How to Age Gracefully

These 5 Behaviors Will Keep You Feeling Young

Learn how to age gracefully and feel younger at any age!

No one dreams of aging ungracefully. After all, you don’t spend your life trying to increase your number of wrinkles, dying your hair grey before its time, or trying to add on those few extra pounds that seem to come with advancing years, yet they seem to happen almost automatically. Or do they?

 

Unless you practice certain behaviors that repel these common signs of aging, you’re going to draw them closer to you like water to a sponge. What are these behaviors that will keep you young as long as possible?

 

A Regular Exercise Regimen

 

Getting regular physical activity helps you age with poise in a number of ways. First, it keeps your heart healthy which allows you to live life to the fullest. You will be able to engage in various activities that you enjoy well into your senior years like golf, mountain climbing, or simply playing with your grandchildren, without worrying about increasing your risk of a heart attack or stroke.

 

Second, it keeps your muscles and bones strong. Your balance is steadier, which means fewer falls. And, even if you do take a tumble or find yourself the victim of some sort of accident, being fit means that you have a lower risk of injury because you’ve built up the strength of your skeleton and frame, making you tougher and more resistant to outside forces.

 

Third, recent research is finding that consistent exercise helps your skin age with beauty and elegance. In one study in particular reported by The New York Times, researchers at McMaster University in Ontario studied 29 male and female participants who ranged in age from 20 years old to 84.

 

They looked at both the lower and upper layers of skin on their buttocks (as they wanted an area that had not been exposed to the sun) and found that the older individuals’ outer skin layers were thicker than that of the younger subjects, whereas their inner layers were thinner. This was no surprise to them; however, the older participants who exercised regularly had the skin composition of people half their age, thereby confirming that exercise helps you look younger from the inside out.

 

Does this mean that you can’t save your skin if you’re already getting up there in age and starting to show signs representative of the number of candles on your birthday cake? Not at all.

 

Researchers at the same university had a group of previously sedentary people above the age of 65 participate in an exercise program for a period of three months and they had the skin composition of people 20-40 years younger than them at the conclusion of the study. This proves that it is never too late to enjoy the benefits of exercise!

 

So, how much exercise do you need to keep your body young both inside and out? The general consensus amongst most health professionals is that 30-60 minutes almost every day of the week is enough. Ideally, you want to work at moderate intensity (which is a 7-8 on a 10-point scale), but even light activity is beneficial.

 

Pick activities you enjoy, whether they are walking, bicycling, or swimming, because you won’t keep doing them if they aren’t fun for you. Also, switch them up often to give yourself a little variety and to work different muscle groups in your body. This will create and overall level of fitness that will help keep you healthy for years to come.

 

Of course, it is always advisable to consult with your physician before starting any exercise program just to be sure that your body can handle the activity. Also, sometimes past injuries may prevent you from doing certain forms of exercise, so it is always best to check with someone who knows your history before you risk aggravating that area again.

 

Dealing With Your Stress Levels

 

When you are younger, it is easy to think that stress isn’t going to affect you. Sure, you may have worries about your financial future, your family, or your career, but you think that you can handle anything that comes your way. So, you worry about things you can’t control, telling yourself that it won’t impact your health or hurt you long term. Unfortunately, you couldn’t be any further from the truth.

 

Keeping your body in a constant state of stress has many negative effects on you which can significantly impact your aging process. It can lower your immune system, opening you up to all kinds of diseases and infections, and it can make your body look and feel several years older than it should.

 

The American Institute of Stress highlights one particular study which looked at spouses that provided care to partners who suffered with dementia. Their levels of interleukin-6 were assessed, which is a substance that affects your body’s inflammation levels, and they found that the caregiver spouses had levels that were four times higher than average. Additionally, these levels didn’t return to normal after they were no longer responsible for the care of their spouse.

 

Other studies have confirmed similar results. People who have high levels of unrelieved stress tend to die younger and have higher incidences of disease. This makes blowing off steam a critical part not only of aging gracefully, but aging period!

 

What are some ways in which you can lower your stress levels so that you can enjoy life more? Here are some options:
 

  • Go for a walk and just enjoy nature; reconnect yourself with Mother Earth
     
  • Keep a journal so you can get all of your worries, concerns, and frustrations out on paper
     
  • Find someone you trust that you can talk to honestly and openly
     
  • Choose to let go of things you cannot control
     
  • Live in the moment and forget about yesterday or tomorrow
     
  • Devise a plan to help you appropriately deal with some of the things that are bothering you
     
  • Set realistic goals so that you’re not constantly reaching for something you can’t obtain
     
  • Plan a vacation that you look forward to taking

 

These are just a few ideas to get you started. Think about different things that may make you happy and try them out. You may also decide to enlist the help of a counselor or therapist if you feel that your stress levels are too high to handle on your own. Don’t be afraid to ask for assistance as it may just affect the quality and length of your life.

