I am a trailing edge Boomer, meaning I was born at the end of that era. Sometimes called the “Me” generation, we are focused on personal growth and gratification and value youthfulness. Which is why, I suppose, we are so focused on aging well and desire to look much different than our grandparents did when they got old. So how do I approach looking young as I get older? My more stylish girlfriends want me to get Botox. My boot camp workout girlfriends think I should let the aging process just naturally progress. My goal: just to look and feel great at any age!
In this time when people, especially women, resort to surgeries, fillers, implants and hair dyes to create the illusion of aging in place, we are influenced by role models and peers who may be using one or more of these options. I myself respect some well-known women who have chosen the path of natural aging. Hollywood star Julia Roberts, 49, said it best–“Your face tells a story and it shouldn’t be a story about your drive to the doctor’s office.” Sigourney Weaver, 67, said “I do think life should put lines on your face, or you’re not getting out enough.” Lauren Hutton, 72, said “Our wrinkles are our medals of the passage of life. They are what we have been through and who we want to be. I don’t think I will ever cut my face, because once I cut it, I’ll never know where I’ve been.”
If you agree, here are a few tips to preserve a healthy look and still feel beautiful while biology takes its course:
Water is essential to maintaining the optimum skin moisture and delivering essential nutrients to the skin cells. This replenishes the skin tissue and increases its elasticity, which helps delay the appearance of signs of aging like wrinkles and fine lines.
Keep a reusable water bottle with you while driving or at your desk. And eat more fruits and vegetables, as their high water content will add to your hydration. Did you know that about 20% of our fluid intake comes from foods? Interested in additional hydration information? Here are some facts about the importance of staying hydrated and how being mindful of your fluid intake can benefit your overall health.
Tiny structures inside cells called mitochondria are little power plants that burn oxygen and fats or sugar to produce energy. One negative side effect of this energy production is the creation of toxic oxygen free radicals–a molecule that has lost an electron from one or more of its atoms. Over time, these free radicals lead to cellular aging and cell death. Exercise increases the efficiency of oxygen utilization and reduces the number of free radicals by boosting our body’s antioxidant defense system.
Strenuous exercise actually increases the production of free-radicals, but regular low impact physical exercise protects against free radical damage by boosting the defenses to a greater extent. So what does this mean? It means you should add simple, low impact exercise to your daily routine rather than maintain a “weekend warrior” approach to fitness.
Interested in incorporating exercise into your daily routine? Here is a list of 7 must-do exercises for baby boomers.
Eat Colorful Fruits and Vegetables
Our body is exposed to free radicals produced in the environment such as sun exposure and cigarette smoke. Antioxidants such as vitamins C and E and beta carotene are found in colorful fruits and vegetables, and will slow down the aging process. Be sure to include carrots, blueberries and broccoli in your menu planning.
Remember – eat right to keep your skin looking healthy and tight!
Decrease Your Sugar Intake
Studies have revealed that sugar ages the skin by creating inflammation through glycation, the process whereby protein molecules cross-link with excess sugar molecules. The body doesn’t recognize these sugar proteins as normal, and produces antibodies that can cause cellular issues such as wrinkling and accelerated aging.
To reduce glycation and slow your skin’s aging, skip sugary drinks and desserts, and make the switch from refined to whole grains.
Choose Healthy Fats
Essential fatty acids (EFAs) like omega-3s and omega-6s are the building blocks of healthy cell membranes. These fats also help produce the skin’s natural oil barrier, critical in keeping skin hydrated, plumper, and younger looking. Sources of EFAs include:
· chia seeds
· leafy vegetables
· wheat germ
· cold water fish (like salmon and tuna)
· along with different oils such as flaxseed, olive, and canola.
Try adding flaxseeds and chia seeds to your morning oatmeal or keeping walnuts on hand as a healthy snack.
Avoid foods high in saturated fats (like fatty cuts of beef, dark meat poultry, and especially cured meats like sausage and bologna) since these foods can increase inflammation and speed up your skin’s aging. Exfoliate Your Skin 2-3 Times Per Week
When we’re young, our skin turns over every 6-8 weeks. This process slows as we age, causing the upper layer of dead skin cells to clump on the surface, making our skin look drier, appear more wrinkled, and feel rougher in texture. Exfoliating the skin removes this upper layer of dead skin, revealing the smoother, healthier skin below it.
The easiest way to exfoliate is to use an exfoliating scrub that you can buy at a store, or you can make one at home by combining lavender oil, baking soda and honey, for example.
Live Stress Free
They don’t call them worry-lines for nothing. People who experience elevated levels of stress are more likely to experience accelerated physical effects of aging. If you are like me, you would prefer to age gracefully as opposed to quickly. Eliminate all unnecessary stress from your life. Start thinking of all the things that cause you to be stressed. Did you think of your house? You should have! You may not realize how much stress your home causes you and your loved ones. Even if your house is paid off, there are hidden costs of home ownership lurking in the background waiting to cause you stress. Say goodbye to wrinkle inducing stress, and say hello to the youthful, stress free face in the mirror.
Ready to look more vibrant, feel more energetic and grow younger as you grow older? Join me in the quest to give your body what it needs to stay hydrated and oiled, fight free radicals, and rid itself of dead cells to set yourself on the path to successful aging.