Friday, January 18, 2008 at 4:21pm by Site Administrator
Even the young at heart can’t escape the slow progression into old age. This inevitability doesn’t have to be an entirely bad thing, however, as with each one of those wrinkles and gray hairs comes a little bit of wisdom. While you can’t stop your body and mind from aging, you can help to slow down the process and keep yourself in the best health possible. Here are a few tips to help keep you healthy as you age.
Your skin is your body’s largest organ, and the one that frequently is hit hardest by your lifestyle. Here are some tips on helping your skin to age gracefully.
- Drink plenty of water. Find a real fountain of youth in a glass of water. Drinking water moisturizes your skin from the inside out. Water is also essential to maintaining elasticity and suppleness and helps prevent dryness, making your skin look young and fresh longer.
- Always use sunscreen. Few things age your skin more quickly than overexposure to sunlight. Any time you’re going outside, make sure to apply sunscreen to your face and arms and try to avoid extended exposure during the hottest parts of the day in the afternoon.
- Reduce your exposure to pollution. The air is full of harmful toxins and chemicals that can damage your skin, especially if you live in a big city or sit through traffic jams every day. Try to reduce the amount of time you expose yourself to pollutants.
- Use an anti-aging moisturizer. Moisture is important to maintaining young skin, so make sure to keep yours looking as good as it can by using a moisturizer daily. Get one with an added bonus of anti-aging ingredients.
- Exfoliate. Get rid of the surface layer of dead skin on your face by exfoliating. As you get older, it will become increasing important to slough off these dead cells. It will help reduce the appearance of fine lines and help your skin to look younger and more glowing.
- Stop all that frowning. Stress affects all parts of your body, your skin included. Continued frowning, furrowing of brows, and just general unhappiness can cause you to age prematurely.
- Choose a good cleanser. Keeping your face clean is an integral part of keeping it looking young. Use a gentle cleanser to wash dirt, pollutants, and other impurities away.
- Wear sunglasses. Squinting into the sunlight won’t do your eyes or your skin any favors. When you go out in the sun, toss on a pair of your favorite shades to save your eyesight and avoid worsening crow’s feet and fine lines.
- Don’t use straws. Believe it or not, the pursing of the facial muscles used to drink from a straw can cause wrinkles, just like smoking. So drink your beverages straight from a glass.
- Avoid harsh chemicals. The harsh chemicals in many cleansers and facial products can dry out skin and make you look older than you are. Keep your skin looking young by avoiding chemical laden products. Go organic or use products with a more gentle recipe.
- Take some lecithin. Lecithin is substance that is found in the cells of all living organisms. When taken as a supplement, it can help soften skin and help other skin preserving elements better penetrate the surface.
- Use products with natural oils. Unless you have oily skin naturally, using products with natural oils added can help your skin look more moisturized and supple. They can also help hold in moisture and keep your skin from drying out.
- Pay special attention to skin around the eyes. The skin around your eyes is more delicate and sensitive than that on the rest of your body, so you should treat it with more care than the rest of your face. Use products that contain gentle, non-irritating compounds that are oil free and that will plump and add vitamins to your skin.
- Try a moisturizer containing retinol. Retinol is a form of vitamin A and it’s used in a variety of anti-aging products. Applied topically, retinol should increase the rate of skin turnover and collagen production, giving skin a more youthful appearance
How you choose to live your life day-to-day can have a big impact in your health in years to come. Here are some ways you can change your lifestyle to keep feeling young.
- Get plenty of sleep. Not getting enough sleep may be doing more harm than just making you groggy at your morning meetings. It can also accelerate aging by hindering your metabolism and hormone production, which can put you at higher risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, and even memory loss. While everyone’s sleep needs are different, average people need about eight hours to feel fully rested.
- Reduce stress. Everyone experiences a little stress now and again, but chronic, long-term stress can age you prematurely and even make you sick. Recent studies have shown that stress shortens the life span of cells, thereby shortening your life span as well. Cut back on the stressors in your life to stay healthier and happier.
- Have sex. Most people don’t need much additional motivation to engage in sexual activity, but an added bonus is that it could be helping you stay young as well. Sex boosts endorphins, triggers the release of growth hormones that improve bone strength, and has even been shown to slow aging and reduce wrinkles.
- Keep laughing. The ability to find humor even when things are getting you down could be a key factor in helping you look and feel younger. Find ways to put a smile on your face every day.
- Quit smoking. You’ve heard it time and time again, but it bears repeating: stop smoking. The sooner the better. Smoking accelerates aging, causes wrinkling, and makes you look and feel older.
