You always see magazines talking about how to look younger when you’re waiting in line at the store. It’s normal to worry about wrinkles and sagging as you get older, but there’s more to aging well than just looking young.
Aging gracefully means living your best life and having good physical and mental health to enjoy it. It’s like a bottle of wine that gets better with age if you take care of it.
Here are some tips to help you age gracefully from the inside out.
Take care of your skin
The skin is the largest sense organ that you have. If you treat it well, it can protect you from the weather, regulate your body temperature, and help you feel things.
To keep your skin looking and working its best:
– Wear good quality sunscreen and protective clothing
– Get yourself screened skin cancer atleast once in a year
– Use gentle products for your skin care routine.
– Drink enough water to stay hydrated.
Regular exercise reduces your chances of getting diseases like heart disease and cancer. It also helps you stay mobile for longer. Exercise lowers stress, improves sleep, keeps your skin and bones healthy, and boosts your mood.
According to The Department of Health & Human Services, It is advised that adults do
– 2.5 to 5 hours per week of moderate-intensity exercise, like walking or cycling.
– 1.25 to 2.5 hours per week of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise, like swimming or dancing.
– Muscle strengthening activities that work all your major muscle groups, two or more days per week.
– Older adults should also focus on activities that improve balance, in addition to aerobic and muscle strengthening exercises.
Eat a healthy diet
Eating healthy foods is important for aging gracefully. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggest:
– Eating fruits and vegetables, whether they’re fresh, frozen, or canned.
– Choosing lean proteins like fish and beans.
– Having at least three ounces of whole-grain cereals, breads, rice, or pasta every day.
– Having three servings of low-fat or fat-free dairy products fortified with vitamin D, like milk, yogurt, or cheese.
– Using healthy fats like oils instead of solid fats for cooking.
– Avoiding unhealthy processed food items and refined sugar
– Keeping your salt intake low to maintain healthy blood pressure.
– Take care of your mental health
– Being happy and managing stress are important for living and aging well.
To keep your mood up
Spend time with friends and loved ones. Having strong relationships and a good social network improves your mental and physical well-being and helps you live longer. Pets can also reduce stress and blood pressure and make you feel less lonely.
Accept your age. People who have a positive attitude about aging tend to live longer and recover better from disabilities. Aging is a natural process of life that needs to be embraced.
Do things you enjoy. Taking time for activities that make you happy can boost your overall well-being. Whether it’s spending time in nature, trying a new hobby, or volunteering, do things that bring you joy.
Stay physically active
Studies have shown that a sedentary lifestyle increases the risk of chronic illness and premature death. To stay active, you can:
– Go for walks and hikes.
– Take vacations and explore new places.
– Join group exercise classes.
Stress can cause premature aging, wrinkles, and a higher risk of heart disease. There are many proven ways to reduce stress, such as:
– Doing yoga and meditation
– Exercising regularly.
– Getting enough sleep.
– Spending time with people that matter to you the most
Quit smoking and cut down on alcohol
Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can speed up the aging process and increase the risk of diseases.
Quitting smoking is challenging, but there are resources available to help you. Speak to a doctor about how to quit and get support.
As for alcohol, it’s important to limit your intake to the recommended amount to avoid health risks. Men and women should each limit their alcohol consumption to one or two drinks per day, respectively.
Get enough sleep
Having good sleep is crucial for your physical and mental well-being.It has an impact on your skin’s health as well. Your age determines how much sleep you require. Aim for seven to eight hours of sleep per night for those over the age of 18.
Getting enough sleep has been proven to:
– Lower the risks of cardiovascular diseases.
– Reduce stress and depression.
– Decrease the risk of obesity.
– Reduce inflammation.
– Improve focus and concentration.
Find new hobbies
Discovering new and meaningful hobbies can give you a sense of purpose and keep you engaged throughout your life.
Studies show that people who engage in hobbies, leisure activities, and social interactions are happier, experience less depression, and live longer.
Finding activities that you enjoy and give you a sense of fulfillment is important.
Mindfulness means living in the present moment and accepting things as they are. It has many health benefits that can help you age better, including:
Improved focus and concentration.
– Better memory.
– Reduced stress.
– Improved emotional well-being.
– Satisfaction in relationships.
– Increased immune functioning.
You can practice mindfulness through activities like meditation, yoga, tai chi, or even coloring.
Drinking enough water is essential for regular bodily functions, energy levels, and brain function. It has also been shown to promote healthier skin and reduce signs of aging.
The amount of water you should drink depends on factors like your activity level, thirst, and gender. Speak to a doctor if you have concerns about your water intake.
Take care of your oral health
Neglecting your teeth not only affects your smile but also puts you at risk for gum disease, which is linked to heart disease, stroke, and bacterial pneumonia.
Along with proper oral care, regular dental check-ups are important. Dentists can detect signs of nutritional deficiencies, infections, and other illnesses.
The American Dental Association advises utilising mouthwash, daily flossing, and twice-day tooth brushing.
See a doctor regularly
Regular check-ups with a doctor can help identify health issues early or even before they start. Your age, way of life, medical history, and current ailments all have a role in how frequently you should visit the doctor.
Discuss with your doctor how frequently you should go for check-ups and screening tests as you age. Also, make sure to see a doctor if you experience concerning symptoms.
If you’re worried about your health, finding it difficult to feel positive about aging, or concerned about not aging well, reach out for help, and talk to your near and dear ones. Professional help is available through doctors and counselors.
Remember, aging gracefully is about leading a healthy and happy life rather than just focusing on wrinkles. Maintain a healthy lifestyle, surround yourself with loved ones, and engage in activities that bring you joy. It’s natural to have concerns about the challenges of aging, so don’t hesitate to seek support and guidance from others.