounds, your cords tighten.
- Your vocal cords and muscles in the larynx wear out and become more thin. As a result, your voice may sound higher.
- Thickened mucous increases the amount of mass that needs to vibrate and results in a lower pitched voice. This increase is thought to be due to a decrease in hormones that affect the mucous membranes of your vocal cords.
- Acid reflux can cause harshness, sore throat, cough.
- Weak abdominals – In order to form a sound, your abs and rib cage squeeze your lungs which make you exhale air.
- Decreased lung capacity – By the time you’re 80, you may have 50% less volume compared to when you were 20.
- Rheumatoid arthritis – This condition can lead to hoarseness because your vocal cords cannot move well. The inflammation limits the ability of the joint near your windpipe (cricoarytenoid joint) to move.
- Messages from your brain to the voice box become inefficient and nerve endings die.
- Decrease in blood supply and number of lubricating glands which cause the vocal cords to dry out.
- Change in your tongue, lips and teeth making it more difficult to form words. As a result, your voice becomes thinner and wavers.
- Parkinson’s disease
How to Keep Your Voice Younger Longer
Here are some quick fixes to slow and minimize the aging of your voice. Continue reading “How “Old” Do You Sound?”