Aging happens to all of us, but it doesn’t have to be something we dread.
Think of all the lovely assets you have acquired along your journey. You have done the work for many; you have learned many amazing life lessons; maybe you have even retired or are close to retired. Now is the time to savor life, sit back and enjoy and reflect.
Yet, still, time to venture into new hobbies or even a new creative career but because you want to, not because you have to. No more of the uncertainty and angst that can come when you’re young.
One of my favorite humans of all time is Maya Angelou, who said it so beautifully when she spoke of her 70’s as the best decade to enjoy life. With compassion and candor, Maya’s work speaks to the heart, inspiring us to love life, persevere through its challenges, and share our gifts with others.
Most of us want to look beautiful and have probably read many beauty tips on looking and staying young, from using more olive oil for improved skincare to drinking more green tea for health.
This article delves into the simple things you can do to look and feel great. So, why not age gracefully with that natural glow inside and out? Here is my foolproof plan.
Remember, as you care for your parent or loved one, you also deserve calm and balance in yours. So, why not feel great too!
1. Drink Plenty of Water
Water is an easy way to look and feel youthful. Drinking plenty of water daily nourishes the skin by keeping it moist and your nails and hair looking healthy and soft. Starting each morning with warm water with lemon is an amazing way to detoxify the body gently. Water is the Elixir of Life.
2. Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is underrated, and often a culprit overlooked. Lack of sleep can cause many problems, including visible signs of aging on your face. Compared with those who had less than 5 hours of sleep, women, and men who slept 7-9 hours had skin that bounced back better due to more recovery time from exposure to ultraviolet rays.
The bottom line is we need our sleep so that our body can release a hormone that aids in growth which in turn restores collagen and elastin, essential building blocks of healthy skin.
3. Use Sunscreen
While the sun nourishes us with vitamin D, it also has harmful ultraviolet rays, potentially leading to skin cancer. Some dermatologists say that 90 percent of dark spots, wrinkles, and sagging result from sun exposure. In addition, as we get older, the structural fiber of the skin known as collagen begins to degenerate. Exposure to the sun accelerates this degeneration.
Therefore, it is advisable on a hot day to make sure to apply sunscreen generously. Before going out, wear sunglasses and a hat to protect your skin. On many occasions, we forget to pay attention to the hands and focus purely on the face, which leads to visible signs of aging on the hands.
4. Use Retinoid To Reduce Wrinkles
Retinol is a derivative of vitamin A. Most dermatologists recommend it because of its anti-aging effects. In addition, it increases the production of collagen, which prevents fine lines. It is also responsible for the development of new blood vessels leading to healthy rosy skin.
5. Strive for an Optimal Diet
What you put into your body plays a huge part in our appearance, health, and our mood. Therefore, we must pay attention to this part of our lives. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean protein, whole grains, and low in sugar is highly advisable. Including good fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids found in foods such as walnuts, salmon, and tuna, are great for protecting your skin and making you look younger.
Remember that we are all unique, so play around with the optimal diet that suits you!
6. Exercise regularly and Practice Good Posture
There are a plethora of benefits when it comes to exercising. Among them are the feel-good hormones which are produced when we exercise – endorphins. These make us happier and improve our energy levels. Also, exercise is a great way to build muscle. Unfortunately, the older we get, the more muscle we lose; this results from degeneration. However, we can remedy this through resistance training which increases mass and strength.
Walking or taking the stairs, or gardening are great activities if you don’t want to belong to a gym. These activities keep your heart rate up and keep you looking young and feeling healthy. The more we exercise, the more blood flow to the cells, including skin cells, nourishing them.
With posture, exercise helps straighten up your posture by reversing the bone loss that occurs as we age. Weight training and resistance exercises help you develop a strong back and shoulders. Unfortunately, by 40, we start to see bone loss. Vitamin D plays a role in the regulation of aging tissue, the skin being one of them.
7. Avoid Smoking
According to many reports, including a report by the Mayo Clinic, smoking significantly speeds up the aging process. The chemicals infused in cigarettes have also been known to damage skin fiber and collagen and reduce skin elasticity. So, don’t smoke, plain and simple.
8. Revise your Style
Sometimes, it’s challenging to let go of a style of hair or dressing that has always worked for you since it feels comfortable and familiar, but trying out new styles may surprise you and make you feel younger. In a study conducted in 2010, women who cut or colored their hair thought they appeared more youthful and had lower blood pressure.
When it comes to hair color, some people prefer coloring while others embrace their gray. Your gray hair can look sophisticated with just the proper cut and just the right hairdresser to execute it. On the other hand, dark hair causes your features to look severe, while a lighter color often softens your appearance.
9. Visit Your Dentist
Over time our teeth discolor due to wine stains, coffee, tea, or smoking. Regular visits to your dentist will have your teeth whiter and look great in no time. However, other age-related issues such as the natural recession of the gums, which causes teeth to look longer, may occur. For this reason, It is also advisable to brush regularly and floss, and it’s advisable to go for a dental check-up twice a year. I increased my check-ups to three times a year as I love to have my teeth cleaned.
10. Maintain a Positive Attitude
According to a study from Yale University, people who viewed aging positively lived 7.5 years longer than those who approached it with a negative attitude. To reiterate this, according to the Journal of American Medical Association, seniors who viewed aging positively (wisdom and overall satisfaction) are 40 percent more likely to recover from a disability than those who see it as synonymous with helplessness.
The more you embrace getting older and appreciate its positive aspects, the happier you are and the younger you look.
As a son or daughter with an aging parent or loved one, as we look after our loved ones and hope the best for them, why not look after ourselves too. I hope you found this article insightful and eye-opening that the simple things DO count.