The Key to Ageing Gracefully

by Rachael Forrest

There have been a few books out recently about ageing and how humans are living so much longer than we used to.  The 100 Year Life and Atul Gawande's Being Mortal are two of them which are well worth the read.  

Having got through just over half of my predicted life span has made me think about how precious our health is.  After all, who wants to live to 100 if you can't enjoy it?  I'm assuming I won't still be running a business or exercising like I do now but I do want quality of life in my later years.

This article on LinkdIn discusses the role of Telomeres (no, me neither) in ageing.  I still don't exactly understand what they are but their length and stability seem to be the key things in keeping us young.  Telomeres' role is to stop cells from deteriorating - they protect the chromosomes in some way.  So if we can keep them long and stable we protect our health even with age. 

Telomere therapy might provide a way to keep us youthful for longer but, while it's still in development it is useful to look at other ways to stay healthy.  The impact of stress on ageing is well documented.  Stress is linked with indicators of cellular ageing and shortening telomere length.  Other factors are all the usual suspects - obesity, insulin resistance, smoking, exposure to pollution and lack of exercise.  

So by living a healthy lifestyle we really can change our future quality of life.  After all, age is just a number, it's how our bodies and minds behave which make us feel either old or young.

Yoga, acupuncture, regular massage, exercise, a session with the nutritionist to overhaul your eating habits - these will all help to give your body cells the ability to function at optimum levels.  Just start slowly and steadily to make changes and if you lack motivation at any point, get in touch - I'm sure there will be ways we can help and support you.  After all, we're all in this together.