Our bodies are made up of trillions of cells that only live for a few weeks or months. They die and are replaced by new cells in an endless cycle that began the minute of conception and will continue until our death.
We replace about 1 percent of our cells every day, which just about gives us an entirely new body every three months or so; new lungs, new liver, new muscles, new skin. Did you know that your taste buds live only a few hours, your white blood cells live 10 days and your muscle cells live about three months? Even your bones dissolve and are replaced, over and over again. Our bodies break down and retire worn out and tired cells so that new cells can rebuild again, like pruning a tree in the fall for stronger growth in the spring.
The muscles control the chemistry of growth throughout our entire body. Exercise is the master signaler, the agent that sets hundreds of chemical cascades in motion each time you move. It sets off the cycles of strengthening and repair within the muscles and the joints. “Exercise, and your cells get stronger; sit down, and they decay.”
The mind/body connection is at work as long as we live. This is also true in the case of aging. If you believe that your biological age is 60 today because you have had 60 birthdays and that you are soon ready for your pension, then you are likely to be in the process of adjusting your biological age to your psychological one. This means that your biological organism may soon be as old as you believe it should be. When you become aware of the regular automatic ‘servicing’ that renews your body (each year 98 percent of the atoms of your body are turned over) and you are not afraid of aging either, you will find it difficult to age in the negative sense of the word.
People in poor relationships or those living in social isolation, those who create stress and worry in their lives, whose lifestyle (overeating, alcohol, tobacco, drugs etc.) is unnatural, or who have no purpose in life, age fast. Those who put themselves first in everything are also known to be prone to accelerated aging. People who suddenly lose their purpose in life are known to age and die very quickly.
By contrast, individuals who care about their health, who often think how they can be of help to others and the world, and who are in a secure and loving relationship, are known to halt the aging process and maintain their youthfulness. According to research studies, those who meditate regularly at least twice a day for 15-20 minutes can reduce their biological age by 12-15 years within five years. Similar results have been demonstrated among those practicing other forms of relaxation as well as yoga, Tai Chi, Chi Kung etc.