How to Tap the Fountain of Youth: 8 Evidence-Based Secrets

Young boy enjoys Coney Island. Photopgraph by Joel Davidson.

Young boy enjoys Coney Island. Photographed by Joel Davidson.

The “Fountain of Youth” may just be a tale, but the science behind preserving youthfulness and living longer is real. In the search for a “fountain of youth,” researchers found some good stuff. Here’s eight.

1. Pursue Your Dreams

Haven’t found your dream job or soul mate? Doesn’t matter.

What does matter? Striving.

Striving helps you live longer.

From: The Longevity Project: Surprising Discoveries for Health and Long Life from the Landmark Eight-Decade Study:

We did not find that precisely living out your dreams matters much for your health… It was not the happiest or the most relaxed older participants who lived the longest. It was those who were most engaged in pursuing their goals.

If you’re striving for longevity, aim for some of the secrets below.

2. Do Cardio

Want to burn calories and keep your brain young at the same time? Get moving.

Recent research, cited by Harvard Dr. John Ratey, shows that aerobic exercise physically remodels our brains for peak performance.

How does that keep us young? It fights memory loss and sharpens intellect.

Not into striving or doing cardio? Take a nap.

3. Take a Nap

A short nap can help relieve stress and bolster the immune systems.

How long?

Dave_sleeping

According to NASA, 25 minutes will do.

Research by NASA revealed that pilots who take a twenty-five-minute nap in the cockpit – hopefully with a co-pilot taking over the controls – are subsequently 35 per cent more alert, and twice as focused, than their non-napping colleagues.

After your nap, search for some life-extending formulas!

4. Find Your Longevity Formula

68% of people in the U.S. take supplements.

For anti-aging lovers, here’s some of the best – with a bit of a science tone.

R-Lipoic Acid keeps cells young by protecting against oxidative stress generated by high glucose levels.  R-Lipoic Acid, significantly supports healthy inflammatory responses, acts as a potent free radical scavenger, and supports healthy mitochondrial function for energy.

Ashwagandha Extract enhances mental energy and concentration. Scientists have discovered that the Indian herb ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) counters some of the oxidative damage generated by nervous tension.

In a large clinical trial conducted by NutraGenesis, LLC, ashwagandha reduced levels of the hormone cortisol by up to 26% while maintaining already normal blood sugar levels and lipid profiles.  Subjects who took the standardized ashwagandha extract reported improvements in energy, sleep and well-being, as well as diminished fatigue.

Life Extenson Ashwagandha Extract Veg Capsules, 60-Count

Additional research shown in Science Daily in 2015, suggests that ashwagandha supports the regeneration of axons and dendrites, nerve cell components that support brain and nervous system function, and may be beneficial in the treatment of Alzheimer’s.

AMPK Activator is a novel formulation that provides ActivAMP© G. pentaphyllum extract and standardized trans-tiliroside from rose hips. AMPK (adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase) is an enzyme found in every cell of the body.

Increasing AMPK activity revitalizes aging cells, promotes mitochondrial production, and “turns off” many of the damaging effects of aging – natural AMPK levels decline with age.

An article published online on September 4, 2014 in Cell Reports reveals the outcome of research conducted at the University of California, Los Angeles which found that activation of adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) in one organ decelerated the aging process.

Pycnogenol© French Maritime Pine Bark Extract provides Pycnogenol, a standardized mixture of pine bark-derived flavonoids that has long been used in Europe to treat cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and neurodegenerative conditions.

Since many physicians in the United States don’t know about it, it’s rarely recommended, despite the fact that its healthy effects were demonstrated in over 300 scientific publications.

(on Inspired Living™ Archive: For a list of tested (safe) and true (effective) supplements, click here).

Not into adding supplements?  Use a little subtraction.

5. Cut Calories

Meat or no meat, some researchers argue that the only proven way to slow the aging process and maintain peak vitality is through caloric restriction. And there’s plenty of evidence to back it up.

This diet has been the primary research tool used to study aging since the 1930s. Since then, over one thousand studies in a wide variety of laboratory animals have confirmed the dramatic results of longevity-enhancing, calorie-reduced diets.

According to Dr. Roy Walford, one of the most renowned gerontologists (people who study aging) and author of Maximum Life Span, “Information is already available to enable one to live to be more than 120 years old if he begins early enough and adheres religiously to a lifelong regime of dietary restriction.”

