Archive for longevity

Water, Drink of Longevity

Posted in Daily Living, Health & Wellness, Weight Management with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 27, 2011 by Angela

Mineral water being poured from a bottle into ...

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Most of us just aren’t getting enough water every day, which has a negative impact on all of our body’s functions — and thus, our longevity. This month, improve your cellular function, metabolism, and organ function with one simple habit: drink six glasses of water a day. Practice consistently, and by the end of the month, you will have a new cleansing habit that will pave the way for a long life!

This is the eighth habit in the 2011 Longevity Program, a yearlong plan of monthly activities that come from the habits of centenarians from around the world. The idea of this program is that by choosing a simple activity and doing it every day, you will gradually develop 12 new healthy habits by the end of the year. Would you like to do the whole year program? Look at my previous Yahoo! Blog “The Longevity Resolution: Live to 100”.

If you are interested in a more formal longevity program, check out my newest book Secrets of Longevity 8-Week Program, a journal that will transform your health and lengthen your years.

August’s Habit: Drink six 8-ounce glasses of water every day

Here’s why: Water is vital for good health and a long life. In fact, our bodies are made up of about 60 – 70% water. Although you can live for days without food, your survival depends on drinking water. Each and every cell needs water to perform its essential functions. Make sure to stay well hydrated by drinking six to eight 8-ounce fluid glasses of filtered water every day. Aim for about 64 ounces of liquid a day.

Benefits of a good drinking habit:

Stay hydrated. On these hot summer days, your body needs to replenish itself with water more than ever. When you become dehydrated, you don’t have enough water in your body to carry out normal functions. Even mild dehydration can drain your energy and give you a feeling of fatigue.

Regulate body temperature. For workout fans, drinking water reduces cardiovascular stress and improves performance. And water reduces body temperature, making the exercise process safer and more effective.

Skin health. Water hydrates and irrigates impurities from the skin, keeping it healthy and glowing.

Nutrient absorption. Water transports essential nutrients, minerals, vitamins, proteins and sugars through your body for assimilation.

Flushes wastes and toxins. Water aids in circulating and excreting waste products and cleansing the interstitial tissues, helping us to flush toxins out of our system. Your body can process and eliminate some of the chemicals that enter it, but the rest get stored in the liver, lungs, kidneys, fat cells, intestines, blood stream, and skin. Without enough fluids to flush out your system, these accumulated toxins in your body will slow down your organ function, possibly causing premature aging or resulting in chronic illness.

Bonus tip: You are what you drink! Everything that goes down the drain from our lawns, agricultural fields, pharmaceutical drugs, or elsewhere in our environment inevitably ends up in our drinking water. Invest in a carbon-based filter to remove impurities from your tap water. Find out more about a high-rated water filter here.

Reward Yourself

If you stick to the plan nearly every day, think of a way to reward yourself. You will be more likely to follow through with your goal when there is a bonus in sight.

Stay on track

To stay on course, ask yourself these questions each day. Keeping a written record of daily answers will help you stick to the plan and may offer insights to keep you inspired.

• Are you drinking six glasses of 8-ounce water every day? What has the experience been like?

• How do you feel today compared to the previous day? How about to one week ago? You may notice that you are feeling a little more energetic. Perhaps you feel lighter or are having fewer headaches.

• What obstacles are keeping you from practicing this hydrating habit every day? What can you do to get around the obstacle?

Make it happen! An answer for every excuse

Miss a day? Sometimes, when your schedule is particularly busy, you may forget to focus on replenishing with water. If you miss a day or two of the program, it does not make you a failure! Let it go and consider the reasons for missing a few days. What will you do differently for more successful results? Recommit, make adjustments, and continue where you left off. Don’t ever give up!

Too flavorless. If you are not a fan of plain water, there are a lot of ways you can jazz it up. Crush fresh basil and mint leaves into a pitcher of water and let the mixture sit for half an hour. Then add one teaspoon of honey and mix. Or spruce up your water’s flavor by putting in the ripened peel from orange, tangerine, and lemon. You can also add a teabag or a dash of organic 100% cranberry or pomegranate juice for an infusion of flavor.

Forget to drink? Make it simple: Fill two 32-ounce water bottles and drink them throughout the day.

On August 31: If you have been drinking six glasses of water a day, it is likely that you have created new cleansing habit. Keep up the good work and stay tuned for September, where you will learn centenarian secrets for eating in a way that promotes weight loss and makes the most of your meals. Look for my monthly articles to guide you through a healthy and happy 2011.

You can find more ways to live a long and healthy life in Secrets of Longevity: Hundreds of Ways to Live to Be 100, which is now available on Kindle. In addition, The Natural Health Dictionary makes a great companion to your quest for longevity. It is a comprehensive guide that answers all your questions about natural remedies, healing herbs, longevity foods, vitamins, and supplements.

I invite you to visit often and share your own personal health and longevity tips with me.

May you live long, live strong, and live happy!

