Dr. Mehmet Oz, Vice-Chair and Professor of Surgery at Columbia University, says to work on flexibility through yoga. Are you flexible enough? "Most Americans ought to be able to touch their fingertips to their toes," he says.
To start, Dr. Oz says to reach down to your toes. "So you lean over, relax yourself, and let these hips sort of release," he says. "All the energy goes away." Next, Dr. Oz says to go into the plank position, followed by upward dog, then downward dog. Lastly, bring your leg forward, and come up into the warrior position. "You can do the exact same thing for the other side," Dr. Oz says. "It's very soothing, and that meditation is very powerful."
Dr. Oz says there is something you can do for five minutes every day that can add years to your life: meditation. Just find a quiet place, even if it's the bathroom. "No one's going to bother you there," he says. "You can get five minutes of solace, of peace and quiet."
To start your meditation, Dr. Oz says to say the word "yum," drawing out the word out as you say it. "That vibration stimulates your sinuses to release nitric oxide, a very important gas that relaxes your lungs and relaxes your blood vessels," he says. "It's one of the reasons we think meditation may be so effective."
Dr. Oz says there are other ways to practice meditation as well. "Prayer is meditation," he says. "Just a few moments to yourself, not a lot, when no one can bother you to let it all slip away. It allows you to reboot your engine and get back on track."
There is something lacking in the bedroom that Dr. Oz says is aging us at warp speed. "We're not sleeping. And sleeping is the fundamental way we reboot ourselves." Dr. Oz says the growth hormone, which is important for maintaining vitality and youthful vigor, is almost impossible to increase naturally without sleep. "Without the sleep that we know is so nourishing, we begin to dramatically age faster. It strips years off of our real age."
Wind down before falling asleep. "When you get in the bed, turn the lights down, do something that's soothing. Turn off the TV., Turn off the computer. Don't do things that jazz you back up again, and you will find yourself gently slipping into sleep."