The Best Anti-Aging Advice You'll Ever Receive.

From time to time I like to touch on the topic of anti-aging.  Most often, I tend to highlight beauty or nutritional products that help slow down the hands of time. But today, I'd like to share one anti-aging tip that might be the most powerful of them all.

I developed this anti-aging theory after watching a sports documentary.   The program featured interviews from several ex-athletes 25 or more years after their glory days.  Some of the guys looked like they never played sports a day in their life.   A few of them looked, and seemed, amazingly young and fit for their age.  

Once the program ended, I racked my brain to identify what could be the reason for the difference in the two groups.  I've bounced by theory around with a few friends but wasn't sure if I had any valid points.  But a recent viral video further supported my hypothesis so I'm ready to share it with everyone!
In order to slow the aging process, we must understand what happens to us as we age.  On a micro and macro level, the body essentially begins to break down.  What causes the breakdown?  It's a combination of several factors including cell oxidation and physical atrophy.  Both are devastating to the body but what if there was a way to hold atrophy at bay?

Back to the basketball documentary.  As they interviewed one of the former stars on the team, I couldn't get over how much different he looked.  Sure, everyone ages but he appeared to have no semblance of his former self.  My theory is that his life in recent years looks very different than it did when he played basketball.  A quick trip to his Instagram confirmed my suspicion.  Although he's still working for the NBA, he's a full-time commentator which is equivalent to having a desk job.  Aside from posts featuring him at work, the rest of his feed mainly consisted of pics of him enjoying decadent meals (hence the dad bod).  My guess is that he hasn't played a rigorous game of basketball in a long time.

Later in the documentary, they interviewed a former teammate who was just two years younger.  I couldn't believe how young he looked for a guy nearing the age of 50.  In the interview, he was dressed in basketball shorts and an athletic jacket.  He looked like he just played a competitive game that morning.  If he were to sit on on a bench with current professional b-ball players, he'd blend right in.  His Instagram features his intense, regular workouts.  He coaches a college basketball team and he's often dressed like a player on the team.  

He's slowing down the aging process.  

Is it simply because he works out to stay in shape?  Maybe. But I think it goes deeper than that.....

I think he's aging slower because his life, at 50 years old, looks very similar to what it did in his 20's.

Let's use Naomi Campbell as an example.  Her rise to fame as a supermodel happened nearly 30 years ago.  Yet this woman can still walk the most coveted runway shows while looking as flawless as ever.  I've checked in on other supermodels that shared that spotlight in the 90s and many of them, while still beautiful, appear to have aged out of runway and print modeling.  Why is that?  Because even in 2019, Naomi is still closing out runway shows.  Her life, for the most part, looks very similar to how it did decades ago.

To be at the top of their game, both Naomi, and that star basketball player, developed rituals that contributed to their success.  Even in 2019, I'm pretty sure that many of those rituals are still in place.  Those are the same rituals that are keeping the signs of aging at bay.

When people get older, they tend to slow down and move away from the fast pace lifestyle of their youth.  Little do they realize that "the slowing down" is actually contributing to rapid aging.  The human body is one of the few machines that improves with use.  Atrophy is a real factor when we talk about aging.  When we reduce the amount of physical activity on the body, we invite atrophy to creep in.

I'm convinced that aging in the body is part physical and part phycological.  I'm sure that many former models still incorporate exercise into their routine.  But is it at the intensity level necessary to stay runway ready? Probably not.  By maintaining a similar (or even more intense) routine as she did in her youth, Naomi is sending a subliminal message to the body that she needs to perform at similar levels as decades ago.  Naomi is constantly signaling her subconscious that she's still at her peak.  When her counterparts leave the profession (and daily rituals associated with their peak), they are subconsciously sending the message that they have aged past their peak and the body will respond accordingly.

Just recently, Chilli from the group TLC released a viral video of her dancing alongside back up dancers that are probably half her age.  The fluidly in her movement contradicts the fact that she's nearly 50 years old.  When I was young, 50-year-olds didn't look and move with ease like Chilli. Typical 50-year-olds complain of stiff joints and their bodies not behaving like it used to.  But why don't their bodies operate like they used to?

 Because they stopped moving their bodies like they used to.

From that video, anyone can see that dancing is still a major part of Chilli's life just like back in the day.  I watched a video that featured a 91-year-old gymnast doing a bunch of flips on balance beams.  If any other individual her age were to attempt something similar, they'd probably break a bone (or worse).  Yet, her bones are able to support her entire body weight as she executed a series of pretty difficult movements.  Why is she still capable of doing these gymnast routines? Because she's still doing gymnastic routines.  I'm sure a lot of the people she competed against ages ago retired at a certain age and never practiced a routine seriously again.  She continued to use her body in the same way as she did during her peak.  As a result, her body is atrophying at a much slower rate.

So what does this all mean for us?

Remember how flexible you were when you were younger?  How come you aren't able to move as fluid as before? Probably because you no longer engage in similar movement on a regular basis.  You've told your mind that you're too old to do such things.  You are aging yourself without even realizing it.  When I was younger, I would go on long runs for fun.  Running was one of my favorite things to do.  Now, I probably couldn't run a couple blocks without getting winded.  I've told my body that those muscles are no longer needed and they've atrophied.

 We have to be conscious of how our shift in lifestyle affects our bodies as the years go by.  We can either signal our bodies that we need to remain in peak physical condition or we can live a sedentary lifestyle that fuels atrophy.  It's our choice.  One thing we can do is recall when we performed physically at our best, then adjust our lifestyle to mirror our daily habits from that era.  It'll be hard at first, but you'll be surprised at how our bodies are able to adapt.  Muscle memory is a real thing.

If you can physically move like you did when you were younger, you'll think to yourself "I feel just like I did when I was XX years old." This is a very powerful belief to have.  The stronger your belief about how young you feel, the more your subconscious will hold on to this thought causing your body to respond accordingly. 

And that, my friends, is a powerful way to slow down aging.

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