How Fast You Walk Is More Telling Than You Think

Walking

Slow walkers commonly feature in round-ups of pet peeves, but those who move at a slower pace could have more to worry about than simply annoying the general population. According to new research, the speed at which we walk could reflect how quickly we are ageing. 

Researchers at Duke University in North Carolina assessed the gait measurement of just under 1000 people in New Zealand, who were born in 1970 and had had their pace of walking documented when they were three years old. The results showed that slower walkers had aged quicker than those who walked faster, particularly in terms of their brain, lungs, teeth and immune systems. If that wasn’t enough, the slower walkers also looked older.

“Doctors know that slow walkers in their seventies and eighties tend to die sooner than fast walkers of the same age,” said senior author Terrie E. Moffitt from Duke University. “But this study covered the period from the preschool years to midlife, and found that a slow walk is a problem sign decades before old age.”

Not all is lost though, as researchers believe that lifestyle choices would have played a role in the ageing process. For example, those who have chosen not to exercise are likely to have aged quicker and there are plenty of studies to back-up the argument that working out regularly can help keep you mentally and physically healthier. Just last week a study in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology highlighted that exercise can help those over 65 years who experience symptoms of depression.

What else can you do? Well, it goes without saying that eating a balanced diet and keeping your stress levels down are also essential to fending off premature ageing. Shabir also recommends keeping your antioxidant levels up to counteract the damage caused by free radicals. Astaxanthin is 6000 times more powerful than vitamin C and 500 times more powerful than green tea. Intrigued? Read Shabir’s full guide to the antioxidant, here.

Those who are open to more experimental methods for slowing down the ageing process might be interested in the ticking technique. Earlier this year, scientists at Leeds University discovered that ‘tickle’ therapy or ticking the ear with a small electrical current can help to rebalance the nervous system of 55 year olds. It might not be for everyone, but if you’re worried about your walking pace then a quick tickle might help in a small way to counterbalance…

Astaxanthin Protects The Whole Body

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Astaxanthin, pronounced Asta-Zan-Thin, is a powerful antioxidant belonging to the group of natural pigments, called xanthophylls, a subcategory of the carotenoid family. Carotenoids are produced by both plants and animals and are antioxidants that are part of the survival mechanisms.

Sea animals such as lobster, crab and salmon get their colour from their diet of krill and other small organisms that eat plankton and algae which are rich in astaxanthin. Astaxanthin, used is supplements, is usually derived from the algae, Haematococcus pluvialis, which manufactures this antioxidant as a protective mechanism to shield itself from the harmful UV rays.

Astaxanthin has been shown to be one of the nature’s most powerful antioxidant nutrient. It has been shown to be many more times potent than vitamins C or E, beta carotene, lutein or pycnogenol which is why it is often referred to as a super-antioxidant. Read More…

The Science of Staying Younger

Grapes

Staying younger without stopping time is something most of us would love to master. Yet, ageing is a multi-faceted process with numerous factors that can have an effect on it. The cells of our bodies are programmed to have a finite lifespan. Each time a cell divides, some genetic material is lost so that on average, forty to fifty cell divisions later, the cell is considered to be aged. Nutrition plays a vital role in the science of ageing. Some nutrients accelerate ageing whilst others help to protect against it. The theory of free radical damage and the role of antioxidant nutrients is well understood by most people. It states that the body produces reactive, unstable agents known as free radicals during normal metabolism, exposure to ultraviolet light or environmental toxins. Antioxidants neutralise these free radicals helping to protect the body against damage.

The science of ageing and telomeres is now rapidly growing. Among the leading experts in this field is Dr Elizabeth Blackburn from the University of California who, along with her colleagues, was awarded the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine for the discovery of “how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the enzyme telomerase”.

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My ‘Essential 6’ For Optimal Health

essential-supplements

I am constantly asked which supplements I take and which supplements are essential to take on a daily basis for optimal health. I believe that certain high quality supplements work really well together to complement a healthy diet and they will help boost your health and wellbeing. There is so much conflicting information about correct supplementation and because not all supplements are created equally, I have written this article to help you make an informed choice.

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Astaxanthin: The Powerful Age-Defying Antioxidant

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What is astaxanthin?

Astaxanthin, also known as vitamin X, is a member of the carotenoid family of powerful antioxidants. There are over 700 naturally occurring carotenoids and most people may have heard of beta-carotene from carrots and other food sources. However astaxanthin is challenging to obtain from the diet. Astaxanthin is present in a microalgae called Haematococcus Pluvialis and is what gives salmon and krill their distinctive pinkish colour. The reason this antioxidant is found in many animals, and especially in marine animals, is that they ingest this microalgae, digest it and thereby get this into their bodies. The best foods for this impressive antioxidant would be salmon, trout, shrimps and other sea foods, but unfortunately one would have to consume approximately two pounds of wild salmon daily, which is simply impractical for the majority, aside from increasing the risks of ingesting heavy metals.

What are antioxidants?

Antioxidants are compounds that protect the skin and the body’s glands, including every single cell, from unstable molecules known as free radicals. Free radicals come from a variety of sources including environmental pollution, cigarette smoke and even by the mere fact that the body breaks down foods to obtain energy releasing these damaging molecules into the bloodstream. Antioxidants are categorised into two groups, those that are water soluble (hydrophilic) and those that are oil-soluble (lipophilic). Your body requires both types since each one targets different types of cells and tissues, for example the lungs and blood work in a ‘water’ environment and the liver and all the cell membranes, which protect the cells from destructive elements, work in an ‘oil’ environment. Many of the body’s enzymes, which are catalysts for every cell and body process, are also oil based. Examples of water soluble antioxidants include vitamin C and glutathione, whilst oil soluble examples include vitamins A & E. The bottom line is that the body requires both types of these antioxidants for protection against free radicals. Read More…