Lifestyle. It’s not just about pleasure, stress-relief and beautiful experiences, though a great lifestyle should have all of those things. Lifestyle – the conscious habits and way that you life your life physically, emotionally and environmentally- can help you to slow aging and life a more vital life. Lifestyle is not luxury- lifestyle is necessity. Your lifestyle affect your genetic expression (more on this HERE) and, research is proving more and more conclusively, your lifestyle affects your longevity on a cellular level.
A lifestyle that promotes well-being also keeps the telomeres long on the ends of your chromosomes. Telomeres, as I understand them, protect chromosomes. When they shorten due to stresses on your body, they can’t do their protective job as well. When telomeres are shortened, our cells can become weaker and will expire sooner. (You can read more about telomeres right HERE.) I don’t know about you, but I am not a fan of words like expire when talking about my cells!
Psychology Today blogged a fascinating study done recently by researchers at UC San Francisco and the Preventive Medicine Research Institute that tracked the influence of lifestyle and diet on telomere length and overall wellbeing over a period of time. You can read more extensively here but the summarized key findings were:
4 Lifestyle Choices That Keep You Young
- Plant-based diet (high in fruits, vegetables and unrefined grains, and low in fat and refined carbohydrates)
- Moderate exercise (walking 30 minutes a day, six days a week)
- Stress reduction (gentle yoga-based stretching, mindfulness, breathing, meditation)
- Social support network (friends, family, sense of community) ~ Psychology Today
Lifestyle is not frivolous or “extra.” Being mindful of your lifestyle may actually save you years of your life. That’s pretty big stuff. Lifestyle not only promotes longevity, it makes your time more vibrant and helps you to get more done in less time. So, next time you think it’s worth running yourself to the ground in pursuit of a goal, blind to all the rest of your life, remind yourself that your cells will not be very happy! xoxo Dana
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