Aging is inevitable, but who said you have to feel the negative effects of getting older every year? Here are five great tips for feeling and looking youthful and energetic, no matter the date on your driver’s license.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Waking up feeling refreshed and energetic is easier said than done, but a night of poor sleep can leave you irritable and stressed out, which are are big contributors to accelerated aging. Consistent quality rest not only boosts your mental health, but also triggers the production of human growth hormones, which in turn strengthen your muscles and bones, and thickens your skin.
Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time each evening and morning, and avoid blue light (cell phones and television) and caffeinated or alcoholic drinks two to three hours before bed.
Drinking the right amount of water seems to help every ailment, and negatively feeling your age — tired and achy — isn’t an exception to that rule.
Your sense of thirst begins to lessen as you age, so you may be taking small naps or overeating when you really just need to drink water. Dehydration is a common cause of hospitalization among older adults, with 75% of Americans suffering chronic dehydration.
In order to remember to drink water, purchase a quality bottle to keep with you throughout the day and start replacing sodas or other beverages with water. You’ll notice the positive effects it can have on your joints, cardiovascular health, weight loss efforts, and skin elasticity.
[Related: Secrets for Aging Well]
As we age, the importance of a healthy diet becomes more apparent.
Things such as excess sugar can have a harsh impact on your skin, since sugar and high-glycemic carb molecules (pasta, potatoes, etc.) attach themselves to collagen fibers in the skin and drag on their elasticity and flexibility. Avoid inflammatory foods such as prepackaged snack foods, fast food with MSG, and fried foods as much as possible, as inflammation is linked to cancer, diabetes, obesity, and arthritis.
Instead, try eating more fruits, nuts, and veggies to keep your bones strong, memory sharp, and heart healthy.
Find a Hobby
“You can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” is a phrase we simply don’t believe in.
Starting a new hobby or diving into a new interest is encouraged at any age, and has been proven to promote physical and mental health among older adults. Some ideas include getting back into a pastime you enjoyed in your younger years, scrapbooking photos of friends and family, gardening, or even going out for a senior sports team or dance class.
Staying social gets more and more difficult as we grow older, but keeping in touch with family and friends and making new acquaintances are shown to be great for your health.
Having someone to talk to with similar experiences is both therapeutic and beneficial for your self-esteem, and has its own physical benefits as well, such as boosting your immune system and encouraging regular movement and exercise.
Reaching out and finding your place within your neighborhood or community — whether that means joining a club or volunteering — can also give your life restored purpose and feel quite rewarding.
Have any tips on aging well and feeling great?