Flick that ageing switch! Do you want to learn how to flick those switches on your ageing process in the right direction? If you are looking for that elusive secret of how to age well, then you needed to look no further than the FitAgain well-being evening. The event took place on Thursday the 13th of February. It was a fascinating, enlightening, inspirational, informative and engaging event. Giving insightful information on what we can do to age well and change habit forming behaviour to work towards Optimum Health. Making simple steps to make life-changing conscious decisions.

The first guest speaker of the evening was Neuroscientist Phil Lunt, he left everyone with so much to think about, he passed on some inspiring information about our DNA and the switches involved in the ageing process and how we all need to make time to be mindful every day and rediscover our child like appreciation of everything we have in life and learn to be grateful of what we have. Phil said “Everything I talk about you can put into immediate use, start using as you leave.”

Neuroscientist Phil Lunt had the audience enthralled with his insight into DNA and ageing

What is ageing?

Phil said; “DNA ages where genetic code is kept, it has switches all along, when the switches change the cells change (it ages) as we age DNA switches off. Flick that ageing switch.”

What is a Sirtuin?

Sirtuins are a family of proteins that regulate cellular health.

Phil said; “These are the enzymes which sit on the switches, they also repair DNA breakages, but they can’t be in two places at once. DNA cling onto the sirtuins when the body is stressed, if your DNA is damaged you will age quicker.

Can we reverse ageing?

Phil said by manipulating sirtuins we might have the potential to extend our lifespan. We can activate Sirtuins by restricting the calories we eat, by exercising, heat and cold and eustress.

What damages your DNA?

According to Phil: “Smoking, chemicals, microwave plastics, high BMI, charred food, radiation, bad foods. Lack of sleep and chronic stress.”

Age Accelerators?

What to look out for; high levels of anxiety, job stress, untreated depression, social isolation and long-term unemployment.

Feeling Poor?

We have evolved to be hierarchical with low status reinforcing low self worth. Practice gratitude it is the quickest way to happiness, think about how you measure your self-worth, we live in a society where if you don’t drive a certain car you are not worth anything. Self-worth – love your self more be more kind, compassionate and help others.

Can we reduce anxiety?

We can break the cycle of anxiety, with worry driving anxiety, a great coping mechanism can be meditation and mindfulness these are a great antidote to anxiety. Phil said: “We should all be meditating, he went onto to explain where our worries come from. Our worries form different modes of consciousness – this include our narrative self and our autobiographical self. For example task based attention hobbies like knitting leave no time for worry, this is great mindfulness. It is your Autobiographical self where worry comes from, for example ‘if I go to work, if I talk to him I am going to get sacked.’ Being judgemental we talk to ourselves. Labels and stories, come up from worries, we are constantly referencing things all the time.

Modes of consciousness

Phil shared a great story of a man who goes for a walk in the woods, he sees a chewing gum wrapper on the floor, then his judgemental self kicks in and his values go into overdrive, he is references, his thoughts escalate, he worries that the chewing gum wrapper is going to harm an animal then his worries go into extreme with him worrying about the impact on global warming all caused by a discarded chewing gum wrapper.

Daydreaming part of the brain

Phil advised us all that we all need to find our core self, with no references, no judgements and unlock our mindful self. Our Objective self has no judgement.

Walking like a two year old

A wonderful insight from Phil when he shared with us the other half of the the story of the man waling in the woods. This is from the prospective of the beginners mind. If we all went for a walk with a two year old, we would soon discover that it is all new , that two year olds have no references. The chewing gum wrapper is just a lovely floaty thing, it reflects the light, smells funny, the two year old has nothing to judge it on, if you see the world like a child you will begin to STEP INTO MINDFULNESS. Flick that ageing switch!

Husband and wife team behind FitAgain speak at well-being event

What does it mean to be healthy?

Co-founder of FitAgain, Dorset and the second speaker at the Well-Being evening, Andrew Watkinson started off by summarising what he would be focusing on, this included Strength, Cardiovascular, Nutrition and Osteoporosis.

