At birth, we are blessed with a multitude of young and vibrant cells that each have a specialized function for specific organs. One cluster of cells will become part of the heart, while others are destined to become lung cells, and so on.
As we age, cell function becomes less effective and the replacement of aging cells slows down. But it’s not aging alone that slows down our cells; our lifestyle has a profound effect on our cellular health.
How are our cells affected by lifestyle?
Stress: the Cell Killer
It’s estimated that 75-90% of illnesses are caused by stress. Stress impacts our hormone levels and increases inflammation in the body.
On a cellular level, stress damages mitochondria, the powerhouses of your cells, alters your DNA and even leads to cellular death in the hippocampus region of your brain.
We all hold our stress somewhere in our bodies. Think of how your body feels when it’s feeling stressed. Now imagine your cells being impacted in the same way. The image I have of stressed cells is that they are tight and rigid.
When cells are relaxed, their normal function allows for a healthy functioning as waste is flushed and nutrients enter through the cells’ malleable outer layer. Reducing stress and finding new ways to relax can help maintain the health of your cells.
Nutrition’s Role in Cell Health
Eating a variety of fresh foods, including those of many different colors, offers the nutrients cells thrive on. Choose your food wisely: read packages and understand what you’re buying, cooking, and eating.
Water is the most abundant molecule in your cells, making up 70% of a cell’s mass. As we age, we need more water to avoid dehydration. Alcohol and caffeine dehydrate cells, so minimize these and drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep your cells hydrated and happy.
Sugar, high intake is a major contributor to inflammation in the body. Researchers have found that extra sugar in the bloodstream damages cells and may put you at risk for diabetes and cancer.
Ultra-processed foods have been linked to inflammation, cardiovascular disease, and death. Processed foods, their consumption should be kept at a minimum, or best avoided.
When buying pre-packaged foods, read the label as this can help identify those ingredients you would want to avoid, including high levels of sugar, preservatives, food dyes, and artificial flavors.
Remember fresh foods, coming from nature, do not need labels.
Move More for Healthier Cells
Are you getting the recommended amount of exercise every day? Not only can exercise benefit your mood, mind, and body composition, it can also have a protective effect on your cells.
- blood flow to all cells
- the intake of oxygen in the lungs which is carried by the blood to all cells
- metabolism which supports lean tissue
- lymphatic flow which eliminates cellular waste materials and toxins
- the feel-good hormones that help improve moods
Get Your ZZZs to Restore & Repair Cells
Sleep is another important lifestyle factor that protects your cells from decaying and aging. Poor sleep has been linked to a myriad of health issues including obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
- all cells to repair
- to process daily experiences
- the brain to be ready for new learnings
- a stronger immune system
- improved feeling of relaxation
How to Give Your Cells Some EXTRA Love
Did you know that massage can have beneficial effects on your cells and body? Massage stimulates nerve cells to release “feel good” hormones, increases blood supply to bring fresh nutrients into cells and remove waste, and aids the lymphatic system in removing toxins.
One easy way you can show your cells some love (and help improve the appearance of your skin!) is with a gentle facial massage. Here’s how:
Natural Facelift Massage
Gently massage the face with your fingertips.
Start on the chin and massage upwards towards the front of the ears. Repeat each stroke six times, then start a little higher until you are about 2cm below the eyes and repeat this on the forehead.
The next step is to massage down the sides of the neck towards the collar bone. This helps drain waste materials that have been moved in the skin layers through the massage.
The facial massage helps to
- boost blood circulation
- carry nutrients more effectively to the cells
- boost lymphatic drainage
- flush toxins, cell debris, and dead cells
- improve oxygen uptake
- increase collagen and elastin production
You don’t need a prescription or pill to improve the health of your cells. Instead, you can make lifestyle changes to help your cells stay vibrant, young, and energetic for the long run.
Anne Hilarius-Ford is a Holistic Practitioner, Lifestyle Advocate, and creator of The Natural Facelift Method based in Melbourne, Australia. Anne uses her Healthy Living, Healthy Ageing methods and courses to empower women to look and feel their best.