- Treat your body like a temple. You only get one body to work with, so treat yours with respect. Eat well, exercise, and avoid putting harmful substances into your body. It may not give you eternal youth, but it sure won’t hurt.
- Be an optimist. Research has shown that those with a positive outlook on life actually live longer and feel like they have more productive lives than those with more negative outlooks. Those with optimistic dispositions are less prone to illness, too. So the next time you feel yourself slipping into a foul mood, count your blessings and take a look at the bright side.
- Turn off the TV. Sitting in front of the TV might by entertaining, but it’s not challenging your body or your mind. Instead of spending your evenings watching the latest reality shows, take a walk, get some exercise, or just talk to your friends and family.
- Keep a daily schedule. Getting into a routine of when you go to bed, get up, eat, and exercise can help you feel happier and healthier. It can help you stick to healthy habits and help your body get into a reliable rhythm.
- Be flexible. You’ll save yourself loads of stress and maybe even a few gray hairs if you adopt a more flexible attitude about day-to-day events. Things may not always turn out how you planned, but being able to work with these changes instead of against them can help take a great weight off your shoulders.
- Nurture positive relationships. Human beings are inherently social animals, and part of our well-being depends on having others we can rely on and relate to in our lives. Cultivate relationships with those who share similar outlooks, hobbies, and a love of life as you do.
- Go to the doctor. If you are having unexplained pains, unusual symptoms or just don’t feel right, getting yourself to a doctor promptly could help you out in the long run. Even if you don’t have any symptoms, you should get yearly physicals and exams as well. Getting early medical treatment is key to curing many diseases.
- Don’t be a worrywart. Meditating on things that are wrong or that are troubling you can stress you out, making you get less sleep, feel bad and generally aging you more quickly. Do what you can to better situations that worry you, then let them go. Worrying about things you can’t change won’t help, and the stress will show in your face.
- Brush your teeth. Keeping your teeth healthy not only makes you look younger but can help you more easily eat nutritious foods. Brushing and flossing and seeing a dentist regularly can help keep your teeth in good chomping condition.
- Check your cholesterol. While all cholesterol isn’t bad, having an excess amount of it in the body can injure your blood vessels and make you more prone to heart attacks and strokes. Have your levels checked by your doctor regularly so you can take measures to correct this problem
- Slow down. You might feel like you need to rush around to get everything done, but the constant stress of an overly busy lifestyle can take its toll on your body and mind. Take a moment to slow down, stop, and appreciate the smaller things in life every once in awhile.
- Enjoy the ride. Getting older is a fact of life, more inevitable than even those pesky taxes. So, do what you can to make your journey comfortable and enjoy the new experiences that come along with every stage of your life.
- Stay young at heart. You might be getting older, but you hold off on feeling older by keeping in touch with your inner child. Don’t lose your sense of wonder or enjoyment at the world around you.
- Take a vacation. There isn’t much point in getting that raise or putting in those extra hours of work if you don’t get to enjoy the benefits. Give yourself a break now and then to rest and rejuvenate. Your body and mind will appreciate it.
- Find someone to love. Whether it’s your spouse, a child, your parents, a friend or even a pet, having a person you love and that loves you back can have an incredibly positive impact on your health and well being.
- Don’t let misfortunes take over. Bad things happen in everyone’s life, but don’t dwell on the negative. Give yourself a chance to grieve, be sad, or mourn things you’ve lost, but don’t let that become your entire life. Deal with them and move on to happier experiences.
- Start now. The best time to start working on keeping yourself feeling younger is right now. No matter how old you are it’s never too late to make positive changes in your life that will affect your well being and overall health.
- Lose some weight. Obesity has been found to greatly accelerate the aging process and make you look much older than you actually are. Not everyone can be supermodel thin, but everyone can reach a weight that is healthy for them.
- Get a pet. Pets do more than just keep you company. Pet owners tend to visit the doctor less, recover from heart attacks more quickly, and have fewer problems with depression and high blood pressure.
- Be careful. Conscientious people have been shown to live longer than those that are more careless and impulsive. They’re also less prone to Alzheimer’s. It may not be in your nature, but it could be to your benefit to put more thought and consideration into your decisions.
- Get checked for diabetes. Many people, especially those with a family history of the disease, can become at risk for diabetes as they get older. If you feel that you might be exhibiting some of the symptoms, make a trip to your doctor to find out so you can begin working to reverse some of the effects of the disease.
- Learn your family history. Family history plays a big role in whether or not you’ll develop a wide variety of illnesses. Find out what your parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents had if anything so you can get tested and plan accordingly to reduce your chances of getting ill yourself.
