Did you know there are powerful habits you can start today, and do within 24 hours, that will slow the aging of your cells, tissues, body, and brain?
And, astonishingly, they are all completely free?
If these results could be bottled, they’d be worth a fortune. But, in this case, that’s not how it works.
Our bodies were designed to function best when we slow down long enough to provide the quality time and emotional response they need. In a world of quick magic-bullet promises, some of the best anti-aging habits you can form were first recommended by God!
It’s like we were made for better health, at any age.
To start, we’ll dive into the first half of the day (Part 1), and cover habits you can use from waking through the afternoon. Then, Part 2 will follow with evening and overnight habits.
When we think of aging, we often think of the appearance of the skin. But, the skin is really just a reflection of the health within our bodies.
Aging itself means the degradation of all of our cells and systems, including our brains, hearts, immune systems, muscles, digestive tract, spinal cord, and skin. Left unchecked without purposeful intervention, they degrade after midlife.
And this is really no surprise. Your car, house, and most every other physical thing you own would degrade without regular maintenance and upkeep as well.
But, there’s good news.
With healthy habits, we can slow the aging and improve the health of these systems. It’s up to you to intervene.
And thankfully, God has given us many ways. Here is the first half:
Believe it or not, the flexibility of your spinal cord can impact the age and health of your entire body, inside and out. A strong, flexible spinal cord allows you to maintain good posture, with your head and neck upright, rather than forward.
It also allows for better range of motion of your limbs, making it easier to lift, walk up and down stairs, stay active, and remain injury free.
But there’s more.
Did you know that your trunk flexibility directly represents the flexibility of your arteries? As crazy as it sounds, researchers have found that poor trunk flexibility is associated with stiff arteries. This means that keeping your body flexible enough to touch your toes means better artery health and blood pressure (1).
So, do you best to stay flexible by doing daily stretches or yoga poses.
As you take 5-10 minutes to stretch and wake the body, practice gratitude and daily prayer.
Whatever you have in front of you, taking time to be thankful for the day is the most youthful ways to start. Why?
Gratitude can directly influence the quality of your sleep. And, if you start the day grateful, you’re more likely to continue in this disposition throughout it.
One study of 400 individuals found that writing gratitudes during the day and before sleep improves both the quality and duration of sleep (2). And, this study even included participants with sleep disorders.
In another study, gratitude has was linked to a 10 percent improvement in sleep and a 19 percent decrease in depression levels in patients with chronic disease and insomnia (3).
What’s this have to do with anti-aging habits? As you’ll learn in part 2, adequate, quality sleep is likely the best anti-ager known to man.
As for the other systems in the body, gratitude impacts those as well. It can improve:
Want to know more? Read here to find out the ways gratitude affects health and aging.
This one is not for the faint of heart.
Cold showers are tough for many. But, it’s hard to dispute the health and anti-aging benefits.
First, according to many dermatologists and skin experts, very cold water activates the skin cells, shrinks pores, and promotes a better complexion.
Next, cold showers can actually increase brain activity and even reduce stress and depression according to studies (4). It may also reduce chronic fatigue.
Lastly, cold showers likely improve immune function, a system that tends to decline with age. A recent study from the Netherlands found that cold showers significantly reduce sick days. In fact, 30 seconds or more of cold showering per day reduced sick days by 29%. What’s more, more than half the participants decided to continue the cold-shower practice after the study since they were convinced by the results (5).
If you love the work or activities you do most days, it’s easy to feel a sense of purpose while doing it. If you don’t, it can be much tougher.
But, it can still be done.
Even with unfulfilling work, you can still do it as though you’re working for God, no matter what you do. Just shifting your mindset from serving people (in any capacity whether your boss, co-workers or customers), to serving God, can cultivate a sense of purpose.
What’s this got to do with aging?
A recent study conducted by the AARP found that participants with a medium to high sense of purpose in life also “had significantly lower health care utilization and expenditures, increased preventive services compliance, and higher quality of life.”
Purpose in life was also strongly associated with better physical and mental health (6).
Cultivating purpose may just be the fountain of youth.
Colossians 3:23 tells us “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men…”
Out of all the things we can drink and eat, water is likely the most youth-enhancing. Adequate hydration can improve energy, health, and the condition and appearance of your skin.
In fact, one recent study showed that increasing water consumption by 2 liters per day improved skin condition and physiology, even in those who already consumed high amounts of water. The researchers concluded that this increase and improvement in skin health would likely have the most positive effect on those with lower daily water consumption (7).
Water, green tea, and black tea are all great choices for overall health, skin health, and anti-aging habits.
Since sleep is of the utmost importance, though, it is recommended to consume all needed fluids by 6 or 7 pm in order to not disturb deep sleep.
We’ve made it through the morning, daytime, and afternoon with science-backed free anti-aging habits. With these and the evening/night ones we’ll add in Part 2, you can improve the health and aging of your cells and body systems throughout the full 24-hour day.
Without spending a dime.
It doesn’t have to cost a lot to improve your health. Keep working on healthy habits, every day.