Finding the Fountain of Youth: Tips for Aging Gracefully
We’re all getting older, so knowing how to age gracefully is the difference between enjoying this process and dreading it. Taking care of your mind, body, and health is important and these tips for aging gracefully will help you age like a fine wine – gracefully and beautifully.
Aging Gracefully Tip #1 – Maintain a Healthy Weight
One of the best things you can do for your body, at any age, is to maintain a healthy weight. With an ideal body weight comes regulated blood pressure, less weight on your joints, more energy, and a stronger heart. Talk to your doctor about building an exercise and diet plan that’s right for your body. Each individual is different so rather than shooting for a specific number on the scale, focus on:
- Eating a diet full of fruits, veggies, lean proteins, and whole grains. Avoid processed carbs, sugar, or fatty foods as much as possible.
- Losing body fat while also gaining muscle mass. Muscle kickstarts our metabolism, gives us more energy, and makes us stronger.
- Eating enough protein to sustain your muscle growth
- Combining cardio and strength training
These fitness and diet tips will help you maintain a healthy weight, no matter what your body is capable of. Even just 30 minutes a day of walking, light jogging, or simple strength training will help you maintain your weight and physique and will give you a better chance of aging gracefully.
Aging Gracefully Tip #2 – Only Drink in Moderation
We all enjoy a drink or two here and there, but alcohol can have a detrimental effect on aging gracefully. Heavy drinking can lead to liver damage, dementia, skin aging (such as dark circles and wrinkles), and will hit you harder as you age. In fact, many researchers suggest that due to hormonal changes, alcohol sensitivity increases in older adults. This is because older adults tend to have a higher proportion of fat to muscle, meaning that you develop a higher blood alcohol content from drinking the same amount.
According to the National Institute on Aging, a healthy person age 65 or older should drink no more than seven alcoholic drinks in a week, or three drinks in any given day.
Aging Gracefully Tip #3 – Don’t Smoke
It should come as no surprise that smoking is harmful for both young people and older adults. Not only does smoking increase your likelihood of getting lung cancer, it also damages your liver, skin, and heart and significantly accelerates the aging process. This also includes e-cigarettes and vaporizers, as those contain harmful chemicals, as well.
Aging Gracefully Tip #4 – Hydrate
Our bodies run on water, so it’s important to stay hydrated to help your body age gracefully. Most nutritionists recommend drinking at least half your weight in ounces of water a day. For example, a 150 pound person should drink at least 75 ounces of water a day.
In addition to hydrating your body, it’s important to hydrate your skin, too! Hydrated skin is more elastic, meaning it shows less signs of aging. Use unscented face creams, hydrating masks, and collagen boosts to really keep your skin supple and young.
Aging Gracefully Tip #5 – Use Sunscreen
While some Vitamin D is good for us as we age, protecting your skin from the sun is one of the most important tips for aging gracefully. Exposure to the sun can cause premature signs of aging, including dark spots, wrinkles, and dry skin. When you do get your daily dose of sunshine, make sure to always wear sunscreen, sunglasses, and a wide brimmed hat (even if you’re only running errands).
Aging Gracefully Tip #6 – Exercise Your Brain
Did you know that neurobics is the practice of exercising your brain? While we all want to physically age gracefully, taking care of our minds is important too. Simple brain teasers or puzzles can help you stay sharp and may even ward off early signs of dementia. There are many ways to get yourself thinking in a new way, such as:
- Reading out loud
- Brushing your teeth with your opposite hand
- Remembering everything on your grocery list instead of writing it down
- Navigating around town without a map and just by memory
- Reading the newspaper backwards
- Changing up your morning routine
- Listening to podcasts or audiobooks on your commute
These are just a few ways to mix it up. No matter what brain exercise, or neurobic, you decide to try, it’s sure to help you age gracefully and intelligently.
Aging Gracefully Tip #7 – Have a Positive Attitude
One of the easiest tips for age gracefully is to change your perspective on life and growing older. Time will continue to pass, whether you fight it or not, so having a positive attitude about these years will help you feel (and look) better. Everyone enjoys spending time with positive people, so try to find gratitude in life and appreciate everything that your years have taught you. A famous quote tells us: “do not regret getting older. It is a privilege denied to many” and we couldn’t agree more.
With these tips for aging gracefully, it’s possible to age with dignity and positivity. Take care of your mind and body and you’ll find that growing old is just a state of mind!