Last Updated on January 14, 2021
If you look at yourself in the mirror every day, it might be really hard to notice any substantial change on your body and face. Most people don’t realize they’re aging until they reach their forties and start looking at photos from five years ago. Then it hits hard, and you start asking: How is that possible? How could I change so much in so little time?
Aging is inevitable, and so are the physical and mental changes that come with it. But if you take good care of yourself during your early life, going past your forties, fifties and sixties can be an amazing and highly enjoyable experience. You have to build up the right habits and mentally embrace these stages of your life. We will give you a few healthy aging tips so that you can age gracefully!
Taking care of your body:
It’s not that hard to reach your forties in an acceptable physical form. All you need is to maintain a reasonably balanced and healthy diet and do some exercise. Depending on your genetics, that might be enough. The real problem is staying fit after your forties: your skin begins to age, a layer of fat appears on your belly, blood pressure needs to be regularly monitored, minor health problems become a real issue, and so on.
Here’s what you need to do:
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Be it summer or winter, using sunscreen is crucial for your skin. Many scientific studies have shown that the vast majority of skin problems that appear as you get old (such as wrinkles, dryness, or saggy skin) are caused by exposure to sunlight. Get used to putting sunscreen every morning on all parts of your body that will be directly exposed to sunlight during the day. It is recommended to use waterproof sunscreen with a minimum SPF30 for your body, and a minimum SPF50 for your face. Using sunscreen is a great step, but it isn’t enough. There are other precautions you should take to prolong the health of your skin. The most basic and indispensable skincare routine is moisturizing your skin daily and washing your face with warm water (please don’t use soap) twice a day. If you want to go further in your efforts, you can also exfoliate your skin to remove dead cells, use a serum in the area around your eyes, anti-aging products, and take good care of your lips with a lip balm SPF. How do you think people like George Clooney and Meryl Streep arrived at their age with such great skin?
2. Cut in salt
The health issues of eating too much salt in food start to become problematic as you get old. According to the National Institutes of Health, more than 65% of Americans over 60 have hypertension. This is extremely alarming since hypertension (high blood pressure) can lead to stroke (the 5th leading cause of death in the United States), heart attack (heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States), and a decline in cognitive functioning. Take it easy on the salt, and keep an eye on your blood pressure levels.
3. Cut out all the bad habits
If you are a smoker, you won’t age that good, sorry to disappoint you! Besides the well-known tobacco harms like increasing the risk of cancer, and heart and respiratory diseases, it will also heavily damage your skin. Smoking speeds up the aging process and will make all the wrinkles and sagginess arrive very early.
4. Take good care of your body
This one goes without saying, but exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy diet are probably the most important things you can start doing right now to ensure a happy and active old age. Taking good care of your body will allow you to do all your favorite activities, have better mobility, and be independent for longer.
5. Don’t forget to take care of your teeth:
You have probably already noticed that many people develop teeth and gum problems with age as a result of years and years of tear and wear. It is important to maintain good hygiene habits: floss and brush your teeth daily and schedule dental check-ups at least once a year. Taking care of your mind: In the end, aging gracefully is essentially about facing the problems that come with age with the right mentality. How does one do that? It’s certainly not easy, as the physical challenges and the idea of death being near can take a toll on you at an emotional level. But it can be done. It’s all about your attitude.
6. Accept changes
This is by far the most important tip and the key to a wise and mentally healthy aging process. Changes are inevitable and natural. The soon you accept that your life will gradually change as you get old, the better. Otherwise, it might be extremely overwhelming and have such an impact on your mental state that can lead to depression. Anticipate change so that you have the time to prepare for it mentally.
7. Do things that you love
You need to enjoy retirement. To do so, find activities that make bring some form of happiness and meaning to your life. Devote your time to old hobbies and your family and friends. We suggest taking a few trips during early retirement and establish some goals. They could be simple and easy to achieve, like building a wood table for your daughter’s apartment, watching all your grandson’s football matches throughout the season, or developing your chess skills so that you can finally beat your old friend! This will give you a sense of purpose and prevent you from succumbing to depression and isolation.
8. Look how far you’ve made it
Take some time to put things into perspective and appreciate everything you’ve done. You had the privilege to live a long and prosperous life. Many people hadn’t. Value everything you have and everyone around you, and know that no matter what happens, you will always have someone who deeply cares for you. Lastly, here’s a list of 5 of the most popular books on aging gracefully: Lifespan: Why We Age – and Why We Don’t Have To, by David A. Sinclair, PhD Super Human: The Bulletproof Plan to Age Backward and Maybe Even Live Forever, by Dave Asprey Extra Time: 10 Lessons for an Ageing World, by Camilla Cavendish The Longevity Paradox: How to Die Young at a Ripe Old Age (The Plant Paradox), by Dr. Steven R. Gundry, MD Boundless: Upgrade Your Brain, Optimize Your Body & Defy Aging, by Ben Greenfield