What are mitochondria: How to activate your mitochondria with small gestures to live longer and healthier

What are mitochondria: How to activate your mitochondria with small gestures to live longer and healthier

As we live longer and older, the challenge is to arrive in good health. To do this, the recipe is always the same: healthy eating, physical exercise, sleep… But there are different ways to achieve it. It’s like someone going somewhere: some prefer the highway, others the national roads, others the dirt roads… The problem is that many times we do not know those alternative routes to reach our destination.

Something like this happens to us with mitochondria, which are small structures that produce energy in almost all of our cells. “They are essential, the most important part of them,” says physiotherapist and master in Clinical Psychoneuroimmunology Antonio Valenzuela. However, most of us neither know them nor treat them well. And it’s curious because, as the expert says, “mitochondria sounds strange to us, but metabolism sounds strange to us all.” Well, they form an essential part of it. If we treat them well, our body will be that perfect machine that takes us to a healthy old age. And doing so is not that complicated. Here are five gestures to take care of them.

Staying healthy includes physical activity, “not exercise,” explains Valenzuela. That is, for your mitochondria to run smoothly and you too, you don’t have to become an athlete. «It’s about staying active throughout the day. “That is more important than doing sports for an hour and spending the rest of the day sitting.” The expert proposes that we replace the food ‘snacks’ that we have during our leisure time (olives, potatoes, jelly beans…) with what he calls “movement snacks: get up every hour, do some jumps, or some squats or stationary bike… One minute is enough!

Ultra-processed food is not the fuel our body needs. It is the gasoline that fuels the fire that devours our health. “We have to eat like our grandparents… or rather, like our great-grandparents: real, quality food and avoiding overeating because this saturates the mitochondria,” Valenzuela details. According to his approach, you have to eat everything: vegetables, fish, meats, nuts… «And drink water, at least two liters a day. One of the first symptoms that we are dehydrated is fatigue,” he points out in his book ‘Activate the mitochondria. The secret to a longer life’.

Another issue that we have to put into practice is fasting. According to the expert, it would be a matter of spending at least 12 hours without eating a bite and the ideal would be for us to do it during our night’s rest. “Our genetics are programmed for it,” he says. “We can delay breakfast a little to get it.”

A balanced diet should provide us with everything we need, but there is one nutrient we have to take care of: we must maintain our adequate magnesium levels.

– With supplements?

– Or eating foods rich in it. Although for this you have to ensure that they are of quality and many times they are not easy to obtain because intensive agriculture and impoverished soil have a negative influence.

This molecule is present in “green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, chard, broccoli…”, pure cocoa, fruits “such as avocados, raspberries, bananas…”, nuts and seafood . By the way, be careful with stress, which is a magnesium vampire.

  1. Sun baths… and cold

Spending hours in the sun is not a good idea, but our mitochondria love taking small daily baths, says Valenzuela. “It’s not about exposing yourself to it at three in the afternoon in August,” she warns, but spending a few minutes at dawn or dusk. “And we can do it from home, with the window open, yes, not behind the glass.”

It is also advisable to take cold baths. “Our mitochondria raise our metabolism and produce heat.” To stimulate them, we must escape “the thermal sedentary lifestyle in which we fortunately live.” It’s not about turning off the heating and being cold for hours, “it’s enough, for example, to go outside and wait a little to feel it before putting on your coat.”

We do it all the time, but we pay little attention to it, suggests Valenzuela. It’s time to start breathing well: “Through the nose and not through the mouth because oxygenation is greater and more complete.” It is also advisable to do it “deeply and using the diaphragm.” “According to a study by Stanford University, with just five minutes a day of practicing this technique you already obtain health benefits,” he points out in the book, where he displays his entire theory,

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