- Be proactive. As you grow older, it’s very important to get checked for colon, breast, testicular and cervical cancers, among others. Make annual trips to your doctor to undergo screening. Finding out early on can help you more effectively fight the disease.
Traditional wisdom states that we are what we eat, so make sure what you take in will make you healthy. Here are some foods and diet tips to help you look and feel healthier.
- Limit drinking. A glass of wine now and then won’t do you much harm, but drinking to excess can catch up with you. Limit your alcohol intake to one or two drinks a day to keep your liver and heart healthy.
- Have an apple a day. An apple a day really might keep the doctor away. New research has shown that the anti-oxidants and flavinoids in apple can help prevent Alzheimer’s and other degenerative brain diseases as well as help prevent cancer and diabetes.
- Cut out excess fat. Cutting out bad fats in your diet can help reduce your risk of heart disease, obesity, and many other diseases. If you’re going to eat fats, try to get more of the good, unsaturated kind.
- Up your fiber intake. Complex carbohydrates like fibers found in fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, and bran can have more than a positive affect on your digestive system. They can also help you feel more full, improve control of diabetes, and even lower cholesterol.
- Have a little vitamin A. Vitamin A is an integral part of cell restoration and growth of new skin cells, but it is a vitamin that needs to be taken in moderation as too much can actually cause damage to internal organs. Foods high in vitamin A are milk, egg yolks, carrots and dark leafy-green vegetables.
- Eat your veggies. Studies have shown that eating vegetables can help slow the rate of cognitive decline. Eating about 3 servings of veggies a day can help reduce your rate of decline by up to 40%. So make sure to include vegetables as part of your daily diet.
- Get your organosulfurs. Foods high in organosulfurs include garlic, onions, leeks, chives, broccoli, and cauliflower. It is believed that these foods, and the organosulfurs they contain help the body to fight off cancer, heart disease and stroke.
- Eat breakfast. Start your day the right way with a healthy breakfast. Eating more calories in the morning and during the middle of the day leaves less unburned calories when you go to bed, leading to less weight gain, and a healthier life for you.
- Enjoy tea time. Green tea is rich in antioxidants which can help fight the damaging and aging effect of free radical oxygen in your body. Have a cup a day to relax and get your vitamins in liquid form.
- Eat foods rich in antioxidants. While you may not be consciously aware of it, your body is under constant attack from free radicals, molecules that are generated during the process of oxidation. Studies have shown that substances that fight these molecules, known as antioxidants, can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, improve arthritis, reduce wrinkles, and even improve brain function.
- Make sure you have enough calcium. Calcium is a key component to strong bones and teeth, two things that you definitely don’t want deteriorating. Keep them strong by taking calcium supplements or by getting your calcium through foods rich in it.
- Try organics. Don’t take in any chemicals you don’t need to. Pesticides, hormones, and herbicides can have unpredictable effects on your body, even in small quantities. When possible, buy organic produce to reduce your exposure to these.
- Make eating enjoyable. Just because you aren’t loading up on fast food and cookies at each meal doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be able to enjoy eating. Eating healthy should be an experience that’s not just good for you but delicious as well, as good food is one of the great pleasures in life. Even the most adamant of veggie haters can find a way to eat them, so try out new things and see what works for you.
- Get some phytochemicals. Phytochemicals, like those found in broccoli, other green veggies and fish are powerful anti-inflammatory agents. Inflammation, when it’s chronic, can damage arteries, nerve cells, and ultimately your immune system as a whole, so battle it by eating healthy.
- Take a vitamin E supplement. Vitamin E is a powerful age-fighting antioxidant, but one that isn’t easy to get from diet alone. Try taking a supplement containing the valuable vitamin to help you fight off the early signs of aging, especially when taken in conjunction with an exercise program.
- Consume more fish. Fish are full of omega-3s, which are great for helping keep your heart healthy. Societies with high levels of fish consumption have much lower levels of heart disease and lower blood pressure. Health organizations recommend 2 servings a week.
- Have some red wine. Red wine contains resveratrol, a substance that has been linked to reduction in the risk of cancer, atherosclerosis, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. While you’d have to drink quite a bit of wine to get the full benefits of this substance, having a glass or two at dinner has still been shown to reduce the risk of several heart related illnesses by thinning the blood and reducing the risk of dangerous clots.
