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While our genes may influence our lives in various ways, it’s also true that certain lifestyle choices we make can also impact our genes and quality of life.  Research has shown that there are some habits we can adopt to slow the aging process, such as:

Eat fruits and veggies:  Consuming plenty of veggies and fruits may help reduce the risk of many diseases, including heart disease, high blood pressure, and some cancers.  One caveat here would be that if you already are experiencing blood sugar problems, limit your fruit intake and focus more on low starch veggie consumption (like broccoli, asparagus, green beans, cauliflower, etc.).  Fruits and veggies are rich in vitamins and minerals that help you feel healthy and energized.  Choose whole fruits and veggies in a variety of colors to get the most out of their anti-aging effects.  this video on</a>, or enable JavaScript if it is disabled in your /div></div>

Engage in fun activities:  This will make us smile, get us moving, and improve our mental and physical agility.  There are games we can play with others or activities you can do on your own.  Check out Jepson’s Initiative “Never Leave the Playground” for an inspiration point.

Meditate:  Studies have shown that meditation is an excellent form of stress management.  It relieves anxiety, can help to alleviate insomnia, improve communication skills, and give us a deep sense of peacefulness and clarity of mind.

Stop smoking: Smoking is the largest cause of preventable death in the world.  It’s responsible for several diseases, such as cancer, long-term (chronic) respiratory diseases, and heart disease, as well as premature death.

Floss: Gum disease can lead to tooth loss and decay.  Research shows that gingivitis can lead to other health problems such as stroke, diabetes and respiratory disease.  Flossing is your best defense against gingivitis.

Exercise:  There are a multitude of health benefits provided by exercising, including weight control, combatting health conditions and diseases (like high blood pressure, prevention of strokes, metabolic syndrome, Type 2 diabetes), improves mood, boosts energy, promotes better sleep, improves our sex life, and it can even be fun!

Drink green tea: Green tea has been shown to have overall anti-aging properties.  It’s loaded with antioxidants and nutrients that protect cells from damage and can therefore help to prevent disease states like Alzheimer’s, diabetes, obesity, cancer, and many others.

Sleep:  Getting adequate amounts of sleep can help improve our health in a multitude of ways, including lowering overall body inflammation (which has been linked to disease states such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and arthritis), improving memory and creativity, maintaining a healthy weight, and lower stress.  Chronic sleep loss can also negatively impact our skin, causing it to be lackluster, wrinkled and break down collagen formation (collagen keeps your skin smooth and elastic).

Of course, implementing these lifestyle modifications can help us to achieve and maintain optimal health and age more gracefully.  Let’s also not forget the important role our attitude plays in our health and happiness – life is what we make it!  Being comfortable in our own skin and having a zest for life at any age affects not only how we feel, but can have a positive impact on those around us.


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Women and Healthy Aging