Aging is part of the normal life cycle of a person. We all age; we can never prevent that from happening. What we can do though is slow it down and try to show less of the symptoms we see – wrinkles, dry, loose and sagging skin, age spots and all those things we associate with aging.
We have listed down an ultimate guide to help you slow down the aging process. Refer to it from time to time and keep these tips close to your heart. You will not only look younger than your age but feel better too.
But first we need to discuss two very important points:
Truth # 1: Your birthday is not your age.
Experts in the science of aging say that your chronological age is an inaccurate indicator of how you really are for your biological age (age of your body). The Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging, that tracked 3,000 people from their 20s to their 90s, said that people age at such vastly different rates that the older you are, the more irrelevant your birth date is to your true age. Chronological age happens, you can’t do anything about it. But biological age is another story.
You can exert significant control over your biological age. This is where lifestyle choices come in. Studies have shown that 70% of aging is related to how you live not necessarily what genes you inherited.
This lifestyle-induced aging is known as secondary aging. Primary aging is the result of the body’s self-destruct instructions—the inevitable deterioration of its cellular structure and function. Secondary aging is the result of the accumulation of everything you do or do not do to—and for—yourself over time. These choices, habits, and learned responses can, over time, make a big difference in how your body ages from the inside out.
Truth # 2: We can’t prevent aging, but we can age optimally. What we mean by aging optimally is reducing the effects of aging – seeing the symptoms we listed above.
There are four processes that age us from within, damage our organs and tissues (including our skin)
- Oxidation is damage from free radicals that can impact the appearance of your skin.
- Inflammation is the starting point for heart disease and is a big factor in Alzheimer’s, dementia, obesity, diabetes and cancer.
- Stress causes your body to release hormones (like cortisol) that can shrink the hippocampus, an important area of the brain involved in memory and thinking.
- Sugar sends your “fat-storing” hormone (insulin) into overdrive and contributes to aging and disease in multiple ways.
Our ultimate guide outlines steps we can take to reduce these damages.
Protect your skin from the sun.
Exposure to ultraviolet light, UVA or UVB, from sunlight accounts for 90% of the symptoms of premature skin aging.
Wear sunscreen with SPF of at least 15 throughout the whole year. Sunscreen is the number one topical cream you can use to prevent premature skin aging. It prevents more than fixes but it’s easier to prevent the signs of aging than it is to reverse wrinkles or hyperpigmentation.
Take note: Sunscreen is not a magic potion that works as soon as you start using it. Your skin won’t age less a week or even a month after consistent and proper sunscreen application. You may see less sun spots, but ultimate sunscreen benefits are cumulative and will prove to be extremely effective in the long run. So use it all the time.
Get enough sleep.
There is scientific evidence that enough sleep, rest and relaxation not only enhance health but also prolong life. It also helps your body recover from the daily stress and rejuvenate.
1. Be intimate with your partner, have sex – it aids sleep and relaxation.
2. Melatonin is a useful supplement and sleep hormone with powerful brain protecting benefits.
3. Try herbal extracts such as Valerian and Passiflora to help with insomnia.
4. Stay away from gadgets a few hours before bedtime. It induces insomnia and doesn’t relax your brain.
Start a good basic skincare routine. And be consistent with it.
Everyone knows that a good skin care routine can help fight the signs of aging. Even if you don’t use any actual anti-aging products, a basic routine with a simple cleanser and moisturizer will be better than doing nothing at all. You don’t need the latest breakthrough skin care product to prevent aging, as long as you take good basic care of your skin.
Note: Your hands, neck, and eyes are usually the first areas that start to show signs of aging. Whatever you do to care for your face, do the same for the rest of your body.
1. Exfoliate. Even if exfoliating didn’t help your skin stay firm or reduce any wrinkles, the process of exfoliation helps you maintain an even and bright complexion, which definitely looks much younger and healthier compared to uneven and blotchy skin.
