The hardest thing about living a healthy lifestyle is the lack of obvious and immediate rewards. Yes, you feel better, but you still have bad days. Being able to touch your toes without losing your breath can be rewarding. Temptation may win more times than not, though, so guilt tends to be a quite common emotion for people who are really making an effort to live healthy.
Honestly, as humans, we all do better when there is an apple in front of us. Knowing an incredibly positive reward is in store for you for your efforts is a powerful motivator. Some researchers may have just found that apple.
An article published in the Journal of Aging suggests people can reverse aging, to become three years younger, in just eight weeks of simple lifestyle changes. I cannot think of a better reward than becoming younger.
This randomized controlled clinical trial revealed that balancing DNA methylation (the process that changes genes — so the accumulation of damage that comes from the stress and strain of aging and disease) reduces biological age by over three years in just under two months. There are many food options and supplements known to alter DNA methylation, and since DNA methylation patterns have been identified as highly predictive of biological age, this study showed it does not take much time to make a really positive change in your health and longevity.
The participants of the study, healthy men between the ages of 50 and 72, were put on a minimally processed food diet, given supplemental probiotics and phytonutrients, and practiced appropriate sleep, exercise and relaxation work over the course of the eight weeks.
The study’s authors concluded that not only does this demonstrate a powerful way to predict how you’re aging, but also what a big difference simple interventions can make in a short amount of time.
Dr. Warren Willey is a Pocatello physician. Visit his website at drwilley.com.