Research shows that a whole host of self-care practices related to sleep, diet, stress-relief, and more could keep telomeres long and fight aging, degeneration, and disease.
Telomeres and Aging
Much like the caps on a shoelace, chromosomes have small protective bits of DNA at their ends, called telomeres. A decrease in the length of these chromosomal telomeres has been linked to increased cellular aging, chronic health risks, and premature death, and is considered a metric for biological aging, according to a whole host of research.
The shorter your telomeres are, the more exposed you are to aging, degeneration, and disease.
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A study published in the prestigious journal The Lancet Oncology found that longer, and thus healthier, DNA chromosomal telomeres can be achieved from simple lifestyle modifications.
In this study, 10 men were given Ayurveda-esque lifestyle modifications to incorporate into their daily routines and 25 men acted as controls.
The lifestyle modifications group was asked to do the following for 5 years:
- Eat a whole foods, plant-based protein diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables, legumes, and grains and low in refined foods
- Include regular, but moderate, aerobic exercise
- Incorporate stress management routines, including yoga, meditation, and relaxation
- Participate in weekly support group sessions
Both groups had their telomeres measured in the beginning of the study and again at the end of the study five years later.
In the control group that did not engage in lifestyle changes, researchers measured a 3% average decrease in the relative length of their DNA telomeres (after adjusting for age and length of follow-up).
In the lifestyle modifications group, the researchers measured a 10% relative lengthening of DNA telomeres (after adjusting for age and length of follow-up), indicating what scientists believe to be a measure of age reversal… an EXTREMELY rare finding!
Change Your DNA Ayurveda-Style
Lifestyle is one area that Ayurveda puts a lot of emphasis on.
In Ayurveda, optimal health and even one’s spiritual growth starts with disease prevention. Prevention is based on a balanced lifestyle that is in harmony with the cycles of nature. Going to sleep and rising with the sun, for example, or eating seasonal foods for your region and building your activities around the natural rhythms of the day are all simple and profound lifestyle prescriptions that help you stay in harmony with nature.
Like the owner’s manual of your car prescribes maintenance schedules for the long-term health of your car, Ayurveda recommends daily and seasonal routines that ensure maximal health, mental clarity, and longevity.
Lifestyle is considered so important in Ayurveda that I created a 28-Day Ayurveda Challenge eCourse. In this challenge, every day for 28 days you’ll receive access to a new Ayurvedic lifestyle protocol to help you sync up with your true nature. Along the way, you’ll get to learn some of the major concepts behind the ancient healing system of Ayurveda. It is a great way to learn, experience and benefit from this amazing storehouse of health knowledge. The new health care is self-care, after all!
Or get started with an Ayurvedic daily routine, called dinacharya, to move more with the rhythms of nature and optimize your physical and mental well-being.