Aging is beautiful. In their later years, adults often become happier, more confident, wiser and more empathetic. But not everyone loves the physical signs of aging. We’ve created a list of suggestions for how to slow down the aging process naturally to help you enjoy your retirement years as much as possible.
8 Helpful Tips: How to Slow Down the Aging Process Naturally
1. Take Good Care of Your Skin
When discussing the effects of aging, many people think of wrinkles and liver spots. Wrinkles are beautiful in their own way — they show the story of your life, the times you’ve laughed and the adventures you’ve had. But if you’re looking to minimize the appearance of age on your face, there are a few tried-and-true skin care tactics you can take.
Shield your skin from the sun with wide-brimmed hats and a mineral sunscreen when you’re going to be outside. Wash your face regularly with a gentle cleanser — especially after you’ve been sweating. Consult your dermatologist to find out what skin care products will work best for your skin and your goals.
2. Get Proper Nutrition
Eating whole, nutrient-rich food can help prevent or delay age-related damage to your body. By steering clear of processed sugar and unhealthy fats, you can inhibit the onset of heart disease, diabetes and inflammation. Optimized nutrition helps with cognitive health as well. Doctors recommend a diet of lean proteins, colorful fruits and vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products.
3. Incorporate Regular Fitness
When workouts become a regular practice, your whole body responds positively. Your muscle mass increases; your cholesterol levels go down; your heart and lungs grow stronger; and your immune system improves. Set a goal to get 30 minutes of aerobic exercise five days a week and add at least 10 minutes of strength training two days a week. The intensity of your physical activity will depend on your current fitness level. Speak to your doctor about what sort of routine might be right for you.
4. Quit Smoking
If you’re a smoker, this is one of the most important steps you can take to improve health and help you live longer. Smoking can cause or worsen cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease and multiple types of cancer. And if those internal effects don’t inspire you to quit, smoking can cause tooth loss and narrow blood vessels in the outer layers of your skin, preventing your skin from getting sufficient oxygen and nutrients.
5. Stay Hydrated
Water makes up roughly 60% of the human body, and it’s indispensable to many vital organs, including the heart, lungs and kidneys. Water helps lubricate joints to keep you moving easily. It also allows the body’s cells to grow and reproduce. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to have a drink of water. Keep a glass or a bottle at hand and drink throughout the day.
Another great way to boost your hydration is to eat water-dense foods. Great sources are bell peppers, cucumbers, grapes, watermelon, strawberries, broccoli and carrots — to name a few.
6. Maintain a Healthy Gut
Your gut bacteria play important roles within your body, including mood regulation, brain health and better sleep. You can enhance your gut functions by eating foods with healthy bacteria (probiotics) and fiber that feeds the healthy bacteria (prebiotics). Examples of probiotic foods include high-quality yogurt, sauerkraut and unpasteurized pickles. Prebiotic foods include garlic, onions and bananas, among others. Maintaining gut health also vastly improves your immune system and can help with weight loss.
7. Aim for Less Stress
High levels of stress release the hormone cortisol, which breaks down collagen in the skin and causes it to lose elasticity. Stress also causes inflammation in the body, which can weaken the body’s ability to heal and repair itself. Tension and anxiety can raise blood pressure, exacerbate heart disease, and cause gastrointestinal problems. Engaging in physical activity, reducing your caffeine consumption, meditating, and socializing with friends can all help diminish daily stress.
8. Get More Sleep
Quality sleep can support cognitive function, help control blood pressure and cardiovascular functions, and boost the immune system. Additionally, insufficient sleep can diminish your body’s ability to repair cell damage, leading to increased wrinkles and under-eye bags. While sleep patterns naturally change with age, older adults still require the same amount of sleep as they did in their younger years — 7-9 hours per night.
While we celebrate aging and the incomparable spirit of our residents at Sedgebrook, we want them to live their best lives in their retirement years. That’s why we focus on holistic wellness that incorporates a lot of these suggestions for how to slow down the aging process naturally. If you’d like to find out more about our vibrant lifestyle, contact us. We’d be happy to provide more information.