How To Look And Feel Ageless
One thing I think about a lot is getting older and my health, we all do so what does it mean to look and feel ageless? The aging process is an inevitable and natural fact of life. When it comes to us, we should be ready to welcome it with open arms, embracing the change in pace as our bodies slow down and become more restful. It’s nature’s way of rewarding us for all of our hard work.
Many cultures revere their elderly but in most Western cultures age is treated like some harbinger of doom that needs to be kept at arm’s length. Don’t believe me? Just check out the hundred billion dollar price tag on the anti aging cosmetics industry. Eurocentric cultures, and particularly the US have an odd relationship with the effects of age on the body. We are cripplingly afraid of them, yet we make questionable diet and exercise choices that not only fail to delay the physical, cosmetic and neurological effects of aging… They actively encourage them.
Here, we’ll look at some dietary and lifestyle adjustments that you can make that will help to keep your mind and body fit, healthy and ageless. From crow’s feet to memory loss, you’ll be astonished at what can be delayed or even prevented by eating the right foods.
Age is a state of mind
In a world obsessed with youth and beauty, our priorities have been seriously warped. If you’re genuinely afraid of the aging process then you owe it to yourself to get educated. Working or volunteering with the elderly can help to combat the anxieties associated with being ageless while meeting some wonderful and fascinating people.
If you’re at the start of your career or looking for a change then careers in nursing and caring are great ways of demystifying the human body and its processes including looking ageless. Both are rewarding careers that are rife with opportunities.
For example, pursuing a Masters of Science in Nursing Administration can lead from nursing to other disciplines such as management and leadership. Whether you want to change your career or dedicate some time to volunteering, managing your anxieties about aging while doing some good will amplify the benefits of the lifestyle and dietary choices you make.
Exercise: It’s non-negotiable
Many of us are extremely active in our teens and early twenties as we involve ourselves with sporting and athletic activities. As we get older and our responsibilities increase, however, our enthusiasm for an active lifestyle wanes. As hugely important as diet is in reversing the aging process, its effects are also enhanced by regular exercise. As our bodies get older our muscles lose their elasticity and our joints become stiff.
These effects can be negated with the right exercises. Yoga is a great way of keeping your muscles limber and staying ageless; lengthening and strengthening them will not only ease joint stiffness but boost your metabolism and combat stubborn ‘middle aged spread’.
Cardiovascular exercises like running, cycling and rowing improves your heart health and boosts your circulation, giving you that youthful healthy glow, while just 6 months of resistance training can trick your muscles into behaving as they did when they were younger.
Sudoku and crossword puzzles are all well and good but keeping your mind agile is as much about nourishment as it is about mental gymnastics. If you have a family history of dementia or Alzheimers then you may feel like your fate is written in your genetics, but there are certain foods that are proven to perpetuate brain health as the decades roll by. These are:
Leafy greens- Spinach, kale and collard greens are high in folate and vitamin B9, which both improve cognitive function and reduce the risk of depression.
Cruciferous vegetables- Broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy and sprouts contain cartenoids that lower your levels of homo-cysteine; an amino acid that’s linked to cognitive impairment.
Beans, peas and legumes- These foods contain the minerals folate, iron, magensium and potassium that keep your neurons firing as they should. They also contain choline, a B vitamin that boosts production of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine.
Whole grains- While white breads and sugary breakfast cereals should be avoided, quinoa and oats promote stable blood sugar which is conducive to brain activity.
Dark berries and cherries- These delicious fruits contain anthocyanin, an antioxidant that protects brain cells from damage caused by free radicals.
Omega 3 fatty acids- A daily dose of omega 3 significantly reduces your risk of developing the brain lesions that cause dementia, as well as facilitating cognition. The great news is that they’re easy to come by, abundant in oily fish, flax seeds, nuts and olive oil.
Cinnamon, sage, tumeric and cumin– Your teeth and gums aren’t the only things vulnerable to plaque. It even builds up in your brain. These spices help to break up brain plaque, reducing the inflammation of the brain which can cause memory loss.
Foods that fight the signs of aging from within
We all want healthy, youthful skin but you don’t have to daub yourself with expensive products on a daily basis to get it. Eating these foods will ensure that your skin retains its moisture and firmness naturally, giving you a clear complexion and a healthy glow.
Leafy greens- Among their many nutritional benefits, leafy greens get their rich, vivid colors from chlorophyll. Don’t worry, chlorophyll won’t make turn skin green, but it will improve blood flow to the skin, promoting the oxygenation that gives skin a healthy glow and improves circulation to ensure that your skin absorbs nutrients optimally.
Carrots and sweet potatoes- These tasty tubers are rich in beta-carotene. You’ve probably heard of the miracle anti aging vitamin A derivative, retinol. Well, beta-carotene is a close cousin that your body converts it into vitamin A. This encourages the production of healthy skin cells while destroying the free radicals associated with ultraviolet light which can damage your skin.
Tomatoes- Antioxidants also protect against free radicals that can damage the sun. While these are abundant in dark berries, the antioxidant lycopene is particularly adept at this and is found abundantly in tomatoes.
It goes without saying, but we’ll say it anyway. These foods can only be effective when combined with a healthy lifestyle. That means kicking alcohol, cigarettes and processed foods to the curb as you set about on the path to an ageless mind and body.