If you could live forever, would you want to? It’s something we all think about (well, living for longer, anyway) as we get older. The novel Tuck Everlasting explores the difficulties of immortality and how it is not as great as it may seem. A family drinks from the fountain of youth and must deal with the consequences that go along with it. It is a book that is generally read in junior high, but it makes for an interesting story line and can be enjoyed by people of all ages.
The idea behind the fountain of youth is that it is a spring that restores youth to those who drink from it or bathe in it. Some version of the tale has been told across many generations and in all corners of the globe. The indigenous people of the Caribbean in the 16th century said it was located in the land of Bimini. The island of Bimini is in the Bahamas, and, as a side note, was the favorite vacation spot of the author Ernest Hemingway. The Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon was also rumored to be searching for eternal youth when he arrived in Florida in the early 1500s, tipped off by the Native Americans. He never did find the mysterious spring, but he did become governor of Puerto Rico.
So it doesn’t look like this legendary, possibly mythical, fountain of youth spring is real. But there are some basic things we can all do to live a longer, healthier life with an active lifestyle and by making the right choices about what we put in our bodies. And they’re based on science, not myths. “Life is not measured”, a common greeting card reminds us, “by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.” Focusing on health instead of living forever is a good way to honor those moments and make sure we have as many of them as possible. Here are a few ways to do that.
It is startling what just a little bit of exercise can do for the quality of your life. More energy, fat loss, and increased muscle mass are just a few things that go along with exercising. Almost half of the adult population is either overweight or obese. Exercise is the closest thing there is to a true fountain of youth.
We are talking about ordinary water here and not the special water coming from the mythical mysterious spring. Drinking ordinary water during the day does quite a few magical things on its own, because the majority of your body is water. Anyone who has been dehydrated knows that it leaves you feeling dizzy and tired, but we often overlook it when we’re not exercising. Make sure you get plenty of water. After all, it’s practically free when you get it from the faucet.
Basis by Elysium Health
There are quite a few news headlines about scientists trying to help us age better. I read about Basis in a magazine called Fast Company and the idea is to raise our levels of the coenzyme Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD+). This is important because when we age, our NAD+ decreases in our body. Basis has the potential to replenish the NAD+ levels. Scientists say that NAD+ is used for DNA health, circadian rhythm regulations, other functions in the cell.
The company that makes Basis is called Elysium. I don’t usually take supplements, but they appear to be doing studies on the product. Their website says they conducted a human study showing that Basis can increase NAD+ levels in the blood by an average of 40% after only four weeks.
For most of us, our diet will determine just how healthy we are. Together with exercise, diet really is the key to staying healthy and youthful. If you eat a lot of high-carb and high fat foods loaded with sugar, while you continue to sit on the couch and watch television, you don’t have to be a fortune teller to know that you will pay the price.
Your diet should definitely involve foods that are high in protein. Protein builds muscle when combined with exercise. It also leaves you feeling full longer, so there is not a need to keep visiting the refrigerator every half hour. It’s also a good idea to include vegetables or fruit at every meal.
Portion control appears to be many people’s arch nemesis. Most people eat much more than the recommended amount of calories (about 2,000). Being overweight puts you at risk for a variety of health problems. So skip the all-you-can-eat buffet restaurants, and quit running for seconds during dinner—and instead run outside around the block a few times. It’s important for your health, but also to set a good example for your kids.