Very few of us cherish the thought of growing older. Non-specific aches, pains, wrinkles, sagging skin, and additional pounds serve to slow us down and remind us that we are not immune from the effects of aging. Can we age gracefully?
A large part of how we age depends on our genetic makeup and individual gene expression that exists within our DNA. The good news is, we can slow and reduce the effects of aging with some well-planned, thoughtful action that helps keep us looking and feeling young and fresh. Is 50 the new 30? Read on to see how you can take matters into your own hands and perhaps even turn back the clock for improved youth and beauty, inside and out.
7 Tips To A Younger Body In Middle Age
Healthy body tip #1- Limit sun over exposure
We’ve all seen them…those leather heads that spend all of their time in the sun to get that healthy glow. While they may look impressively bronzed, nothing does more damage to the skin of your body than sun overexposure (1).
Sure, you can spend some time outside soaking up those rays – it’s a good way to boost your production of vitamin D. Don’t overdo it; if you must spend a day outdoors, apply a good sunblock to keep your skin young and fresh.
Healthy body tip #2- Eat well
You are what you eat. Your body utilizes building blocks of nutrition from the food you eat, helping to facilitate all processes of cell renewal and regeneration. What are you filling your high-performance machine with?
Studies show that a diet rich in whole grains, fresh quality produce, and lean protein goes the distance and gives your body exactly what it needs to build strong, lean muscles, and healthy bones (2).
Recent studies now point to caloric excess as being a primary contributor to premature aging. Those who restrict their caloric intake while staying active can increase their lifespans by as much as 7.5 years! Learning to consciously eat will be one of the most significant things you can do to positively impact your health.
Healthy body tip #3- Drink enough water
Few people drink enough water–most of us are walking around in a state of chronic dehydration. Some classic symptoms of dehydration that you may not even be aware of include:
- Ongoing fatigue
- Dark or foul-smelling urine
- Headaches and body aches
- Irritability and mental fog
- Dry mouth, foul-smelling breath
- Cracked lips and hands
- Rapid heart rate and high blood pressure
- An inability to lose weight
Keeping your body hydrated will cause all of your body’s systems to function more efficiently—respiration, circulation, digestion, and elimination work well, and you will feel cleaner and more energized (3). Aim for at least half your body ounces in weight daily, and you’ll be right on track.
Healthy body tip #4- Stay active
You don’t have to become a bodybuilder in middle age, but there is no better way to keep joints, ligaments, and bones more limber than by staying active. 30-60 minutes of moderate exercise and activity daily has the ability to boost your mental prowess, keep your weight under control, and keep you more mobile. The more you move, the better you’ll feel. Make some time for walking, circuit training, swimming, gardening, or cycling (4).
Even housework can be considered an activity if you commit to keeping up a moderate pace while getting household chores done. Look for opportunities in your day to boost your oxygen levels and move that body, and you’ll feel younger and more limber with each session.
Healthy body tip #5- Renew your mind
These days, it is easy to get bogged down by the stresses and cares of life. Studies show that mismanaged stress has the ability to prematurely age both the mind and body. We need to look for ways to manage and release stress while dealing with the pressures of life.
Immersing yourself in nature, taking quiet time to read a good book that feeds the soul, or even yoga and meditation are excellent ways to release both physical and mental stress while placing you in more of a “present moment” awareness, where you can learn to appreciate the gifts that life has given you. Transform yourself by releasing yourself and renewing your mind.
Healthy body tip #6- Get some shut-eye!
Sleep has a tremendous impact on how we look and feel as we age. From the position that we sleep in, to the number of hours we are able to achieve in deep, restorative sleep, we can reduce fine line and wrinkle formation, balance hormones, and even protect against the development of diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. Follow these expert tips for getting improved sleep:
- Increase activity levels during the day to re-establish healthy circadian rhythms
- Get some sun exposure to boost natural levels of melatonin, a hormone critical for sleep
- Create an inviting atmosphere in your bedroom to establish it as a restful haven
- Reduce the use of electronic devices and artificial light at least one hour before bedtime
You’ll be off to dreamland in no time!
Healthy body tip #7- Balance those hormones
As we age, fluctuating hormones and other naturally occurring chemicals in our body start to decline. HGH, or human growth hormone, is a substance that flows freely when we are younger, helping to strengthen bone, repair muscle tissue, and boost both collagen and metabolic processes. Growth hormone is a key anti-aging element needed to preserve our youth and beauty, and there are some ways to naturally boost our own production of it. Some of these factors include:
- Maintaining a healthy diet
- Refraining from using substances like alcohol and tobacco
- Staying active
- Reducing stress and balancing emotions
The Bottom Line
Smart supplementation of critical vitamins, minerals, and other natural treatments can increase our natural production of growth hormones, helping us to look and feel younger than our chronological age. If you do choose to use supplements as part of a total wellness plan, talk to your doctor about which ones are right for you, as well as disclose any prescription drugs you may be taking in order to rule out the possibility of interactions.
“Sun damaged skin – What is it?” – https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/sun-damaged-skin-a-to-z
“Caloric intake and Aging”, Richard Weindruch, Rajindar S. Sohal, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2851235/
“Getting enough protein”, https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/HealthyLiving/Getting-enough-protein
“Hydration – Why it’s so important”, https://familydoctor.org/hydration-why-its-so-important/
“Aging well”, Melinda Smith, M.A., Jeanne Segal, Ph.D., and Monika White, Ph.D.,