Ageing is a natural process in life but it is understandable that we want to grow old gracefully, looking fresh, radiant and healthy. Remember, ageing represents not only a physical change but also an emotional and mental one too. Taking care of yourself on a daily basis is crucial to prolonging your life as well as affecting the quality of your life too. Telomeres, which are segments of DNA, shorten with age so preventing the shortening of these can help to slow down the ageing process.
Top 10 tips to help you keep a youthful appearance:
2. Nutrition has both physical and mental benefits. Eating well as you age can help to keep you well and healthy, but can also slow down the ageing process
3. Essential fatty acids contribute to each cell’s membrane keeping them fluid and also helping skin appear younger. So, make sure you include plenty of oily fish, avocados, nuts and seeds in your diet (2)
4. Eat plenty of antioxidants found in colourful vegetables, leafy greens and berries as they fight free radicals which cause oxidative damage to the skin. They also contain high levels of vitamin C and hyaluronic acid which keep the skin elastic. Hyaluronic acid is your body’s natural hydrating molecule which helps to keep the skin smooth and supple and it is important to note that levels decrease with age. By consuming raw vegetable juice, this is one way of increasing your intake of antioxidants (3)
5. Sleep is a vital time for your body to restore and repair itself. If you are suffering from lack of sleep, those bags under the eyes and grey skin will automatically make you look older. Sleep is the most natural therapy for your body and a proper night’s sleep should be considered a need rather than a luxury (4)
6. Reduce the stress in your life by taking time out to meditate, read or just be by yourself. Nurture and look after yourself as stress takes its toll on your body and will shorten the length of DNA telomeres and can also cause cognitive decline
7. Surround yourself with ‘radiators’ (people who radiate energy and positivity) and stay away from the ‘drains’ (those who constantly moan and complain) as they can drain your energy. Maintain a strong social network (5)
8. Maintain a youthful, healthy and positive attitude to life. This can not only affect the quality of life, but research shows that maintaining a positive outlook can also help to slow down the ageing process. Keep your mind sharp as continual learning prevents cognitive decline into dementia and Alzheimer’s. So, there is a valid reason to learn, read, do puzzles and keep yourself mentally active (6)
9. Exercise not only promotes blood flow, improves circulation and can help to maintain heart health but it promotes the feel good hormone serotonin as well and can also help to reduce cortisol levels. Resistance exercise helps to maintain mineral bone density and build muscle mass which is vital in order to age well and helps to prevent telomere shortening too. If you are after an anti-ageing pill, exercise is your friend as it can boost your energy levels and will help to keep you look and feel young (7)
10. Skin - moisturise your skin regularly to maintain its elasticity and keep it as smooth as possible which will improve its appearance. Use natural skin products that don’t contain parabens, sulphates or phthalates. Always wear sun screen, even in winter, to protect your skin against skin cancer and skin damage. The UV radiation from the sun breaks down collagen, the structural protein in the skin and the sun also causes premature ageing by causing the skin to lose elasticity which contributes to wrinkles (8)
Steps to live longer and healthier
- Reduce your exposure to toxins by not smoking as this accelerates the ageing process and will shorten your lifespan
- Reduce your exposure to heavy metals and pesticides
- Keep alcohol to a minimum as it not only dehydrates the body, it also causes inflammation and cell damage
- Minimise your sugar consumption because excessive sugar causes a process called glycation which contributes to the formation of wrinkles
- Minimise your salt intake as it causes water retention and can make the skin look puffy
- Avoid refined and processed foods as much as possible as they contain preservatives, additives and often trans fats which all contribute to the ageing process. Phosphates in refined food and fizzy drinks also contribute to the ageing process
Reflect on the positive rather than the negative and stop comparing yourself to others.
Remind yourself that wrinkles and laughter lines show that we have lived a life and enjoyed it along the way!
Ensure that you enjoy your life with lots of energy and vitality. So: Eat Well, Live Well!