- Cut back on the caffeine. A little bit of caffeine here and there won’t hurt you, but finishing off a whole pot of it by yourself on a daily basis just might. Caffeine might give you a pick-me-up in the morning, but consuming too much can put you at risk of heart problems, kidney stones, and can decrease your mineral absorption. You don’t have to cut it out of your diet altogether, but limiting yourself can help prevent many age related illnesses.
- Have some dark chocolate. Research at Tufts University has shown that dark chocolate may help lower your blood pressure, not to mention that it contains beneficial antioxidants that can help slow down the aging process. So the next time you’re craving a sweet treat, grab a bit of dark chocolate and indulge guilt free.
- Take vitamin C. It’s not only an apple a day that can help keep you young, but an orange might just do the job as well. New research has shown that people who ate foods rich in vitamin C had fewer wrinkles than those that didn’t. While many factors influence wrinkling, it can’t hurt to add that glass of orange juice to your morning meal.
- Eat whole foods. Eating foods that are rich in vitamins, minerals, and complex carbohydrates is good for you. These kinds of foods, loaded with phytochemicals, nutrients, and other beneficial substances, can help you make the most of the nutrients you’re taking in and keep those wrinkles at bay.
- Eat smart fats. Not all fats are bad. In fact, some are essential to the absorption of certain vitamins and minerals. Try to avoid the artery clogging kinds of fats, and instead get more omega-3s and unsaturated fats.
- Reduce your caloric intake. Studies have shown that restricting your caloric intake can have a big impact on your longevity. Eating less fatty, high calorie food will keep you healthier, improve your heart, and possibly add years to your life.
- Eat a superfruit. Superfruits include cranberries, pomegranates, blueberries and acai. They’re loaded with antioxidants and preliminary studies have shown that drinking pomegranate juice might reduce the risk or prostate cancer and improve blood flow. And as a bonus, it’s delicious too.
- Avoid heavily processed foods. Processed foods are often high in salts, fats and other substances that aren’t great for a nutritious diet. They can raise blood pressure and cause you to put on weight, both things you want to avoid if your goal is feeling young.
- Limit sugar intake. Sugar can leech valuable minerals needed to keep your metabolism running smoothly, and can even suppress your immune system. Avoid foods high in processed sugars and you’ll reduce your risk of metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and heart disease.
- Embrace the food pyramid. Eating a wide variety of foods is essential to maintaining a healthy body and mind. You don’t have to be a slave to the food pyramid, but do try to use it as a guideline to what you should take in each day. Hate dairy? Get your calcium from a vegetable instead.
- Indulge in moderation. There isn’t much point in living out those extra years if you’re not going to enjoy them. Let yourself indulge now and again in things you love but know aren’t the best for you. Having one slice of cheesecake or the occasional fast food dinner isn’t going to ruin your health, so let loose on occasion.
- Get your vitamins from food when possible. You might think taking that multivitamin every morning is giving you all the nutrition you need, but you’d be wrong. Often, vitamins and minerals taken in pill form have little impact. You’ll get a much bigger effect from the same substances if you get them from foods instead. You’ll not only be getting the nutrients you need, but also eating healthier.
Sitting on the couch isn’t going to help you keep your youthful look or feel, no matter how much you might enjoy it. These are some ways you can break your couch potato ways.
- Get in some cardio. Get your heart pumping with a daily cardio workout. Getting your heart rate up through exercise has been shown to slow aging through reducing cholesterol and helping you maintain heart capacity. It can also help you build muscle, burn fat, and generally feel better and more energetic.
- Lift weights. Cardio may get the most attention, but weight lifting is just as important to keeping your body from aging prematurely. From 40 onward your body can lose up to a quarter pound of muscle mass per year which can often be replaced with fat instead. You can help prevent this by lifting weights a few times a week which will boost your muscle mass and fight fat at the same time.
- Get outside. When you can, get your exercise outdoors. The fresh air will feel great, and the suns ray’s will help your body produce vitamin D, which is essential to good health.
- Do yoga. Yoga isn’t just good exercise, it can also help you to reduce stress. Engaging in yoga a few times a week can help reduce wrinkles, slow weight gain, ease pain, and even help you sleep better at night.
- Work on your balance. Many people find that as they age, good balance is one of the things that they begin to lose. Work on yours by increasing your strength and taking classes like yoga and pilates that can help you build it up.
- Bring a friend. Working out alone can be tedious, so bring a friend along to motivate you and keep you company. You’ll not only get in better shape, but you’ll get valuable and enjoyable social interaction at the same time.
- Monitor your lung volume. By the time most people reach 60 they’ve lost over 40 percent of their lung volume. You can get yours tested at your primary physician to see if it needs some improvement. An exercise program that raises your heart rate and gets you breathing hard can help improve lung function and get you some of your lung capacity back.
