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Slow Down the Aging Process

Cheryl Whitt

Posted on December 26 2019


If you are over the age of 40, you have had those moments when you look in the mirror and think, "OMG!! I'm looking so old" or "I HAVE to get in shape." I've been there, what am I talking about, I'm there now! Some years have taken their toll on us more than others, and we have let ourselves go. Be it work, kids, spouse, or whatever, we have put ourselves on the back burner. The problem is now we feel bad about ourselves, feel unhealthy, and don't love what we see. 

Let's change our perspective and learn how to slow down this aging process both internally and externally. It's not always about your looks but also what is going on inside you. 


1. Get a Pet. 

 Don't laugh. Having a pet helps you enjoy your life more. Studies have proven this. And when you enjoy your life, you glow from the inside. Studies have also shown that owning a pet reduces stress, provides a sense of purpose, helps you stick to a routine, keeps you physically active, and so much more. Pets can even keep your mind off of pain you may be suffering. We need all of this to combat the aging process. 


2. Aerobic Exercise.

Endurance exercise– like running, swimming, or bicycling–and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) both slowed signs of aging. Aerobic exercise, or cardio, is the type of workout that gets your heart pumping and sweat flowing, while strength training helps keep aging muscles from weakening over time. Both are of equal importance.


3. Strength Training.

 By our early 40s, most of us are losing muscle mass at a rate of about 5 percent a decade. But people who lift weights can slow or reverse that. In multiple experiments, people who start to lift weights typically gain muscle mass and strength, as well as better mobilitymental sharpness, and metabolic health.


4. Eat Dark Chocolate.

You know you love me now. Eating dark chocolate can increase circulation in the skin and improve its ability to retain moisture. Some of the most visible signs of the aging process can be seen in our skin. ... But not all chocolate is equal when it comes to anti-aging -- it's dark chocolate that provides the greatest benefits. Dark chocolate can boost blood circulation in your brain, lower blood pressure, and inhibit stroke damage. Be sure the cocoa content is at least 70 percent, and eat at least half an ounce of dark chocolate a day. Like anything else in life, it's also important not to overdo it.


5. Get Enough Sleep.

The National Sleep Foundation recommends seven to nine hours of sleep per night for most adults. Less than that can play a role in the development of wrinkles, sagging skin, and dark circles under the eyes. Plenty of rest can also minimize dark circles. When blood isn't flowing well -- which happens when you're low on sleep -- it can collect under eyes and become visible, since the skin there is so thin.

Also, hair loss, breakage, damage, and even growth can all be affected by lack of sleep. Hair follicles (where hair growth begins) gain nutrients, vitamins, and minerals from blood flow. 


6. Set Meaningful Goals.

Studies reveal that people who have set goals in at least two areas of their life experienced higher life satisfaction. In other words, it is essential for people to have something to reach for in the future. Those participants who reported no goals or plans, or those who had very low wishes for the future, rated much lower on the life-satisfaction scale. It also showed that while health was an important goal, it wasn't the primary goal as previous research had made it out to be.


7. Control Stress.

Stress ages you faster than anything else. Chronic stress ages you in two ways. First, it increases free radicals — compounds that damage your cells and cause inflammation. Free radicals increase when you push yourself past your limit, and if you do that chronically, they speed up aging at a cellular level.

Second, chronic stress interferes with your cortisol production. Cortisol is the hormone you release in response to immediate threat; it shuts down non-essential functions like metabolism and executive brain function, saving that energy so you can escape whatever danger you're in. Cortisol also breaks down muscle tissue so you have more glucose in your system to use for short-term fuel.


8. Take Omega-3 DHA Supplements

Memory loss not only makes us less efficient, it signals an aging brain. A study published last year in the journal Alzheimer's and Dementia, known as the MIDAS study, found that taking Omega-3 DHA supplements took three years off the brain, improving memory and learning skills. Researchers believe it may also reduce the likelihood of developing Alzheimer's or Dementia.


9. Use Creams with Glycolic Acid or Retinol

A dull complexion is one of the first signs of prematurely aging skin, says dermatologist Audrey Kunin. Luckily, topical ingredients like buffered glycolic acid and retinol can rapidly improve the look and texture of skin by removing buildup of dry skin, smoothing out fine lines, improving discoloration and also helping to trigger collagen production.


10. Limit Alcohol Consumption

Moderate drinking may be good for your heart, but heavy drinking can rev up the aging process. "Moderate" is one drink per day for women (such as a 5-ounce glass of wine or 12-ounce glass of beer) and two drinks for men. 

When the liver is working hard to detoxify the body from alcohol, it creates more free radicals than the body's antioxidants can handle, which leads to something called oxidative stressStudies have shown that oxidative stress is an important contributing factor in aging.

Alcohol depletes your nutrients, hydration, and vitamin A levels, all of which have a direct impact on wrinkles. Vitamin A is especially important in regards to new cell growth and the production of collagen, ensuring that skin is elastic and wrinkle-free.


There are numerous other things that we can do to slow down the aging process, but this is a great start. Choose one of the above points a week to work on, conquer it and, then move on to the next one. 


Aging is going to happen, but I don't know a single person over the age of 25 that wants to look any older than they are. Remember, slow progress is still progress.

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