Some people dread the idea of getting older. Others look forward to it. Why such a stark contrast in feelings when it comes to this inevitable chapter of life?
Perhaps for some, age means growing weaker. Grey hairs and wrinkles can be perceived as less attractive. Aches and pains can be seen as debilitating.
Is it meant to be this way? We don’t think so. While there are some thing you can’t change, there are some things you can do to “age gracefully”.
But what does that mean, exactly? Aging gracefully, or aging well, means to be able to live in the best health possible, no matter your age. And at KaraMD, we fully support a more natural way of life.
September is Healthy Aging Month, and to honor that we’re sharing 10 tips on how to age well in today’s world.
Tip #1 - Accept it
We might as well get the hardest one out of the way. You might have a hard time accepting the fact that you’re not getting any younger. It’s ok to acknowledge this resistance, but don’t dwell there.
From one perspective, there’s nothing you can do about it. When you turn 78, you’ll be 78 until your next birthday. But it doesn’t have to be a bad thing!
Try to see the positive side of things. Think about all you’ve learned over the years, and the wisdom you’ve gained. Think of the things you’ve experienced.
No exciting experience to recollect? Then start now – go on that trip you always wanted to go on. See that friend you haven’t talked to in years.
There’s no time like the present, so take advantage of it!
Tip #2 - Take inventory on your mental health
No matter your age, it’s always a good idea to take an assessment on how you’re doing mentally.
Take care of unresolved issues- do you still battle fear? Are you harboring unforgiveness? These negative emotions take a toll on your physical body. As you age, you have the opportunity to grow in the art of “letting go.”
If you aren’t confident you know how to navigate through these thoughts and emotions on your own, seek outside help (9). You don’t want to continue in old patterns, especially if they’re not life-giving ones.
One of the most common things people take to the grave with them are regrets. Don’t let that be you.
Tip #3 - Eat Healthy
While eating a healthy, well-balanced diet is important throughout all life stages, it’s just as important to maintain good habits as you age.
Some things will change. For example, you will probably not need as many calories as you did in your 20s. However, categories like fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains will still come into play.
The FDA recently changed their recommendations (4) from the food pyramid to something called MyPlate. This is basically a pie chart broken up into categories based on what a typical healthy plate should look like.
The plate places an emphasis on veggies, whole grains and proteins, with a small amount of fruit on the side.
Look for local and organic choices when possible. More stores are providing sections in their produce area for these very selections, so opt for those when you can.
In addition, make antioxidants a priority. Foods like berries, oranges, pecans, artichokes and kale are high in these amazing free radical fighters. Eat your way to aging well!
Tip #4 - Take Supplements
Eating right is important, but so is taking supplements. As you age, your body systems change. You may not absorb nutrients like you once did, or your body isn’t able to replenish nutrients like collagen anymore.
Supplements that address inflammation and oxidation can help your body function optimally no matter how old you are. There are many supplements (5) that will help you age well, a few of which are:
- Crocin (found in saffron)
- Turmeric and Boswellia (KaraMD Comfort Guard X24 is a great option for this!)
- Glucosamine Chondroitin
- ECGC (found in green tea)
The quality of our foods aren’t what they used to be – another great reason to add supplements to your healthy aging regimen.
Tip #5 - Stay Hydrated
Hydration continues to be the daily struggle for most people. Sodas, alcohol, teas, and other beverages can easily replace this essential puzzle piece to good health.
One practical way to make sure you’re getting enough water is to simply keep water with you (8) wherever you go. Need to run to the store? Take a bottle of water with you. Working at your desk? Keep a glass within reach. Sipping on it throughout the day can help keep your body well hydrated.
If you don’t particularly like the taste (or lack thereof) of water, add a slice of lemon, lime, or cucumber to it for a subtle flavor.
Tip #6 - Connect with Community
If 6 is the number of man, this is the perfect tip to address this aspect. Humans weren’t meant to be alone. Sure, you may consider yourself an introvert, and that’s fine. That simply means you recharge and feel more energized when you’re alone.
But as a whole, it’s important to get out and be a part of your local community. Whether it’s an aerobics class, a book club, town meetings, or card games, having regular exposure to people who think and act differently than you will help keep you healthy.
Studies show that being isolated can lead to depression, thoughts of suicide, and an altered perception of reality (3).
Tip #7 - Keep Stress Low
Chronic stress can negatively impact you on a very cellular level (6). You may not be able to control external circumstances, but you can control how you respond to them.
Learning techniques to help you manage and lower stress can help you enjoy your older life more, like:
- Breathing exercises
Tip #8 - Stay Active
Staying active is key to staying healthy in general; much more so as you age. It can help clear your mind, lower stress, and improve physical aspects like blood pressure and circulation. Exercise can help lower your chances of developing certain diseases, like diabetes and a stroke (7).
Some ways to stay active can be:
- Walking the dog
- Low-impact exercises
- Resistance bands
If you don’t like to exercise alone, phone a friend or join a group.
Tip #9 - Opt for Clean Anti-Aging Products
There’s no shame in wanting to look your best. When it comes to aging, the idea of wrinkles, moles, or dark spots may not sound appealing.
If you choose to use anti-aging creams, serums, or lotions, try to look for organic, non-toxic brands. These often come at a higher price tag, but you’ll be helping both you and the earth this way (a double win!)
Tip #10 - Take Care of Your Skin
You’ve heard it once, and you’ll hear it again. Take good care of your skin!
The skin is thought to be the largest organ, allowing things in and out of your body. Wearing a good sunscreen will not only minimize current sun damage, but will prevent future sun damage from occurring.
Does SPF make a difference? Yes, but not as much as remembering to reapply it.
While 15 minutes of sunshine is good for developing vitamin D, too much can increase your risks for skin cancer. Keep a good sunscreen on hand and reapply every 2 hours.
Aging is inevitable, but it doesn’t have to be miserable. You can very much enjoy your Golden Years, and do so in a healthy and happy way.
Focus on eating well, staying hydrated, and taking supplements when needed. Staying active, incorporating clean skincare, and being a part of your community will keep you vibrant, healthy and strong… now, and well into your later years.
Which one of these tips stood out the most to you? Is there a loved one who would benefit from reading these insights? Feel free to share with them!
References & Disclaimers
✝✝This noted statement is based on independent research and is not necessarily the opinion of the author