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2023-06-12 21:12:07

Healthy Aging: 5 Tips to Stay On Top of It

As Father Time does his work, you’ll likely notice that your body and mind go through changes. You can’t get up the stairs as quickly as you could before. It takes a few trips to bring all the groceries inside. You can never remember where you put your car keys, and you can’t get through the day without a mid-morning nap. We’re all aging, every second of every day. But there are things you can do to help slow down the process so that you can wake up ready to tackle each day with enthusiasm! Let’s explore some of the most powerful tips for healthy aging (backed by science) and how you can incorporate them into your own lifestyle.

How to Practice Healthy Aging in 5 Ways

Aging in a healthy way doesn’t have to be complicated!

1. Treat Your Skin Like Your Best Friend

You’ve probably heard that your skin is your body’s biggest organ. If something touches your skin, there’s a chance it’s going to be absorbed into your body. This is especially true for the products we use.

Be mindful of the creams, lotions, moisturizers, serums, and other topical products you apply. Have you read all of their labels? Avoid dangerous ingredients like parabens (which mimics estrogen), phthalates (which have been linked to DNA damage in sperm), and synthetic fragrances and colors.

Additionally, you should be wearing sunscreen every day — yes, even if it’s cloudy. Opt for at least SPF 30. Hats, sunglasses, and protective clothing are also a huge help. If you’re swimming or sweating a lot, be sure to reapply every couple of hours.

woman applying sunscreen to her leg

This isn’t merely about vanity. Using clean products and wearing sunscreen is also important for keeping your skin healthy and protecting you against dangerous conditions like cancer.

2. Try New Hobbies

Maybe you’ve been thinking of learning to embroider, or you’re interested in learning Spanish. Do it! Science agrees that hobbies are good for us, and especially for healthy aging. In fact, one study found that when older adults participated in a community choir program, they were less lonely and had more interest in life. Even better, other research found that older adults who spent at least an hour engaging in a hobby (like reading) had a decreased risk of dementia.

If you’re able to find something in your area that allows you to interact with people face-to-face, all the better! Local parks and libraries often hold events. However, even a hobby you do at home alone (or online) is certainly better than nothing. Puzzles, eBooks, crocheting, painting, learning a language (check out Duolingo), and cooking will all keep the mind busy and engaged.

3. Mind Your Oral Health

Failing to regularly brush and floss can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, and oral cancer. Oral hygiene becomes increasingly important for healthy aging because the tooth enamel wears away over time, which can make your chompers more vulnerable to damage and decay. (It makes sense if you think about it. Imagine all the chewing, grinding, and biting you do each day.)

A good rule of thumb is to brush for two minutes, twice a day (morning and night). Because brushing doesn’t do a great job of getting in between each tooth, always follow up with flossing with either string or a water flosser.

man and woman brushing their teeth

And don’t forget to see your dentist. You should be going twice a year unless otherwise directed.

4. Be Proactive, Not Reactive

One of the best things you can do to support healthy aging is to get ahead of your health. Instead of waiting for something to go wrong, check up on your health in advance. For instance, eNational has a Women’s Anti-aging panel that looks into your heart, kidneys, blood sugar, sex drive, and ovarian health, all with a simple blood draw. Results are available in three to six business days. The Men’s Anti-aging Hormone Panel offers insight into your testosterone levels, sex hormones, and any warning signs of prostate cancer. This is also a blood draw, with results available in two to four business days.

5. Incorporate Movement Every Day

We’re not telling you to go to the gym and deadlift 300 pounds. But our bodies were made to move, not be sedentary! As we age, our muscle fibers shrink and also reduce in size. They don’t work as well. Our bones become brittleand are more prone to breaking. Because the joints break down, you might experience inflammation, pain, stiffness, and even deformity.

You can counter at least some of this with regular and consistent movement. This might mean a 30-minute walk around the neighborhood, a yoga video on YouTube, step aerobics at your local gym, or a leisurely game of pickleball with your friends. If you can get your heart rate up a little and break a sweat, that’s even better.

woman doing yoga

Your body and mind will thank you for the activity because exercise offers all sorts of physical and mental health benefits. It reduces your risk of falling and experiencing bone fractures, supports healthy blood pressure, combats anxiety and depression, and boosts your stamina.

Remember that while mild discomfort is normal (and even good), exercise shouldn’t hurt. That could be an indication that something’s wrong, in which case you should pause and speak to your healthcare provider.

The signs of aging can be discouraging, overwhelming, and even scary. And we don’t have complete control over it. However, healthy aging is possible! Care for your skin, try new hobbies, prioritize oral health, be proactive, and move your body, and aging will be much more pleasant and enjoyable.

Ready to take control of your health? Order your test with eNational today.