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Natural Awakenings Austin

Tips for Keeping the Brain Young

Recent studies indicate that telomere length, which can be affected by various lifestyle factors, can impact the pace of aging and onset of age-associated diseases. Telomeres, which are protective caps on the ends of chromosomes that keep them from deteriorating naturally, get shorter and eventually die as we age. So they make a great marker of cell aging and thus of overall health. The difference in telomere lengths is thought to cause six years of age difference. In light of this research, we can literally say that stress ages people physically, chemically and genetically.

So the number one tip is to reduce the effects of stress. Simply put, stress triggers many pathways that cause aging, and when all these come together, it results in premature aging. Women who suffered from phobic anxiety had shorter telomeres.

Exercise is the number one stress reliever, but there are ways to also make it fun. An aerobics and weight training combination seems to have the best overall effect in as little as 20 minutes a day, but it must push the body aerobically. Aerobic exercise increases capillary development in the brain, meaning more blood supply, more nutrients and more oxygen. The brain is the major oxygen user in your body.

Breathing smart helps reduce stress, treats depression and anxiety and clears up the mind. The brain also loves new activities that challenge and excite, turning on the pre-frontal cortex. The key is to be curious and willing to learn something new.

Anything that closely engages one’s focus and is strongly rewarding will kick the brain into learning mode and notch it up. Combine a new pleasurable activity with exercise, such as learning to play tennis, ping-pong or Latin dancing—two big things to keep the brain young.

Source: Sandra Vela, Neuro-Coach and Effectiveness Expert. 956-351-0825.

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