Yet another report on ageing with another recipe for slowing down the ageing process has pinged into my inbox. This time it was one I took notice of by Elizabeth Blackburn, a Nobel-prize-winning biologist, who is looking at the all important telomeres which stretch at the end of the chromosomes and sort of hold them in place. There is now a lot of evidence that with time the ends of the telomeres start to fray and when they do the cells in our body start to become senescent. Once one goes, they all go and no-one really knows what triggers it but there is now some consensus that the telomeres fraying contributes to this. There is a great deal of significance associated with your cells becoming senescent because once they do, they succumb to all the illnesses associated with old age.. so in essence this is what old actually is. One minute you’re zapping around the place as you always have been, and the next your body starts to fight back and tell you that you’re old.
Elizabeth Blackburn has identified several ways in which you can delay your telomeres going ragged on you – firstly more exercise and at least 45 minutes of cardiovascular three times per week, and most importantly stress resilience. Stress has a way of hastening the ageing process like nothing else, she is discovering and so she suggests 12 minutes of yoga chanting a day (you might have known all roads lead to mindfulness), and a positive attitude. Again, bemoaning your bad luck in life will hasten ageing she says. One way of banishing negative thinking she says is to look in the mirror and think positively about yourself. Instead of finding fault with what you see, feel the positive vibes and tell yourself you love what you look like.
Has she ever tried looking in a mirror when you’re over 60?