Everyone ages, and eventually, you’ll start seeing the signs. While there’s no shame in showing your age, some shifts in your appearance and new aches and pains can help you identify the areas of your body that need extra care. By focusing on these signs and easing their impact, you can take the following practical steps to continue living your best life if the effects of aging prevent you from doing the things you love.
- Protect Your Bones and Joints
Bone and joint health can alter your lifestyle significantly as you get older. Having aching bones and joints can impede your movement and make you less likely to do the things you once enjoyed. What can you do to protect your bones and joints and keep them strong for years to come?
First off, if you’re a smoker, consider quitting. Smoking increases inflammation in your body, which can make it more difficult to recover from an injury. Prolonged injury can lead to excessive damage.
Make sure to take care of your body. Drink more water than soda or coffee, as staying hydrated helps keep your cartilage intact. Also, make it a habit to stretch and warm-up and cool down before and after any physical activity.
Lastly, listen to your body. If you are feeling sore or fatigued, don’t push yourself too hard to move past it. Take the time you need for your body to heal.
- Evolve Your Diet
As you age, your body will start to lose certain nutrients or be unable to produce as much of certain compounds as you could before. In turn, you should alter your diet to better suit your nutritional needs.
Generally, as you get older, you will find you need fewer calories to maintain your weight since people tend to lose muscle mass over time. However, you may also need more nutrients than you did before. Make sure to eat various whole foods, especially fruits and vegetables, to make sure you are getting the nutrients you need while still cutting your calories a bit.
You may also need more protein than before. B vitamins and calcium should also be on your list of things for which to look. Supplementation can help in many areas, so make sure you are getting what you need to stay healthy.
- Love Your Skin
Skincare is usually one of the first things people turn to when trying to prevent the signs of aging. There are plenty of things you can do now to start minimizing your skin’s aging later. Ensuring your skin is protected from the sun when you go outside, use self-tanner instead of a tanning bed, and moisturizing routinely can help keep your skin soft and supple.
There are also supplements you can take to help your skin stay young and firm. For example, hydrolyzed collagen can improve collagen production in your skin, making it firm and youthful. Additional collagen can also help reduce wrinkles and has the added bonus of joint and bone protection.
- Take Care of Your Cognitive Health
As you age, your brain slowly loses mass. This natural degradation occurs as cells age even die off. If enough cells die off and connections are lost, dementia can set in. While there is no cure for dementia or guarantee of prevention, keeping your brain engaged can certainly help keep those connections alive longer.
Healthy eating, reducing alcohol consumption, and quitting smoking can all make a huge difference. But also make sure that you are engaging your brain. Socialize with friends and family. Learning a new skill also helps with cognitive health.
There are tons of cognitively engaging apps out there for free that can help you to learn new languages or new information, or simply keep your mind occupied with games and puzzles.
- Stay Active
As difficult as it may seem at times, you have to keep your body moving as you age. Even just a brisk walk each day will help you with mental clarity, lower your risk of certain chronic conditions, and even make your skin look healthier.
Taking a walk can also help with getting some socialization in. Many people walk in groups and talk while they walk. Or, you can put on an audiobook to help you learn something new.
Listen to Your Body
Pay attention to your body. When you start seeing signs of aging, regardless of your numerical age, start taking your long-term health seriously. But be careful not to fall into the trap of trying to fight off your age—it’s impossible and won’t benefit your health. Instead, embrace it, listen to your body’s changing needs, and give it the care and attention it deserves.