5 Tips to Stop Aging Now
Except for a few kids currently in middle school, no one wants to grow older. Our bodies are miraculous, self-healing machines built to last 80 years or more. Still, over time, your body will slowly break down. It’s inevitable. But the time it takes to get there isn’t inevitable—not at all. In fact, there’s plenty you can do to slow the effects of time on your body—and, in some cases, even come close stop aging.
This isn’t the Fountain of Youth—you’re never going to be 20 again. But it’s the next-best thing—a suite of tips that will increase your energy, improve your skin, optimize your organs, and generally make you feel like you sliced ten years off your life.
So get ready to take notes. You’re going to want to schedule some time for each of these five tips, starting today.
1. Exercise that body
Move it or lose it!
You’ve probably heard that phrase before—because there’s plenty of truth to it.
But this goes beyond building muscle mass through use. It’s intuitive and obvious you want a strong heart, and strong muscles throughout your body.
Less obvious is that exercise actually helps reduce inflammation. And inflammation is one of the most dangerous and damaging effects of aging.
Inflammation has been linked to everything from heart disease to depression, cancer to senility.
But a new study that followed participants for 10 years found inflammation was greatly reduced in those who participated in regular exercise.
The important thing is to do a bit each day—around 20 to 30 minutes of low-impact exercise.
If you are doing high-stress exercise—anything that raises your heart rate over 70% of maximum exertion—for over a half-hour, you actually could be causing inflammation.
So there’s no need to push yourself too hard, too long. If you want to get the maximum possible benefit, consider interval training—alternating between high- and low-stress work for an hour or so. Like sprinting for three minutes, and walking for 90 seconds.
Or just get out there and talk a 15-minute walk after each meal. You’ll be amazed what a huge difference this little commitment can make.
2. Talk to me
We are social creatures. And, to stay on top of your game, you’ve got to remain a social creature.
Being social exercises your brain, just as being physically active exercises your heart.
Talking with others keeps you feeling connected—which helps tamp down the possibility of developing mental issues like depression.
And, of course, being socially active helps you stay happy. And that’s a great way to stay young as well.
3. Eating for age
You truly are what you eat. But also, in many ways, you are as old as you eat.
Some foods tax all your systems—think greasy fast food. They age you prematurely.
Others actually help your body stay young. Fruits like blueberries and pomegranates are rich in anti-oxidants, which eliminate cancer-causing free radicals.
Leafy greens like kale are rich in Vitamin K, which is great for your heart and bones. Leafy greens also have lots of fiber—which helps lower both blood pressure and cholesterol.
The purple of an eggplant comes from a nutrient called nasunin, which actively fights potential cancer cells by cutting off their blood supply.
Foods high in Vitamin C—like citrus fruits or, perhaps surprisingly, red bell peppers—are great for your immune system, and also are great for your skin. Vitamin C promotes collagen, the substance that gives your skin its elasticity and reduces wrinkles.
When in doubt, reach for the fruits and veggies. Almost all of them contain the antioxidants and fiber that your body needs to stay young, and in tip-top function.
4. Grab some Zs
As you age, you might find it harder to get a good night’s sleep. Insomnia rises with age. You might wake up multiple times in the middle of the night to use the bathroom. You might be more sensitive to caffeine or be taking a drug that keeps you awake.
Whatever the reason, not getting enough sleep makes you feel lousy, lowers the defenses of your immune system, can lead to depression, and can cause more falls.
And, importantly for today’s conversation, proper sleep gives your body time to repair and rejuvenate from the previous day. If you aren’t getting enough sleep, you’re simply wearing your body down faster.
So take some steps to ensure you get the proper night’s sleep. Establish a sleep schedule. Reserve your bed for sleep only, and consider keeping the temperature slightly cooler in your bedroom. Exercise during the day can promote sleepiness later.
And, as a final step to close out your day, practice mindful breathing or meditation. This can calm down all your over-excited nerves, and lead to fast, deep sleep.
5. An ounce of prevention
Unfortunately, accidents happen.
And bad accidents can shorten your life.
So, to truly live a full happy life, you should do everything you can to avoid any hiccups. Make sure to outfit your home and wardrobe to help prevent falls.
Ensure the spaces where you walk are well-lit. You should clear out any obstacles that could cause a fall—whether that means fixing a rippled rug, moving a piece of furniture away from an entrance, or keeping your mail pile small and off the floor.
Ill-fitting shoes are also a major culprit in falls. Make sure yours are comfortable, stable, and fit right.
If you’ve started dating and become sexually active outside of a long-term, monogamous relationship, make sure you use condoms. STIs are a problem for every sexually active age group, and seniors are coming down with them at a faster rate than any other subset.
If your driving (or your spouse’s) is no longer up to snuff, put down the car keys and explore your transportation alternatives.
After all, you don’t want anything to get in the way of your vibrant life.
And if you follow these five anti-aging steps, your life will, indeed, be vibrant. You’ll have more energy and more rest, better skin and a better heart and mind.
You might not ever look 20 again. But there’s no reason you can’t feel an awful lot closer to it.
- Radcliffe, Shawn. Anti-Aging News: Can Exercise Help You Stay Young?. Men’s Fitness. Accessed Nov 13, 2016.
- Hamer, Mark, et al. Physical Activity and Inflammatory Markers Over 10 Years: Follow-Up in Men and Women from the Whitehall II Cohort Study. Circulation. Published Nov 8, 2016. Accessed Nov 13, 2016.
- Larsen, Dana. 4 Secrets To Slow Aging: Keeping Seniors Active. A Place For Mom. Published Mar 8, 2016. Accessed Nov 13, 2016.
- Burg, Ron. 4 Ways Seniors Can Stay Young. Eldercare ABC Blog. Accessed Nov 13, 2016.
- Frehsée, Nicole. 7 Fruits and Vegetables That Reverse The Signs Of Aging. Oprah. Published Apr 16, 2013. Accessed Nov 13, 2016.
- Kitzmiller, Hannah. Healthy Aging: Using Sleep As An Anti-Aging Tool. Enhanced Medical Care. Published Sep 2, 2012. Accessed Nov 13, 2016.
- Staff, Mayo Clinic. Fall Prevention: Simple Tips To Prevent Falls. Mayo Clinic. Published Oct 25, 2016. Accessed Nov 13, 2016.