HOLISTIC HEALTH - June 2015 - Kansas City
Anti-Aging Strategic Plan: A Natural Approach
By Nancy Russell, M.D.
Happy summer! As I walk through my front yard and enjoy my beautiful roses that I planted and nurtured, I think of the cycles of life, the changing of the seasons and taking time to smell the flowers!! To enjoy this amazing life for many years to come, I have been researching how and why our body’s age and how we can impact this process.
Life expectancy has approximately doubled in the last century. Walter Breuning, 112 years old, one of the oldest living persons says his secrets to longevity are: “Staying active in body and mind, practicing moderation and treating others with kindness and respect”. Genetics or predisposition to diseases of aging and your longevity is based 25% on your genetics and 75% on your behaviors and life style choices.
Dr Mehmet Oz says, “Restricting your calories, increasing your strength and getting quality sleep, along with stress management can control who well you age”.
Five strategic steps to anti aging include: Restful sleep, regular exercise, balanced nutrition, stress management and spiritual enrichment.
Sleep offers rebuilding of tissues and maintenance of a healthy metabolism. A good goal is 7 to 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep; feeling rested in the morning and with good stamina throughout the day.
Exercise builds muscle, stamina and helps with energy. A good goal at least 30 minutes 3 to 5 times a week with variety. Some suggestions would be: Aerobic exercises with interval training, resistance and strength training, flexibility exercise with relaxation breathing.
Nutrition is about fueling your body with healthy nutrients. Guidelines include: Eating fresh, whole, unprocessed food, drinking filtered water and herbal teas, and avoid sugar and artificial sweeteners. Staple foods are vegetables, nuts, seeds, cage-free eggs, grass fed, organic meats, wild caught fish, olive and coconut oils, avocado and small amounts of fruits, wild rice, quinoa and unprocessed or raw dairy.
Stress management revitalizes your body and mind, and can take you another level of optimal health. Ideas for relaxation: Take time to be still with relaxation breathing, prayer and meditation, think positive thoughts and assess your attitude, and bring humor and laughter into your life. Develop strong connections and lasting relationships with family and friends.
Spiritual enrichment and to have a spiritual purpose is important for each of us, in our own way, no matter what our belief system. For me, a deep connection with God helps keep the ups and downs of life in perspective and gives me peace.
These five strategic steps to anti aging could also be the pillars of our health; all profoundly and powerfully intertwined and mutually affecting. They can move in either a positive or a negative spiral. If I’m stressed out and sedentary, I can find it harder not to reach for the sweet treat or fast food item. Then I sleep more poorly and my general mood makes hope, trust and peace harder to ascertain. On the other hand, when I have good sleep and energy, my body craves good nutritious food and more movement and my mood lightens. As I make one change, perhaps going on a cleansing fruit and vegetable only diet for a day, taking a solid hour walk, get good sleep, or just breath in the beauty of nature, it makes the next step so much easier.
I challenge you to change your life today, starting right now. Write down each of the five strategic steps above and make one or two goals in each area that you can achieve in your life today or in the next few months. No matter what kind of life you’ve already led, aging is reversible. If you perform a good habit for 3 years, the effect on your body is as if you’ve done it your entire life. Even better, within 3 months of changing a behavior, you start to measure a difference in your life expectancy.
I plan to become a centenarian; won’t you join me on this journey?
Nancy Russell, M.D. has been a holistic Internal Medicine physician in the Kansas City northland for over 30 years at 5140 N. Antioch Road in Kansas City, MO.
Her phone number is 816-453-5545 and website is www.nancyrussellmd.com where you can get more information. Dr. Russell is board certified in holistic medicine and is a member of the American Holistic Medical Association and a prior board member.