Did you know that there are a few habits you can follow if you want to slow down aging? We know this might sound unreal, but a new study backs this up.
According to this study that was presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2023, which was held between November 11 and 13 in Philadelphia, sustaining high cardiovascular health as determined by compliance with the AHA’s Life’s Essential 8 criteria may reduce the rate of biological aging by an average of six years.
So, now let’s see what these 8 habits that slow down aging are. All of them help you maintain good cardiovascular health, and if you want to live a longer and healthier life, you should know about them.
How to follow these 8 habits
According to the doctors who have worked on this research, the Life’s Essential 8 checklist is made of goals that are incredibly easy to achieve and are also actionable. This means anyone can understand them and take the right steps to follow them.
The catch here is that this should be a long-term goal. Don’t expect to follow these 8 rules for a week, and then overnight your life will be changed. This will never happen.
First of all, you need to understand where you are on your health journey. Maybe you are already following some steps from this checklist. Then, decide what you want to achieve and start by taking small steps toward the end goal. These small changes, over time, will make a difference and can slow down aging effectively.
Also, keep in touch with your medical professionals, and don’t forget to use community resources to track your progress.
1. Having a healthy diet
This one is not that surprising, but it is essential when we want to live a healthier life. Many sources say that you are what you eat, and this is entirely true most of the time.
If you want to slow aging, you should try to consume more fruits and vegetables. Also, your main source of protein should consist of lean meat. On the other hand, do your best and avoid trans-fat, sugary foods, and fried foods.
Following these rules will help you lose weight, lower the levels of cholesterol, prevent diabetes, and, in the end, reduce your biological age.
2. Stop smoking
Tobacco usage, vaping, and e-cigarette use all have negative impacts on the body, including increased blood pressure, blood vessel damage (due to pollutants), and difficulty breathing (due to various modifications in the lungs that may inhibit oxygen exchange).
Those who give up cigarettes can cut the likelihood of coronary heart disease in half in less than a year. Most of the harmful effects of smoking result in a rise in biological age. Quitting smoking can reduce the body’s natural aging process. This means that if you stop smoking, you will be able to slow down aging.
So do what is best for you and your body, and try to give up on cigarettes. Besides remaining younger for longer, you will also be healthier.
3. A good night’s sleep
Sleeping is probably one of the most important factors when we refer to a healthy life, and because of this, it is essential to get a good night’s sleep. Usually, a person should sleep between 7 and 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep at night.
Those who do not get enough sleep might suffer from elevated blood pressure, have more cholesterol in their blood, greater sugar levels, and a slower metabolism. Combine all of these, and you get premature aging.
If you want to improve your cardiovascular health and also slow down aging, try to have healthy sleeping habits. You’d be surprised to see how much this can change your quality of life.
4. Regular physical activity
We hear this everywhere, but engaging in physical activity should be a no. 1 priority for anybody who wants to slow down aging. The American Heart Association encourages 150 minutes of aerobic exercise with moderate intensity per week or 75 minutes of intense aerobic activity.
Walking, jogging, riding, water aerobics, and social dancing are a few examples of moderate aerobic exercise. If you want to try something that will challenge you more, running, spinning, swimming, and jumping rope are all examples of intense aerobic exercise.
Exercise has been shown to lower blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels. It may also assist in weight loss. All of these advantages may slow down aging.
5. Maintain a healthy weight
Another thing that is strongly associated with your heart health and cholesterol levels is your weight.
Overweight and obesity are caused by a variety of factors. Genetics undoubtedly plays a part. Yet, lifestyle has a greater impact. Choosing the wrong meals and leading a sedentary lifestyle all result in gaining weight.
The extra weight puts stress on the circulatory system and joint tissues and causes additional health problems, including diabetes. In the end, all of these negative consequences will speed up biological aging.
To fight this, you should restrict your portions, eat nutritious foods, and become active. Weight loss to an average body mass index (BMI) will surely slow down aging.
6. Maintain the blood pressure
Having elevated blood pressure will put a strain on your cardiovascular system, and in the end, you might end up suffering from various cardiovascular conditions.
High blood pressure can cause heart failure, strokes, and heart attacks. This stress on the circulatory system will accelerate biological aging. More exercise and a heart-friendly diet, particularly salt reduction, can help control blood pressure.
Blood pressure levels ranging from 121/81 mmHg to 139/89 mmHg may indicate that you are in danger of getting high blood pressure if you neglect to take action to manage your blood pressure.
Taking care of your heart and arteries is, for sure, the best way to slow down aging and also prevent fatal conditions.
High levels of cholesterol are usually linked with greater cardiovascular inflammation and can result in more plaque formation in the heart arteries. The combination of inflammation and plaque might increase the chances of having a stroke or a heart attack.
Cholesterol stems from two different sources: your body’s synthesis (inherited) as well as what you eat. Your DNA cannot be changed, but you may change what you eat.
The level of cholesterol can be decreased by making better food choices, particularly reducing saturated fats and carbs, and eating more greens and leaner meats, lowering the risk of developing plaque and heart inflammation. This will slow down aging, and you will feel so much better in your body.
8. Blood sugar levels
Constantly high levels of blood sugar, also known as hyperglycemia, mean you have diabetes.
High blood sugar levels can damage blood vessels in your heart, eyes, brain, and kidneys. This accelerates degeneration of the cardiovascular system and speeds up atherosclerosis, resulting in early cardiac arrest and strokes.
Unrestrained sugar makes you older. You can slow down aging by reducing blood glucose. People should avoid consuming processed sugars, carbs, and beverages with lots of sugar. Exercise can help reduce blood sugar levels by “burning off” the additional sugars that you have in your blood.
If you want to monitor your glucose levels at home, you can try this kit: CONTOUR NEXT Blood Glucose Monitoring System
You should also read: 4 Reasons Why People in Blue Zones Live Over 100