How to Slow Down the Aging Process: Steps You Can Take Now

As we start to age, our bodies begin to break down. Aging increases aches and pains, as well as the likelihood of developing health conditions; however, taking steps to care for ourselves now can slow down the aging process.

1. Get a good night’s sleep

Slow Down the Aging Process

Not getting enough sleep is a significant factor in premature aging. According to the CDC, 1 in 3 American adults are getting less than 7 hours of sleep—that’s a third of the country suffering from poor sleep. The average adult needs between 7 to 9 hours every night, not just on the weekends.

Less sleep reduces our skin’s ability to recover from sun exposure, leading to more lines and wrinkles, and ultimately premature aging. Not enough sleep can also lead to health problems, including stress, daytime drowsiness, and a weakened immune system.

Following healthy sleep hygiene is the perfect solution to getting more sleep. Incorporating the following steps into your bedtime routine will help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep:

Eat dinner early, 2 to 3 hours before bedtime
Avoid unhealthy, late-night snacks
Avoid electronic devices an hour before bed
Take a warm bath
Have a cool and dark bedroom atmosphere
Set a bedtime and stick to it (even on weekends)

2. Eat a healthy, balanced diet

personalized Ayurvedic diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and good fats improves your health and puts off the appearance of aging. Some benefits to a healthy Ayurvedic diet include:

A boosted immune system
Reduced risk of diseases, including heart disease, high blood pressure, and bone loss
Improved focus and enhanced memory 

Diets containing high sugar, fried, and junk food can cause premature aging. Consuming high quantities of these foods can damage the skin’s collagen, leading to more wrinkles, dehydration, and less energy. 

Additionally, unhealthy foods cause your body to crave more junk food, which is hard to digest, especially at night when your body is trying to prepare for sleep. A balanced diet leads to increased energy, an improved appearance, and a more positive outlook on life.

3. Reduce stress and anxiety

Stress has been found to age the immune system, and if left unchecked, can cause many health problems, including insomnia, heart disease, and lower immunity. In today’s fast-paced world, it can be easy to get caught up in work and social activities and not take time for yourself.

“I don’t have time,” is a common excuse, but if you don’t sit down and prioritize your goals, your stress levels will increase and this could lead to medical issues.

A few ways you can de-stress include:

Writing things down

Writing down what you need to do or what is stressing you out removes the problem from your mind. Creating a checklist also helps—focusing on what you did rather than what you didn’t do as you gradually cross things off your list reduces stress and gives you a more positive outlook on life.

Learning to say no

If you have too much on your plate, don’t be afraid to say no. It doesn’t make you a bad person if you can’t help a friend or family member out when you’re already juggling other commitments. While it’s important to help others, it’s also crucial to help yourself once in a while.

Practice yoga and meditation

Yoga and meditation can help release pent-up stress and frustrations. It may not be the solution to your current problems, but it will reduce stress and leave you feeling more relaxed and clear-headed.

Yoga and meditation are two of the most powerful anti-aging tools that you can have in your healthy living toolbox. Apart from reducing stress and anxiety, yoga keeps your bones, muscles, and tendons supple and flexible, reducing the risk of injury, and is gentle enough that it can be done well into your senior years. Additionally, meditation, in particular Sahaj Samadhi meditation, has been proven to reduce late-in-life depression, along with a myriad of other benefits

Quiet Time

Setting some time aside for yourself is an excellent way of breaking off from your hectic schedule to breathe. Reading a book or writing in a journal may do a lot in rejuvenating your mind and body.

4. Exercise

Slow Down the Aging Process

Staying active throughout life can not only benefit you in the short-term but can have long-term advantages, too. Regular exercise gives your body more flexibility, stronger muscles, and increased metabolism. These benefits can also result in less joint pain, more energy, and may even prevent chronic illnesses.

Exercise doesn’t have to be strenuous or intense. Simply walking for 20 minutes each day may reduce the risk of heart disease by 30 percent. 

5. Stay hydrated

Dehydration can lead to bigger medical problems. Fatigue, lack of focus, and headaches can occur if you’re not drinking enough water, but dehydration can also lead to heart disease, asthma, and chronic pain.

Our bodies contain over 60% of water—every cell, tissue, and organ depends on water to function. Drinking water and staying hydrated can slow aging by resulting in tighter, fuller skin and can reduce the risk of medical problems down the road. The average person should drink about 8 glasses of water every day.

6. Protect your skin

As we grow older, our skin becomes thinner and less supple, leading to wrinkles and dark spots. The leading cause of skin damage is sun exposure. 

Tanning, whether outside or a tanning bed, and being out in the sun for long periods of time exposes the body to ultraviolet, or UV, rays. These rays damage the skin, resulting in a higher risk of developing skin cancer. Applying sunscreen protects your skin from UV rays, applying lotion and hand creams keeps your skin young and supple, and applying Ayurvedic treatments will help you glow from the inside out.

7. Check in with your doctor

Visiting your doctor regularly keeps you on the right track to a healthier you. Regular checkups can catch signs of possible problems and early treatment, improving overall health. 

8. Maintain your dental hygiene

Maintaining healthy teeth and gums is also a great way to reduce aging. Over time, the protective enamel around our teeth may start to break down from constant chewing and grinding, plus the consumption of acidic foods and carbonated drinks. Teeth turn yellow from chocolate and coffee stains, adding to an aged appearance.

Brushing and flossing daily, as well as regular dental visits, protect teeth and gums from decay. A study by the American Dental Association found that oral health is tied to our body’s health. Gum infection may travel through the blood, triggering inflammation in organs and leading to heart disease, diabetes, and respiratory problems.

9. Maintain healthy relationships

Slow Down the Aging Process

Building healthy relationships may improve your physical health. Friendship is considered a human need—studies show that loneliness is worse than obesity concerning public health. Loneliness can lead to other health problems, like sleep disruptions, stress, and a weakened immune system.

According to the American Psychological Association, loneliness is an epidemic, affecting over 42.6 million Americans under the age of 45. Taking that step to break the ice and create friendships reduces the risk of death by 50%.

10. Love what you do

Ever hear the phrase, “choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life?” Working in a job that you love means you’re happier, more likely to connect with other people, and that you become more active, both mentally and physically. 

Loving your work gives you a deeper feeling of accomplishment and a more positive outlook on life. It also leaves you with less stress and fewer wrinkles, so you feel better and look great too.

Aging results in developing medical risks. If we don’t start taking better care of ourselves now and establish healthy habits, our bodies may show signs of premature aging. No matter your age, taking steps now will result in a healthier, happier you.

Dr Rohit Bhaskar, Physio
Dr Rohit Bhaskar, Physio Dr. Rohit Bhaskar, Physio is Founder of Bhaskar Health and Physiotherapy and is also a consulting physiotherapist. He completed his Graduation in Physiotherapy from Uttar Pradesh University of Medical Sciences. His clinical interests are in Chest Physiotherapy, stroke rehab, parkinson’s and head injury rehab. Bhaskar Health is dedicated to readers, doctors, physiotherapists, nurses, paramedics, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals. Bhaskar Health audience is the reason I feel so passionate about this project, so thanks for reading and sharing Bhaskar Health.

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