By Be Well Health Coach Jenny Sansouci
Getting older is a given, but our diet and lifestyle play a huge role in how we look and feel along the way! Aging doesn’t necessarily mean getting sick or feeling less than our best — if we pay attention to a few key factors and make a few important shifts, we can age healthfully and feel as optimal as possible.
Here are some of the ways to keep yourself feeling healthy and energetic – while reducing your risk of chronic disease – at any age:
Drink a Lot of Water
Hydrating is one of the most important things you can do to keep your skin looking young, bright and glowing — as well as keep every system in the body functioning optimally. Dry, dehydrated skin looks older and more dull, and because our skin is a reflection for what’s going on internally, the more water we drink the more hydrated our skin will look. To keep your body healthy and hydrated, try drinking 2-3 liters of water per day and go easy on caffeinated beverages and alcohol, which dry your skin out even more.
Studies have shown that exercising regularly decreases the chance for chronic disease, depression and cognitive decline, and can keep your skin looking younger, too. Exercise can reduce inflammation in the body which keeps your immune system strong to fight off illness as you get older. Do something that makes you work up a sweat to release toxins through your skin to keep it healthy and glowing. And make sure you’re doing something you love — you’re more likely to make it a long-term habit if you’re enjoying yourself.
Lack of adequate sleep, especially chronic sleep loss, can increase the likelihood of age-related disease. When you’re low on sleep, your hormones can become out of balance and your blood pressure can increase, raising your risk of heart problems and stroke. Lack of sleep can also interfere with insulin sensitivity, which increases your risk of diabetes. Establishing a routine pattern of going to bed and waking up around the same time each day is the most important thing you can do to establish good sleep habits.
Get Rid of Processed Foods
Processed foods contain all sorts of ingredients the body doesn’t recognize, which leads to inflammation and a weakened immune system as you get older. Inflammation in the body is at the core of many chronic diseases, lack of energy, and other age-related conditions. Things like processed vegetable oils, refined sugar, artificial sweeteners, and artificial colors/flavors can wreak havoc on your body — so adopting a whole foods diet full of fresh produce will keep your body functioning optimally.
There are a number of supplements that can help slow down the aging process and keep you feeling young and energetic — here are some of our favorites:
Fish Oil – These supplements are rich in the essential omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, which help prevent chronic diseases and inflammation. They boost your immune system, enhance your cardiovascular, joint and vision health; strengthen skin, hair, and nails, enhance nutrient absorption, metabolic function, attention, mood and memory skills.
Glutathione – Glutathione is the master antioxidant in the body, making it one of the most powerful supplements for slowing down the aging process. It plays a key role in supporting the immune system and detoxifying the body, minimizing the risk of chronic disease.
Alpha Lipoic Acid – ALA is a potent, versatile antioxidant that helps to fend off inflammation, balance blood sugar and protect skin collagen. It boosts the effectiveness of other antioxidants in your body, promotes nerve health, helps remove heavy metals from the body and purifies the liver. ALA is often used in skincare products to enhance the skin and help combat signs of cellular aging.
CoQ10 – CoQ10 is an extremely powerful antioxidant — it can help increase energy levels, improve cardiovascular and cellular health, and protect against damage from free radicals, which can boost your body’s ability to deal with the typical signs of aging.
Do you have any personal secrets for looking and feeling your best as you age? Share them in the comments!