How Do I Age Better? Better Aging Through Nutrition and Activity
“How do I age better?” is a question that individuals, 18 years and older, both women and men, are starting to ask. The media tells us that we should search for a fountain of youth to look and feel younger for as long as we can. So, is it possible to turn back time and reduce the natural effects of aging on our bodies without Botox, injections and expensive miracle creams? The answer is yes but waiting to start until you are 50+ years old may not be the best plan. The truth is, reducing the negative effects of aging starts from the inside out. No matter your current age, you can start making lifestyle changes that include choices concerning your nutrition, hydration and activity that can help you live a longer, youthful life. The best part is you can start today!
Aging Better with Nutrition
If you want to take care of your car and keep it in tip-top shape, what do you do? Typically, people start by taking care of the inside first. They put high quality gas and oil in it, as well as getting regular tune-ups to fix any issues. This helps the car look better and run longer. The same is true with your body, it too needs the proper nutrients to do just that! The best way to start is by limiting the amount of junk, or less nutritious food, going into the body while boosting your intake of nutrient-rich foods.
It’s no secret that fruits and vegetables are loaded with the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that help strengthen and protect cells. Vitamins A, C, D and E, as well as omega 3 fatty acids (found in fatty fish, nuts and their oils) have been shown to enhance skin health. Their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties help buffer free radicals that cause damage in our body. The richest sources of vitamin A in the diet are red and orange produce. Vitamin C can be found in citrus fruits, green vegetables and tomatoes and bell peppers, while vitamin E can be consumed in nuts, seeds, avocado, wheat germ and plant oils. Dairy foods are another essential component to anti-aging, as they provide calcium and vitamin D to help maintain bone mineral density over the life span.
Aging Better with Hydration
When you are born, your body is made up of almost 80 percent water, but with age, our total body water volume decreases to almost 60 percent later in life. This makes it essential to take in adequate water to help with skin elasticity and hydration. Remember that your skin is an organ, and just like any other part of the body, skin is made up of cells that are comprised of water. Without water, the organs will certainly not function properly or at their best, and the result is dry, tight, flaky skin that is less resilient and more prone to wrinkles. To stay hydrated, a general recommendation is to take your weight in pounds, divide it in half and drink that many ounces of water or low-calorie fluids each day to help stay hydrated.
Aging Better with Activity
Did you know that your metabolism slows down 2-3 percent per decade after age 25? This decline is thought to partially be caused by the parallel decrease in lean muscle mass that is seen with aging. When combined, the typical result is weight gain, loss of strength and thus being prone to disease, falls and possibly bone breaks and fractures, not to mention less energy.
To combat this, consistent activity needs to be a part of your life! Regularly participating in cardiovascular exercise will help you maintain a healthy body weight and lower your risk for diseases like heart disease and type 2 diabetes. In addition, strength training exercises can help fight lean muscle loss while also helping to protect your bones. Weight bearing exercises strengthens bones, as well as the muscles around the bone to promote greater core stability and balance. Adding in stretching and exercises like yoga can improve flexibility to help with joint and muscle pain typically associated with the aging process.
So, if you are looking to age better, start from the inside out! Your lifestyle choices can help enhance your fountain of youth, but don’t wait until it is too late. Start today!
If you are interested to hear more and receive personalized nutrition, check out STYR’s app, fitness tracker and suite of connected smart devices. Through the platform, you can track and log activity, food, hydration, sleep, nutrition, mood and more to personalize your nutrition needs based on data, science and access to registered dietitians, nutritionists and personal trainers.
Please note that this information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. We insist that you always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical/health condition or treatment and before initiating a new health care regime. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on the STYR app or on www.MyNutritioniQ.com.