If growing and aging is a natural part of life, why are so many people discouraged by the thought of it? Associating negative thoughts with the concept of aging has a lot to do with our preconceived notions about growing older – we get tired, out of shape, and let’s not forget the wrinkles.
Did you know these thoughts can impact our current behavior in a way that we end up aging the same way? Call it a self-fulfilling prophecy if you will, but aging doesn’t have to be some tragic occurrence that we need to run away from. Aging gracefully means embracing how you’ve grown and how your body has changed.
Don’t get us wrong, aging gracefully doesn’t simply letting yourself go and accepting the inevitable end. In fact, it emphasizes self-care that keeps you looking healthier. Before we can figure out how to age gracefully, we need to understand why (and when) we age in the first place.
Theories on Why We Age
According to certain theorists, aging is a predetermined aspect of our lives – our genes run according to a blueprint in which the body’s regulated processes determine when it’s time for each of us to start aging and eventually die.
On the other hand, some theories suggest that aging occurs when toxins and environmental factors interact with our body’s DNA and proteins. The consequences of this exposure accumulate in the form of damage such as oxidation, which triggers biological features to slow down. This starts and speeds up the aging process. Based on scientific research, this is the most probable cause of aging.
But when do we start aging? Is it in our 30s? At menopause? Or perhaps when we hit 90? There’s no objective answer for this. The best thing to do is practice effective self-care to be the healthiest version of yourself.
Here are a few key takeaways on how you can age gracefully.
Understand Your Macronutrients and Macromolecules
One of the biggest factors that impact our rate of aging is what we eat. Our cells are made up of four macromolecules – fats, carbohydrates, proteins, and nucleic acids. Hence, your diet needs to include carbs, fats, proteins. Does that go against every diet plan you’ve heard? Yes, so think smart before following a fad diet next time.
Aside from making sure that your body gets a balanced amount of these macromolecules, you have to be careful as to where you’re getting the energy from i.e. what kind of food you’re eating. In addition, studies prove that a calorie deficit can reduce oxidative stress, thus slowing down the aging process.
Bring Extraneous Variables Under Control
Environmental factors such as UV exposure and temperature conditions have a major effect on our DNA and cells. It’s up to you to bring these factors under control, this includes exercising, eating smaller amounts of fat, drinking moderate amounts of alcohol, and quitting the smoking habit.
Moreover, make sure to wear protective clothing before going out in the sun and putting on full-spectrum SPF to block out harmful rays. Of course, various other factors alter your genome to speed up the aging process. This includes benzene, asbestos, and other pollutants in the air. However, you can’t simply stop exposing yourself to everything, you can only control the type of exposures you can protect yourself from.
If you ever thought that stress is an ‘all in your head’ phenomenon, you’re wrong. Medical professionals have indicated time and again that stress has a causal effect when it comes to numerous autoimmune diseases and psychological conditions.
Therefore, it’s impacting your genome big time and speeding up the aging process. But stress doesn’t just include the mental stress you take on, it also includes physical exertion, laborious activity, and a lack of sleep.
Similarly, stress can be traumatic, such as the result of an infection, illness, or surgery, or even nutritional, which means dehydration, vitamin deficiency, and food allergies.
You’ll need to address these stresses one by one. While nutritional and physical stresses call for direct action, dealing with psychological stress involves changing the way your brain reacts to it. Becoming more mindful of how our brain processes stressful triggers are one of the ways we can manage it.
You’ve probably heard of the merits of meditation and practicing mindfulness – you should start implementing them. They can bring a positive change to your brain’s biochemical composition i.e. neurotransmitter levels.
To start off, inflammation isn’t a bad thing. It’s your body’s response to attacks from foreign invaders and your immune system’s first line of defense. But when this inflammation carries on longer than needed, it can damage the body from the inside. Various factors, aside from foreign bacteria, trigger inflammation, and food is one of them.
Inflammation breaks down collagen and makes skin appear wrinkly and lose its elasticity. Studies indicate that chronic inflammation is the result of the unbalanced gut microbiome. Adding yogurt and other fermented foods to your diet, such as kefir and kimchi, can improve your bad bacteria-good bacteria balance for the better.
Enhance Your Metabolism
Metabolism is when your body breaks down food and oxidizes it to gain energy. Everyone understands the gist of metabolism – the faster your metabolism, the less weight you’re likely to gain. However, faster metabolism can also have the same oxidative stress-accumulating effect as a slow metabolism.
Finding the sweet spot when it comes to metabolism, is all about exercising and eating the right foods. Not to mention, sun exposure, UVB rays to be specific, have a negative effect on your metabolism-regulating enzyme. Hence, keep your sun exposure under control with good sunscreen when you go out during the day, regardless of whether it’s raining or cloudy.
Take Care of Your Skin with the Right Skincare Routine
Our take on aging gracefully also involves a proper skincare routine that protects you during the day and nourishes your skin at night. ViolaSkin’s various skincare products like serums, masks, cleansers, and creams all work to restore a youthful balance of essential ingredients and beneficial nutrients to your skin. This not only helps to improve the appearance of your skin by minimizing signs of aging but with consistent and regular use, slows it down as well.