We’ve all been there. That moment you forgot where your keys are or when you’re standing in front of the mirror and notice a new wrinkle, gray hair, or spot on your skin. The signs are aging aren’t always graceful and, let’s face it, no one wants to feel or appear old in today’s society. If you want to look and perform your best in your golden ages, you’re going to need to learn these anti-aging secrets for the mind and body. While your genetics may be predetermined, you can play a role in the length and quality of your life by adopting these healthier habits.
1. Resistance Training
Human aging is associated with loss of muscle mass, deficit in muscular strength, decrease in bone density and impairment in performing some activities of daily living. Typically, these changes start to occur at the age of 40, and progressively worsen with aging.
By engaging in regular strength training, you can limit all the effects of age-related sarcopenia while also stimulating hormone production such as growth hormone and testosterone that keep you looking young and vibrant.
Research shows that if you sleep less than six hours a night, you are at far greater risk of having a heart attack or experiencing a stroke. Additionally, lack of sleep increases cortisol levels and leaves your brain lacking serotonin, which can increase appetite and lead to overeating and obesity.
On an emotional level, a lack of sleep can make you more anxious and prone to anger. It also weakens the immune system and leaves you vulnerable to sickness. Seven to eight hours of sleep each night is important for your current physical health, as well as your mood and your longevity. Check out this infographic to learn more about the importance of sleep.
3. Brain Training
The brain needs exercise just like the rest of the body. Without thought provoking challenge and stimulation the brain with become sluggish and even more susceptible to disease. One study found that the more educated a women was the fewer instances of Alzheimer’s disease existed. Autopsies of the women found that while a particular brain may have exhibited signs of the disease, the effects were suppressed in the women who had challenged their brains and had other interests outside their work [source: Roizen and Oz].
The brain needs to be challenged to keep neurological pathways open. Try listening to lectures, TED talks, learning a new language or even playing thought provoking games or trivia.
4. Take Fish Oil
Omega-3 fish oils help to balance the ratio of omega-6 fish oils, which are higher in most western diets. By creating a 1:1 ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fish oils, many people can benefit by a healthier cardiovascular system, joints and increased brain function.
Fish oil is also an anti-inflammatory, which is the best type of anti-agers out there. From improving heart and immune functions to helping hair grow and skin look supple, fish oil can work magic.
Meditation has been shown to have a positive effect on people dealing with severe levels of stress, depression and obsessive compulsive disorder. Meditation can lower cortisol levels, which can lead to a longer and more stress free life. Medical researchers who have investigated the connection between mind, body spirit — particularly in the later years of life — have found that a focus on spirituality and its power to elicit positive change is important.
6. Lather Up
Fine lines, wrinkles, brown spots and generally weathered skin are likely to emerge by the time you enter your fourth decade. Nearly all the effects of skin aging are due to over exposure to the sun. Be sure to use sunscreen whenever going outdoors and use lotion regularly to keep your skin moisturized.
Consider using a face mask or lotion that includes retinol, a form of vitamin A, to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, fade brown spots and smooth skin tone. Retinol or tretinoin topical creams exfoliate the skin and increase the production of collagen.