Deal with it now

Andrew said: “We are living longer, but we are living less healthier. Most of us try to retire at 65, that is when it kicks in and the DNA switches off. Post retirement, we get lazy, we don’t bother doing things we used to do. Aged 50, things stop – sport, we come up with excuses, we can choose not to, we become lazy.”

No excuses, no bones about it

Andrew added: “What can we do to help our bones and prevent brittle bones? Bones need load applied to them, for example weight training or press-ups or resistance bands. If we don’t use our muscles we lose them. Make a change. As we age we lose muscle, keep weight training. If we are not active, we can’t see the muscle as the fat masks it. The less healthy you are the more falls you will have. Pre-hab get fit before an operation, you will recover better. What can we do? Weight training, warm-up, use shoulders correctly, use the body a bit more cleverly, functional exercise like step ups. Flick that ageing switch! This would help us all to flick those ageing switches in the right direction.

Sunshine

Calcium and Vit D, sunlight takes the calcium out of the food you ingest. Calcium is vital post menopause. There are some myths about weight training – it is a guy thing, turns you into incredible hulk, burns fewer calories than cardio. There are everyday items you can use within your house to weight train – the can of baked beans – the cheapest gym in the world. See results quickly, be careful losing weight, don’t lose muscle,lose body fat not weight.

Getting to the core of the issue

Andrew spoke about how improving your strength and working your core, including using your diaphragm by breathing correctly can all reduce back pain.

Cardiovascular Disease

Andrew gave us some shocking statistics, including the world’s biggest killer is CV disease, he informed us that there are different types of cholesterol and that good omega and good protein can flush out your arteries, he told us that it is possible that you can unclog your arteries. With diet changes and exercise, these include swimming, running, gardening and walking. While walking he advised that you incorporate mindfulness.

Pain in the back?

Andrew addressed the question of what can we do for our back? He advised, deep squats, opening up our hips and try not to cross your legs while sitting.

Somewhere over the rainbow

Next up to speak was co-founder of FitAgain, Dorset, Lucy Watkinson, she shone a light on nutrition. Lucy stated that nutrition is more important than exercise – she said: “you need a positive balance of calories, grandparents tend to eat less we actually need them to eat more and exercise more, in order to get to that optimum health and age well to function. When we sleep we burn calories, research shows fad diets don’t work, better nutritional choices can help you live longer and flick those DNA switches in the right direction! Flick that ageing switch!”

C.R.A.P Food

Lucy told us all about CRAP – Calorie, Rich and Processed Food. She told us as humans we are programmed to like calorie rich and processed food – this comes from our ancestor brain and this tells us to eat. Access to food like that used to be hard to get. We are predetermined to think about CRAP food, we crave it and generally the more healthier food is not so widely available.

Label looking

Lucy told us that if you are serious about wanting to know what is in your food you have to look at the labels. Lucy advised us that we do need carbs, the muscles need it. She added that we should measure everything, reduce our sugar and look at what our children eat. Lucy said: “Protein fills us up, we must reduce processed food and eat more fibre. Eat a variety a rainbow of colours and you will get a vast array of nutrients. Water drink 2-3 litres a day. Limit alcohol, full of sugar. Calorie free – water, drink a pint of water before a meal. Fibre does not get absorbed therefore it is calorie free. Vinegar helps break down fat. Have a salad as a starter and it fills you up. It takes around 20 mins for the brain to feel full up, eat slower.”

Breakfast like a King, lunch like a Prince, dine like a Pauper

Lucy said we must practice Mindful eating, gratitude – appreciate where our food comes from – slow everything down. If you have more calories in the morning you will loose weight. Don’t eat after 7pm, you will loose weight. CRAP food is cheap and supermarkets will manipulate your brain in those middle aisles.

Annie Lee gave the final talk at the Well-Being evening, this included a visualisation exercise

We are what we repeatedly do

Annie advised us to bring our unconsciousness into our conscious. Annie posed the question, What will happen if we don’t make changes? She also advised that with change you have to do it slowly, focus on one thing at a time. Take it slow – break down the bigger goals into smaller steps. Visualise it – know where you want to be. Change your thoughts. Impact- ask why am I doing it? Change for the better. Flick that ageing switch! Let’s flick those ageing switches in the right direction!

Taking part in the Visualisation Exercise