Aging gracefully can be done and it is never, ever too late to start thinking about how our current lifestyle choices affects our aging process. I thought I would share my top 4 list for aging gracefully in an acronym I call HERN:
H ” Hydrate: Drink plenty of water. It ‘s good for our skin, it ‘s good for our organs, it aids digestion and it ‘s a cheap (usually free) appetite suppressant! We often eat because we confuse thirst with hunger causing us to overeat and indulge in sugary snacks. Water is also a good alternative to caffeine (coffee, tea, soda, etc..) because unlike caffeine it doesn ‘t stain our teeth! So gulp, gulp, gulp down that water!
E ” Exercise: Use it or lose it! No magic lotion is going to restore skin elasticity ” but exercise can help maintain it and even improve it. Elastin is a connective tissue present in our skin and bodies that keeps skin flexible and tight. Strength training has been shown to be the most effective exercise for building elastin, but seriously folks ” any exercise will do! You don ‘t need to be running marathons, or spending hours in the gym. Just get off your ass and move every day! Dance with the kids, garden, walk the dog! Exercise has far more positive affects on our body than simply altering our diets ” so get out there and MOVE!!! (While you exercise be sure to wear some sunscreen to protect that precious skin!).
R ” Rest: Sleep. Turn off the computer and go to bed. We over-eat to combat fatigue! We drink caffeine, further hydrating ourselves and staining our teeth because we ‘re freaking tired! Just go to bed ” the world won ‘t end if we sign off of twitter, turn off the TV and go to bed. Our whole body functions better with enough rest ” even our minds.
N ” Nutrition: There is no substitute for eating fresh fruit and veggies. Make every calorie count. If you can ‘t think of a nutritional reason to put that snack in your mouth then don ‘t eat it! We eat to fuel our bodies to perform their best. You wouldn ‘t run your car on sugar and fats ” so why are we doing that to our bodies? A car runs best on gas ” give your body the Ã¢â‚¬Å“gas Ã‚Â it needs ” fruit, veggies, protein. Skip those vitamins ” our bodies don ‘t absorb them and they only mask what your diet is lacking. If you eat properly you don ‘t need em!
These four little steps are easy to implement ” you don ‘t need to spend money on fancy clothes and equipment to start aging gracefully, so in the words of Nike ” Just do it! Put down that coffee, grab some water and go for a walk at lunch. In ten years when you look younger than your peers you ‘ll be thankful.
PS – I ‘ve purposely left Ã¢â‚¬Å“Don ‘t Smoke Ã‚Â off of the list Ã‹Å“cause folks ” that ‘s a no brainer! I don ‘t think there ‘s a single person out there is unaware of the risks of smoking and it ‘s affect on the aging process.