 

Eating Foods That Promote Youthfulness

 

Another avenue to a younger, more vibrant you regardless of your age is to eat foods that provide you the nutrients you need to achieve this very reachable goal. Foods that keep your skin supple and smooth. Foods that lower your inflammation as well as your body fat. What kinds of foods offer these types of advantages? They’re called superfoods.

 

These are foods that have the capability of fending off disease, leaving you healthy enough to live the life you want to live well into retirement. They are the foods that improve your mood and give you a happier outlook on life so that your senior years are filled with more smiles than frowns. They are foods that are loaded with so many nutrients that each one is like a prescription for youth that works single-handedly to make sure you look several years less than your actual age.

 

The foods that offer these types of benefits include salmon, beans, a multitude of different berries, yogurt, nuts, tomatoes, spinach, broccoli, and tea. Each one provides you many valuable health benefits that not only help you live longer, but enhance the quality of those years at the same time.

 

The more of these foods that you can include in your diet, the better, so add them to your breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks. Teach your family to eat these types of foods so that you can protect their health and help them age gracefully too.

 

Along with healthy eating comes proper hydration of your body, which you can achieve by drinking lots of water. This will help keep your skin radiant and clear, your organs functioning effectively, and your energy levels high – three things that can benefit anyone at any age.

 

Keep a bottle or glass by you at all times so you always have easy access to it. If you currently drink a lot of not-so-good-for-you beverages right now (like sodas and other high-sugar drinks), slowly replace them with water and you’ll notice a huge difference in how you look and feel!

 

One way to make water tastier is to add slices of fruit, veggies, and spices to it. Experiment with different berries and melons to find a flavor combination you enjoy. Throw in a sprig of mint or some cucumber slices for a beverage that truly quenches your thirst. Have fun with your water and you will find it easier to drink more!

 

Losing Your Excess Weight

 

If you have a few extra pounds to lose, doing so has a high probability of lengthening your life and increasing its quality – both of which are essential to aging gracefully. Losing even 10% of your body weight is enough to lower your risk of life threatening diseases, let alone the fact that it will also allow you to engage in more physical activities that can provide you a lot of joy (which lowers your stress while you’re getting exercise, making it triple effective).

 

The key to achieving this goal is to lose weight in a healthy manner. Going on some fad diet that isn’t healthy for you isn’t going to help you at all. Therefore, you’re going to want to pick a weight loss program that is designed specifically for you; one that fits into your lifestyle and makes it easier to lose the fat that may threaten your aging process.

 

One great diet to consider is the HCG diet. This is a scientifically formulated program that incorporates healthy eating (thus satisfying your superfoods requirement) with a hormone that will help your body release its excess fat, leaving you a thinner, healthier version of yourself.

 

There are also all-natural supplements that you can take that will help you lose weight safely yet effectively. Some options to consider include raspberry ketones, green tea extract, vitamin B12, and several others. ThinNow.com offers a supplement that contains a variety of proven weight loss enhancers (called Ultimate Trim Body), allowing you to lose your excess weight without trying to figure out the combinations that work best, so you may want to check it out if you want to give your weight loss a boost.

 

Losing weight also impacts you mentally. When you feel good about the body that you are in, the sky is the limit. You’re more likely to do the things you enjoy and you spend more time making memories that you’ll cherish for years to come versus just sitting on the couch, wondering where the last 10, 20, or 50 years went.

 

Having a Proactive Versus Reactive Mindset

 

The final part of aging gracefully that we’d like to cover is having a proactive versus reactive mindset. This means that it is easier to implement healthy, youthful changes now than it is to keep damaging your body and trying to repair it later (when you’re forced to) because sometimes the damage cannot be undone.

 

Take steps today to protect your health and wellness tomorrow. Don’t be the person who says, “I don’t need to worry about that right now” or “It will be fine no matter what I do” because you may just be wrong. In fact, if you take most any older person today and ask them what they’d do differently in the past if they knew then what they know now and you’ll likely hear a whole list of things.

 

Keep your list of regrets short and sweet by taking action today. Get regular exercise, release the stressors that you endure, eat healthy foods, and lose your excess weight and you’ll definitely be on the right track. The Fountain of Youth does exist. You just have to learn how to turn it on.

 

 

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