You really can get younger – biologically – by making just a few small, easy adjustments which, science proves, really work. But first, what do we mean by getting ‘biologically younger’? Biological age is a measure of our age physically, and unsurprisingly, biologically. Chronological age is just the number of birthdays we have had. Our biological age can be older than our chronological age – and conversely, it can also be younger – depending upon a variety of factors such as how well we eat, the amount and type of exercise we take and how effectively we deal with stressors.
By making the following simple lifestyle adjustments, we can prevent, halt and even reverse the diseases that we associate with an inevitable part of ageing.
These are my top ten tips that you can use, right now, to become healthier, happier and biologically younger. Remember, mindset is everything – and the decisions and choices you make on a daily basis dictate your future health, happiness and vibrant wellbeing!
The World Health Organisation, Harvard Medical School, The British Medical Association, and The Complementary Medical Association all agree that eating a plant-based whole food diet is the best way of ensuring our health in general – disease resistance, and maintenance of a desirable body composition, with a healthy ratio of fat to muscle.
Adequate hydration is key to looking and feeling great – it is also vital for the optimum function of your brain. If we are even slightly dehydrated our cognitive function really takes a hit – making us functionally ‘older’ than our years! Cut out caffeine and drink pure water. You’ll know when you are properly hydrated as your pee will be a light straw colour – any darker than that, you need to get fluids on board right away.
Getting a good night’s sleep is vital for maintaining health, in mind and body – and to become biologically younger. When we miss out on sleep, we make poorer decisions, are more likely to be aggressive, and gain toxic visceral fat in and around the middle which promotes chronic disease. Set your alarm clock for the same time every morning and this will soon re-set your body clock if you’ve been experiencing insomnia or other sleep difficulties.
Sleep in total darkness so that your body and brain can rest and repair themselves properly. Adequate sleep also establishes healthy hormonal balance and compromised sleep, as a result of light exposure is dangerous! Studies have shown that women are more likely to develop breast cancer if they are exposed to light during sleeping hours. Don’t use screens of any sort for an hour before bed as they emit a blue light that stops the production of the sleep-inducing hormone, melatonin.
Underlying every dangerous chronic disease is the process of uncontrolled, chronic inflammation. In order to get fully healthy – and rewind your biological age – you need to get inflammation under control. All of the elements in this top ten are geared to do just that – they all contribute to quelling runaway inflammatory processes.
We humans are built to walk. I encourage all my clients to walk for at least 30 minutes for a minimum of five days a week. This is a gentle form of exercise that packs a powerful punch! Steady state cardio of this kind is a potent fat burner, is gentle on the joints, dramatically contributes to better metabolism and reduces toxic, inflammation-producing, visceral fat that sits around our belly – and also surrounds our internal organs.
Weights and resistance training
To maintain a healthy and youthful body composition it is essential to incorporate heavier weight training into our exercise routines. Learn safe ways of lifting heavier weights for fewer repetitions. This is what makes muscle grow, fires up our metabolism and increases the production of ‘youthifying’ hormones, including the most potent youth substance of all; Human Growth Hormone (HGH).
Mindfulness and Meditation
Becoming resilient to stress is crucial and responding to stressors poorly easily adds over ten years to your biological age. One of the most potent age-rewind techniques that has been proven to make us measurably younger is a form of meditation called the ‘Relaxation Response’. I have a free instructional recording for you on my website at JayneyGoddard.org.
The power of happiness cannot be overestimated when it comes to getting biologically younger. You can actually ‘rewire’ your brain to increase your own capacity for happiness by creating a gratitude practice. Before bedtime note down three things you are grateful for that happened during that day. Really put colour into them. Describe how they made you feel, what was so wonderful about them and more. The more you practise this happier you get!
Getting out into nature improves our health on all levels. Physically, it is best for us to exercise in natural surroundings, emotionally, being in nature makes us happier, and it also helps us to foster a spiritual connection with our natural environment. All of this contributes dramatically to becoming biologically younger.
Potentially, over 95% of what we believe about ageing is responsible for how we age. So, if you follow all my advice here, but still believe that you are ageing or old, then that’s exactly what will happen! Psycho-neurological research shows that our bodies and brains believe everything that we tell them and respond accordingly! Happily, all the practices above will dramatically contribute to a more positive mindset. Do whatever it takes to cultivate kindness towards yourself – particularly with the language you silently use. If your message to yourself is that you are worthy, loved, happy, fit, well and youthful, your body will respond in kind, to reflect exactly that.
Jayney Goddard is a broadcaster, author, lecturer and journalist and an acknowledged thought leader in the health care arena. Jayney is passionate about working with people suffering from chronic lifestyle-related conditions, as she herself experienced a life-threatening auto-immune illness that left her fully wheelchair-bound for ten years. Using the techniques she teaches in her new book “Rewind Your Body Clock; The Complete Natural Guide to a Happier, Healthier, Younger You”, Jayney was able to recover and return to vibrant health. Not only that, Jayney has rewound her own biological age to a super-fit equivalent of 27 years old – whereas her chronological age is 55.