—Dr. Mao

Easy Exercises to Keep Your Brain in Shape

Posted in Daily Living, Fitness, Health & Wellness with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 23, 2011 by Angela

Living to an old age isn’t much fun if you can’t remember anything. No matter what your age, you can protect your memory and keep your mind sharp with one habit: practice a mental exercise every day. Practice consistently, and by the end of the month, you will have a new brain-boosting habit that will pave the way for a long and memorable life!

This comes from habits found in the 2011 Longevity Program, a yearlong plan of monthly activities that come from the habits of centenarians from around the world. The idea of this program is that by choosing a simple activity and doing it every day, you will gradually develop 12 new healthy habits by the end of the year. Would you like to do the whole year program? Look at my previous Yahoo! Blog “The Longevity Resolution: Live to 100”.

If you are interested in a more formal longevity program, check out my newest book Secrets of Longevity 8-Week Program, a journal that will transform your health and lengthen your years.

This Month’s Habit: Practice a brain-boosting exercise each day

Here’s why: While you may not be able to teach an old dog new tricks, you can certainly teach your brain some new tricks. Scientists have found that the human brain has an amazing ability to adapt and change–an ability called neuroplasticity. With the right stimulation, your brain can form new neural pathways, helping increase your cognitive capabilities, improve your ability to learn new information, and give your memory a boost.

By the time you are an adult, your brain has developed millions of neural pathways that help you solve problems you have come across before and process information at a rapid pace. But sticking to these well-worn pathways does not give your brain the stimulation it needs to keep developing. Mental brain puzzles performed on a daily basis help strengthen your brain by activating new neural pathways. One thing to keep in mind: the activity you choose should be a little out of your comfort zone. If you choose something you are already good at, even if it’s intellectually demanding, it isn’t an optimal choice for exercising your brain. Also, try to practice around the same time every day, because consistent cycles aid in the development of new neural pathways.

Brain-Boosting Exercises

These brain exercises help improve brain capacity in younger people and restore mental faculties that are declining in older people.

1. Use it or lose it with a cognitive workout: Memorize a poem, play chess, enjoy a challenging crossword puzzle, learn phone numbers by heart, add numbers without a calculator, learn the words to a new song, or memorize a shopping list–as long as it’s something new to you. Keep challenging yourself with new tasks.

2. Use your non-dominant hand: If you’re right-handed, use your left hand to eat, comb your hair, brush your teeth, write your name, or try putting your mouse pad on the other side of the keyboard. This practice of non-dominant hand use stimulates communication between the two hemispheres of the brain, helping to improve mental capacity as well as physical balance. Another idea: tai chi and yoga are physical activities that coach people to use the right and left side of the body equally.

Reward yourself

If you stick to the plan nearly every day, think of a way to reward yourself. You will be more likely to follow through with your goal when there is a bonus at the finish line.

Stay on track

To stay on course, ask yourself these questions each day. Keeping a written record of daily answers will help you stick to the plan and may offer insights to keep you inspired.

• Are you practicing one brain-boosting exercise every day? What has the experience been like?

• How do you feel today compared to the previous day? How about to one week ago? You may notice that you are processing new information more quickly and you may feel more alert.

• What obstacles are keeping you from practicing your mental exercise every day? What can you do to remove the obstacle?

Make it happen! An answer for every excuse

Miss a day? Sometimes, when things get busy, you might miss a day or two. But, you are not a failure! Let it go and consider the reasons for missing a few days. What will you do differently for more successful results? Simply recommit, make adjustments, and continue where you left off. Don’t ever give up!

Too boring. Keep your mental activity fun. If none of the above examples work for you, try any appealing activity that requires some mental effort and expands your knowledge. Some examples are learning a new language, instrument, or technological device. Try a sport or other physical activity you have never tried before, like qi gong or a zumba dance class.

Forget to practice. Start simply. If you can’t remember to do a brain exercise every day, try building off of the daily habits you already have. Brush your teeth with your non-dominant hand. On your commute, memorize the signs around you and then recall them to memory. In an empty moment, try to remember each birthday of the people you know.

At the end of the month: If you have been practicing one mental exercise a day, it is likely that you have created a new brain-boosting habit. Keep up the good work and stay tuned for next month, where you will learn how staying hydrated helps you cleanse and improve cellular health! Look for my monthly articles to guide you through a healthy and happy 2011.

You can find more ways to live a long and healthy life in Secrets of Longevity: Hundreds of Ways to Live to Be 100, which is now available on Kindle. In addition, The Natural Health Dictionary makes a great companion to your quest for longevity. It is a comprehensive guide that answers all your questions about natural remedies, healing herbs, longevity foods, vitamins, and supplements.

I invite you to visit often and share your own personal health and longevity tips with me.

May you live long, live strong, and live happy!

—Dr. Mao

This blog is meant to educate, but it should not be used as a substitute for personal medical advice. The reader should consult his or her physician or clinician for specific information concerning specific medical conditions. While all reasonable efforts have been made to ensure that all information presented is accurate, as research and development in the medical field is ongoing, it is possible that new findings may supersede some data presented