Congratulations, you’re likely to become a very old lady one day!
Aren’t you excited?!
Well, whether you like it or not, longevity is a fact of modern life and most American women will live into their mid 80s or early 90s.
How you live those years, (and whether or not you’re hobbling around on a walker) is mostly up to you.
Aging can be a surprisingly slow and graceful process. And the secret to slowing down and even preventing up to 70% of aging, is to emulate how your earliest ancestors lived.
Your body wasn’t built for modern life
Although we live in a time of abundance, your body was designed for life in nature, where only the fittest survived. As hunters and gatherers, our ancestors foraged for food every single day.
Now that we have grocery stores, restaurants, and fast food joints (not complaining), we don’t have to spend hours each day walking around in search of food. Instead, we can spend that time on the couch, comfortably enjoying our favorite pastime: Netflix and chill.
Idleness causes aging
The greatest catalysts for aging are idleness and inactivity. The abundance of food found in modern life leads to sedentary lifestyles because we no longer have to wander the savannah every day looking for food.
Evolution hasn’t caught up to modern times, and regardless of how much you eat, your brain will always interpret inactivity as a sign that you’re starving to death.
Idleness doesn’t make sense to your primal brain because in nature, there is no reason to be sedentary except for a lack of food. In the absence of food to hunt, your ancestors sat around to conserve energy in the great struggle for survival.
If you are sedentary even for a day, you are telling your to brain conserve energy and shut down all the non-essential systems (see ya, metabolism!), causing your body to atrophy and decay.
Growth and Decay
Your body basically has only two settings: growth and decay, and what we think of as “aging”, is actually decay.
Based on your daily activity level, your brain tells your body to grow new tissue, or to decay. Decay is your body’s default setting and in the absence of signals to grow, your body and brain will decay, and you age.
But this decay is totally optional, and an active lifestyle is the key to slowing down and even preventing aging.
Exercise slows down aging
Exercise reverses decay because it triggers “grow” messages throughout your body. The default decay signals from sedentary life get replaced by signals to grow new muscle and nerve tissue and to run at a higher metabolic rate. Exercise also tells your primal brain that there is plenty of food to eat, and that life is good.
But, you don’t have to exercise for hours a day like our ancestors did to switch your body’s setting from decay to growth. A decent hour-long workout on most days (6 days a week works best), is all you need to prevent (and even reverse!) up to 70% of aging.
So, think about your activity level today and whether you are telling your brain and body to grow, or to decay and age.
To find out what kinds of exercise you should be doing to get younger, and to delve much deeper into this topic, I highly recommend this book: Younger Next Year (link here), especially if you need some serious workout motivation!