Ageing is not for faint-hearted, but for the courageous.

Vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and ginseng help maintain a healthy body and mind.

“I mind my own business and I don’t eat junk food,” she said at her 113th birthday celebration! These were the words of super-centenarian Besse Cooper who is currently the oldest living person on planet earth. Cooper is one of only 23 people with a verified and undisputed lifespan of 115 years. One of eight children, she was a tomboy and loved tagging along with her two older brothers, climbing trees and splashing in rivers. She carried that active lifestyle and love of the outdoors into adulthood. Her active lifestyle and good genes were according to her son, probably the secret to her longevity.

Ageing and the effects of ageing

Ageing is the accumulation of physical, psychological, and social changes in a human being over a period of time. Some dimensions of ageing expand over time, while others decline:

Ageing effect

  • Muscle mass decreases about 3.1kg per decade with an increase of the body fat percentage
  • Bone density decreases, and osteoporosis might be diagnosed
  • Metabolism slows down
  • Neuron loss in the brain leads to Alzheimer’s and senile dementia
  • The red blood cells, as a percentage of total blood volume decrease. Anaemia might be diagnosed
  • There is a steep decrease in hormone production. The following hormones are affected: testosterone, oestrogen, thyroxin, melatonin and DHEA
  • Body cells become resistant to insulin and diabetes might be diagnosed
  • There is an increase in the “death hormone” or better known as cortisol
  • Bad cholesterol (LDL) increases and good cholesterol (HDL) decreases
  • Good enzymes (SOD or Super Oxidase Dismutase) drop while bad enzymes MAO-B and aromatase increase
  • Blood pressure increases, and hypertension might be diagnosed
  • The thickness of skin decreases and result in wrinkles and a visibly dryer skin
  • The sense of hearing, taste, smell, and vision is reduced
  • Hair falls and loses its original colour. Gold turns into silver
  • Liver spots (lipofuscin) accumulate in the skin on the hands as well as in the brain
  • Veins and arteries lose flexibility and cause a decrease in blood circulation
  • Deep sleep becomes impaired
  • Digestion becomes impaired

Ageing is a given, but how can we take responsibility in this ageing process? “Active ageing” is the secret to this endless list of negative effects.

Vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and ginseng help maintain a healthy body and mind.

Vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and ginseng help maintain a healthy body and mind.

What is “Active Ageing”?

Active ageing is the active participation and utilisation of opportunities for health in order to enhance quality of life as people age. It allows people to realise their potential for physical, social, and mental well-being throughout their course of life. Active ageing aims to extend healthy life expectancy and quality of life for all people as they age.

Bone density decreases, and osteoporosis might be diagnosed.

Bone density decreases, and osteoporosis might be diagnosed.

Time for action

Let us take the bull by the horns and implement as many of the following goals:

