Ageing: it’s something that comes to us all, but many of us dread it. This is because ageing is often associated with declining health and diminishing beauty; however, this isn’t how it has to be. While it sounds like a cliché, we really are only as old as we feel, and so many lifestyle adjustments can be made to flip our perception of ageing.
As many as 87% of Americans fear getting old, with the assumption that they’ll age like a pint of milk rather than a fine wine. Meanwhile, many individuals who have surpassed middle age are constantly searching for ways to reverse the ageing process. Detailed below are the top 10 things you can do yourself.
1. Cleanse your sleep
While we find ourselves sleeping less as we get older, sleep isn’t necessarily about quantity; it’s about quality. As little as six hours of sleep per night can keep us going throughout the day, so long as this is good-quality rest.
To improve our sleep hygiene, we should avoid using electronic devices for at least half an hour before bedtime, keep our bedrooms dark, follow a consistent bedtime routine, and limit caffeine and alcohol intake.
After all, during sleep, the blood flow of your skin increases, allowing it to rebuild its collagen and repair UV exposure damage. As a result, wrinkles and age spots are reduced, and your body is well-rested, making you look and feel younger.
2. Cut down on saturated fat
A diet high in saturated fat causes oxidative stress for the skin, which results in inflammatory damage. Oxidative stress refers to the disturbance in the balance between the production of reactive oxygen species and antioxidant defences. Ultimately, excessive saturated fat isn’t your friend when it comes to eliminating the aches and pains associated with ageing.
Foods high in saturated fat include cakes, biscuits, pastries, chocolate, creams, cheese, butter, and fatty cuts of meat. While a balanced diet contains small amounts of these foods, they’re to be enjoyed in moderation.
3. Stay hydrated
Not only does water keep organs functioning properly, deliver nutrients to cells, prevent infections, keep joints lubricated, and regulate body temperature, but it also keeps your skin glowing. As a result, hydration is one of the key factors to looking and feeling young; eight glasses of water daily is essential to reversing the ageing process.
4. Avoid smoking
Nicotine intake results in blood cells narrowing, reducing oxygen flow, wherein nutrients can’t be delivered to the skin cells. Therefore, smoking should be avoided at all costs to maintain and regain skin elasticity and health. Moreover, this lifestyle change is more than free and will actually save you money!
5. Only drink in moderation
The dehydrating effects of alcohol lead to your skin losing its moisture and elasticity, resulting in wrinkles, dryness, and sagginess. Just one night of heavy drinking can make your wrinkles look more pronounced, meaning cutting back on drinking can be the key to reversing the ageing process.
Meditation is exercise for the mind, and one of the most debilitating effects of ageing can be a declining memory. In fact, studies have shown that meditation exercises the hippocampus, which is the memory part of the brain. Therefore, regular meditation could be the ticket to combatting the effects of ageing on the mind.
7. Build good relationships
Healthy relationships promote health, happiness, and longevity. This is because the joy that stems from comfortable relationships can relax our stress response system. Consequently, the amount of cortisol (the stress hormone) is reduced, resulting in less wear and tear on the brain and body. Not only does this make us feel physically younger, but it will translate into our appearance.
8. Reprogramme your vision of old age
We’ve touched on the fact that ageing is perceived negatively, but did you know that this could actually affect how we age? Studies have shown that those who perceive ageing positively live healthier and longer lives than those who take the opposite stance. Never underestimate the power of mind over matter!
9. Don’t be afraid of change
The phrase “too old” is thrown around far too often as an excuse for not making positive changes in our lives. Whether it’s joining a gym, changing careers, getting married, or even getting divorced, we’re never too old to make changes that make us happier and healthier.
10. Get moving
Last but not least is exercise! Exercise allows us to strengthen our bones and muscles, reduce our risk of disease, manage our weight, improve our brain health, and improve our ability to complete everyday activities. Each of these activities seems to become 10 times harder with age, which is why it’s so important to reap the benefits of movement.
This isn’t to say that we should be pumping iron at the gym or running 5K on a treadmill (after a certain age, this can actually do more harm than good). Instead, we simply need to incorporate gentle movement into our daily routine.
Despite this, if you’re a movement novice, this can seem like an intimidating, overwhelming, and confusing task. For this reason, Be You offers bespoke movement plans tailored to every individual! Contact us to learn more.