You can’t stand in a checkout line without seeing at least a few magazine headlines about how to look younger. While dreading some wrinkles and sagging skin isn’t uncommon, there’s so much more to aging well.
Aging gracefully isn’t about trying to look like a 20-something; it’s about living your best life and having the physical and mental health to enjoy it. Like a bottle of wine, you can get better with age with the right care.
Tips For Aging Gracefully
- Be Kind To Your Skin. Your skin is your body’s largest organ. If you treat it with care, it can better protect your body from the elements, regulate your body temperature, and provide sensation. To keep your skin looking and functioning at its best:
- Wear sunscreen and protective clothing when outside.
- Get yearly skin cancer screenings.
- Stick to gentle products in your anti-aging skincare routine.
- Stay hydrated.
- Exercise. Regular exercise significantly lowers your risk of diseases, such as heart disease and cancer, and helps you retain your mobility longer. Exercise also reduces stress and improves sleep, skin and bone health, and improves your mood.
Some of the best forms of exercise include:
2. Muscle- and bone-strengthening exercises can be performed using weights or resistance bands. Older adults should also focus on activities that include balance training in addition to aerobic and muscle strengthening exercises. Some options to stay active are going on walks and hikes, taking active vacations, and participating in group exercise classes.
3. Mind Your Diet. Focusing on healthy foods and eliminating sugar and bad fats are the way to go when it comes to aging gracefully. I recommend you eat the following:
- fruits and vegetables, either fresh or frozen
- lean protein, such as grass-fed beef, wild-caught fish, and a variety of beans
- at least three ounces of whole grains every day
- three servings of dairy, such as milk, yogurt, or cheese from grass-fed cows.
- healthy fats like butter from grass-fed cows, coconut, olive, or walnut oils
Avoid using solid fats for cooking and use healthy oils instead. Stay away from processed foods, refined sugars, and unhealthy trans fats. It would be best to keep your salt intake to a minimum to keep your blood pressure down.
4. Mental Health. Being happy and keeping your stress down goes a long way in helping you live and age well.
To keep your mood elevated:
- Spend time with friends and loved ones. Meaningful relationships and a robust social network improve mental and physical well-being and longevity. Don’t forget your furry loved ones as having a pet has been linked to lower stress and blood pressure, reduced loneliness, and better moods.
- Accept your age. There is evidence that people who maintain a positive attitude about aging live longer and recover better from a disability. Aging is inevitable, and learning to embrace it can make all the difference.
- Do things you enjoy. Taking the time to engage in activities you enjoy will only fuel your happiness. Spend time in nature, pursue a new hobby, volunteer — whatever brings you joy.
5. Lower Your Stress. The effects of stress on your body are vast, ranging from premature aging and wrinkles to a higher risk of heart disease.
There are several proven was to relieve stress, including:
- using relaxation techniques, such as meditation, breathing exercises, and yoga
- getting adequate sleep
- talking to a friend
6. Quit Smoking And Decrease Alcohol Consumption. Smoking and alcohol have both been shown to cause premature aging and increase the risk of disease. Quitting smoking isn’t easy, but there are resources available to help you stop. As for alcohol, limit your intake to one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men.
7. Get Enough Sleep. Adequate sleep is essential for your physical and mental health. It also plays a role in your skin’s health. How much sleep you need depends on your age. Adults over 18 should aim for seven to eight hours of sleep every night.
Getting enough sleep has been proven to:
- lowers the risk of heart disease and stroke
- reduces stress and depression
- lowers the risk of obesity.
- reduces inflammation
- improve focus and concentration
8. Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness is about acceptance and living in the moment by focusing on the present. Practicing mindfulness has many proven health benefits that can help you age better, including:
- improved focus
- better memory
- lower stress
- improved emotional reaction
- relationship satisfaction
- increased immune functioning
To practice mindfulness, try:
- tai chi
9. Drink Plenty of Water. Drinking enough water helps keep you regular and improves your energy levels and brain function. Coincidentally, it’s also been proven to help keep skin healthier and reduce signs of aging.
10. Supplements That Help You Age Better
Vitamin D3 and Calcium. These two work hand in hand. Without vitamin D, your body won’t absorb and process calcium in the best ways your body needs it. And, as we age, the chance of developing osteoporosis is greater, and calcium is more important than ever. But calcium can be a double-edged sword. Unless your doctor recommends supplementing calcium, it’s better to get it from food sources. Rogue calcium is a contributor to arterial plaque, and that’s one reason why vitamin D is essential to help your body properly utilize it. Vitamin D also keeps your muscles, nerves, and immune system working. But don’t think you’re getting all the vitamin D you need just from being out in the sun. The older you get, the less of this “sunshine vitamin” you absorb in this way. You’ll need to include foods like salmon, fortified milk, and fortified cereals in your diet, and even an excellent D3 supplement.
Vitamin B12. This B vitamin helps make blood and nerve cells. It is also essential for healthy brain function. Since the body cannot make its own, we need to get it from animal foods like meat, fish, eggs, and dairy. Long-term use of antacids, as well as many antibiotics, can also cause malabsorption of B12.
Vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 regulates brain function and may also reduce anxiety and depression and boost energy levels. Chickpeas, liver, fatty fish, and fortified breakfast cereal are good sources.
Magnesium. It could be argued that this little-discussed nutrient keeps your body running. It is part of more than 600 metabolic reactions. These include converting food to energy, contraction, and relaxation of muscles, and sending messages through your nervous system and to your brain. Muscle twitches or cramps, frequent fatigue, and an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) could be signs of insufficient magnesium. Nuts, seeds, and leafy greens are excellent sources of magnesium. So are dark chocolate, avocados, and pumpkin seeds.
Potassium. Like magnesium, potassium is vital to so many bodily functions. It helps regulate blood pressure, and without enough potassium, the nerves that keep your heart beating can’t do their job.
Getting enough potassium is more important than ever right now. Science has discovered that the coronavirus robs the body of potassium in several different ways, leaving a person vulnerable to COVID 19-related heart dysfunction.
There are many good food sources of potassium, including bananas, broccoli, dark leafy greens, and avocados.
Two More Nutrients That Make A Difference In Anti-aging:
- Arthred Collagen. Improves Hair, Skin, and Nail Strength. Arthred will help keep collagen from breaking down and looking older. Arthred collagen is hydrolyzed (predigested) powdered collagen (bovine source) for connective tissue support. Connective tissue is found throughout the body, not just the skin, and is the glue that holds the body together. This nutrient is of the highest quality and purity obtainable and does not contain preservatives, dilutants, or artificial additives.
- High Strength Resveratrol. Resveratrol is a natural compound found in red grape skin, Japanese knotweed, peanuts, blueberries, and some other berries. It is a powerful antioxidant produced by some plants to protect them against environmental stresses. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals, which are believed to be the cause of aging. Japanese knotweed is the plant source with the highest resveratrol content.
Lab work: It is always a great idea to do some lab work before starting any program, but it is highly recommended when working on the anti-aging aspects. You need to have a starting point which provides knowledge of where you need to focus your attention. If you discover a specific need, you can focus on that need and periodically test to make sure you are on the right track. We have many different panels designed based on your needs. We provide a free consultation with one of our doctors to make sure you get the appropriate labs for you and your state of health.