Something we all have to come to grips with as we age is the appearance of the odd wrinkle here and there and the first signs of sun damage to our once blemish free skin. I know, it’s not fair, is it?
But don’t be alarmed. It is quite normal to notice the first signs of aging appear as the years march on. One of the most noticeable changes is the appearance of your skin. First come the tell- tale wrinkles, then the skin takes on a new kind of dryness you have not been accustomed to and then there is the dreaded sagging (but that is well down the track thankfully).
Some people have a tendency to put on weight in certain areas of their body whilst others somehow seem to get thinner. You might also lose some mobility and independence if you develop joint pain from diseases such as arthritis. And unfortunately, it is also possible to experience changes in your mental health.
Makes ageing sound pretty frightening doesn’t it……..well don’t despair. Follow my advice here to help you along the way to a smoother transition into your senior years.
We all know, and are fully aware I hope, that it is impossible to stop the process of ageing and some of the effects it can have on our bodies. But, there are quite a few things you can easily do to slow down the aging process (and in some cases even reverse), still remain independent and live a happy and healthy life as you age.
These four areas will assist you in adopting a healthy lifestyle that will have you ageing gracefully and help you improve your overall health.
1. Proper Nutrition: It Will Slow Down Ageing and Keep You in the Peak of Good Health
Adopting a healthy diet early in life will slow down the aging process and help you stay young-looking for many more years than if you had been a student of the Colonel or Maccas. Proper nutrition can reduce your risks of developing certain diseases plus it will increase your life expectation. A healthy and well-balanced diet (e.g. Mediterranean diet) can make you look and feel a lot younger than you actually are.
You Must Eat More Foods Rich in Antioxidants
Add more foods rich in antioxidants to your diet. These substances strengthen your immune system and help you fight oxidation, which can speed up the aging process. You can find high quantities of antioxidants in the following foods:
– Broccoli – Blueberries – Strawberries – Kale – Spinach – Tomatoes – Red grapes – Apples – Beans
These foods contain high quantities of antioxidants but you can find smaller quantities of antioxidants in a lot of foods. Most fruits, vegetables, poultry, lean meats and whole grain foods contain antioxidants. You can also take supplements rich in antioxidants if you have a hard time with adopting a well-balanced diet.
Stay Well Away from Processed Foods (beware of foods that come in a box – think breakfast cereals like Coco Pops)
You can stay in shape thanks to a healthy diet which includes five fruits and vegetables a day, two portions of dairy products, three to five portions of lean meats and eight portions of cereals, preferably whole grains.
To get a better understanding of what these portion sizes mean and what they actually look like I have provided a couple of authoritative sites for you to have a look at. One is the Mayo Clinic and the other is the American Heart Association.
Processed foods should be avoided at all costs because of their poor nutritional value and their many dubious additives.
These foods usually contain high quantities of fat, salt and sugar and many other baddies most of us can’t even pronounce. Stay away from processed meats, pre-packaged snacks and frozen dinners. These processed foods can contain unhealthy ingredients such as:
– white flour – white sugar – artificial flavours and colours – trans fats – sweeteners – preservatives
These ingredients should be avoided to reduce the effects of aging as they can trigger inflammation, which leads to joint pain, bad complexion and even cause you to gain weight. An unhealthy diet containing too many processed foods can also increase your chances of developing debilitating problems like heart disease and high cholesterol.
Instead of buying foods that have been highly processed, look for healthier options in the lines of fresh fruits and vegetables – much more satisfying and much better for you in the long term.
2. Adopt a Strict Skincare Routine
An efficient skincare regimen can slow down the effects of aging. Your skin is probably the first thing you will notice once the aging process starts. A healthy diet will actually help you keep a youthful complexion. You should hydrate your skin and protect it from the suns rays at all times with a good 30+ sunscreen to prevent skin damage and melanomas.
Exercise Regularly (I know I say this a lot but it does work)
Working out regularly will make you feel younger, give you a great complexion and slow down the aging process. Exercising helps you tone your body and improve your circulation.
Better circulation means a healthier complexion since the blood flow will bring the vitamins and nutrients needed by your skin. Walking for thirty minutes a day five or six days a week and supplemented with some functional resistance exercises will make a huge difference to people of all ages.
Staying Hydrated is More Important than Most People Think
Many of us do not even realize when our bodies are a bit on the dehydrated side. For example, working in constant air-conditioning dries the skin and dehydrates the body but you barely notice it taking place.
Try this, the next time you have a headache, have a crack at drinking a large glass of water before reaching for the Panadol. Wait thirty minutes and see how you feel then. More than often you are just a little dehydrated (and that’s what caused the headache).
Moisturizing creams are important for your skin too and is the best way to help prevent wrinkles and age spots from appearing but you really do need to drink lots of water to keep your body well hydrated. And another bonus……drinking plenty of water will help you lose weight.
If you are not properly hydrated, your skin will not receive any moisture. A lack of this much needed moisture can cause cells to shrink and die which will give you a poor complexion and make your skin look old and dry. So drink up and reap the benefits of a new younger looking you.
Now read Part 2 for more ways to slow down the aging process.