ThursdayFeb 28, 2019 at 4:20 PM
New research offers tips for helping you live a longer and healthier life.
It’s no surprise that the aging baby boomers—and many others—are seeking and savoring information that helps circumvent the inevitable process of aging. What follows is a synopsis of current studies that should increase your heart rate, cause your skin to glow and possibly even extend your life.
INTENSIFY YOUR WORKOUT
The study: Researchers at the Mayo Clinic tested several workout regimes to see which had the greatest impact on longevity. The winner: high-intensity interval training, a routine involving alternating periods of high and low intensity. As it turns out, HIIT did exceptionally well at building the capacity of mitochondria in the body. When mitochondria functions decline, risks increase for arthritis, osteoporosis and hypertension.
Bottom line: High-intensity means just that. A HIIT workout is short, but you’ll definitely be feeling it afterward.
The study: Sunscreen may not only help protect skin from harmful ultraviolet rays, it could also help repair it. A study in Dermatologic Surgery found that daily application of a moisturizer with an SPF of 30 actually reduced the appearance of wrinkles and sun spots. Researchers say it’s not so much the lotion that works wonders, but using it gives skin, which has regenerative properties of its own, a timeout from battling UV rays.
Bottom line: Moisturizers with an SPF of 30 are becoming common on store shelves. The Good Housekeeping Research Institute recommends Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle REPAIR.
The study: Mushrooms, yes, really. Mushrooms can help fight aging, according to a study by Penn State University researchers, and they are a great source of two important antioxidants: ergothioneine and glutathione, which are known to help battle age-related illnesses such Alzheimer’s and heart disease.
Bottom line: It may not be the fountain of youth, but incorporating more mushrooms into your diet can’t hurt. In particular, look for porcini mushrooms, which have the highest level of antioxidants of all the mushroom varieties, according to the study.
The study: People with religious affiliations lived four years longer on average than those who didn’t, according to a study by Ohio State University researchers. Published in Social Psychological and Personality Science, the study analyzed more than 1,000 obituaries across the country. Researchers noted that people who attended church also tended to volunteer or join social groups. Previous studies have shown that remaining social in your golden years is associated with living longer.
Bottom line: Isolation late in life has been linked to a shorter—and more unpleasant—life. So, go to church, join a club or even just go out regularly with friends.
FACIAL YOGA BENEFITS
The study: Facial yoga is a new thing. It’s a series of exercises done with your hands and through facial contortions that can strengthen the underlying muscles. But does it work? A study published in JAMA Dermatology found that participants who did facial exercises 30 minutes a day over a 16-week period appeared three years younger to outside observers at the end of the trial.
Bottom line: Thirty minutes a day of rubbing and manipulating your face? That sounds like a lot. The study claims it helped reduce wrinkles, but only 16 participants took part. More study may be needed before anyone makes that time commitment.
GET A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP
The study: All the facial cream in the world may not matter if you’re not sleeping well. A study in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences showed that people with chronic sleep disorders may have skin that appears to age quicker. This is supported by previous research showing that consistently sleeping fewer than five hours per night can lead to premature skin aging.
Bottom line: A deep sleep can work wonders—not just for your skin, but for cognitive function as well. Do your body a favor: call it an early night tonight.
WINE MAY NOT HELP
The study: Research reported in The Journals of Gerontology found that a type of antioxidant called resveratrol, can help protect muscle fibers from aging. In a test on mice, researchers found that the rodents injected with resveratrol had improved muscle tone.
Bottom line: There’s a catch. It would take a lot of resveratrol to show significant preservation effects in humans. And, as we all know, drinking too much wine or other alcohol can lead to many diseases.
The study: Living a better life may depend on how you think. Over a decade, Harvard researchers gauged how thousands of older women answered questions and how it related to their outlook on life. Other quality-of-life factors were considered, but those who were more optimistic had a significantly reduced (at least 30 percent) risk of dying of respiratory disease, heart disease, stroke or infection, according to the study reported in the American Journal of Epidemiology.
Bottom line: The power of positive thinking works. Positive thinking is associated with positive behavior that may help a person live a longer and healthier life.