By: Dana Brown
Everyone ages. That is one of the few unchangeable truths of being human — we get older. For many of us, getting older comes with slowing down, more aches and pains, and sometimes even a shorter fuse. That said, getting older doesn’t have to mean feeling older.
We live in a stressful, demanding, and fast-paced culture, which is a recipe for a body that can frequently feel tired beyond its years. Feel young and stay young with these scientifically proven strategies that can boost your health.
Improve Your Microbiome
Did you know you literally have an entire world living inside you? Your gut, in particular, is the home to millions of good bacteria that sustain your overall physical and mental health and well-being. You can feel less sluggish, better able to focus, and experience less discomfort from gas and bloating by eating fermented foods, yogurt, onions, and wild salmon.
Experiment with Anti-Aging Skin Products
Some of the anti-aging products — especially inexpensive drugstore brands — aren’t very effective at protecting your skin against the signs of aging. So, look for products with sunscreen, which is your number one defense. In addition, studies show that vitamin A, vitamin D, epidermal growth factor (which stimulates skin growth), and retinol can reduce the appearance of crow’s feet and wrinkles, as well as symptoms of sun damage.
Connect the Outside and the Inside
You are what you eat — it sounds cliche, but it’s true. How healthy you feel can be directly tied to the foods you eat. Feeling and looking fit and young doesn’t mean you have to give up all your comfort foods for good, but it does mean you need to practice moderation when it comes to refined sugar, processed foods, and refined carbohydrates. Most importantly, be sure to drink plenty of water every day. Proper hydration helps your body digest food more effectively, which gives you more energy, burns stored fat, and prevents skin conditions like acne.
Move Every Day
Being active can seem daunting to some people, especially those who have experienced some kind of injury, but daily movement is the foundation of feeling young. Exercise helps prevent wrinkled skin by keeping your skin glowing, helps you fight osteoporosis by improving posture, boosts mental agility by helping you sleep, sustains longevity by helping cells grow, and enhances your memory by working your brain. These benefits aren’t just for CrossFit fans and marathon runners. Even gentle stretching and walking can make a big impact.
Keep the Pounds Off
For adult men and women, a BMI between 25.0 and 29.9 is classified as overweight, and a BMI of 30 or higher is considered obese. Maintaining a healthy weight is one of the most effective ways to slow the aches and pains of aging. Without excess weight, your joints stay stronger and more flexible, and your energy levels stay high, giving you a better physical boost at any age.
Be in the Present Moment
Feeling young isn’t just a state of the body; it is also a state of mind. Keep your fun high to keep your stress — physical and mental — low. One of the most immediate ways to flip the switch is to practice mindfulness. Studies show that by staying focused on what is happening right here, right now, you become more attuned to happiness. You don’t fret over a past you cannot change, nor worry over a future you cannot control.
It’s never too late to take steps to boost how you feel and how you feel about yourself. Finding ways to feel young and fit as you get older is an important form of self-care, and it’s a vital way to keep you feeling refreshed. Try out one — or more — of these six strategies for staying young to reclaim a sense of hopefulness and happiness in your daily life.