Billions of dollars are spent yearly on maintaining health and well-being, even in our down-sized economy. The fear of premature aging is a continual concern of most people in the United States, especially in the younger and upwardly mobile crowd and even within the baby boomer generation.
We simply cannot avoid the ravages of age yet most people would like to age gracefully. One can put off the aging process through leading a healthy life by making smart decisions to exercise, eat healthy foods and lower your stress levels.
Naturally, stress cannot be avoided altogether along with the pollution we breathe daily and for most Americans a very unhealthy diet adds to the stress on our bodies and health.
Leading a lifestyle of excess food, drink, smoking and late nights out with little or no exercise can radically hasten the look of aging including wrinkles, sagging skin, dark circles, puffiness and an overall unhealthy appearance.
Pay Attention Now Or Pay More Later
If we don’t pay attention to our health and personal care we cannot prevent the signs of aging. Of course genetics play a huge role in how we age. Many people look far younger than their years even though they have not exactly taken perfect care of themselves.
However, eventually their past transgressions begin to catch up with them and they are forced to take a hard, close look at how they have treated their bodies and begin a path to repair the damage they’ve done.
Others can look very much older than their ages yet eat healthy and exercise. It can seem almost unfair but the ones who look older but have maintained their health won’t have to do damage control later. You can look young and still be suffering from various ailments that can occur from bad health habits. So it’s best for those who look younger than their years to take full advantage of the gift they were given and either take very good care of themselves or get on the health wagon immediately.
The Pursuit of Youth Is Worth Millions
Since looking good is a premium in this era, people spend billions on anti-aging supplements, creams, plastic surgery, Botox and any number of treatments to keep Father Time from catching up to them. Most people do the best they can to spend as little as possible but for many, money is no object when a youthful look is desired.
There are hormone treatments, anti-oxidants, specific vitamins and “natural” herbal supplements that promise youth in a bottle. Make sure you are buying herbal products from companies you can trust. There have been random studies that have shown some supplements contain very small amounts of the ‘magic’ elixir that they have promised is contained within the bottle or capsule.
There are some very good topical products available now in the facial and body product lines at certain stores including natural health stores. My suggestion would be to try a small bottle or jar for 30 days before you spend hundreds of dollars on purchasing their whole line.
No One Wants to Look or Feel Old
Anti-aging is gaining in popularity by the day. The supplements work from the inside out and the topical products from the outside in. People who smoke and love being out in the sun for hours on end are the ones who seem to age more rapidly than others. They end up with leathery looking skin and deep lines and wrinkles.
Back in the early days of our country it was all the rage for ladies to keep their skin soft, silky and as pale as possible. They wouldn’t think of going out in the sun without a very fashionable umbrella. Perhaps they knew more than we do and it only took us about a hundred years to “get it.”
Use It or Lose It
Time and time again research has proven that those who exercise regularly and remain physically and mentally active into their older years show less signs of aging than those who live a sedentary lifestyle. Your stamina can increase, your body will be healthier and muscle tone and skin will be improved and you will keep that much sought-after youthful, vital look.
Plastic surgery, lotions and potions will help you look younger but your insides will begin to force you to pay attention by beginning to cause you health and mobility problems if you don’t remain active. You may look great but if you feel bad it’s all for nothing. Food is a very important part of reversing or slowing down the aging process.
Fiber-rich foods that help remove cholesterol, eating less ‘bad’ fats can help with your blood pressure and eating little or better yet, no sugar could help ward off diabetes. That also includes reducing your intake of simple carbohydrates that are unhealthy.
A diet rich in dark fruits such as blueberries, acai berries, black raspberries, tart cherries or any other dark berry contain what is known as anthocyanins. Other foods rich in anthocyanins include many good vegetable choices like red cabbage and eggplant. Red wine contains Resveratrol which has been found to be very important in maintaining good health.
Resveratrol is found in grapes, wine, grape juice, peanuts, and berries of Vaccinum species, including blueberries, bilberries, and cranberries In grapes, resveratrol is found only in the skins. The amount of resveratrol in grape skins varies with the grape cultivar, its geographic origin, and exposure to fungal infection.
The amount of fermentation time a wine spends in contact with grape skins is an important determinant of its resveratrol content. Consequently, white and rosé wines generally contain less resveratrol than red wines. Red or purple grape juices may also be good sources of resveratrol.
The predominant form of resveratrol in grapes and grape juice is trans-resveratrol glucoside (trans-piceid), but wines also contain significant amounts of resveratrol aglycones, thought to be the result of sugar cleavage during fermentation.
Many wines also contain significant amounts of cis-resveratrol which may be produced during fermentation or released from viniferins (resveratrol polymers). Red wine is a relatively rich source of resveratrol, but other polyphenols are present in red wine at considerably higher concentrations than resveratrol) The total resveratrol content of some beverages and foods are listed in the tables below.
These values should be considered approximate since the resveratrol content of foods and beverages can vary considerably. (OregonState.edu)
The Bottom Line
So, exercise can keep our skin firm and our bodies tight with good muscle tone well into our old age. We feel and look good and our lives can be extended unless we develop a disease we don’t expect that shortens our life span.
If we eat a good and healthy diet by adding more fruits and veggies and less red meat we will feel lighter and keep from feeling ‘stuffed’ after a meal. Green and leafy vegetables are known to help rid us of that excess around the mid-section. Drink little or no caffeine, especially in sodas. They are full of high-fructose corn syrup and has been said to be bad for you.
The ways to improve and prevent aging are endless. Yes, growing old is just part of our lives but with a few ‘tweaks’ and some good choices you can live a long and healthy life and feel great because you can participate in more activities.
Simply enjoy looking forward to a life of joy and activity from your 20’s until you are very old if you only choose to pursue health and well-being instead of hanging out in the doctor’s office.