In my last blog post I discussed that the reason we aged was not about the candles on our cake, but how healthy our immune system was. Saying that we must keep our immune systems strong is all fine – but how do we go about this?
But before we go there – we must first ask; How fast are you ageing?
The following will effect how well or badly you are ageing;
Are you within your healthy weight range, or are you 4 or more kilos overweight?
Carrying around extra weight is stressful, not just on your back or joints, but on your immune system as well. This is even so for young women and men, what you eat or do not in your youth, will come back to haunt you in your later years. As a menopausal, pre menopausal (from 37 years onwards) or post menopausal woman, keeping the weight off unless you by nature are a naturally slim woman who looses weight as her muscle mass decreases, becomes a major challenge. This unfortunately must be addressed by changing the way you exercise as well as what you eat. Strangely enough it is not just the cakes and biscuits which will pack on the pounds, it is also the large meals, and indigestible foods which will cause you to gain weight. For men, this starts in your 60s as you go through andropause, and find that your digestion cannot cope with what you used to get away with in youth.
Do you smoke?
We all know smoking is a guaranteed way to age your body rapidly. Hanging around people that smoke will guarantee rapid ageing as well.
Do you live in the city?
Living in a polluted environment puts your body into a constant defence mode that ages your body prematurely.
Do you exercise regularly?
Exercise helps deactivate the immune system in several ways. It strengthens the immune system, lowers stress levels, stimulates circulation and activates your lymphatics removing toxins from the body.
Have you taken any antibiotics in the last year(s)?
Antibiotic use prematurely ages the immune system and is linked to a number of health effects including heart disease, allergies and even breast cancer. Frequent antibiotic use is a sign of some one whose immune system is often in battle mode fighting off infection, but also wreaking havoc on his or her health in the process.
Is your tummy larger than your hips?
Your hip measurement should be larger than your waist measurement by at least 10 % for men and 20% for women. This rule also applies for people who are not overweight. Studies have shown that even people within a healthy weight range whose waist measurement was the same as their hip measurement, had higher levels of immune hyperactivity.
Have you made love in the last week?
Yes – sex is good for you. Not only sex, but nothing works better at improving ones well being than feeling loved and loving someone or something else such as your pet.
Did you tell a funny joke today or laugh with someone?
As we all know laughter is the best medicine, it lowers our blood pressure and our stress levels.
Do you have a pet?
Dogs especially have proven to be the best thing for us, the unconditional love, plus the exercise improve our well being. They are known to lower our blood pressure and calm us down. (someone needs to tell my high maintenance Staffie this information!, I keep her calm and she stresses me out!)
Do you floss your teeth?
Flossing helps reduce plaque build-up in the teeth and gums, this plaque causes a constant struggle with the immune system.
Have you had a massage in the last month?
Having every tired muscle rubbed for an hour while your brain takes a holiday is good medicine. Relaxing touch combined with a release of muscle pain goes a long way towards reducing tension in the immune system.
Do you eat three x per day, graze or one or two big meals?
Eating a large meal puts a lot of stress on the immune system, regular smaller meals are gentler on the digestion, and take pressure off the body.
Do you supplement with vitamins, super foods or probiotics?
Natural sources of vitamins, minerals, probiotics, and enzymes through our food have been proven to be more effective than vitamins alone. Natural sources or nutrition such as Spiriulina or Cacao are efficiently used by the body, whilst much of the vitamin supplement you took this morning will end up in the toilet.
Have you raised your voice in anger in the last 24 hours? Have you grumbled or moaned?
Negative anger is a powerful emotion which tells your immune system you are geared up for a fight. This heightened state of adrenal activity will ensure an increase in immune hyperactivity.
Do you feel anxious during the day?
Nervous, scared? Or just flustered. Just like anger, anxiety sends out a loud and clear message – you feel threatened. This is when your defence mechanism sets in – ageing you prematurely.
Ever feel down in the dumps? Blue, sad, depressed or just despairing?
This state of being tells your immune system you have just given up. Despair and depression have been linked to all sorts of conditions from heart disease to brain decline to osteoporosis. Depression has been linked to an increased incidence of diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer.
Did you sleep well last night?
Do you sleep well every night? Sometimes? Never? When you sleep your immune system can finally relax, recharge and repair. It cannot do this during the day as it is too busy defending you. This is why when you are sick it is hard to sleep, because your immune system is just too busy. Many studies have proven that sleep deprivation is an important cause of immune hyperactivity.
Do you sing? Hum and listen to music?
Music sooths your immune system. Singing improves it!
Ok – so if you are like me – you are saying, now I know all of these things, I can start working on them, but what else can I do about improving my well being? How can I become my own fountain of youth? I will share more next blog post!
If you like this post please read the other Fountain of Youth blog posts 1,3,4,5, and 6! And please follow me! Also join me on Facebook!