Time keeps on ticking ticking ticking…….and none of us are completely immune to its effects. While it seems that our golden glitzy Hollywood characters have the market cornered on agelessness, sooner or later, they succumb to the effects of aging on the body, mind, and spirit. With time continuing to tick as you are reading this article, what can be done to halt its effects on your mind, your body, and your quality of life?
Why do we age?
The process of life is a destructive one—-we grow, our cells multiply, they die, and this process continues until a certain age when wear and tear take its toll on the cell birth process, and now it’s just a continual process of cell death. Sounds romantic, doesn’t it?
We are unfortunate participants in the process of natural selection; our bodies were designed for reproduction, procreation, and deterioration. Once we have passed our reproductive prime, it is a process of gradual deterioration. It is assumed that you, the reader, wish to stall this process of inevitable decline, and there are some strategies to do just that.
While there will always be less-invasive alternatives to go with, sometimes nothing does it quite like having a facial procedure. Facelifts are becoming ever more popular and the ongoing trend isn’t dying down anytime soon. Dr. Schoenfeld, a facelift surgeon from Washington, DC, states that our cheeks and areas of our face that once kept us looking youthful will inevitably drop and age us, possibly affecting our confidence in the process. And though facelifts are an ideal long-term option, what if there were steps we could take to prevent going that route?
Here are some simple things that you can do to improve your quality of life and slow—maybe even temporarily suspend—-the aging process. Grab a cup of coffee—-make that a glass of water—and take these tips for a youthful life to heart:
- Work those muscles
Resistance training has proven again and again to be one of the most effective ways to promote strength, flexibility, and vitality well into our golden years. Our potential for muscle mass tends to peak in our mid-twenties, with a gradual decline at about 1-3 percent annually from there. This startling statistic alone should motivate us to get to the gym. Our mid-forties won’t be so pretty to look at if we don’t stay on top of tending the temple. The most effective types of strength training tend to be exercises that work large and small muscle groups—push-ups, lunges, pull-ups, and bench presses. Plenty of resources exist online these days if you don’t wish to pursue a gym membership and compete with the 20-somethings; find some of the most convenient workout plans here.
- Eat more fish and up your green intake
In the Mediterranean, people have very long lifespans; it is not uncommon to find large numbers of people in this region of the world that live well into their nineties and beyond. They attribute much of this good, late-stage health to their clean diets–plenty of fish, vegetables, sea greens, and olive oil. Protective omega 3 fatty acids and healthy fats protect brain matter and function, which aids in protecting all other systems of the body. Start making small and consistent changes to your diet regularly, and you’ll see and feel noticeable results.
- Indulge in some red
Red wine, that is. Red wine contains a compound called resveratrol, a powerful antioxidant that is known to attack free radicals that can cause premature aging. Beneficial effects of red wine are noted with moderate consumption; limit your intake to no more than two glasses daily.
- Train for a race
Aerobic exercise stimulates all systems of your body—your cardiovascular, respiratory, and even your musculoskeletal systems. Increased oxygen flowing through your blood helps to repair cellular mitochondria, a leading cause of aging. Training for a 5K or a triathlon is a great way to keep those oxygenated juices flowing and slow down the aging process.
- Buy yourself a comfortable mattress
Never underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep–between 6-8 hours of quality sleep per night is recommended for optimal health. If you must get up during the night, do your best to go right back to bed, and continue to establish good sleeping habits so that all other systems of your body function at their best.
- Use that mattress for recreation
Recent studies show that people older than 50 who maintained an active sex life in their mid to late years were significantly more healthy and active than those who let their amorous pursuits fall by the wayside. The act of intercourse releases hormones and chemicals in our body that are designed to renew our life and vitality; make a date with your partner or someone that you have an interest in to pursue youth together at least a couple of times a week!
- Tend to that gray matter
When caring for your body, don’t forget one very important piece of equipment—your mind! People that continue to practice critical thinking and reasoning skills, take classes, and practice meditation all show brain wave activity that is indicative of youth, and they are better able to stave off the degenerative effects of Alzheimer’s and dementia.
- Care for your skin!
You may be able to delay the necessity for plastic surgery if you follow some simple skincare techniques that keep your skin looking dewy and fresh:
- Use a mild cleanser daily to remove dirt, grime, and excess oil
- Follow with a toner to condition skin and prime it for moisturizer
- Moisturize in a light layer, taking care to get often neglected areas like around the eyes and mouth
Time marches on….but you can stand still for a while…..
While you can’t stop time and the aging process forever, you can significantly delay the effects of aging on your body, mind, and spirit by following these simple tips. Your body is your temple; cherish and care for it as long as you are able, and you’ll experience vibrant health and vitality well into your golden years.