It’s been a few weeks since I published part 1 of My Top 10 Ageless Living Habits Check it out — lots of good stuff to support your ageless well-being!
The second installment was delayed because I was inspired by my new and dare I say, controversial way of being—my Bare Minimum Philosophy-— which I had to share immediately! If you’re a slave to your “lists,” spread to thin from multitasking, and worried that there isn’t enough time to do everything you need to do, then you need to read this post. It’s a game changer in my book.
But wait no more — let’s get to part 2!
6. Sleep-fast like a boss!
Here are 6 reasons why you should add intermittent fasting to your ageless living habits:
- Decreases inflammation in the body. Think of inflammation as catnip to disease – it feeds on it.
- Decreases free radical damage — the theorized cause of premature aging.
- Decreases weight gain which is good for your physical and mental well-being.
- Increases insulin sensitivity reducing chronic disease such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
“Fasting causes hunger or stress. In response, the body releases more cholesterol, allowing it to utilize fat as a source of fuel, instead of glucose. This decreases the number of fat cells in the body… This is important because the fewer fat cells a body has, the less likely it will experience insulin resistance, or diabetes.” – Dr. Benjamin D. Horne, PhD, MPH, director of cardiovascular and genetic epidemiology at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute
- Increases life span through calorie reduction, disrupting brain insulin receptors, and promoting human growth hormone (HGH) production. HGH helps to maintain muscle and bone mass something that also decreases as you age.
- Increases the flavor of food 🙂
This last one is the trick that I talked about in part 1 where you can make breakfast more enjoyable! So the longer you fast, the hungrier you are — agreed? This ravenous feeling is due to the rise of your ghrelin levels, the “hunger hormone.“
Do you recall ever feeling so hungry that whatever food you ended up consuming seemed to taste like the best thing you ever ate even though it may have just been mediocre? Blame it on the ghrelin!
I fast at night—while sleeping mostly—because it’s the easiest. Most days it works out to be a 12 hour fast from 9pm-9am. I end up fasting for longer on weekends when I sleep in.
I’ve been doing intermittent fasting for about 2 years and what I’ve noticed most is yes, breakfast is my favorite meal (The hunger effect!), I wake up energized, and my weight is stable. Be mindful, just because you’ve fasted, it’s not an excuse to over-eat. I eat a normal size breakfast and my meals throughout the day are regular portions.
We’ve determined intermittent fasting is good for us, but is it for everyone? The short answer is NO. If you’re hypoglycemic, diabetic, pregnant, overly stressed, fatigued, and weak — do not fast. Know and listen to your body and get the OK from a doctor if you’re unsure.
Click here to read the many ways you can fast.
7. Move like you got ants in your pants.
Unless you’re sleeping, resting, or practicing stillness — you should be moving.
From weight gain, poor posture, muscle atrophy, inadequate blood circulation to name just a few — staying seated or even lying down too long seriously ages and damages the body.
A book to check out is Sitting Kills, Moving Heals by Dr. Joan Vernikos former director of NASA’s Life Sciences Division. She likens the ill effects of prolonged sitting to that of the accelerated aging and body deterioration of astronauts while in space due to the lack of gravity. Sitting or laying down for a long time mimics these effects because of the lack of interaction between the body and Earth’s gravity.
Develop an attitude of “I like to move!” When you have a choice, always choose to do the thing that will make you move more. Take the stairs. Ideally, don’t sit for longer than 20 minutes at a time. You can simply stand up and then sit back down if you like, but don’t just sit continuously.
I work mostly from home in front of a computer for hours at a time so I break it up with 4 jump squats and a 10-second whole-body isometric contraction (Think “Arnold” pose — flex all the big muscles in your body at one time and hold it!) every 20-30 minutes. When I stand up, I do my little routine, and then sit back down.
My mom is retired and though she does move quite a bit—gardening, dancing, and babysitting her grandchildren—she finds herself sitting a lot in front of the TV. I’ve got her standing periodically and doing 10 jumping jacks before she sits back down again. (Go mom!)
This movement attitude then becomes a lifestyle that promotes your ageless well-being. This year I started a “movement promise” of being active 300 days out of 365 days. It’s not too late to do the same!
Also, never stop practicing your squat!
With almost every activity in life, you end up doing a squat. Think about it… When you sit in your car, on the toilet, when you want to lift correctly, and so on. You never want to lose your ability to squat because it’s key to your independence!
The best way to learn how to squat correctly is to do squats facing a wall. Bring your toes to the wall, almost touching, then sit down. Stay looking straight so you learn to keep your torso up. Sit as low as you can go then hold the seated position for 5-10 seconds and repeat. Great for butt, legs, and core.
8. Seriously, take a chill pill.
When you’re not moving — relax. You can’t be “on-the-go” all the time. It’s a recipe for burning out and aging badly.
Relaxation helps decrease stress levels, normalize hormones, and aids in cell repair to name a few of its benefits. Here are my favorite ways to wind down…
- Doodling zentangles
- Walking in nature
- Snuggling with my furbabies
- Deep stretching
- Getting massages
- Napping & sleeping
9. Listen to your bio-feedback.
Your body is always talking to you in her own way. Your body reactions are her “lexicon.” For example, you can look at your skin, nail, and hair condition as a type of bio-feedback informing you about your stress levels, hormone balance, and diet.
A bio-feedback you can notice easily is how you react to food. Become aware of your body reactions 1-2 hours after eating. Are you sleepy or energized? Are you bloated, gassy, or uncomfortable in any way? Is your skin itchy or are you coughing? Are you angry or happy? The food you eat can make you feel all these things.
This food awareness and body feedback technique is part of the intuitive eating method I teach my clients. Not only do they see amazing results from eating this way—from losing weight to no longer needing digestive aids—they are empowered by their growing knowledge of their body.
Once you become aware of your own body—how it reacts to certain conditions—you are one step closer to better health. The next step is to heed her reaction and make the appropriate changes.
It’s second nature for me to listen to my body. I’ve been seriously listening to her for over 10 years. Embarrassingly, I ignored her for 30 years. But, that’s OK. I’m making up for it now and because of our timeless way of being, we know — it’s not too late.
10. Say kind things to yourself before you go to sleep.
Sleep is essential for optimum health. It is during sleep that your body repairs and reenergizes itself. For some people, going to sleep can be difficult.
I have struggled with insomnia for almost 20 years. I’ve learned to embrace certain parts of it—the fact that I’m being taught a lesson—that this is a bio-feedback telling me something is amiss.
Anyhow, one method that I’ve been doing for several years to make sure that I get a good night sleep is to say kind things to myself before bed time. I’ve found this technique reduces stress and relaxes the mind and body aiding in better sleep.
Going to sleep with a positive and grateful attitude helps you wake up with a positive and grateful attitude. Studies have shown positive thinking and being grateful as markers of people who are happier and healthier.
Simply, while lying in bed getting ready for sleep, I say a few things that I’m thankful for and positive affirmations about myself. Not only has this nighttime habit helped me to sleep better, it’s made me a happier person.
I hope you found my ageless living habits informative. Try them out, make them fit into your lifestyle, and create good habits for a long life.
If you want to learn more tips & techniques to living a healthy, happy, and ageless lifestyle check out my book, How to be Happy 99% of the Time. It’s filled with lifehacks — insightful and to the point information to get you living your best life.
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If you need help in personalizing a health, fitness, and beauty program for you, then check out my life-coaching services.
Featured photo courtesy of freedigitalimages.com and Sira Anamwong