Want to live to be 100? People are living longer, but blowing out 100 candles on a birthday cake is still rare. Today, fewer than TWO out of every 10,000 Americans are 100 years or older. Medical advances continue to increase life expectancies, but to increase your odds of becoming a centenarian, you need to start taking care of your body — now. The changes you make today increase your odds of living to be 100.
Your program to a longer, healthier life has many components, and doesn't depend on just one or two elements. "Life is like a huge puzzle with an infinite number of pieces," says Dr. Erika Schwartz, chief medical officer at the Age Management Institute in New York City. "The steps aren't extreme and shouldn't be intimidating. No single thing will either make you or break you.
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"If you take little pieces and tweak them, you can come up with a solution to the whole anti-aging puzzle," she tells Newsmax Health.
Here are Dr. Schwartz's top 10 anti-aging tips that will leave you looking and feeling years younger than the age shown on your birth certificate:
1. Control your DNA."You may not be able to change your DNA, but you can change the way it expresses itself," says Dr. Schwartz. "Diseases you are susceptible to due to family genetics may not be expressed if you take better care of yourself. Change outcomes by using DNA and genetic information. If you have heart disease in your DNA, start exercising regularly at 20, and stop eating junk food or drinking. It's in your hands."
2. Build your brain. "Stay alive and involved," says Dr. Schwartz. "If you stay home and do nothing but watch TV, you will increase your risk of Alzheimer's dramatically. People who are participants in society, and who exercise regularly and are involved in activities that keep your mind sharp, don't get senile. Be one of those people!
"To keep even more fit, eliminating sugar from your diet is a great way to keep your brain healthy. You can also add supplements to help brainpower, including omega-3 fatty acids, vinpocetine, acetyl-L-carnitine, vitamin D and others. They all seem to help, but taking them all might be too much. Stay active and working, and never stop using your brain."
3. Balance your hormones. "Many of the aging issues both men and women face — weight gain, depression, and insomnia — are related to decreasing hormone levels," says Dr. Schwartz. "Take bioidentical hormones that are identical to what your body makes at 20. Make sure the doctor is really an expert and not a quack."
In her own practice, Schwartz assures women that the bioidentical hormones she recommends, such as estrogen, are chemically different from the hormones linked to health problems and pose no risks. "Both men and women can use hormones to stay healthy as they age. When missing hormones are replaced, you turn back the clock and feel great."
4. Take a break from supplements. Although supplements are an important part of an anti-aging routine, don't take them every day. "Don't over-do supplements," says Dr. Schwartz. "Only use them five days a week, and then give your body a break so it can detox and use them more efficiently. Probiotics are key, and take the basics like vitamins D and C and omega-3 fish oils."
5. Use coconut oil. "Take a teaspoon of coconut oil before each meal," says Dr. Schwartz. "It will help you digest food properly, cut your appetite, and help your digestive juices absorb the nutrients in your food."
6. Move. "Don't go to the gym," says Dr. Schwartz. "You don't need to wear those tacky gym clothes and compete with a 25-year-old. Just move. Wear comfy clothes and walk around the house, the building, the street, the neighborhood, the town...just keep moving. Get up every hour from any type of sedentary non-activity and stretch for five minutes. You will protect your brain from Alzheimer's and your body from falling apart."
7. Drink alkaline water. Experts recommend eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day. Water helps hydrate your skin, delivers nutrients to your cells, and flushes toxins from your body. "Sixty percent of our total body weight is made of water," says Dr. Schwartz. "The water inside our cells participates in a multitude of tasks like manufacturing energy, detoxification, immune boosting, and other life-defining issues for our organs. Outside the cells, water is the main ingredient of blood and lymph that carry and deliver crucial nutrients and oxygen to every cell making up every organ in our body.
"A pH of more than 8.5 decreases inflammation and helps keep internal organs from getting eroded by aging and inflammation," says Dr. Schwartz. You can contact your state or local health department for a list of labs that can test your water (or contact your local water association for information). Two home treatments — acid neutralizing filters and pumps that inject a neutralizing solution — can reduce the acidity in water.
8. Get enough sleep. "You hear this every day, but somehow people just ignore it," says Dr. Schwartz. "Sleep is crucial to survival. If you don't sleep seven to eight hours a night, you don't give your body time to renew itself, manufacture hormones, and keep you from aging. People who sleep are always the ones who look younger than their chronological age."
9. Stop eating processed foods. Concentrate on fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat milk, and seafood. Experts recommend five servings of fruits and vegetables every day, and three daily servings of whole grains along with two servings of fish every week. Deeply colored fruits and vegetables are anti-inflammatory and are rich in beneficial compounds, such as antioxidants, which slow aging. "Eliminate alcohol, caffeine, and sugar substitutes," says Dr. Schwartz. "They kill your liver. You only have one, and without it, you die."
10. Reconsider stress. "Stress causes an over-production of the stress hormone cortisol, which leads to exhausted adrenal glands, increased body fat, a higher risk of high blood pressure, and other problems," says Dr. Schwartz. "Dealing with stress is hard, but if you understand that it is the ultimate killer of everyone of us, you may want to reconsider how you deal with it.
"If you can't do something constructive about the amount of stress in your life, don't worry about it," she says. "It's a waste of time and energy. Being concerned is not the same as worrying or being neurotic. Get rid of the last two, and you will live a healthier, longer life. Dig a moat between you and worry, and keep it at arm's length."
: More Longevity Secrets Revealed – Go Here Now.
Small changes can make a big difference, and you don't have to wait months to enjoy the improvements: The results can be immediate. "Just drink more water today, or get a good night's sleep tonight, and look into the mirror tomorrow," says Dr. Erika Schwartz. You'll see and feel a difference."
To learn more about anti-aging, visit Dr. Schwartz's website at www.drerika.com
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