Aging Considerations

Paying the Price for Aging Ignorance

When we’re young, we may think we’ll never pay the price for anything. We ignore the rule of staying out in the sun too long because it causes cancer and premature aging and other rules meant to protect us from ourselves before our brains are fully developed.

Medical experts say it’s never too late to quit smoking, drinking, eating a poor nutrition diet, not exercising or to begin taking action that prevents premature or rapid aging. If you begin now, no matter what age you may be, you’ll be sure to cut back some of the effects that aging has on your mind and body.

But, what about those habits that can wreak havoc with the aging process – and you’re not even aware of them? Habits like squinting in the sun and rubbing your eyes can deepen little lines around the eyes and cause you to appear older than you are.

Not drinking enough water can cause the skin to dry out and dehydrate, causing fine lines and a crepe-like appearance. This habit is an easy fix by drinking more water every day and using moisturizer that traps moisture in your skin. It’s an instantaneous way to look younger.

You may not realize it, but sleeping on your stomach or side causes your face to press against the pillow and rapidly age your face by forming wrinkles and fine lines. Try using a softer pillow so the pressure on the face will be lessened.

If you’re a yo-yo dieter, trying all the new fad diets, it will take a toll on your body. Constant weight gain and loss repeatedly stretches the skin and breaks down the elasticized fibers which lead to sagging and stretch marks.

It’s possible to overdo your daily beauty routine and harm your skin rather than help it. You can get clogged pores by applying too much of a skin lotion – or it could cause blotches that are sometimes caused “age spots.”

You probably know that smoking and too much alcohol can cause premature aging – but, did you know that indulging your sweet tooth can also jump start the aging process? Sugar breaks down the collagen in the skin causing sagging and wrinkles and can also cause such disorders as Type 2 Diabetes and arthritis.

All of the above are ways that many of us pay the price for ignorance of the aging process. Some are simply bad habits we must break and others constitute a lifestyle that we’ve set up for ourselves which is harmful.

You need to enlighten yourself about some of the hidden dangers of living a lifestyle that’s detrimental to staying young and healthy for as long as you can. Let’s look at some of the most common issues.

Stop Dieting to Look Younger

Being educated about what to eat for health and anti-aging is one of the main things you can do to look young and enjoy vibrant health as you age. To ignore your dietary habits is ignoring the basic fact that “you are what you eat.”

You can spend thousands of dollars on beauty creams that are supposed to keep you “wrinkle-free,” but unless you’re keeping yourself young on the inside, they won’t work. The foods you choose to eat either keep you looking and feeling young or they work to shut down the vibrancy of your youth and age you prematurely.

There are some simple, but powerfully effective foods that you should make sure are part of your dietary makeup. They include those with good fats such as avocado, coconut and olive oil which keep the skin elasticized and smooth and fruits and vegetables containing water (cucumber, watermelon and citrus fruits).

Any food loaded with Vitamin C can act as a natural Botox to your skin, keeping the cells plump and your skin wrinkle-free. Zinc found in food such as oysters can help repair damage done to skin cells by spending too much time in the sun when you were younger.

Seasonal berries provide much needed antioxidants for the skin and which fights free radicals that cause skin to wrinkle and age. Blackberries, strawberries and blueberries contain the highest amount of antioxidant power.

Beta-carotene can help balance your skin’s pH and cause smoother skin by encouraging new cell growth and combating dryness. You can find beta-carotene in sweet potatoes and carrots.

Omega Fatty Acids are essential for healthy cells and lead the way for the nutrients that are so important for health and flushing out the system to prevent premature aging. Flax, chia and hemp seeds contain these essential oils.

When you keep the above foods as a part of your dietary plan, you don’t have to diet to lose weight and stay healthy and young. They will take care of your body and nourish it for maximum health and appearance.

Shun sugars, bad fats and other foods that cause premature aging and take a toll on your health as you age. It’s imperative that the foods you choose are conducive to the graceful lifestyle you want to live in your later years.

Exercise for a Younger Mind and Body

You may grimace when you hear the word, “exercise,” but without it, you’re sure to have regrets as you age. Exercise not only keeps your body lithe and sleek, but it keeps your metabolism working as it should to burn calories and keep you healthy and young.

You don’t have to join a gym or train for a marathon to get the benefits of exercise. A walk around the block to take in fresh air and get your body moving can reap lasting and positive results if you do it on a regular basis.

Anti-aging experts tout a few exercises which are guaranteed to treat your body like a “youth serum” and keep you young for as long as possible. One is strength training. Resistance training can reverse the aging process by forcing your body to move the way it did when you were younger.

You lose muscle mass (five pounds every 10 years) as you age and also gain fat. When you engage in resistance training you can preserve that muscle mass so that it fights the fat that typically comes with age.

Knee problems often come with age and tend to disable many seniors who would otherwise be active. Squats can help your knee joints – if you perform them properly. Women should turn out their toes so that the femur bones lines up with the hip joint, making the knee move over the ankles rather than moving in.

