Many people think that there’s nothing they can do about the natural aging process, but taking a few simple steps can make a big difference.
Perhaps you’ve experienced this: you get up in the morning, look in the mirror, and it appears that you’ve just grown a fresh crop of wrinkles. Of course, some of it is from a lack of sleep, but much of this is just natural aging.
Once we turn 35, we discover that our bodies begin to age much more quickly than they did before. But whether you’re 22 or 37 or even 50, it is possible to take steps to start feeling better and slow down the body’s natural aging process.
The time to start is today. Right now you can make some great lifestyle changes to help yourself begin feeling better, healthier and younger.
If exercise is not a regular part of your routine, it’s time to get going. There is no stage of life when physical activity can’t make a difference.
That said, anyone starting a new exercise regimen should consider age and fitness level before beginning. Those who are still relatively young and healthy may be able to tackle a program that is fairly intense.
Those who are older will want to take a slower, easier course. It is always a good idea to talk to a health care professional before starting out.
And don’t forget to build some strength. This is essential because muscles burn more calories than fat. For those who want to stay lean well into their golden years, maintaining strong muscles will really help. Also, muscles help offset some of the risk of osteoporosis.
Apart from exercise, there are quite a few things that can be done to help slow the aging process. Here a few simple steps that can help anyone look and feel great for years to come.
- Take care of your skin. Make sure to use a good SPF (at least 30) when outdoors to help prevent the risk of sun damage. Moisturizers can help, too.
- Change your eating habits. The bottom line is that the fast foods you ate when you were a teenager weren’t good for you then, and they certainly aren’t good for you now. The body doesn’t metabolize foods the way it used to. Processed foods, in particular, contain more saturated fats than your body needs and can add pounds.
- Avoid stress. When the body is in a constant state of alarm, it produces adrenaline and cortisol. If the body can’t resist the stress, its resources become depleted, leading to exhaustion and making it difficult to function normally. What’s more, stress hormones add weight around the middle of the body.
- Get the right amount of sleep. Studies have shown that adults don’t need eight hours of sleep each night; the optimum is 7.2 hours. In fact, researcher Daniel Kripke of Scripps Clinic Sleep Center told Time magazine that “people who sleep between 6.5 hr. and 7.5 hr. a night…live the longest. And people who sleep 8 hr. or more, or less than 6.5 hr….don’t live quite as long.”
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