Reverse Your Aging Process
Despite what you might have been led to believe, Dr. Oz says that living to 100 isn't about avoiding diseases like cancer, heart disease or stroke. He says if we could rid the world of those common killers, it would add less than a decade to life expectancy. "Aging's not about avoiding disease," he says. "It's about living with vitality."
In their book YOU: Staying Young, Dr. Oz and Dr. Michael Roizen get to the bottom of the true nature of aging. Some people think living to old age is a forgone conclusionthat it's all in your genes. In truth, Dr. Oz says, 70 percent of how you age comes from how you live. "We spent a ton of time looking into where the true fountain of youth isand you know where it is? It's right inside of you. It's in your cells, it's in your 'kitchens.'"
How well are you aging? Take the YOU: Staying Young Aging Quiz to find out
Give your brain a boost with this mind game test.
How did 100 audience volunteers do when quizzed on their physical, mental and emotional health?
Scoring between 90 and 100 is considered "outstanding." A score between 80 and 89 is "aging well," between 70 and 79 is "average," and below 69 is "not aging well."
Eighteen percent of the audience participants are aging in an average way, while 81 percent are "not aging well." Only one person is "outstanding."
Hollianne says her health is something that's integrated into her lifestyle. "I exercise a lot, and I run three mornings a week," she says. "I lift weights, swim twice a week, and I cook almost everything I eat. I'm happy. I have a good family."
"The ultimate question that you ought to be asking yourself is, 'Would you do to someone else's body what you're doing to your body?' That's the love you ought to have for it," Dr. Oz says. "That's the best way I can express it. The beauty is, now that you know that, you can change it."
The first step of the YOU: Staying Young program is a two-week plan.
Start the YOU: Staying Young two-week plan today.
In just 14 days, Dr. Oz says, your brain begins to shift and think about the world differently. In three months you can start to affect your life expectancy and in three years, you can reverse nearly any negative past behavior, he says. "Remember you can't get rid of your bad habits," Dr. Oz says. "You've got to replace them with good ones. But you can do it."
But experiencing some stress is not always bad. "It wakes us up. Makes us alert. We learn better sometimes when we have a little bit of stress."
The danger of aging comes when we don't know how to counteract negative stress. "If we don't do it right, if we don't really understand what's happening inside of us, then the whole thing begins to become unwound," Dr. Oz says. "So we're going to teach you how to become more responsive to the stress in the world around us. It starts in your body."
Watch Dr. Oz's anatomy lesson.
It starts in the pituitary gland and hypothalamus, which he calls the mind-body connection, or where the brain and body intersect. When the hypothalamus and pituitary are stimulated, they activate the adrenal gland, which releases chemicals into the body that rev the body for a "fight or flight" action.
How does the body calm down after that? "The body always has an antidote to a problem," Dr. Oz says. The way the body balances stress is with the vagus nerve. "This nerve sends branches to the heart, the lungs, the intestinal tract. And what it's saying is it can calm you down. We never knew until recently that three-fourths of what the vagus does is bring information back to you."
When there is too much information coming back along the vagus nerve, you can become ineffective at relaxation. "Your brain short circuits," Dr. Oz says. "It can't cope with all the information flowing back."
First is to breathe correctly from your diaphragm. Dr. Oz says this powerful muscle in your stomach can calm the vagus.
Another is through meditation or prayer. "That can strip decades, literally, off your life," Dr. Oz says. If, like Dr. Oz, you find still meditation difficult, you can also use techniques like tai chi or chi-gongwhich Dr. Oz says is an "easier version" of tai chi.
Watch Dr. Oz's chi-gong workout
Dr. Oz also has a couple of tricks to reduce stress. For one, lick your lips and suck in. The cooling sensation is actually an anti-stress tool.
For the second, you're going to have to put a cork in itliterally. Open your mouth wide and put a cork between your teeth. Dr. Oz says this will reduce stress because it relaxes the large masseter muscles and the temporomandibular joint on the side of your face. If the cork is too big to go in your mouth vertically, Dr. Oz says it's okay to use it horizontally, too.
Fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidantslike tomatoes, blueberries, carrots and broccolican boost your immune system and help your body fight off the negative effects of stress.
What are antioxidants exactly? The body has cells called mitochondria, which function like power plants producing energy. When they're healthy, they function without much waste, called oxidants. As the mitochondria age and are mismanaged, they become less efficient and produce oxidants. These oxidants promote aging. "The body, as it always does, has an antidote to the problemit's called antioxidants," Dr. Oz says. "But if you don't have enough antioxidants in your bloodstreambecause you're not getting it in your food or if you bring in too much oxidationyou fall behind."
Just like the tip of a shoelace keeping the threads of the lace from fraying, a telomere keeps the chromosomes from fraying, too. A properly functioning telomere will keep chromosomes healthy, which allows them to reproduce cells.
But if you are worn down by stress, your telomeres will break down. "And then guess what? You can't reproduce your cells anymore," Dr. Oz says. "And when you can't reproduce cells, you're old and you're frail."
Dr. Oz says telomeres contain new information about aging that is vitally important. While doctors used to think that only certain organs could rebuild themselves, they now know that all our organs can be replenished with new cells if we have functioning telomeres.
"Aging is not about avoiding breakagethat's not what it's about. Aging is about repairing what's broken," he says. "When you lose the ability to repair, you become frail."
"These simple little insights are showing us dramatically how we can affect the health of America if we just focus on the right things," he says.
Want to learn more about how your body's aging? Dr. Oz says scientists have developed a cutting-edge blood test that can tell you everything you need to know about how healthfully you are aging. The testcalled the Biophysical250can also reveal whether you're at risk of developing cancer, cardiovascular disease and other disorders.
"Historically, we get a couple of blood tests here and there and hopefully they make sense together," Dr. Oz says. "Now there are groups that actually can test all of the key indicators of your hormones, your body fat, your inflammation, your blood counts, and, by the way, how you're aging. It's a way of carbon dating our bodies so we can actually figure out how old we are."
Dr. Oz ordered a Biophysical250 for Oprah, and her results are in! "Here's the deal. Your telomeres are actually really good, which is a little surprising because you live under a lot of stress," he tells Oprah. "It really means you're about two years younger than you should be."
The Biophysical250 costs about $1,500 to $3,400the equivalent of a flat-screen TV. Before you run out and order the test, Dr. Oz says that the testing of telomeres is brand new, and for now, primarily used for research. Also, a health assessment is just the first step for people hoping to live longer lives.
"Once you learn about [your health], then you actually have got to act on it," he says. "There's no point in figuring out your age really quickly if you're not going to change that natural history."
Find out more about the test at www.biophysicalyou.com.
"We've known for a while that having sex can increase your longevity," Dr. Oz says. "In fact, if you can double the amount of sex you have, you'll actually add three years incremental to your life. I'm talking about monogamous, loving sex."
June, a 47-year-old woman who tested Dr. Oz and Dr. Roizen's anti-aging plan for eight weeks, says her sex life was ho-hum before joining the program.
Sex wasn't the only thing in June's life that was suffering. "When I got out of bed seven weeks ago, every joint in my body ached," she says. "Everything was sagging, especially the breasts and the behind."
Now, June takes two minutes to stretch every morning and has introduced yoga into her routine "This has helped me considerably to reduce stress," she says. "It also has taught me control."
In addition to yoga, June walks two miles a day and sticks to a vitamin regiment prescribed by Dr. Oz. June's diet has also changed dramatically. Instead of stocking up on fattening foods, June now fills her refrigerator with healthy fruits and vegetables.
June says these lifestyle changes have helped kick-start her sex life! "The fireworks are back, and if I can be so bold, and say the orgasms have multiplied and intensified," she says. "I'm telling you, ladies, all we have to do to see fireworks is eat the right foods, stretch, exercise and have a positive outlook on life."
"Sex is all about a symphony of hormones," he says. "Testosterone puts the moan in hormone, so if you don't have enough testosteronewhich begins to decline in both men and women as you get olderthen you start to lose your libido."