  • “Mind your own business”: We live in stressful times and are constantly exposed to barely-tolerable pressures and stressors. Stress brings unhappiness and diseases. The following tips can assist to escape the claws of stress:
    • Maintain a sense of humour! Laughter is most contagious, binds people together and increases happiness! The other benefits of humour and laughter include:
      • boosting the immune system
      • boosting energy
      • fight pain and stress
      • relaxing the whole body
      • triggers the release of endorphins which promote an overall sense of well-being
      • laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood circulation.
  • Relaxation and stress management: Schedule time in the daily rat-race to relax. Relaxation can take various forms from stress massage, exercise, to meditation to mention a few. Apply Holistic Emporium’s Lavender oil to the temples, at the base of the neck and above the eyebrows and focus on deep breathing exercises.
  • Relaxation and sleep: The optimum amount of sleep can vary by age and from person to person. Research has revealed that the quality of sleep deteriorates as we age. The lack of good restful sleep can increase the risk to certain chronic diseases. One should find one’s optimum sleep requirement and implement lifestyle changes to achieve that optimum goal. The following steps can be implemented to offer assistance:
    • Melatonin: Melatonin is produced by the pineal gland located in the mid brain. The production of melatonin is regulated by the SCN (supra-chiasmatic nucleus). The SCN will delay the production of melatonin until darkness arrives and the release of melatonin is associated with sleep onset.
    • Valerian root: Valerian is a well-known herb in the treatment of anxiety and as a sleep aid. Valerian does not interfere with sleep cycles or with REM (rapid eye movement or restful) sleep.
    • Bedtime routine: It is important to use the bed for sleep and sex and not as a work station. Keep the room dark to enhance the production of melatonin. It is also advisable to ensure adequate ventilation.
  • Achieve ideal and maintain body weight: Excess body weight burdens the body and increases the “wear-and-tear” on all body systems. If one is over the recommended average weight, it is recommended to follow a weight loss program that will see a steady (but not overdramatic) loss of weight. Take note that fasting and rapid weight loss can do more harm than good. The following two products offer valuable support:
  • Exercise: Exercise and physical activity form the foundation of a healthy lifestyle. Exercise as part of the lifestyle can take different forms from brisk walking to gardening. To reap the full benefit, one should “exercise” three to five times a week for at least 30-45 minutes per interval. The main goal is to enjoy the activity and to have fun.
  • Hydration: Pure, fresh good quality water is not a luxury, it is an absolute necessity. The body needs to flush toxins from the system. This can only be done with at least two litres of fluid daily. Regular detoxifying will assist the body to eliminate toxins and impurities. It will revitalise the metabolism and improve vitality.
  • Smoking: Smoking has negative effects on the body and well-being. It enhances ageing and one should quit smoking as soon as possible. One should make the commitment and then stick to it.
  • Dietary changes: We are what we eat. The following guidelines can assist in changing over to a healthy lifestyle:
    • Breakfast: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and should never be skipped. Try eating three to five smaller meals during the day at regular intervals.
    • Read labels: Read labels and know the ingredients of all products. Make wise decisions. Look for products that contain the least amount of processed ingredients.
    • Seek satisfaction: Seek satisfaction in genuine flavours obtained from herbs rather than from fat, sugar, salt and chemical additives.
    • Avoid beige. Bring colour onto your plate and try to combine at least five different colours of food at each meal. Rainbow coloured fruits and vegetables will assist in achieving this. “Beige” carbohydrates and fats should form a small portion of the diet. Protein intake can be increased to combat the normal muscle loss that comes with ageing.
    • Fats: Be knowledgeable on the different types of fats. We get good fats and bad fats. Always try to grill and not to fry food. The omegas fuel the brain, but also encourage the body to store carbohydrates as glycogen (the form in which glucose is stored).
  • Supplementation: “Active ageing” supplements can make a difference, but it should be taken on an ongoing basis. Here are a few important supplements:
    • Chromium: Assist the body in maintaining constant blood glucose levels.
    • Vitamin C: Vitamin C is an important active ageing nutrient. It has antioxidant properties and helps to prevent damage caused by free radicals.
    • Coenzyme Q10: Coenzyme Q10 is an essential component against the onslaught of ageing. It is incorporated into body cells where it regulates the oxidation of fats and sugars into energy. Q10 supplementation is a must for everyone over the age of 30 years.
    • Vitamin K: Vitamin K is a member of the fat-soluble vitamins and aids in the constriction of blood capillaries and the maintenance of bone strength. It might also be helpful in the treatment of blue rings under the eyes. The blue rings develop because of leaking capillaries around the eyes which result in the pooling and clotting of blood. Vitamin K assists in building the capillaries and breaking up of these tiny blood clots that form the circles.
    • Multivitamins and Minerals: Vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and ginseng help maintain a healthy body and mind. Ginseng will help to increase mental clarity and sharpness.

      Relaxation can take various forms from stress massage, exercise, to meditation.

      Relaxation can take various forms from stress massage, exercise, to meditation.

Conclusion

Ageing is not for faint-hearted, but for the courageous. Let us celebrate our well-being through the active participation in ageing.