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For some people, age is only a number. No matter the number of years that have passed, they stay active, strong, and yes — youthful. They seem to live and breathe the popular saying “you’re only as old as you feel.”
Now, a new study might have just found their secret to vibrant health. And it all involves thinking young!
Reducing stress-related aging
The research, performed at the University of Heidelberg, set out to determine what effects a youthful outlook has on your overall health and aging process.
The team delved into three full years of data from over 5,000 participants in the German Aging survey. They looked at each person’s perceived level of stress, how well they could handle the activities of daily living like walking, dressing and bathing themselves, and how each person felt about their age. To accomplish this, the researchers asked questions like, “how old do you feel?”
And overall, the team says the results were clear…
Stress plays a major role in how fast your health goes downhill.
In fact, they found that the more stress each participant reported, the sharper the decline in their health over that short, three-year timeframe.
And they say that the older you get, the greater the effects stress has on your health.
Now for the good news…
They also found that the younger a person felt, the less ability stress had to negatively impact their health and function. So if you feel young, stress simply can’t do as much harm.
According to the researchers, a youthful outlook actually protects against the damage stress can cause. Their results showed that people who felt young also experienced:
- Less inflammation
- Improved cognitive abilities
- Lower risk of hospitalization
They even lived longer compared to participants who simply “felt old.”
Tips to feel young at any age
So if you want to feel and live your best and your longest, it’s time to think about how you feel about your age.
A few tricks for staying happier, healthier, and therefore more youthful include:
- Smiling more – Research has shown that simply smiling can make you feel happier. And of course, happiness can bring on that youthful feel you’re looking for.
- Staying active – Adults who exercise have cells that are younger than those who live a couch potato lifestyle. So get up and get moving!
- Spend time in nature – Recent studies have found that time spent outdoors leads to a greater sense of well-being. And when you feel good, age really is only a number.
- Lift weights – In addition to aerobic fitness, focusing on your muscular fitness can bring big benefits when it comes to feeling more youthful. In fact, weight training creates small tears in your muscles that stimulate your body to create brand new muscle tissue! As a bonus, it can help you look slim and trim.
- Put on your favorite tunes – Listening to music can have you feeling better fast according to researchers at the Knox College Department of Psychology. So crank up those jams!
So from now on, you’re as young as you feel. Do it up right!
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Does Lifting Weights Increase the Amount of Muscle Tissue? — Houston Chronicle
How Music Affects Your Mood — West Virginia University