One of the most popular topics we talk about here at ISN is how to stay young.
We work with clients from all stages of life, both young and old. As we head into this new decade, something I encourage everyone to do is to assess where you’re at with your health. What comes to mind when you think about what is going well, or what you’d like to change?
We have all heard that with age comes responsibility, and one of those responsibilities is to take care of ourselves. Sadly, things that you could do when you were 20 may not be the same things that are best for your body at 30, 40, 50, or above, so taking care of yourself can look very different over time.
No matter what your age or health goals, here are my 7 Health Tips to Promote Anti Aging:
1. Start with food. Foods that are anti-aging include those that are hydrating and rich in vitamin C and protein, which all help to keep your skin looking bouncy and young, and help to promote collagen growth and healthy skin.
- Tip: Focus on increasing your intake of foods rich in protein and vitamin C
- Some of our favorite vitamin C sources are: citrus fruits, kiwi, broccoli, brussels sprouts, sweet bell peppers, and cantaloupe
- A few of our favorite protein sources are: fatty fish like salmon and tuna, organic and cage-free eggs, lean turkey, greek or icelandic yogurts, chicken breast, beans, and lentils
2. Next, take your vitamins. In a perfect world, we would all be able to get the nutrients we need from food alone. Sadly, this is not the case for many reasons, so supplementing with a high quality multivitamin at minimum is strongly advised, especially with aging. Nutrients that become especially important as you age include protein, vitamin D3, calcium and vitamin B12. These nutrients play so many important roles in the body including promoting muscle growth, maintaining strong bones, preventing anemia, and promoting healthy brain function.
- Tip: If you’re not already doing so, start taking a high quality multivitamin every day with food. Contact us for brand suggestions and guidance on your specific needs!
3. Focus on fighting inflammation. Inflammation is one of the key causes for disease, and when there’s a lot of inflammation present it can prevent our bodies from making new cells (because your body gets busy doing other things). Anti-inflammatory foods also happen to be rich sources of antioxidants and vitamin C- that are both key building blocks for healthy skin. Research has linked it to the development of multiple chronic diseases including Diabetes, cardiovascular disease, arthritis, respiratory issues, and more, as well as to things like allergies; and chronic disease can age ALL of our cells more quickly- including skin. Inflammation increases with age, so as we get older it’s key to include more anti inflammatory habits to help us feel and look young.
- Tip: Take action against inflammation by consuming a wide variety of anti-inflammatory foods including those with omega 3 fatty acids (salmon, flax and chia seeds, walnuts, anchovies, and cod liver oil) as well as berries, avocados, green tea, and turmeric. Avoid cooking with vegetable oils, which are pro-inflammatory, or eating foods that have been fried or cooked in them. In addition, reduce your exposure to pesticides by choosing organic for the dirty dozen produce, meats, and dairy products. Lastly, reduce your exposure to other toxins in the environment by choosing naturally derived cleaning products, makeup, and hygiene products.
4. Include more antioxidants. Antioxidants help fight against free radicals in our bodies and over time can also contribute to the appearance of aging. There are many studies that suggest that free radicals speed the aging process, so by maximizing your intake of antioxidants you can both fight disease and potentially look and feel younger.
- Tip: Try to eat as many antioxidant-rich foods daily as possible. Some of the best sources include berries, green tea, dark chocolate, pecans, leafy greens, beets, pomegranates, and beans.
5. Protect your skin. UV rays from the sun can account for up to 80% of signs of aging in the skin including dryness, wrinkles, and discoloration. Other things that harm the skin and can speed aging include smoking, tanning salons, using harsh facial cleansers, and drinking a lot of alcohol.
- Tip: I strongly recommend applying sunscreen at minimum to the face every day, which can often be coupled with your makeup routine as many foundations and powders contain sunscreen. Many facial moisturizers contain sunscreen as well and are also strongly advised to be used daily. Also limit alcohol, avoid artificial tanning, quit smoking, and use facial cleansers that are right for your skin type.
6. Move your body. This is not new advice, I know, but the importance of exercise will never go away. As we age, our metabolism tends to slow and the rate at which we we build muscle also declines. Even more bad news is that after about age 30, both men and women can lose between 3 and 5% of their muscle mass per decade. Yikes! The good news is, though, that participating in frequent exercise can help slow this process. Research shows that exercise reduces the age-related loss of muscle mass and opposes the negative effects of aging. Moving your body does not require a gym membership or tons of time. It can be simple, it just needs to become a routine.
- Tips: Aim to participate in both cardiovascular exercise (ie walking, hiking, running, swimming, biking, etc) AND strength exercise (like yoga, weight lifting, using resistance bands, squats, etc) as many days of the week as you can tolerate. You’ll need rest days, too, so be sure to factor those in.
7. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Yes, this includes water, but it also includes eating hydrating foods as well. The benefits of hydration are endless, especially when it comes to looking and feeling younger. Staying hydrated can help keep your skin looking brighter, and may also help to reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Staying hydrated will improve digestion, which can worsen with age. Our sense of thirst can also weaken with age, so it is especially important to be focusing on hydration even more so in these stages of life.
- Tips: Drink at least half your weight in pounds in number of ounces each day (example: if you weigh 150lbs, you should drink 75oz, or a little over 9 cups) of fluid each day. If plain water is boring to you, feel free to drink unsweetened sparkling water or try infusing water with natural flavors like lemon, herbs, and cucumber. In addition, focus on eating plenty of fruits and vegetables as these are also especially hydrating foods.
So there you have it. Now think about which tip is most realistic for you to start working on this month? Every action step counts.