Try to work up to some helpful cardio exercises that will act to keep your heart healthy and your metabolism purring. The U.S. guidelines are that we should get at least 150 minutes of good cardio workout per week.

If you don’t have time, try “interval training,” which will efficiently provide a great cardio workout in much less time. Interval training involves rapid and intense movements for a few seconds and then slowing down for a few minutes.

Exercise not only keeps your body healthy – it will improve your thinking process, skin, the way you move and the energy that you desperately need as you age. You’ll also be less prone to injuries – and better able to recover from surgeries.

Exercise is a magic bullet when it comes to the aging process. Without it, expect changes in your body that you won’t like. There are some “fitness trackers” that can help you track your exercise and be sure you’re getting enough each day. Invest in one to take the guesswork out of your exercise regime.

Mindless Aging

Mindless aging is when you plod through life giving no thought to the future condition of your health and body. You’ll eventually pay the price for this aging neglect and ignorance in a big way.

There are many ways you may be aging mindlessly. One is to let stress play a huge part in your life. Everyone experiences stress, but how you handle it will determine how it affects your aging process.

Chronic stress can lead you down the path of an unhealthy lifestyle and it will show in your internal illnesses and your appearance. Weight gain, risk for heart disease and diabetes and insomnia, nervous system disorders – plus immune and digestive problems can add years to your real age and keep you from enjoying your senior years.

Psychological stress is a definite contributor to premature aging by releasing certain chemicals into the body that create changes in your body and mind. If stress is a problem for you every day of the year, it’s likely breaking down your body and impacting the aging process.

Getting rid of bad habits and developing good ones can help you with the aging process by protecting the brain and body from harmful effects that stress can produce. Do what you can to cultivate a healthy and less stressful lifestyle to promote a robust aging process.

Developing lousy sleep habits is another way to age mindlessly. All of a sudden, you wake up, look in the mirror and wonder where those stress and worry lines came from, not to mention the bags under the eyes and a skin pallor you never noticed before.

Lack of sleep can zap your energy. Even if you go to bed early thinking you’re getting a good night’s sleep, the quality of sleep is important. If you’re interrupted during your sleep time by indigestion, running to the bathroom or numerous other reasons, your sleep quality will suffer.

Mindless aging can also happen when you’re not living your life as you want. Your goals and values play a role in how you live your life and when you’re not living up to your own expectations, you can begin to age from regret.

It’s often said by anti-aging experts that a mindless lifestyle leads to mindless aging. When you’re living a life filled with purpose, you’re in charge and can choose health and peace of mind over a mindless and careless lifestyle.

Staying Young Is a Learning Process

There are people who seem old when they’re 30 years of age. Then, you’ll sometimes find an octogenarian who has seemed to miss much of the aging process. They’re young in body and mind and keep active and vibrant.

It’s not always the case – but those who age earlier may not have learned how to stay young. They accept aging as a part of life and every little ache and pain or possible life change that comes their way is accepted as a part of getting old – and nothing can change it.

Being young is a learning process that you have to be open to in order to make it work. You may need to try some unconventional methods such as going back to college in your 60s or 70s – or learn a language, just for the experience of it.

These learning processes help the brain stay young because it stimulates the production of brain cells that are dying off at a rapid rate as you age. Anything that stimulates your mind and body can help to keep you young.

Crossword puzzles, computer games, Sudoku puzzles, painting, reading and other activities that stimulate the brain are excellent ways to prevent premature aging. Simply surfing the Internet can help improve your brainpower.

Using all your senses on a daily basis can help you learn new things and retain memory. For example, use the weaker hand to stir your coffee or perform other tasks that are usually left to the dominant hand. The concentration required is tremendous.

Dance. Sing. Listen to music you love. You’ll be surprised how much it can lift your mood and put a smile on your face. Don’t worry that someone may be watching. Part of learning to stay young is not being embarrassed by a zeal for life.

Choose a non-establishment exercise such as Tai Chi, line dancing or Zumba — whatever you may think would be fun. Just do it and enjoy it. These energetic and delightful exercises will put energy back into your body and bring you pleasure.

Don’t eat so much! It’s not only what you eat that ages, it’s the amount of food consumed. Plates and portions have gotten larger over the years and have tricked us into thinking the portions have to fit the plate. Use smaller dishes and don’t load them up.

Having sex is also a scientifically proven way to rejuvenate your mind and body and slow the aging process. Among the many benefits of a healthy sex life are a healthier immune system and lowered blood pressure.

Finally, stay young by learning how to relax. We’re such a “pent up” society that we rarely take time to unwind and refresh our minds and body so that they can absorb all the information and feedback it’s received during the day.

Meditation is a good way to let your body exhale from all the stress and simply be in the moment. Yoga and deep breathing exercises are excellent ways to decompress from the day and let your body fully relax.

Make the most of the years you have by educating yourself on the art of staying young and preventing premature aging. There’s so much to learn – and science is constantly uncovering new ways to live to a ripe old age and enjoy it more.