3. Vitamin C is probably the most powerful antioxidant for your skin, scientifically proven to stimulate collagen production and brighten overall skin tone.
4. Retinoids are the gold standard for anti-aging treatment products. They stimulate collagen production, reducing wrinkles and helping skin stay firm. Retinoids can also help fade sun spots, hyperpigmentation, and acne scars. You don’t need retinoids to prevent aging, but they certainly help in the fight against wrinkly and droopy skin.
It is recommended that a person consume an average of eight glasses of water per day. Water is a very important essential in the human body, maintaining hydration that is required for the body to function effectively. It also flushes out toxins from the body system.
One study showed that those drinking five or more glasses of water a day could help reduce the risk for heart disease by 53%, compared with those drinking two or less a day.
Eat right. Note that we didn’t say eat less. Just eat right.
Veggies and Fruits. You’ve likely heard that antioxidant-packed fruits and vegetables can help you stay young. These powerful compounds fight free radicals that damage the good cells on your body and skin and make you look older.
Take note: Antioxidants remain active for only a few hours and need to be continually replenished. Make sure to eat antioxidants every 4 hours or so or with every meal. Aim for colorful foods because color is synonymous with rich antioxidants. Berries, pomegranates, and noni juice are all excellent anti-aging preventative sources. Apples, oranges, and lettuce will also be good for your skin.
Fat (yes, fat!). The good kind of fats —omega-3 fatty acids—is the ultimate anti-aging fat, essential for protecting your brain, heart, bones, joints, skin, and more. About 20 to 35% of your daily calories should come from fat, mainly healthy, unsaturated fat. Coconut oil is a great example.
Put nuts, beans, dark chocolate and berries on heavy rotation in your diet. These four foods provide a particularly impressive range of anti-aging benefits.
Apart from eating healthy diets and consuming adequate fluids, exercising is also very important. It improves the body’s internal functioning that ends up reflecting a more radiant looking skin.
Take note: If you tend to hit the gym in 2-week stints to shed a few pounds, but then take a few months off from physical activity, you’re missing out on some major health perks. Research shows that vigorous exercisers have longer telomeres—cellular biomarkers that shorten as we age—compared with healthy adults who rarely work out.
Choose any activity you enjoy—be it walking, cycling, or dancing—and aim for a minimum of 20 to 25 minutes a day. Break it down, if you have to, into two 10-minute sessions. Just move more everyday.
Quit smoking. Or don’t even consider starting.
Early wrinkling is visible under a microscope in smokers as young as 20. Smoking not only decreases the capillary flow to the skin, depriving it of oxygen and nutrients essential to healthy skin, but smokers produce less collagen, a surefire way to age prematurely.
Deal with the stress.
Stress will never go away completely, but how you manage everyday problems can keep hormones on a more even—and healthy—level. Deal with it — somehow.
1. Meditate. Have a few minutes each day at intervals to close your eyes and relax.
2. Deep breathing. Exhale strongly through the mouth, making a whoosh sound. Breathe in quietly through the nose for a count of four. Hold your breath for a count of seven, then exhale with the whoosh for a count of eight. Repeat the cycle 3 more times.
3. Ease stress with extracts from the magnolia flower, green tea or milk peptide, all of which are available at your local health food store. Massage is another way to calm stress.
4. Take 100 to 200 milligrams each of vitamins B6 and B12 daily to reduce cortisol and increase levels of serotonin, a chemical in the body that helps ease depression and anxiety.
5. Lavender, a natural relaxant, helps keep cortisol levels stable and smells terrific. Put this essential oil in the bath or rub it onto your face and body, or tuck a sachet of the dried flower under your pillow.
Live a happy life.
This one is often understated and overlooked. Living a happy life is the absolute best thing you can do to slow down the aging process. Whatever methods you employ, whether artificial or natural, to prevent aging won’t really have great results if your glow isn’t found within.