Ok, whilst it isn’t possible to completely reverse ageing, there is most definitely a number of things you can implement in your life, in order to age with grace and keep your body and mind as healthy as possible!
Our bodies are made up of 70% water – with the skin, 64% water. That is huge!
Dehydrated skin can become dry, irritated, inflamed, and appear dull, discoloured or faded. Lines and wrinkles can become more noticeable, and as the plump elasticity of our skin reduces with age – it becomes increasingly important to give our skin every chance it has to renew itself.
Water also makes up a large portion of our muscle, so in order to maintain as much muscle mass as possible when we age – keeping our hydration levels up is crucial in helping to reduce diseases such as osteoporosis and limiting muscle atrophy.
We’ve all heard the phrase ‘You are what you eat’, and could not be closer to the truth if it tried. In order for our body to function well and efficiently into our older years, we must take care of ourselves internally.
Reducing the amount of sugar, salt, and saturated fats we consume – and replacing these with fresh, wholesome fruit, veggies and lean meats will ensure our organs remain healthy, and we can continue to perform at our best!
One of the most important things to remember as we age, is that if you don’t use it – you lose it. Past the age of 50, our muscle breakdown increases rapidly – putting our bones and joints at risk, as well as our waistlines with a slowing metabolism.
Aim to move your body each day for at least 30mins. Doing resistance training 2-4 times a week will aid greatly in maintaining your muscle mass – and keep your body mobile well into your later years.
Surround yourself with those you love
When we are surrounded by those that bring us joy, it is no secret that we light up! Continuing to surround yourself with the people you love including family and friends will continue to promote endorphin releases within the brain which make us feel happy and fulfilled within our lives. Now you don’t have to see people every day, BUT aim for at least one outing every couple of days. This could be a walk or coffee with a friend, a book club, or even a gym class.
More and more research is being released relating to the impact that stress has on our health – and believe us when we say, it is something you want to avoid at all costs.
So, before you get wound up – ask yourself these simple questions to assess whether the stressor is something you really need to be concerned about, or if it is something that can be put aside.
- Does this stressor require action immediately? If so, what is the simplest and most effective action? If not, take 5 deep breaths and move on to the next question.
- Does this stressor actually involve me? If so, what is it that I can do to minimise the impact this is having on me? If not, take 5 deep breaths and move on to the next question.
- Does this stressor involve someone I love? If so, do I need to be stressed about it, or do I have no control and should rather show empathy and support the person I love as best I can? If not, take 5 deep breaths, and go do something you love that will bring you joy.
Mindfulness and meditation
Along with stress, there is much research coming out regarding the positive impacts that mediation and mindfulness has on our mental well-being. There are suggestions that mediations may promote healthy ageing by reducing the onset of dementia, and preserving brain structures. Meditation also improves cognitive functions, attention, and can reduce stress, anxiety and depression.
It’s no secret that alcohol is a poisonous drug – and with this comes rather grim side effects when consumed in abundance, such as cancer, liver diseases, brain damage, immune system deficiencies, and heart disease. Along with this, alcohol may also worsen conditions such as diabetes, mental health disorders, ulcers, and blood pressure.
As much as you can, reduce your alcohol consumption, and do this as early as possible. Alcohol may feel great at the time, but the damage it is doing to your body isn’t worth the short-lived high.
Ditch the cigarettes
We may as well copy and paste what you just read relating to alcohol, as it is completely applicable to cigarettes too. The one big difference with cigarettes is that they also impact the people around you. It is not unheard of for those who live with smokers, yet have never smoked a cigarette in their life, to develop lung cancer or more minor health conditions. Whilst the link is not yet concrete – research shows that about 20% of women who are diagnosed with lung cancer in the US have never smoked a cigarette in their life.
If the stuff on the inside doesn’t scare you, perhaps what happens to your external features might… Those who smoke are more likely to develop wrinkles, dull and discoloured skin, become drawn in the face, lose or have brittle hair, and lose both muscle mass and bone density. Need we say more?
Get out into nature
Whilst being in nature will not directly reduce the ageing process, it has been shown to aid in other areas of life (some previously discussed) which in turn will help.
Getting out into nature may increase happiness, reduce stress, boost vitamin D – a vitamin shown to reduce risk of many common diseases, improve memory, promote weight-loss, and boost your immune system!
Keep your mind at work
As we age, our brain along with the rest of our body, begins to deteriorate – for this reason it is important to not only keep up the physical activity we do, but also the mental exercises. Performing neurologically stimulating activities such as crosswords, sudoku, scrabble etc can help in reducing the rate our brains deteriorate, and in some cases has been shown to reduce the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s.
So, there you have it! 10 tips you can implement to help reduce the ageing process, and keep your mind and body in tip top shape!