- Keep your body fat low. While you might be focused on lowering your overall weight, what is more important to watch is your percentage of body fat. Extra fat can have negative effects on your overall health, like increasing your risk of arterial clogging and diabetes.
- Play sports. Sports aren’t for everyone, but if you have a hard time getting motivated to work out, joining a team can be a great way to make exercising fun and social. Whether you’re playing a quick pick-up game of soccer or shooting hoops in your driveway, every little bit of activity helps you look and feel healthier.
- Take a walk. If you don’t feel fit enough to start exercising hardcore right off of the bat, try getting in a quick walk when you can. Even light exercise reduces you chances of getting diabetes, cancer, depression, dementia and wrinkles.
- Do some chores. Don’t have time to make it to the gym every day? You can still get in some physical activity by doing some chores around the house. Whether you’re sweeping, scrubbing out the tub or mowing the lawn, you’ll be burning a lot more calories than you would be sitting on the couch.
- Dance. Getting exercise doesn’t have to be all work and no play. You can also dance your way to feeling young and fit. Grab your significant other or your best friends and dance away. It is good exercise, can reduce stress, and can even be romantic.
- Stretch. Loss of flexibility is big reason many people experience so many aches and pains as they get older. Hold on to your youthful range of motion a little bit longer by stretching regularly or engaging in exercises that include it.
Aging can have a big impact on your cognitive abilities, so keep your brain in tip-top shape by trying out a few of these tips.
- Do crossword puzzles. Keep your brain in tip-top shape by engaging it daily in puzzle solving activities like a crossword puzzle or sudoku. Using these mental muscles can help improve your recall rate of all kinds of information.
- Read a book. Reading not only engages the brain, but it also can be a great way to learn and expand your horizons.
- Stay curious. Even the oldest people in the world don’t know everything there is to know about it. Always keep your curiosity about the world around you, as there is always something new to experience and learn.
- Never stop learning. One sure way to age your brain is to stop feeding it new information. Whether you learn from books, those around you, or even the Internet, stay engaged with things going on in the world and keep your brain on the top of its game.
- Keep things interesting. Don’t let yourself fall into a mental rut. If you feel like you’re living the same day over and over again, then do something to shake things up. Otherwise, you’ll start losing your mental sharpness.
- Challenge yourself. One way to make your day to day life more interesting is to constantly give yourself new challenges. Dare your brain to complete a puzzle or finish a short story, anything to keep it from getting dull and bored.
- Stay social. People with large social circles and those that feel they have others they can depend on generally enjoy longer lives and better health than those who are more solitary. Even if you only have a few close friends, spending time with them and those that you love can make you feel and think young.
- Listen to music. Music isn’t just entertaining, it also helps to engage your brain and improve your mood. The next time you’re sitting around in silence, try turning on your favorite tunes instead.
- Don’t live alone. Humans are highly social animals, and as you age, being around others, especially those who stimulate you, can do wonders for your health and well-being.
- Take control. Those that feel in control of their lives and their goals are generally more happy and have better mental and physical health than those who feel the opposite. Take control of your life and reap the benefits.
- Have a hobby. It’s important to brain health not to become bored or unchallenged by the things in your life, so pick up a hobby if you don’t already have one. Play tennis, build ships in a bottle, or anything else that stimulates your interest and gets you out of your recliner.
- Join a club or group. Becoming part of a group, whether it’s with a church, a community center, or just a small book club, can give you valuable social interaction as well as help you learn something new and keep your brain active and engaged.
- Increase oxygen flow. Increasing the flow of oxygen to the brain, like what happens during aerobic exercise, has been shown to slow the death and deterioration of brain tissue and in some cases actually causes an increase in brain volume.
- Stimulate your senses. Give your five senses a whirl while you still can. Aging naturally causes a decline in the senses, especially those of hearing and sight.
- Play a video game. Video games can act like a mental gym for aging minds. Many are full of challenging puzzles, games, and levels that will keep your brain guessing and working hard to find solutions.
- Engage in thoughtful conversations. While yelling matches are hardly good for you, a healthy debate is. It challenges your brain to work quickly and keeps you on your toes.
- Learn a language. One way to keep your brain busy is to start learning a new language. It will improve your language abilities, let you communicate with new people, make new friends, and give you a sense of accomplishment for having learned something new.
- Meditate. The stress hormone cortisol ages the brain, shrinking the hippocampus, the part of the brain essential to memory. Take a few minutes to calm yourself each day, focus on relaxing, and reducing your stress through meditation.
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