Unless you’re living in a fairytale, there is, unfortunately, no real fountain of youth. But that doesn’t mean you should stop fighting the aging process. In fact, there are things you can do right now that will aid in slowing down the health and beauty clock. To aid us in our quest for internal youth, SheKnows.com spoke with Dr. Kamau Kokayi, a family practitioner at Patients Medical in New York City, about aging and what it means for our long-term health.
Understanding the aging process
SheKnows.com: First, what is meant by the term aging and why does our body naturally do it over time?
Dr. Kamau Kokayi: The aging process is something that we are all subject to and our rate of aging is determined by a number of factors, including genetics, well-being and lifestyle choices, such as level of exercise, ability to handle stress, quality and amount of sleep, level of nutrition and environmental exposures.
SheKnows.com: Can one person age faster than another?
Dr. Kamau Kokayi: Yes. Failure to optimize the right life choices will make someone age exponentially faster than another.
How to age gracefully
SheKnows.com: Are there good ways to age and bad ways to age?
Dr. Kamau Kokayi: Since we all age, it’s better to do so by staying as clear of disease as possible. Understanding your nutrition, your body’s potential for disease by seeing you doctor for regular check-ups as well as optimizing your physical exercise and your emotional and spiritual health will keep you in “the game” longer. Learning how to detox (to rid your body of toxins and impurities) from a trained health-care professional is also essential.
SheKnows.com: Are there any warning signs women can look out for that signal the aging process isn’t “going well”?
Dr. Kamau Kokayi: Aside from the body drawing attention to itself with some kind of pain or dysfunction, women can look at the quality of their skin, hair and nails as well as their emotional balance. These are areas that many women are attuned to and a loss of integrity in one or more might suggest a woman needs to make an extra investment in her health.
SheKnows.com: What are some everyday tips and tricks women can use to slow the aging process?
Dr. Kamau Kokayi: Get regular exercise. Do something every day for yourself that brings satisfaction. Engage daily in healthy routines that are emotionally and spiritually satisfying. From exchanging hugs with loved ones to prayer and meditation. Women should get an understanding of their emotional and physical limits and structure their environment to honor this. On the medical end, women can explore detoxification regimens with qualified practitioners and can look into bio-identical hormone replacement when menopause approaches.
SheKnows.com: How can women use the summer to their advantage to prevent aging?
Dr. Kamau Kokayi: Appropriate amounts of sunlight are necessary for vitamin D production and, in general, to raise life force. Outdoor exercise in fresh air works well for just about everyone. Taking advantage of the opportunity to breathe in ocean air or immerse yourself in a natural body of water is also beneficial. Unfortunately, many of us suffer from nature deficit disorder, and weather conditions that foster our being out more in nature will increase our health and connectedness to our natural environment.
There is no stopping the clock on aging, but you can take care of yourself and age healthfully and gracefully.
More anti-aging tips
To learn more about Dr. Kamau Kokayi, visit www.drkokayi.com.