Oh boy, the taboo topic that nobody wants to think about: getting older. It’s really important to be mindful of the choices and habits impacting our long-term health, even if we’re all young at heart. So, whether you’re 21 or 75, let’s take a look at four simple tips to help us age like fine wine.
Make Good Choices in the Sun
To continue the healthy skin conversation, let’s talk about how to protect your body from the sun. The time for tanning oil and beds has come and gone, as they’re known to cause premature skin ageing. If we’re trying to age healthily, these have got to be the first to go.
First and foremost, always wear SPF when spending time in the sun. Whether it’s a beach day or a grandchild’s soccer game, put on a little sunscreen. UV rays are the #1 cause of skin cancers such as melanoma. Your risk of these cancers already increases with age. So, whether it’s a new makeup primer with SPF or your favourite sunscreen brand, make sure to pack and wear this protection in the sun.
The clothing you wear is also an added layer of defence for your skin. Ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) is a textile standard to rate how much radiation a fabric blocks. By wearing sun protective clothing or swimwear, you’re adding another safeguard to protect your skin on these long summer days.
In addition to skin protection, add a safeguard to your eyes with sunglasses. As we’ve already discussed, eyes are at risk for minor to severe conditions as you age. Since UV rays have been known to cause some conditions of their own, make sure to wear sunglasses with UV protection while outdoors. This can reduce your risk of anything from dry eyes to sunburn or even eye cancers, and keep you in tip-top shape as you get older.
Prioritise Sleep and Exercise
Sleep lies at the intersection of every aspect of our health, from weight management to digestion and mental wellness. When it comes to healthy ageing, sleep needs to be a major topic in the conversation.
So what exactly are the benefits of a good night’s rest? Advantages include improved mood, reduced stress, better focus throughout the day, and a stronger immune system. For older adults, sleep becomes vital for a sharp memory, maintaining metabolism, and healthy brain functions.
Not only does sleep affect our daily bodily functions, but it also impacts our mental state. Mental health, no matter your age, is equally as important as your physical health. As we get older, new stressors and losses can put a strain on our mental wellbeing. Be mindful, make sure you’re getting enough sleep, and talk to a professional for any needed additional support.
On the flip side of things, exercise plays a key role in healthy ageing as well. Getting up and getting active, whether it’s a morning jog or an evening yoga class, can have a series of benefits for joint and cardiovascular health. Of course, it also aids in maintaining your weight which can be an added plus as we get a little older!
Be Mindful of Your Diet
Improved eating and drinking habits are a golden ticket to a healthier, longer life. As we get older, our metabolism starts to slow, which means we need to be more mindful of what we’re putting into our bodies.
You may have to forgo the double cheeseburger and milkshake and focus your energy on lean protein, healthy fats, whole grains, and vegetables. Lean proteins, such as eggs, beans, and certain lean meats, are a great option to keep you energised and strong throughout the day. Fish, avocado, and yogurt are great healthy fats to incorporate into your diet in proper amounts. Not to mention, eating whole grain foods such as oatmeal, quinoa, and brown rice can help reduce your risk of high blood pressure and diabetes, which is important to be aware of as we age. If you’re looking for some direction but are unsure where to start, check out a few health and wellness podcasts to give you the inspiration you’re looking for. Diet changes are never easy, but they have serious long-term benefits.
Speaking of long-term benefits, drinking lots of water will only do wonders for you and your body. If you’re someone who struggles with drinking the recommended eight cups per day, try adding fruit like lemon to give it more flavour. Otherwise, sparkling or seltzer water can act as a great alternative.
All in all, remember to be kind to your body. You’ll get out of it what you put into it, so make sure to take care of yourself. We’re all getting older, wiser, and richer in life experience. Appreciate the little things, be mindful of your health, and enjoy this amazing ride.
Take Annual Appointments Seriously
It’s pretty safe to say that most of us don’t look forward to going to the doctor; some may even avoid it. No matter how much you don’t want to go, these appointments are crucial when it comes to managing your long-term health.
Start with your annual physical. Make sure to visit your primary care physician at least once a year for a check-up. Use this opportunity to talk to your doctor about any changes you’ve experienced in your health, ask questions, update prescriptions, etc. Checking on things like blood pressure and cholesterol become increasingly important as your body changes with age.
Next up on the appointment docket is eye exams. A little more pleasant than a blood draw, yet equally as important. Especially as you get older, your eyes are going to change and become susceptible to age-related issues. Minor issues like presbyopia, also known as nearsightedness, can be combated by prescription bifocals. If you’re struggling to see up close but still require a prescription to see at a distance, consider looking into progressive lenses to aid in near, intermediate, and distance vision. While a new prescription or set of frames may solve some minor problems, other age-related issues like cataracts, macular degeneration, and glaucoma are more severe and need to be monitored by your optometrist.
Another fan favourite is the dermatologist. Before we get into healthy skin habits, it’s important to make sure you have an annual appointment scheduled with your dermatologist. Whether you spend a lot of time in the sun or not, skin changes as you age, and it’s vital to keep an eye on it. Our skin is our largest organ, so be mindful of any changes or irregularities. Talk to your dermatologist about any concerns, and get your skin checked every year. For a daily boost, check out The Glow Booster, developed to promote skin elasticity, smooth appearance and increase radiance.