In our pursuit of ‘anti-ageing,’ we often focus solely on maintaining a youthful appearance. However, we tend to underestimate the vital role that our energy levels play in our overall vitality and well-being. Here, Cynthia Jetan, a certified nutritionist at LAC Malaysia, breaks down the misconception of ageing and proposes a more practical approach to the biological nature of ageing.
“Healthy ageing is a holistic approach that encompasses both our physical and mental well-being as we age,” says Cynthia. Surprisingly, our energy levels serve as the first indicator of ageing, even before the emergence of wrinkles or gray hair. It’s important to recognize that energy depletion can begin earlier than expected, making it crucial to prioritise our vitality and adopt a comprehensive approach to ageing.
“Think of your energy as currency—a resource that can be earned, spent, saved, or even wasted. Each day, our body cells tirelessly generate energy from the food we consume to support vital processes such as breathing, cell growth, repair, and blood circulation,” explains Cynthia. Just like a money-making machine, our cells work diligently to ensure smooth bodily functions. How well we take care of our bodies directly influences the way we age. As we advance in years, our energy levels undergo changes, and everyday activities and simple tasks may become more demanding and exhausting.
Taking proper care of our bodies can make a significant difference. “It’s not uncommon to encounter individuals in their forties who possess the same vigor as those in their twenties. Conversely, there are younger individuals who may seem older and lacking in energy,” states Cynthia. While it’s true that our energy levels naturally decline with age, external factors can accelerate this process. “Inadequate sleep, poor dietary choices, smoking, excessive stress, and negative thinking can all contribute to draining our energy reserves,” warns Cynthia.
Here’s a fascinating fact: “Within each of us lies a reserve of anti-ageing DNA called sirtuin—a dormant protein that governs various aspects of ageing, including DNA repair, stress reduction, and metabolism improvement,” shares Cynthia. However, activating this protein is akin to entering a password for accessing a bank account, and the password in question is NAD+ (Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide).
“NAD+ is a coenzyme naturally produced in our bodies, supporting essential metabolic processes, maintaining cellular health, and facilitating energy production,” explains Cynthia. Unfortunately, as we age, our supply of NAD+ diminishes. “This is where NMN (Nicotinamide Mononucleotide) steps in as an unsung hero,” Cynthia highlights.
NMN acts as a natural enhancer of NAD+ levels, thereby activating the sirtuin protein. Derived from B-vitamins, NMN kickstarts crucial processes for smoother ageing, fortifying our cells from within.
“Imagine what you do when you’ve spent a significant amount of money. You start saving again, right? Well, our cells operate in a similar fashion. They require a boost to repair and recover. And when it comes to our cells, replenishing NMN is the starting point,” asserts Cynthia.
Alongside adopting healthy lifestyle habits, Cynthia recommends two additional tips to give your cells much-needed rejuvenation: intermittent fasting and conscious daily planning.
“Intermittent fasting is a powerful tool that promotes weight loss, increased energy, and healthy ageing,” Cynthia advises. By triggering cellular-level changes, it reduces stress, enhances repair, and improves overall well-being.
“On a daily basis, it’s essential to observe your energy levels and plan your day accordingly,” Cynthia advises. “Recognise the factors that deplete your energy and make necessary adjustments.” Here are some practical tips to get you started:
Customise your plan: “Observe the flow of your energy throughout the day and identify your peak and lowest points. This knowledge will enable you to tailor your activities for enhanced productivity,” suggests Cynthia.
Prioritise and schedule: “Allocate your peak energy hours for important tasks, reserving less demanding activities for when your energy naturally dips,” Cynthia advises. This way, you can make the most of your productive bursts.
Take breaks: “Schedule regular breaks of 15-30 minutes to refresh your mind and replenish your energy. Utilise this time for a power nap, a leisurely walk, or engaging in activities that rejuvenate you,” recommends Cynthia.
By implementing these strategies, as emphasised by Cynthia Jetan, you can optimise your energy levels, reduce stress, and promote a healthier and more fulfilling life.