I am pulling this from the archives, dusting it off and throwing it back out there. I am re-posting not only because I spent so much time developing this post, but also because the 4.0 version of Natasha is right around the corner. I am a little nervous and needed this reminder. Stay tuned!
Aging is a natural process that can’t be avoided. However, there are plenty of things that you can do that will help you to remain youthful. Here are 15 suggestions from yours truly.
1. Keep up with appearances!
Those of us who are not blessed with great genes, or money for botox and a plastic surgeon should invest in minimally invasive and relatively affordable anti-aging products. (Psssst, this includes lots of sunblock!) The other obvious signs of aging is gray hair. This is a hereditary thing in my family and I have been fighting my grays for years with a little magic potion called hair dye.
Gray hair and wrinkles are not the only physical signs of aging, however. According to Redbook, large pores, chest freckles, yellow fingernails, and veiny hands also make us look older. While we are on the subject of appearance, please don’t neglect your grills (teeth for those of you who have never listened to rap music). Receding gums, discolored and jacked up looking teeth ages us too.
2. Dress Well!
Now is the time for us to become serious about our looks. As mature women we should kill the frump and instead go for chic, sophisticated and polished looks.
3. Don’t smoke or do drugs!
Cigarette smoke contains carbon monoxide which interferes with our body’s ability to carry oxygen. Smoking also puts us at risk for high blood pressure and heart failure. Source: University of Buffalo
In regards to drugs, do you really need me to give an explanation? Have you ever seen the photos of meth users? “Addiction affects a person’s physiology, making him or her more likely to suffer real physical aging that is manifested in many ways. Unnecessary aging associated with drug use can [add] as much as eight years.” Source: Sharecare
4. Limit alcohol consumption!
You really don’t need that next drink. Congestive Heart Failure is associated with people who have drinking problems and there is nothing that says “old” like congestive heart failure. Source: University of Buffalo
5. Get physical!
Cardiovascular exercises allows us to keep the heart muscle in shape. We should also include strength training in our routine. Strong muscles lead to strong bones and strong muscles gives us the independence to continue to do simple things such as…opening a jar. Doing exercise such as yoga also helps us to maintain balance which also deteriorates with age. (Read NY Times article Aging Well Through Exercise here)
6. Eat healthy!
Eating healthy helps us to maintain a healthy weight, and helps to prevent and or manage things such as cholesterol, diabetes and high blood pressure.
7. Get plenty of rest!
According to the Los Angeles Times ,“[i]t’s a universal truth: When you’re in your 20s, you can stay out all night and look fresh the next morning. Unfortunately, as we age, lack of sleep affects us more deeply and shows more prominently on our faces — [as] lackluster complexions, dark circles, fine lines and, in more extreme cases, rashes and eczema.” I learned from experience about this one a few weeks ago. A few consecutive restless nights left me with some seriously noticeable wrinkled eyelids that set off a panic attack of epic proportions. It went away after a few dabs of eye cream and rest.
8. Join something!
I am not just talking about church. Find an organization/club/circle, that has positive people (mature and young) who respect, value and appreciate your wisdom and experience. The energy from the young people is contagious and by joining something it forces us to explore, learn and remain active.
9. Stimulate the brain!
Learn a new language, do crossword puzzles, play chess, or read literature to keep the brain stimulated and sharp.
10. Keep up with technology!
In a world dominated by cell phones, social networks, skype, thousands of apps that increases productivity and thousands of young people who are using them, keeping up with technology keeps us hip and relevant. It also helps to keep us marketable for those of us who are still working.
11. Stop trying to convince yourself and others that you/they are too old to do something!
If you have a desire and the resources to pursue it, then do it. The moment you adopt the I am too old attitude is the moment you are actually old. Hey, if George H.W. Bush can jump out of a plane at 85, and Susan Boyle and Leroy Bell can pursue their dreams to become recording artists at ages 50 and 60 respectively, I don’t see why we should limit ourselves from moving forward with our plans/dreams/goals by hiding behind the I’m too old excuse. I joined a folk singing group and took up dancing when I was 37. I started this blog when I was 38. I was planning to take up belly dancing and burlesque dancing this year. And I am looking forward to starting my masters degree when I reach 45. And I am so keeping up with reason 15 even after I reach 87.
12. Stop stressing!
“80-90% of all illness, disease, and accelerated aging is stress related. All forms of stress-whether physical, mental, or emotional – create free radicals and acidicity in the body, which speed up the aging process. The free radicals damage healthy cells and the acid waste has an oxidizing (i.e. rusting) effect on all bodily tissues and organs.” Source: Anti Aging Wisely
13. Stop referencing yourself and others with negative jargon’s.
There is nothing positive about the following phrases.
- over the hill, past his/her prime –So it’s down hill here on out?
- ripe old age– Decay usually comes after ripe, doesn’t it?
- geezer, fogey, old fart –Do I really need to explain?
- elderly–I see someone frail and on the decline when I hear this word.
- “In my day” –You are still alive, why isn’t this your day now?
Instead, let’s replace these negative words with experienced, wise, mature, advanced, and carpe diem.
14. Let out your inner child!
Laugh, dance, play and remain curious about every and anything.
15. Have sex!
I was told by a 70-year-old female friend that the quality of our relationships will improve with age and subsequently, so will the sex. Sex also helps to shave off a few of our years. (You can read about sex in our advance years here). Upon hearing this, I immediately stopped fretting about my advancing age. (This is really true!)
I love hearing from you so please feel free to add your voice in the comments section below.
Photo credit: David Haldane Photography