Mar.19: COVER STORY
- Posted by CERC India
- Posted in March
20 tips to slow down the aging process
How well you age is in your hands as it depends on your habits and lifestyleÂ
Who does not want to stay young? To have firm, glowing skin, good health, and that spring in the step. But, age catches up with all of us. And, we have to learn to age gracefully. But, wait! We can slow down the process of aging by making certain changes in our lifestyle.
From what we eat, to our activity levels and overall attitude, it is in our hands to determine how well we age. In our special anti-aging feature, Grahak Sathi brings to readers some tips on how to look and feel young.
Follow Mediterranean diet: Studies have shown that people who eat a Mediterranean diet have longer â€˜telomeresâ€™. Telomeres are protective caps on the ends of our chromosomes that determine how long cells live. Short telomeres are linked to age-related diseases and conditions. The anti-aging Mediterranean diet is rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, healthy fats, and lean protein.Â Â
Turn vegetarian: Animal protein stimulates a hormone needed for growth. But, as we get older, particularly in middle age, this very hormone speeds up aging. If you cannot give up meat completely, go for white meat â€“ fish and chicken.
Eat a colourful variety of fruits and vegetables: Colourful fruits and vegetables are full of anti-aging antioxidants that are contained in the pigments. Thatâ€™s why eating a wide array of colours in food improves health and slows down the aging process.
Avoid sugar: Sugar contributes to loss of firmness in the skin, which can age you significantly. Diets high in sugar have been linked to â€˜advanced glycation endâ€™ products (AGEs) which cause wrinkles and loss of skin proteins, collagen and elastin.
Go for healthy fats: While it is important to avoid saturated fats and trans fats, you should consume omega-3 fats found in fatty fish, flaxseed, chia sees and walnuts. These fats help renew your skin cells making you look younger. They improve the elasticity of the skin and boost collagen production.
Make calcium part of your life: Calcium is an excellent tool for skin rejuvenation. People with high skin calcium content experience less premature skin aging.
Consume turmeric regularly: Stop inflammation that causes the development of fine lines and wrinkles by including turmeric in your daily diet. Turmeric, which helps with internal inflammation can help with external inflammation too. Inflammation is one of the major reasons our skin looks weathered and worn out before its time.
Stay hydrated: Drinking an adequate amount of water throughout the day can keep your skin healthy and youthful-looking. Not drinking enough water can result in wrinkles and lines and creates more dry areas and dullness.
Prevent sun damage: Getting adequate sun protection is vital to slowing down the aging process. Focus on prevention, such as using an adequate sunscreen and protective clothing, including hats, umbrellas and dark glasses when you go out in the sun.Â Regular use of sunscreen protects against â€˜photoageingâ€™ – the wrinkling, spotting and loss of elasticity caused by exposure to the sunâ€™s ultraviolet radiation.Â
Watch your weight: Putting on the pounds can make you look older than you are. For instance, fat located below the chin can add years to your age. Extra body fat also makes other organs age prematurely.Â
Be physically active: People who have sedentary lifestyles tend to age faster than active people. Research has shown that 30 minutes of moderate exercise every day can go a long way in slowing aging. As we age our muscles degenerate. Thatâ€™s why it is important to do strength exercises to build muscle mass.Â
Spend time outdoors: Go jogging, swimming or cycling in the morning. Soaking up the early morning sun uplifts the mood. Also, the fresh oxygen that fills your lungs will make you stay young much longer.Â
Get your beauty sleep: If you donâ€™t sleep for at least 8 to 9 hours daily, you will end up looking 10 years older than your real age in the next five years. While we are sleeping, our bodies are repairing, detoxifying and our hormones are being balanced. Adequate sleep also improves circulation around the eyes decreasing puffiness, which adds age to the face.
De-stress: The release of specific stress hormones increases inflammation and reduces our bodyâ€™s ability to repair damage. Regular vacations, yoga, meditation, mindfulness and a relaxing massage are ways to reduce stress. Donâ€™t be a perfectionist â€“ it is too stressful. Also, avoid negative thinking as it can age you faster.Â
Quit smoking: Even if a person smokes only occasionally, he is making himself look older and sicker with every puff. Smoking has a significant impact on the skin as the smoke and nicotine starve the skin cells of oxygen and nutrition.Â Â
Avoid alcohol: While the occasional glass of red wine can be good for the heart, alcohol, in general, is the enemy of healthy, line-free skin. If you want to look younger, drink less alcohol.Â
Have a good skin-care routine: Splash your face with cool water several times after cleansing. This hydrates and plumps the skin up with water while closing the pores so dirt wonâ€™t get in. Avoid harsh scrubbers and cleansers. Include oil-based products in your skin-care routine. They will keep your skin hydrated and reduce the risk of damage. Look for oils with vitamin E and pro-vitamin B5.Â Â
Maintain an active social life: Strengthen ties with your family and friends.Â Many people who report feeling younger than their age say they spend a great deal of time with those they care about.Â
Cultivate hobbies: Extend your working life as long as you can. Keep yourself mentally agile with puzzles and games. Also, make time for hobbies. These will stand you in good stead as you age.Â
Finally, live with a purpose: Having a deeper meaning and purpose in your life encourages healthy choices and behaviours, according to aÂ study inÂ the Journal of Health Psychology.
Caring for others is one such purpose â€“ whether it is grandchildren or a pet. Volunteering at an organisation also makes you feel useful. When you focus only on yourself and your needs, you are more likely to have trouble with the aging process.Â
Sources: www.rd.com, www.eatthis.com, www.msn.com, BBC, www.forbes.com