The aging process begins as soon as we are born, but at that point, it seems joyous. When is it that we lose that feeling when thinking about aging? And, why is it that we really only start to think about aging as another birthday looms? 21 is an exciting milestone and so is 25 (ya car rentals), but as soon as we hit 30 we start thinking about aging differently.
Suddenly Botox seems like a great idea and skin creams are a must.
More realistically, your focus should be on being happy, physically, mentally, and emotionally. Building a strong sense of health and wellness will prove effective in battling the typical negative thoughts that accompany the aging process. There’s good news, though, because there are other ways to embrace the aging process.
1. Rest Well
Rest is important at every age, but ensuring you get at least seven hours every night will prevent premature aging. Your life is probably pretty stressful, so you need to give your body the time to relax, heal, and refresh.
2. Skin Care Routine
You need to change this up because the creams and routines you used throughout your 20s, 30s, and 40s won’t be as effective as you age. Your skin dries out and loses collagen, as you get older so it’s important to choose products that are designed for your age group. Products that contain plant stem cells are great for stimulating the production of collagen and the likes of hyaluronic acid will plump it back up. Don’t forget the retinol creams to help fight wrinkles (this isn’t for sensitive skin).
Always use sunscreen and remember to use products on your neck and chest area, too, they are just as prone to aging as your face.
3. Be Active
It will be far easier to embrace your age when you lean into it and one of the most effective ways to achieve this is through regular exercise and keeping fit. Some years ago, you had children to chase around, and you were probably more active in work and play. It’s important to maintain fitness as you age, so make the time for daily exercise. Whether you opt for walking around the neighborhood, golfing, or yoga, do something that gets your heart beating faster every day.
4. Stimulate Your Brain
It’s really easy to let your brain go as you start to get older. You don’t tend to realize how little thinking you’re doing because you’re slowing things down at work, taking on fewer responsibilities and gearing down your challenges. This is especially true of retirees. Find activities that will keep your mind walking a tightrope, whether it’s puzzles, learning a new language, traveling, volunteering, or playing chess in the park. There are plenty of ways to keep your mind nimble.
5. Embrace The Change
Don’t be that person that constantly refers to how things used to be. Our society is moving fast, technology is expanding rapidly and it changes constantly. While it may be overwhelming the best way to handle, it is by embracing it and any other changes that life throws your way. It is in the handling of change that we find confidence and happiness.
The worst thing we can do when faced with the aging process is to hide from it. Another year means more wisdom, more passion, and more opportunities to spend time with the ones you love. Don’t be afraid of reassessing your life and making changes that will boost your happiness.
Most importantly, laugh. Surround yourself with happiness and joy and always make time to laugh heartily. Shift your focus to being stronger, wiser, and growing.
Study Finds People To Age At Different Rates
If you happened to attend your high school reunion, you probably noticed just how differently your old classmates had aged. The prom king was sporting a receding hairline and a belly while the prom queen’s hair had lost its luster. You probably dismissed a lot of it as lifestyle choices and perhaps even life experiences they may have gone through.
While that indeed plays a major role, a recent study (on the quantification of biological aging in young adults, Belsky, et al, http://www.pnas.org/content/112/30/E4104.abstract) found that we really do age at different rates, for a whole host of reasons.
What makes this 2015 study different from other studies on aging is that rather than looking at aging rates in the elderly their participants were young adults. There were around 1,000 participants, aged 28, and researchers discovered their rate of aging varied wildly. Their biological age ran the gamut from 30 right up to 60 despite the fact that they were all 38 years old chronologically speaking.
Each of the participants was young and healthy rather than taking elderly people and tracking back the habits of those who weren’t as healthy. The researchers looked at 18 different parameters, which including dental health, cognitive function, and organ function. They took this data twice, twelve years prior and then six years prior. Those who looked older than their counterparts were biologically older. Not only that but they scored much lower on the tests for balance, strength, and IQ.
It was also just how widely the aging varied, with some extremes being visible. At one end, three of the participants were not aging at all, whereas at the other end of the spectrum those participants were aging three physiological years for every chronological year.
It’s More Than Genetics
Some of this can be chalked up to genetics, as there are families who age more slowly biologically speaking. Everyone knows a family where the mother and daughter could be sisters because the elder family member just hasn’t aged. However, this only accounts for around 20% of how you age; the wider roles are played by lifestyle factors and the environment.
If you are a smoker, you can expect to experience premature aging at a quicker rate. If you are a couch potato who only eats chips and dip for dinner then your waistline will grow out of control and it will accelerate the aging process rather dramatically. In fact, it goes beyond those types of choices and encompasses exposure to sunlight and UV rays as well as the amount of stress you tend to experience.
The most effective ways to combat aging is exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet, getting a good night’s sleep, and learning how to effectively manage your stress levels so they don’t have an impact on the other aspects of your life.
Positive Mental Attitude
The earlier you start the better; however, it is truly never too late to change your lifestyle to combat the effects of aging. While you should keep your family history in mind when focusing on specific preventative treatments, you must also consider your actions and how they may be fueling your aging process.
If you are a smoker start cutting back now and speak to your doctor about how best to ensure you quit for good. You can change your diet and exercise habits, which will support healthy sleeping patterns. You should also cut back on your alcohol intake; this doesn’t just contribute to liver disease and heart problems, but also to weight gain, which has its own relationship with premature aging.