Aging is inevitable, we should be proud of the years we accumulate. They are accompanied by experience, wisdom and greater insight. Growing old – I’m on board with, but looking old – on that idea I’m not so hot yet.
Let’s grow into our later years beautifully and gracefully and be proactive in our approach to aging! Here is a rundown of the many things you can do that won’t hurt or cost too much, but will make you feel strong and vibrant.
Get Your Beauty Sleep.
Stay up into the wee hours for any reason or experience a night of insomnia and you’ll probably notice signs of sleep deprivation in the mirror the next day. Pallor to your skin and bags under the eyes can definitely make you look tired and old.
Who get less than 6 hours of sleep a night may be at an increased risk for heart disease, viral infections, stroke or obesity. Adjust your habits and your attitude and begin working to get 7-8 hours of sleep a night.
Protect Your Skin and Eyes from the Sun
Sun overexposure ages the skin faster than nothing else. The structural protein of our skin, collagen, breaks down in response to UV radiation. The sun also increases the production of free radicals, which break down collagen as well and damage cells. Sunscreen offers some protection, but many people apply too little of it and not nearly frequently enough.
Sunglasses, aside from being a fashion accessory, will help prevent the wrinkles that accompany squinting at the sun and will protect the health of your eyes. Purchase sunglasses that provide 99-100% UV protection for both UVA & UVB rays. Also protect your skin from exposure by wearing a long sleeve, wide-brimmed hat and other sun-shielding apparel.
Your Brain: Use It or Lose It
Many habits, such as healthy eating and exercise, can keep our brain cells functioning well into our elderly years.
To keep your mind sharp, play games such as Chess, Sudoku and Scrabble or do crossword puzzles. Go to concerts and the theatre, lectures or read. Study foreign language or learn to play a musical instrument. Most importantly, maintain social connections and friendships.
Stop Smoking and Limit Alcohol.
Smoking can shorten your lifespan, and quality of life considerably and accelerate the aging process. Decreased emphysema, lung capacity and heart disease are all associated with smoking, not to mention the detrimental effect it has on your looks.
One alcoholic drink a day for women and up to two daily for men (12 ounces of beer, 4 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of spirits) may have beneficial effects on the heart., but excessive alcohol consumption, over time, negatively impacts almost every physiological system in the human body.
To delay getting older, don’t call a plastic surgeon! Grab a friend, play a game of Scrabble or go for walk. Enjoy all of your years to their fullest and do what you can to slow the aging process naturally!
Lifestyle activities, such as gardening, tennis, golf, bowling and ballroom dancing involve both mental and physical stimulation, keeping both our minds and bodies young.