22 / 07 / 21
Growing old gracefully – Tips for slowing down the ageing process
Worried about ageing? Whilst not many of us love the idea of getting older, by doing the right things daily, it is possible to have some influence over the ageing process, if you wish to grow old gracefully.
It’s natural to worry about how ageing will affect us, how our bodies will react and how our skin might age. Thankfully, there are certain behaviours and lifestyle changes that can be implemented if you really want old age to look good on you.
Read on for our top tips on how to slow down the ageing process by taking care of your skin, body and mind.
1. Exercise regularly
As you age, it becomes more important than ever to take care of your physical health. The benefits of exercise have been widely reported on for many years, with experts in agreement that moving more can not only help you to feel and look younger, but could add years on to your life.
Keeping up the habit of regular exercise will make you feel more energetic, more flexible and you’ll benefit from the daily release of endorphins, the ‘feel-good’ hormones.
Exercise as you get older may not be as easy or enticing as it was in your late twenties, but daily movement doesn’t necessarily mean scheduling in a gym session each day. Gentle walks, yoga, dancing, swimming or anything else that gets you moving all count towards your daily movement goal.
The key is to find a way to exercise that you enjoy and are motivated to stick to. As a guideline, the NHS recommends at least 150 weekly minutes of moderate intensity exercise, or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity per week.
Add some gentle exercise to your daily routine and it’ll soon become as second nature as brushing your teeth. You’ll be on your way to feeling youthful, fit and happy in no time!
2. Eat a good quality diet
There is some truth behind that age-old saying: “you are what you eat”. A diet consisting of mainly highly-processed foods will leave you feeling tired, sluggish and can accelerate the ageing process. Too much of it can even lead to developing high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and other illnesses.
Focusing on your nutrition as you get older is a great way to stay in shape, look after your body and provide it with the nutrients and energy it needs.
Eating healthy isn’t sticking to a ‘strict diet’, it’s about making a more conscious effort to focus on high quality foods at each meal. Try to aim for a diet that is rich in lean protein and healthy fats, with wholegrain carbs and plenty of fruit and vegetables.
Filling up on fruit and vegetables at every meal can work wonders for reversing the signs of ageing, as they’re jam-packed with antioxidants which help to prevent and reduce skin cell damage.
3. Stay hydrated
It’s no secret that no matter what age you are, drinking plenty of water is crucial to living a healthy lifestyle.
Drinking enough water has been proven to improve skin health and reduce the signs of ageing, by nourishing the skin and keeping your nails & hair healthy and strong. A lack of water can result in dry and flaky skin, speeding up the visible signs of ageing.
By drinking more water, you’ll also benefit from smoother digestion and the ability to flush more toxins out of the body. It can also help you feel more energised and improve brain function, so you can get the most out of your day-to-day activities.
4. Look after your skin
Some of the earliest signs of ageing appear visibly on the skin. By looking after your skin at an early age, you can delay the onset of fine lines and wrinkles and help to prevent them years down the line.
Wearing sunscreen every day protects the skin from harmful UV rays, regardless of whether it’s a hot and sunny day or not. Overexposure to the sun accelerates the natural breakdown of collagen in the skin, which can lead to the development of dark spots, wrinkles and sagging.
Investing in an anti-ageing skincare routine can work wonders for keeping your skin looking youthful and glowing. Moisturise daily to encourage smoothness and elasticity in the skin, and protect it against fine lines and wrinkles.
5. Value your sleep
The importance of good quality sleep can often be overlooked, but aiming for at least 8 hours every night can help you to thrive in all aspects of your life.
Poor sleep can result in visible signs of ageing. Sleep helps to release a growth hormone that can restore collagen and elastin in the skin, encouraging the skin cells to renew. With a lack of sleep, the skin doesn’t have time to recover and repair which can lead to the premature development of fine lines and wrinkles.
Getting enough good quality sleep each night has been proven to reduce stress and help you feel more energised during the day – leading to a better quality of life and more time to enjoy doing the things that you love.
6. Limit alcohol & quit smoking
If you really want to grow old, fit and healthy, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on your alcohol consumption. If you drink regularly, be sure to know the recommended limits and have at least two days a week alcohol-free, to allow your body to recover and flush out the harmful toxins.
Smoking can speed up the ageing process of the skin – so if you want to go into later life looking youthful and healthy, quitting the habit sooner rather than later is the best way to go. Nicotine and other chemicals in cigarettes, combined with the repetitive motion of smoking behaviours can cause fine lines and wrinkles, especially around the mouth and eye area. This can also lead to puffy eyes, thinner lips and an uneven skin complexion.
Whilst you can’t reverse the damage of smoking that’s already been done, by giving up you’ll prevent any further damage and stop the effects of smoking from accelerating the ageing process – and all of the other health risks associated with smoking, too.
7. Have fun!
At the end of the day, the key to really growing old gracefully is to be happy and healthy. It’s not all about how you can prevent fine lines and wrinkles – but it’s about enjoying life.
Make sure to stay connected with your loved ones and surround yourself with those who make you smile. Take up new hobbies, go on adventures and do things that excite you – live life to the fullest!
Take care of yourself to feel your best, but embrace the changes that happen as you age. Don’t forget, the best is yet to come.
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