As I have gotten older (I am in my 50s), I have started to come across a lot more “you are getting old” jokes and comments. Yes, some of them are quite funny, but how true are the assumptions behind the jokes? Does aging really have to be that bad? In this podcast (episode #221) and blog, I speak with Dr. Frank Lipman, bestselling author and a leader in the field of Functional Medicine, about aging well, how to build a strong immune system, how to start improving your health and longevity right now, and so much more!
As Dr. Lipman points out in his new book, The New Rules of Aging Well, a lot of ancient wisdom like the importance of meditation and the power of community is now being combined with the latest science, showing us that these things are very real and they work. We can learn so much from both ancient wisdom and the latest science when it comes to our health and how we age.
Often, we are so enamored by the latest scientific advances that we forget about the ordinary things that have extraordinary effects on our health, like music, kindness, sleep and volunteering—all these things are also “medicine”!
We also need to remember that it is normal to age. However, how well we age is determined by our health and lifestyle choices. Our lifespan is how long we will live; our health span is how long we are going to live healthy. To age well, we want to extend our health span into our lifespan. This means living LONGER and HEALTHIER. A lot of aging depends on how you choose to live your life every day.
What are some ways that you can start improving your health and the way you age today?
1. Eating less and eating better. An easy way to start eating less right now is intermittent fasting. Fasting, like avoiding eating for 14-16 hours at night, is one of the most powerful things you can do to age better. It helps with your weight, digestion, longevity, blood pressure, energy levels, self-cleansing mechanisms and more! Fasting is a type of good stress on the body.
2. Movement is important as you age. Try to move as much as possible all day long, even if this just means walking. High intensity and strength training are also good forms of stress on the body, which can positively affect the body as you age, especially when it comes to your muscle mass.
3. Sleeping well. This can be harder as you get older, but you just need to pay a little more attention to it and listen to your body.
As Dr. Lipman notes, sleep preparation begins in the morning, not at night. Sleep is the body’s primary rhythm. It is something we need to start preparing in the morning by becoming aware of all our rhythms and cycles during the day. We can start doing this by:
- Getting a lot of good natural light first thing in the morning.
- Waking up around the same time each day.
4. Find the joy in life. Laugh at yourself—don’t take yourself or your aging too seriously! This is great for your mental and physical health.
What you do to age well will also strengthen your immune system. If you take care of your mind and body, you will take care of your immune system—all these things work together. There is no one way to age well—it is a lifestyle.
And it is never too late to start changing and improving your health and the way you age. Tons of research shows that this is possible, even if you are in your 60s and 70s! Just start where you are, and focus on small changes in the areas you are having the most issues, like sleep or exercise. When you start feeling the difference in these areas of your life, you will be motivated to carry on. Never forget that simple things often make the biggest difference.
It is also important to look at what you can change within yourself first, rather than going for expensive treatments all the time. How well you age is determined by how you choose to live your life—it is an attitude!
For more on aging, mental health, and longevity, listen to my podcast with Dr. Lipman (episode #221), and check out his website and books. If you enjoy listening to my podcast, please consider leaving a 5-star review and subscribing! And keep sharing episodes with friends and family and on social media (don’t forget to tag me so I can see your posts!).
For more self-care tips to age well, pre-order my new book 101 Ways to be Less Stressed, which is now on sale at 20% off!
You can also check out my app SWITCH, which is a great tool for helping you learn how to manage your mind, deal with the roots of your mental distress, and overcome thought patterns and behaviors that impact your mental and physical wellbeing through the mental process of reconceptualization.
To learn more about how to age well, register for my Virtual Mental Health Summit this December 3-6! For more see drleafconference.com. CME and CEU credits are available for PAs, NPs, RNs, MDs, DOs, and other medical professionals, and certificates of attendance will be given for physical therapists, occupational therapists and social workers!
3:33 Why Dr. Lipman became disillusioned with Western medicine
5:45 How medicine lost its common sense
7:24 Ways to build a strong immune system
9:33 How to age well and improve your mental and physical health
22:55 It is never too late to improve your health and the way you age!
28:25 What our telomeres can tell us about how we are aging
30:05 The relationship between sleep, mental health and longevity
33:17 Common medications that shouldn’t be so common
38:00 Wellness myths to avoid
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