Everyone gets older, but we almost all feel uneasy about the process. As we get older, there is a desire to maintain our physical youth—to look and feel decades younger than we actually are. While concerns about aging might arise, from progressive hair loss to the arrival of joint pains, there are ways in which traditional aging like hair loss can be prevented. To stop time from passing, we can all take specific measures to improve our senior years, making mindful decisions to better our health even as the years pass. Here are some of the best ways you can improve your health for the future, taking steps to look and feel younger with every passing season.
Spend Little Time in the Sun
Over-exposure to direct sunlight will age your skin, producing skin spots and wrinkles over time. While you should avoid direct sunlight, especially on those hot summer days, you should make sure to put on sunscreen if you plan on spending the day outdoors. If you’d like to take it a step further, consider wearing a hat and long-sleeve shirts or pants to protect yourself from harmful UV rays.
Just as you should wear sunscreen if you plan on being out in the sun, it’s in your best interest to keep your skin moisturized. Dryness exaggerates skin aging over time, so it’s smart to protect your skin with a daily moisturizer. Find one that is meant for the whole body, as you can effectively moisturize your face, arms, and body with such a product.
Drink Enough Water Every Day
While moisturizers and sunscreen will protect you from environmental dryness, you also need to protect yourself from within. Dehydration has numerous negative side effects, from fatigue and poor sleeping habits; moreover, dehydration will lead to poor skin and physical conditions, including dry skin, painful joints, pale skin tone, dizziness, and more. By maintaining a daily fluid intake—the recommended six to eight cups of water per day—you can keep your skin and body healthy for the future. If you’ll be spending the day outside, remember to increase your water intake to make up for any sweating.
Eat a Well-Balanced Diet
We’ve all heard it before, but the benefits of a well-balanced diet cannot be understated. Similar to monitoring your water intake, you should keep a close eye on your diet, staying away from processed foods and emphasizing unsaturated fats, whole grains, low-cholesterol proteins, and fruits and vegetables. A good diet is the key to maintaining all forms of physical health, from skincare to haircare, musculoskeletal health to central nervous system health.
While a cultural habit, smoking is well-documented for its unhealthy traits. Not only will it have a negative effect on your lungs and other organs within your body, but it will help to make you look noticeably older, by creating wrinkles around your mouth and eyes. Furthermore, your skin will look paler and your teeth will become seriously stained. It’s best for you to put out the cigarette if you want to keep yourself breathing easy and feeling physically fresh.
Drink in Moderation
The health effects of drinking are still largely unknown, whether drinking in moderation can be good for you or negative. Nonetheless, it is known that heavy drinking is bad for your body and mind. If you want to feel clear-headed and free to enjoy your daily activities without feeling slowed down, it’s in your best interest to drink infrequently and in moderation.
Exercise is incredibly important for anyone getting older. Similar to treating patterned hair loss, it’s best if you can take preventative measures—start exercising earlier rather than later.
Exercise, particularly aerobic exercises (walking, swimming, running, cycling), are great for the overall body, as they help to maintain your physical tone, flexibility, and heart health. Staying fit throughout life is a good way to fend off gaining weight, keeping your heart and lungs strong, and preventing minor injuries from leading to major illnesses. Furthermore, regular exercise has been shown to be beneficial for overall brain health, from improved memory to thinking skills.
Remain Academically Active
You don’t have to be enrolled in a collegiate class to be mentally active. The benefits to remaining mentally active are innumerable, as they help to maintain memories and keep your wits sharpened. Rather than watching television or the news, consider reading about current events; find new hobbies to learn about and partake in; play thought games that require considerable attention, from sudoku to daily crossword puzzles, chess to backgammon.
Make Sure You Sleep Well
Just like you should focus on your diet and physical activity, you should be sure to set aside enough time to rest your body, too. Getting enough sleep—usually seven to nine hours a night—is important to keep your body feeling young and lively. Sleep deprivation can have detrimental effects on your mental acuity and lead to physical downsides, causing you to look older, either resulting in bags under the eyes or simply making you look fatigued. If you’ve found yourself having trouble getting enough sleep every night, consider setting aside time during the day for naps. You’ll want to ensure you’re getting enough slow-wave sleep, which is the stage of sleep crucial to forming and maintaining memories.
Travel and Meet New People
Similar to staying active and training your mind, you should continue having new experiences, whether in new places or with new people. Social activity is important in keeping feel mentally sharp and lively. Not only can you meet new people within the senior community, but you can experience other cultures and people of younger age groups, learning more about the world and opening your mind to the gradually progressing world.
Growing old doesn’t have to be worrisome. With some mindful choices, you can make the most out of your later years, feeling and looking younger than you might think.
Author Bio: Shane McCarthy is the Content Director for Capillus, the world’s first, clinically-proven, FDA-cleared laser cap to treat hair loss. Shane works to share informative and engaging content based off of the struggles and prevention of adult hair loss and thinning. In his free time, he enjoys spending time out on the water wakeboarding and fishing.