Aging gracefully is achievable with these nine self-care tips.
Aging Gracefully: How to Feel Young When You Are Older
1. Quit Your Vices to Minimize Chronic Diseases
Here is the first tip in aging gracefully: stop smoking and drinking alcohol. You may also want to quit gambling and get help with your addictions.
Both alcohol and smoking are the leading causes of preventable deaths. Lighting cigarettes constantly significantly raises your risk of lung cancer and chronic respiratory diseases.
Alcohol, meanwhile, can damage your liver. It can lead to permanent scarring (cirrhosis) or liver cancer.
2. Get Enough Sleep to Recharge Your Body
Sleep is essential regardless of your age. Some of its benefits include:
- Recharging your body
- Regulating your hormones
- Decreasing the odds of depression and anxiety
- Reducing your stress
- Managing your metabolism so you can manage your weight
Many older adults, though, may struggle with sleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation, it is partly due to changes in the brain.
Older adults need between seven and eight hours of sleep daily. To meet this, consider these tips:
- Avoid strenuous activities an hour before sleeping.
- Turn off mobile devices and other electronics in the room.
- Try to be on the bed, relaxing, thirty minutes before your sleep schedule.
- Determine the best sleep schedule for you and stick to it as much as possible.
3. Decrease Your Stress to Reduce Inflammation
One of the effective tips for aging gracefully is to minimize your stress. It is not only to give you peace of mind but also to protect your body from inflammation.
To be fair, inflammation is beneficial. It tells you that there is something wrong with your body.
It also means your immune system is working. The problem is low-grade chronic inflammation can be damaging.
It raises the risk of autoimmune diseases. It may also destroy cells and tissues, leading to chronic conditions.
What are autoimmune diseases? These are medical conditions where the body’s immune system attacks the organs.
A 2019 study in the Frontiers in Neuroscience revealed a connection between inflammation and mental disorders. These include depression and anxiety.
Inflammation can happen for many reasons, but one of the causes is stress:
- When you are under chronic stress, the body releases hormones, such as cortisol.
- They raise your biomarkers like glucose, heart rate, and blood pressure.
- Under chronic stress, these levels do not go down.
- When your glucose levels are always up, you can develop diabetes. When your blood pressure is high, you are prone to hypertension and chronic kidney disease (CKD).
How do you reduce stress? Here are practical tips:
- Pursue a passion or a new hobby
- Get together with friends and family
- Enjoy solitude once in a while
- Sleep well
- Practice meditation or yoga
4. Exercise to Minimize Injuries
As you grow older, you are less immune to injuries. The National Council on Aging shared that falls are one of the primary causes of fatalities among seniors.
To help reduce the risk, make exercise a part of your routine. In a study, it even lowers healthcare costs.
Exercise can help in:
- Improving your balance
- Maintaining your gait and mobility
- Strengthening your bones and muscles
- Enhancing your focus
- Sharpening your memory
- Promoting agility or flexibility
Even better, you do not need to do something physically demanding to enjoy the benefits of exercise. Studies showed that walking regularly can already help you live longer.
5. Know Your Biological Age to Create the Right Plan
Do you wonder why some people look older and younger than their age? It is because everyone has a biological age.
What is it? Biological aging refers to how young or old your body functions.
Many factors can affect your biological age, including stress and diet. There is also epigenetics, which states that your environment can also change the way your genes work.
To start aging gracefully, you need to know your biological age. This way, you can determine the best plan to stay healthy for as long as you can.
TruDiagnostic has a kit called TruAge. You can order it online, send a sample to the lab, and after weeks, you will receive a report.
It provides a comprehensive report about your overall health today. Then, you can work with the team to formulate a plan.
6. Regulate Your Hormones to Boost Sex Drive
For couples, aging can get in the way of intimacy. Both men and women can struggle with keeping their libido up.
One of the reasons is age-related sexual hormones, such as testosterone and estrogen. As you age, your body produces less of these.
The lower levels of sex hormones may also cause other health issues. For example, menopausal women may experience:
- Hot flashes
- Weight gain
- Sleep problems
- Vaginal dryness
The best way to manage your hormones is to work with an endocrinologist. You may also consider hormone replacement therapies or pursue natural ways of raising hormones with diet, for instance.
7. See a Doctor—and a Dentist—to Catch Disease
One of the underrated tips for aging gracefully is to see their doctors and dentists regularly. As you grow older, your visits must also increase.
Schedule two visits per year for each doctor. A good interval is every six months.
These appointments can save your life. For instance, you can catch diseases before they get worse.
Seeing a dentist is especially important since new studies suggest a link between poor oral health and certain kinds of cancer. Cavities can also lead to gum disease, which increases the chance of catching infections.
8. Soak in Vitamin D to Boost Your Immunity
The sun can be your friend if you know when to enjoy it. Spend around 20 minutes a day mid-morning outdoors without sunscreen.
Reason: to soak it in and produce vitamin D. It improves the absorption of calcium in the bones and strengthens your immune system, according to a 2012 study.
If it’s winter and you can’t get your share of vitamin D from sunlight, take supplements instead.
9. Nourish Your Skin to Start Aging Gracefully
The skin seems to bear the visible signs of aging, especially since it is the largest organ in the body. That is why one of the tips for aging gracefully is to nourish it.
You can invest in high-quality skincare products, but the best secret is to take care of it from the inside. For instance, increase your consumption of antioxidants from food.
Your body performs many functions for survival. These include creating new cells, breaking down old ones, metabolizing compounds, etc.
These processes can lead to toxin buildup. That is okay since your body can also produce antioxidants.
Don’t forget to download, save, or share this handy infographic for reference:
As you grow older, though, you produce more of these toxins and fewer of these antioxidants. In the end, you develop oxidative stress, which can damage your cells and tissues.
By increasing your antioxidant intake, you can support your body’s functions and reduce the risk of oxidative stress.
So far, scientists have not found a way to stop aging. The next best thing you can do is to learn tips for aging gracefully beginning with this list.
What are your aging-gracefully tips? Share your list in the comments section below!