Participating in physical activities and getting plenty of sleep are two ways you can rev up your sex drive naturally. "I'm not against taking supplements for these things if you have to, but there's nothing as good as doing it yourself," Dr. Oz says. "You've got this little place deep inside your brain called the pineal gland. When radiation hits that, it actually changes all of the circadian rhythms, all of the chemistry in your body."
Dr. Oz says June's lifestyle changes stimulated her brain's pineal gland, which led to a hormonal cascade and more orgasms. "This is not magic," he says. "It's reproducibleit happens over and over again."
Erectile dysfunction is a sexual disorder many men develop as they get older. The first signs of this disorder are usually overlooked because they occur while men sleep, Dr. Oz says. "At nighttime, men won't get natural erections, which happen when [they] fall asleep."
To determine whether a man's penis is becoming erect at night, doctors developed a simple medical test that costs less than $3 to perform.
Before falling asleep, Dr. Oz says a man should take a roll or row of connected stampsbetween four and six, depending on the size of the penisand wrap it gently around the flaccid penis. Carefully moisten and connect the stamps on the ends to form a complete ring.
If the perforations are broken the next morning, that means the penis became erect and is functioning properly. If the stamps are still attached, Dr. Oz says you may have a problem.
Testing for erectile disorders during intercourse isn't as effective as the stamp test, Dr. Oz says. "[During sex], there are emotional things that hold you back. Guys, when they get nervous about whether it's going to work, they begin to panic. All of a sudden it doesn't worknot because it couldn't workbut because your brain wasn't working with it," he says. "We want to differentiate how much of it is [psychological] and how much of it is [physical]."
"What we really want is everyone to die youngat any age," Dr. Oz says. "We have tons of data now that can dramatically change our life expectancy and maintain the vigor we have today."
Though they haven't found the fountain of youth, Dr. Oz says they have discovered a few secrets to aging well. Before you resort to Botox or plastic surgery, he suggests giving these natural anti-aging remedies a try.
One is a Russian elixir that people in Siberia have been drinking for thousands of years. This drink is made with Rhodiola rosea, a plant that grows in cold climates, and vodka. "This [drink] stimulates dopamine and serotonin," Dr. Oz says. "It has an influence on sexuality. It also helps immune function."
With millions of plant species on earth, the possibilities are seemingly endless. "Some of the biggest clues to how we age more beautifully come from the plant kingdom," Dr. Oz says. "If we can take clues from there, and now with modern science understand the whys, it begins to make sense for all of us."
To test your mental health, Dr. Oz and Dr. Roizen recommend an exercise that only takes 40 seconds.
Challenge your mind with this Brain Test worksheet.
"This test is a wonderful way of figuring out whether or not the circuitry of your brain is working," Dr. Oz says. "The brain is kept as alert as it is by an electrical grid. If you've got problems with the grid, if part of it goes down or you've got goop sapping up some of the power lines, which is what Alzheimer's is all about you're not going to be as quick."
Dr. Oz shares 15 ways to maintain your memory.
If you miss a few Hs, Dr. Oz says there's no need to panic. "You know you can turn your genes around. You know you can reverse aging," he says. "Now you have to turn the page, and figure out what to do about it. There's a lot we can do about mental health."
While it's a common problem in the United States, there's one nation that reports very few cases of this diseaseIndia.
Dr. Oz says the secret to good mental health may be on Indian spice racks. "The reason we think they have a lower instance of Alzheimer's isthey use a lot of turmeric in their food," he says. Turmeric is an orange-yellow spice that's commonly used to make curries. Its active ingredient is called curcumin.
"A lot of different dishes have it in there, and it's especially good if you mix it with oil a little bit," Dr. Oz says. You can also sprinkle it on top of American dishes, like deviled eggs, to add spice.
"You've got to do what you're passionate about in life. That's really important," he says. "If you're not passionate about it, you won't learn it as well and you won't teach it as well either. That's a big lesson for all of usnot just to pick up information, but go out and spread the word."
Dr. Oz reveals the key steps to take right now reverse your aging!
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