A lifelong regime of dietary restriction? That’s rough! There’s gotta be a short-cut, right?

There is. Check out the 5-2 Diet. It’s more realistic and practical, and it helps with weight loss too.

Switching from nutrition to fitness now.

6. Pump Iron

No one likes to lose muscle tone. Dr. Michael Roizen, author of You On a Diet, says, “We lose an average of 5 percent of our muscle mass every 10 years after the age of 35—if we don’t do anything about it.

What’s the best thing to do about it? Pump iron. Lift weights.

Dave Barnas flexing with an arm curl.

Lifting a few times a week preserves muscle strength, minimizes the muscle loss associated with aging.  Pumping iron helps us lose fat while gaining muscleincrease bone densityregulate blood glucose levels, and manage cholesterol.

Not into pumping iron and getting sweaty? Sitting in silence can help too.

7. Meditate

Researchers found that meditation may improve a person’s psychological well-being. Nothing we haven’t heard before.

What is interesting is the changes are related to telomerase activity in immune cells, which has the potential to promote longevity in those cells.

Simply shown…

Meditation –> better psychological well-being –> telomerase activity –> longer cell life

(on Inspired Living™ Archive: For more on How to Calm Your Mind in a Chaotic World, click here.)

8. Hang With Friends

In the Longevity Project, author Howard Friedman shares research to support how social relations are vital to longevity. Playing cards and hanging out have been proven to support disease-free living.

Face to face contact is a key element in the fountain of youth.  Get some.

In closing, it’s truthful to say that longevity genes make a huge difference. Some folks who live in their 100s can be obese, smoke and avoid exercise.

But for most of us, Sherwin B. Nuland, author of the Art of Aging put it well,

“Of all the factors that constitute human maintenance, improved methods of medical therapy appear to be among those of lesser importance…Responding to breakdown or its imminence is far less effective than prevention and attention to self-improvement, which have become increasingly recognized as the keys to healthy longevity.

Wrap-Up

To Tap the “Fountain of Youth”, consider these…

  1. Pursue Your Dreams – Striving supports longer living.
  2. Do Cardio – Aerobic exercise keeps the brain fit.
  3. Take a Nap – 25 minutes keep you sharp and alert.
  4. Find Your Longevity FormulaR-Lipoic Acid, Ashwagandha Extract, AMPK Activator, and Pycnogenol© French Maritime Pine Bark Extract are some of the best in the anti-aging world.
  5. Cut Calories – Caloric restriction may be the single best proven method to live beyond 100.
  6. Pump Iron – Lifting weights preserves muscle strength, supports weight loss, increases bone density, regulates blood glucose and manages cholesterol.
  7. Meditate – Enhances your brain function and helps your cells achieve longevity.
  8. Hang with Friends – Getting face to face contact, playing cards, and hanging in social circles keeps us going.

Thank you for reading!

Dave

P.S. If you liked this post, I’d be thrilled if you forwarded it to friends or shared it!

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About Dave Barnas, M.S., CES, NASM-CPT

Dave is a true health expert. He is the founder and owner of True Health Unlimited, LLC, a personal health and fitness company in Tolland, CT. Dave earned both a Bachelor's (1998) and Master's Degree (2000) in Nutritional Science from the University of Connecticut, and also holds certifications as a National Strength and Conditioning Association Certified Personal Trainer, National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer and Corrective Exercise Specialist, Aerobics and Fitness Association of America Group Instructor, and Nutrition Specialist. He's also the lead author for four published works. Dave has over 18,000 hours of combined experience in nutrition counseling, dietary supplement advising, personal training, corrective exercise training, health coaching and public speaking. In addition, he's spent over 20 years studying spirituality, meditation, and personal growth strategies. Dave's clients are all ages: youth, college championship level athletes, folks in their retired years, and everywhere in between. He's worked with three of the nation's leading physicians as a dietary supplement advisor and been a guest lecturer at Harvard University, Yale University, UConn, St. Joseph College and various church groups, health clubs, and high schools. In 2013, he was invited to Whole Foods Market to share his Real Food Therapy Guide. And in 2015, Dave's funny "Snowga" (yoga in the snow) video caught the attention of The National Weather Channel, who aired it to shake off cabin fever and bring laughter. In 2016, Dave & Hollie (his beloved) began writing evidence-based Wellness Newsletters to spread a message of health and happiness to various small businesses throughout Connecticut.

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