I’m at “that age.” Many women of my generation are now reaching that place where we need to do a little more just to maintain. I’m not talking about trying to get your twenty-something body back. Being healthy at every age is critical (of course). I just don’t want to look ten or twenty years older than I actually am.
The signs of aging are a thing for me now and I’m not going to lie…it sucks.
There are a million products out there that promise “youthful” skin, hair, body, mind…and there are a few that actually work (more on that another time). The majority are no better than snake oil with promises that are never realized.
To hold back the signs of aging and live the life (inside and out) that you’re meant to live, I want to talk to you about the biggest changes you can make right now. These are free and completely in your control to implement.
Anti-Aging Tip #1 – WEIGHT
This is a hard one for the majority of women. Thinking about all the women in my personal and professional life, I don’t know a single woman who hasn’t struggled (or obsessed) about her weight at one point or another. I can tell you from my own experience that carrying too much weight impacts so much more than your outer appearance.
No one should strive to reach unrealistic ideals depicted in the popular media and you should always see the individual beauty in the human being you are. It isn’t fat-shaming to say excess fat is pro-inflammatory and physically stressful to your body over time.
Your bones, joints, circulation, respiration, and internal organs suffer long-term and obesity is listed as a root cause to every major disease including heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Excess weight is proven increase the physical signs of aging and has even been linked to a higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease in later life.
Anti-Aging Tip #2 – DIET
Every second, your body cycles out millions of old cells and replaces them. Your body utilizes the raw compounds you eat every day as building materials for the new cells. You literally become the foods you consume.
If your diet is high in foods pumped full of refined sugar, unhealthy fats (trans fats and hydrogenated oils), excess grains, chemicals (artificial sweeteners or dyes), and worse…those are the building blocks used to regenerate your blood, skin, organs, bones, and more. In regards to aging, all of your skin cells are replaced in about three weeks. If your eating plan is nutrient deficient, you’re not giving your body what it needs.
Diseases that were once considered threats to much older people are affecting more young people than ever before and experts agree diet is primarily to blame. In the past four decades, the Western Diet has morphed into high-sugar, high-fat (unhealthy types), and high-toxic loads that are destroying the health of not only those in the United States but the health of nations who adopt our poor eating habits.The Western Diet has morphed into high-sugar, high-fat (the unhealthy type), & high-toxic loads!Click To Tweet
I cannot stress the importance of nutrition in your overall health enough. Your body needs the compounds offered in fruits, vegetables, fatty fish, and protein foods. I’ve written countless articles on this topic because the science proves that more than half of your health and reducing the signs of aging depends on nutrition.
This includes staying hydrated with water! You are made of more than 60% water and if you want a true “miracle” anti-aging trick…water is it. It flushes toxins, improves skin and hair health, and improves brain function. I infuse water with frozen fruit or citrus slices to help me drink more of it. Whatever it takes, you have to add more water to your life.
Anti-Aging Tip #3 – SLEEP
This is a big one and most people have no idea how critical quality sleep is to health and happiness. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has stated that insufficient sleep is a public health problem.
Getting adequate quality sleep is required for alert brain function, emotional balance, repair of damage inside your body, hormone production, maintenance of glucose levels, and a strong immune system. While you sleep, your body works to replace cells, bank your memories from the day, and heal. Lack of sleep is linked to rapid signs of aging, heart disease, diabetes, stroke, obesity, and neurodegenerative disease such as Alzheimer’s.Lack of sleep is linked to rapid signs of aging, heart disease, diabetes, stroke and obesity. Click To Tweet
If your body doesn’t get the sleep it needs, scientists have discovered you enter a state of “microsleep” – and you might not even realize you’re doing it. It is out of your control and causes tiny “gaps” in memory. This is dangerous to you as well as anyone you may affect while driving, working, or performing a function that requires critical thinking. Sleep deprived individuals are involved in more than 100,000 car accidents annually and have been behind some of the worst cases of human errors in history.
Anti-Aging Tip #4 – EXERCISE
As we age, we lose muscle mass and flexibility. A lack of exercise has been linked to obesity, cardiovascular disease, mood disorders, chronic fatigue, sleep conditions, lower libido, and so much more.
Your lymph system requires movement to function properly. If you live a sedentary lifestyle, you aren’t flushing this critical system that is the backbone of your immunity. That’s going to leave you open for every sickness that happens your way. Exercise improves blood circulation, lymph circulation (you have more lymph fluid inside you than blood), brain cognition, and happiness.Exercise improves blood circulation, lymph circulation, brain cognition, & happiness. #getmovingClick To Tweet
Mayo Clinic discovered that laboratory mice had fewer cells that contribute to disease (senescent cells) when they followed a good diet and regular exercise regimen.
Lead author and director of the Center on Aging’s Healthy and Independent Living Program, Nathan LeBrasseur, Ph.D., stated, “At both a biological level and a clinical level, poor nutrition choices and inactive lifestyles do accelerate aging. Even though you don’t have the diagnosis of diabetes or the diagnosis of cardiovascular disease or the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease today when you’re in midlife, the biology underlying those processes is hard at work.”
They gave half the mice what they termed a “fast food” diet and the others received healthy selections. Naturally, the fast food mice degenerated quickly and showed an increase in fat mass by almost 300% in 4 months. When the researchers added exercise, there was a significant (though not complete) improvement.
Diet and exercise are intrinsically linked. You need both for optimal health and slower signs of aging. Dr. LeBrasseur stressed that aging isn’t completely out of human control. “That doesn’t mean that we need to be marathon runners, but we need to find ways to increase our habitual activity levels to stay healthy and prevent processes that drive aging and aging-related diseases.”
Anti-Aging Tip #5 – STRESS
Researchers in the past decade discovered that stress is a root cause to many serious conditions and deadly diseases. Our modern life is overwhelmed with stress that comes from many different directions. While some of it may seem out of your control (such as financial or physical stress), it’s important to make a conscious effort to lower your mental and emotional stress. It will help you think clearly and figure out solutions that may currently feel out of reach.
Stress makes you sick on the inside due to chronic inflammation that rages through your body and leads to free radical damage on the cellular level. Stress also manifests in exterior signs of aging that are clear in your skin, hair, and nails.Stress is a root cause to many serious conditions and deadly diseases. #stopstressingClick To Tweet
Much of the stress that feels like it strikes in waves can have a lot to do with your own attitude or the actions of other people in your life. Toxic behaviors and relationships can make you feel trapped, attacked, and unable to focus. Human connection plays a key role in human health, happiness, and even how long you live.
The wrong human connections can have the opposite effect.
A few quick signs of a toxic person include selfishness (self-absorption), narcissism (know it all), the need to lie, self-victimization (someone else is always to blame for problems), hyper-criticism of others, and an inability to move on (holding onto to drama and negativity).
These behaviors can stem from people in romantic relations, friendships, co-workers, or from you personally. That’s right…sometimes you’re your own worst enemy.
Reducing stress could mean limiting your involvement with certain people in your life or it might mean rethinking how you view (and interact with) the world. As more is learned about the devastating impact of stress on human health, learning how to control it in your own life is critical. Yoga, meditation, visualization, and being determined to remain positive do help.
The Power is in Your Hands
Aging is a natural part of the human condition. Genetics plays a part in some things but a great portion of how quickly you age relies on you.
I decided to focus on the positive changes you can make in your life but if you’re a smoker, know the habit is aging you much faster than anything else you could do other than alcohol or substance abuse.
For more information about how you can slow the signs of aging and live to your fullest potential, read “Vivid Living” right now. Live your most vivid life.