Top 10 Anti-aging Tips1: Human Growth Hormone TherapyThough controversial and only within the reach of those willing to shell out up to $300 a month,human growth hormone (HGH) is the "best treatment we currently have for preserving vitalityuntil the end of your normal genetic lifespan," says LeConde, who at age 52 has been injectinghimself daily with HGH for the past 5 years. The 30-gauge, one-quarter inch (6.35 millimeter)needle, he adds, is a "very low obstacle" for his patients, most of whom are over age 50 andreport reduced body fat, increased muscle tone, enhanced sexual performance, elevated moodand firmer skin from HGH treatments, according to LeConde.HGH has been approved by the FDA to treat adult human growth hormone deficiency but not asa routine anti-aging therapy. That will take years because "everyone is a candidate for HGH,"says LeConde. In the meantime, he adds, "those of us over 50 cant wait for the FDA to approveone of the safest, most effective interventions we have." What will scientific research have to sayabout HGH? Only time will tell -- we recommended starting your anti-aging regimen at home byliving healthy in the meantime.
2: Restore Your HormonesLoss of energy, libido and stamina are the symptoms that usually drive patients into the waitingrooms of anti-aging doctors. Theyre also the "classic" symptoms of declining hormone levelsand the reason hormone-replacement therapy is the No. 1 weapon in the arsenal of prescriptionanti-aging medicine. Production of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone in women andtestosterone in men decreases rapidly after age 35, says Nadu Tuakli, M.D., of the Anti-Agingand Longevity Institute in Baltimore.Anti-aging physician Richard LeConde, who prescribes testosterone for his female patients,notes a dramatic improvement in their well being not seen with estrogen and progesterone alone.It definitely "produces an awakening in men," he says, but reports that most of the women forwhom he adds testosterone "refuse to give it up."
3: Use a Wrinkle ReducerUnless youve been hyper-vigilant about shielding yourself from the sun (think living in a cave)since you were knee-high, the signs of aging skin -- fine lines, wrinkles, brown spots -- are likelyto emerge by the time you enter your fourth decade. "Ninety-five percent of wrinkles are due tosun exposure," says Doris Day, M.D., assistant clinical professor of dermatology at New YorkUniversity Medical Center.Consider a wrinkle eraser that includes retinol, a form of vitamin A, to reduce fine lines andwrinkles, fade brown spots and smooth skin tone. Retinol or tretinoin topical creams exfoliate theskin and increase the production of collagen. The creams come in a concentration of 0.02 percentand 0.05 percent so just about everyone can tolerate it, and they may even help some people whohave early signs of sun damage or skin cancer. Expect to spend about $10 to $15 a month.
4: SleepYou may have heard people say "Ill sleep when I die." Truth is, their lack of sleep may actuallyprecipitate death. Research shows that if you sleep less than six hours a night, you are at fargreater risk of having a heart attack or experiencing a stroke [source: Roizen and Oz]. Whatsmore, your mind seems to deteriorate at a faster pace.On an emotional level, a lack of sleep makes you less peaceful and more prone to anger.Sicknesses related to viral infections are also more prevalent among people lacking proper rest.Eight hours of sleep each night is important for your current physical health, as well as yourmood and your longevity [source: Roizen and Oz].
5: Consider a Good SupplementSo you want to ramp up the antioxidant quotient in your diet, but there are only so many spinachsalads and digestion hours in day. Thats where supplements could pick up the slack.Because we dont always eat as we should, Dr. Jeffrey Blumberg of Tufts University advocatestaking daily supplements of the "classic" antioxidants: 200 to 250 milligrams of vitamin C, 100to 400 International Units (IU) of vitamin E, and a mixed carotenoid supplement of 6 to 10milligrams. "I always tell people that taking antioxidants is like driving with a seatbelt," saysBlumberg. They can protect your life, but they are not a license to drive recklessly.
6: Maximize Your Intake of AntioxidantsThe evidence is "incontrovertible" and bears repeating, says Dr. Jeffrey Blumberg of TuftsUniversity: Free radicals contribute to the onset of age-related diseases, and antioxidantsneutralize free radicals.Everyone should take a combination of antioxidants through diet and supplementation, heasserts. (Theres more on supplements later in the article.) To get that antioxidant boost,Blumberg advises eating dark-colored vegetables like tomatoes, carrots, squash and spinach forcarotenoids and blue and purple berries for flavonoids. Because foods contain many classes ofantioxidants that work synergistically, they are the superior source of antioxidants, saysBlumberg.
7: ExerciseRegular aerobic exercise is a must-do for anyone committed to slowing the aging process.Hundreds of studies show that exercise combats the loss of stamina, muscle strength, balance andbone density that increases with age.Ready to get started? The American Heart Association advises doing a single set of eight to 15repetitions, using eight to 10 exercises, two to three times a week for a comprehensive strength-building program. After you get the flow of the routine, it should take about 10-minutes.
8: Remember the SpiritGood health and less suffering -- those sound like worthwhile goals, right? Studies show thatreligion -- or spirituality -- has a positive effect on physical health and does, in fact, help reducesuffering [source: Luskin]. Whether its through meditation, prayer or learning to forgive,research indicates that you can learn to become happier and even more social throughspirituality.Kundalini Yoga Meditation has been shown to have a positive effect on people dealing withsevere levels of stress, depression and obsessive compulsive disorder [source: Shannahoff-Kalsa]. Medical researchers who have investigated the connection between mind, body spirit --particularly in the later years of life -- have found that a focus on spirituality and its power toelicit positive change is important [source: Williams].
9: Eat WellThe standard advice from the U.S. government is to consume five servings of fruits andvegetables and three servings of whole grains daily for vitamins and minerals and the otherhealthful micronutrients in plants. Drink five to eight 8-oz. (227 milliliter) glasses of water.Get no more than about 30 to 35 percent of your daily calories from fat, with about one-fifth ofthat from unsaturated fat (e.g., 1 percent milk, olive and canola oil); 15 percent from protein; andthe remaining calories from carbohydrates -- which can include fruits and veggies, and shouldhave an emphasis on complex carbs like oatmeal, whole wheat bread and wild rice.
10: Stimulate Your BrainIts one thing to live a long life, but if you want to live a long and vibrant life, youre going toneed a vibrant and sharp mind. The brain, like the rest of the body, needs exercise to avoidbecoming sluggish and even disease-ridden. A study of nuns found that the more educatedwomen had fewer instances of Alzheimers disease. And even autopsy analysis found that whilea particular brain may have exhibited signs of the disease, the effects werent obvious in thewomen who had challenged their brains and had other interests outside their work [source:Roizen and Oz].The brain needs to be challenged to keep neurological pathways open. Learn a new language,read or even simply practice awareness of your surroundings: smells, sounds, visual input. Theold adage "use it or youll lose it" has validity when it comes to your mind.