How to stay young at heart forever: 5 Ageing myths debunked

-Sep 4, Hannah Hargrave, Living -

You may not be able to live forever but that doesn’t mean you can’t stay young for as long as humanly possible. All too often getting older unfairly foots the blame for weight gain, forgetfulness, and all manner of aches and pains. And, while ageing does come with some pitfalls, there are plenty of things it shouldn’t be an excuse for.

Perhaps you were only in your 30s, when you looked down at your slightly more rounded mid-section. Maybe you thought; “age did this to me”. Or did you start noticing in your 40s that your memory was starting to trouble you?

Whenever it began, it’s time to stop. We’ve compiled a list of ageing myths that can be debunked and have found that you can stay forever young – if you really want to.

Myth: Your Brain Stops Developing By 25

Truth: Actually it doesn’t have to! It’s about mind over matter when it comes to the continuing development of your brain. Science has shown that most brains are fully developed by the time the individual is 25-30 years old. But neuroplasticity has proven your brain has the ability to change throughout life. Exercising your brain is imperative to keeping young and continuing the growth of your brain cells. Learn a new language, instrument or skill to keep your brain buzzing.

Myth: Your Metabolism Slows Down

Truth: It’s true, that people tend to gain a little weight the older they get but this doesn’t have to be the case. Metabolism slows, but it’s often due to people cutting back on exercise as they age, burning fewer calories and losing their muscle mass.

The very worst thing you can do is to stop exercising all together. Study after study have shown that people who consistently exercise three times or more a week can avoid metabolic slowdown caused by age.

Myth: We Can’t Stop Wrinkles

Truth: “My mum had them so I’ll get them! Fact” Actually it’s not. Blaming your wrinkles on your gene pool won’t make a difference to your skin, but looking after it will. It’s not all about the luck of the draw when it comes to the health of your complexion. If you want to limit the impact of gravity on your skin then you need to protect your skin from the sun with sunscreen, get plenty of sleep and eat a balanced fruit and veg packed diet. Also reduce your stress levels, cut out smoking and cut back on alcohol and of course make time for exercise!

Myth: It’s Too Late to Start Exercise

Truth: It’s never too late to get up and get moving.

Way too many believe that middle aged spread is irreversible but the reality is far from that. In fact a new piece of research from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center suggests the so-called “sweet spot” in life to start exercising is in late-middle age. “We found what we believe to be the optimal dose of the right kind of exercise, which is four to five times a week,” says author of the study Dr. Benjamin. He insists “a lifetime of sedentary behaviour can be improved” if you kick start your routine later in life when the heart still has plasticity.

Myth: Getting Old Makes You Miserable

Truth: “You don’t stop laughing because you grow old. You grow old because you stop laughing,” – Michael Pritchard.

It’s all too easy to think of the negative rather than the positive aspects of ageing but there’s a very good reason to stay cheery as the years tick by.

It’s been proven that people with a good sense of humour live longer. A study at Sven Sveback University in Norway showed laughter to really be the best medicine as it’s good for the heart. Dr Miller, who conducted the study says a good giggle helps blood vessels function better. Therefore it lowers blood pressure, cholesterol, reduces physical tension and strengthens the immune system.


Did you enjoy this article? Did you know that your life improves once you’re over forty? And here’s why yoga is more about stress relief than having a great body. (Although being about to bust out a downward dog at parties has its plus sides too). 

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