Okay, this is not hocus pocus. This is article will not talk about unrealistic, magic-like DIYs to defy aging. This will be purely based on practical wisdom and science.
But we are talking about cell regeneration and the likes, neither. This article is actually about mitigating the effects of aging, not preventing aging per se.
Yes, we will all get old but what matters is not our age but how gracefully we age – both emotionally and physically.
As we age, we experience emotional and physiological changes. The hair starts to fade, they also turn gray, and then to white, skin droops, wrinkles become more prominent, skin dries up little by little, muscles sag, and our energy becomes less and less by the day.
But we can age gracefully and minimize the unfortunately effects brought by old age. Here are some tips on how to defy the effects of aging and age gracefully.
1. Be happy, stay happy.
Stress is a significant contributing factor a lot of body changes we experience. Stress can exacerbate existing medical conditions or can create new ones. True enough, the physical damages caused to your body by stress has only recently become appreciated by the scientific community.
So, avoid stress as much as you can. Fill your life with things you love and get rid of almost everything else.
Practice stress relieving activities like meditation and exercise, and learn to appreciate joy when you find it. Happiness does a body good. And it is an inside job.
2. Choose healthy food options like vegetables and fruits.
Toxins have significant and deleterious impact to our body. There is good evidence that oxidative damage caused by toxins and metabolism contributes to the aging process at a cellular level.
Foods (but not supplements) high in antioxidants seem to protect us from oxidative stress. Antioxidants are excellent mitigators of the effects of aging. Look for food options high in antioxidants and consider detox diet from time to time.
3. Avoid sugar (and added sugar).
Sugar is a direct cause of aging and significantly reduces lifespan in organisms from yeast to primates. Not by a small amount either.
High sugar intake is also related to a number of illnesses like diabetes for example. Suffering from illnesses related to controllable factors like sugar intake is not a good path to take while we grow old.
The appearance of your skin is largely dependent upon moisture and nourishment. Help it out by using moisturizers to keep your skin soft and hydrated.
Work with a professional to determine what type is best for you. A good rule of the thumb, too is to stay hydrated and stay natural. For example, you can try drinking lemon water instead of just plain water everyday.
5. Get rid of the habit of raising your eyebrows.
What happens when you constantly raise your eyebrows?
For one, you crumple the muscles in your forehead. As your muscle age, these crumples will become more visible. We call this wrinkles.
To yourself a favor and avoid raising your eyebrows. It will save you from a number of horrendous wrinkles in the future.
6. Always get enough sleep.
It is when we sleep that our body repairs itself. Getting enough of sleep is indeed the ideal setup. Otherwise, staying up in a day and working on our daily chores while lacking sleep puts too much stress in our body and exacerbates physiological ‘defects’ that could have been resolved while we sleep.
For one, lack of sleep is related to cardiac arrest, acne breakouts, and increased stress levels. Increased stress levels are highly related to a number of physiological woes as well!
7. Eat fish.
Some evidence suggests that the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish are particularly beneficial to the skin. So, eat plenty of fish if you can.
Pro tip: Avoid grilled fish. Although fish is great, grilling them would simply mean added intake of carbon. Not a good thing to do.
8. Wear sunscreen when you go out.
If you love the sun and spend as much time in it as possible, then you must take care of your skin all the more. UV radiation from the sun damages your skin and promotes aging. So, wear sunscreen if you wish to spend some time outdoors.
Caution: Be careful with the kind of sunscreen you choose are your skin might react differently with some ingredients in them. Consult your dermatologist and ask for advice about how to best take care of your skin in the outdoors.
9. Don’t smoke. Or if you are a smoker, quit.
Smoking is one of the easiest ways to look older than you really are and shorten your life at the same time. Avoid both primary and secondary smoke like the plague.
10. Take vitamin D.
Some research suggests that vitamin D may be particularly important in slowing the aging process. The jury is still out on the value of vitamin D supplements for aging, but they seem to have enough other benefits that it’s worth the investment.
11. As much as possible, do not wear foundation or powder makeup.
Skipping the makeup does help maintain your skin’s hydration and elasticity. Wear makeup occasionally, maybe once or twice per week. But in general mascara and lipgloss are enough for most situations.
Your skin is very sensitive to water levels. Stay hydrated by sipping water and eating fruits and vegetables throughout the day. As mentioned, go for lemon water as your staple drink everyday instead of plain water.
13. Whiten your teeth.
If you drink red wine and coffee a lot, chances are, you have yellowish teeth. This anti-aging fix is entirely aesthetic, but this could go a long way. Yellow teeth can make you appear older than you are, so minor teeth whitening fixes can really do your looks a great service.
14. Eat beans and lentils
Legumes are a fabulous source of minerals that can help keep your skin hydrated and looking young.
15. Drink tea (especially green unsweetened green tea).
Afternoon tea time is one of the greatest discoveries I’ve ever made. Not only is tea full of antioxidants and other cancer-fighting compounds, a midday break can be just what the doctor ordered to sip away stress.
16. Do some cardio.
I’m not the biggest believer in cardio exercise for weight loss, but it is still important for vascular health. Not to mention how awesome you feel after a good session. Cardio doesn’t need to kill you, but you should do it regularly.
17. Try some strength training.
Building strong, toned muscles is one of the most effective ways to look younger than your years. Ask anyone who looks fabulous and they’ll swear by strength training. A little goes a long way.
18. Eat intact whole grains.
Intact grains (not fake “whole” grains that are ground into flour) are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals and soluble fiber. They are also perfect fuel for those killer workouts.
19. Try olive oil once in awhile.
It is hard to think of something more versatile, healthy and delicious than olive oil. It breaks my heart that dietary fat got such a bad rap the past few decades, since the benefits of healthy fats like olive oil are innumerable. Fat isn’t just “not bad” for you, it’s essential.
20. Avoid binge-watching.
We all have things we enjoy watching but if it takes up a significant amount of your time each week it may be time to reevaluate. How many years of your life do you really want to spend on your couch? Keep moving! 😉
21. Cut back on calories intake.
Cutting back on calories is the single most effective way to slow aging and extend life. I don’t advise starving yourself, but it’s a good idea to avoid overeating in any situation.
Eat nuts Nuts are the perfect snack food and are filled with anti-aging fats, vitamins and minerals. They are also great for suppressing appetite–just don’t eat more than a handful.
22. Avoid dairy goods.
Studies of aging skin have shown that milk and milk products are associated with acne, which can lead to scarring and age spots.
23. Avoid processed meat.
Processed meats are associated with many different health problems in humans. No need to get too hung up on this, but you may not want to eat deli meat every single day if you want to stay young.
24. Avoid processed carbohydrates.
Just like sugar, processed carbohydrates are a direct cause of aging and disease. I eat these things occasionally, but don’t let it happen too often.
25. Try some coconut oil from time to time.
Fats come in all different shapes and sizes, and I try to incorporate a good mix of all of them. Medium-chain fatty acids like those found in coconut oil are starting to be recognized as important by researchers, but the evidence is limited. Coconut oil is also a healthy source of saturated fat for vegetarians. I always use coconut oil when cooking Southeast Asian food.
26. Drink red wine.
Red wine has a powerful anti-aging compound in it known as resveratrol. Though it is unlikely that the dosage of resveratrol in red wine is high enough to impact lifespan, drinking alcohol in moderation is also associated with decreased risk of heart disease and other vascular problems. Cheers!
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