“Aging… it’s better than the alternative!”
We all get older every single day (through a process called “senescence”). And, in my opinion, it’s something we should embrace, rather than shun, be ashamed of, or fear. You see, important life experiences have created the fine lines on my face, and I enjoy the many lessons I’ve learned along the way.
That said, I’ll be the first to admit that I like being mistaken for several years younger than my actual age. Oh yeah, the idea of staving off death for a few extra years has a pretty strong appeal—even if it’s not guaranteed. More importantly, I’m motivated to live a healthy, vibrant life as I age so I can spend more QUALITY time with my kids and future generations.
While nothing can stop the aging process dead in its tracks—besides, well, death—there are several simple anti-aging hacks you can start taking right now to give yourself the edge. And unlike a needle or knife, these hacks go beyond skin deep to where aging begins: Your cells.
These healthy aging tips aren’t complicated, are supported by science, and can be quite enjoyable.
5 Anti-Aging Hacks
Hack #1: Drink Up…Water That Is
Let me ask you a question: If given the choice, would you rather enjoy a clean, refreshing glass of water, or an overly sweet drink loaded with a sickening amount of age-accelerating sugar and chemicals?
Sure, that was a leading question, but the truth is, water is easily accessible and tastes great. And unlike sugar-sweetened beverages (e.g., soda, energy drinks, sports drinks, fruit juice), it may help slow—rather than accelerate—the aging process. One of the hallmarks of aging skin is dehydration, and while there are several factors involved, drinking plenty of clean water plays a pivotal role in nourishing your skin and the cells throughout your entire body.
Drink water regularly throughout the day, and if you’re looking for some variety, add a slice of lemon or lime, which contain vitamin C, an important antioxidant that fights off age-accelerating free radicals and plays an important role in skin health. Increasing water intake is a no-brainer for both inner health and outer beauty.
Hack #2: Become a Veg Head
It should come as no surprise that some foods may help you live a longer, healthier life. On the other hand, other “foods” figuratively add gasoline to the aging fire and are more likely to usher you to a faster exit.
When it comes to nutrition, there is seemingly always debate. Yet, one thing the clear majority of nutritionists, scientists, and health professionals agree on is that most people don’t eat enough vegetables and low-sugar fruits. These foods are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which may help thwart or diminish cell damage, promote healthy aging, and prolong a youthful skin appearance.
Among these age-defying nutrients include vitamins C, D, and E, carotenoids (vitamin A, ß-carotene, lycopene, astaxanthin, retinol), polyphenols, glutathione, CoQ10, and alpha lipoic acid. Some anti-aging foods to add to your meal plan regularly include tomatoes, avocados, broccoli, dark green leafy vegetables, bell peppers, berries, kiwi, citrus fruits, orange-colored fruits and vegetables, and pineapples.
Hack #3: Slather Up
No list of anti-aging hacks would be complete without a mention of sunscreen. While there are many environmental factors that can accelerate aging, one of the most common is called “photoaging” because excessive UV exposure is considered the principle extrinsic cause of skin aging.
According to a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, people who use sunscreen regularly were 24% less likely to show increased signs of aging. However, not all sunscreens are created equally. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) recommends sunscreens containing zinc oxide, which provides broad-spectrum protection, and the EWG suggests avoiding those that contain potentially hazardous ingredients like oxybenzone and parabens.
Having said that, you don’t want to block out all sunlight, which your body uses to manufacture vitamin D, a vital nutrient for numerous functions. For instance, vitamin D plays a critical role in skin health and promotes a youthful skin appearance, and higher vitamin D levels are associated with healthy aging (longer telomeres).
Hack #4: OMG Omega-3
To add even more flavor and anti-aging nutrients to your diet, add seeds (like chia and flax), nuts (especially walnuts), sardines, salmon, and other fatty fish. Why are these foods considered such powerful anti-aging hacks? These foods are rich in omega-3s, essential fats (meaning your body can’t produce them), which have numerous health benefits, including supporting heart health. Studies suggest that diets rich in omega-3 fats exert a protective effect on telomere length, which shortens with age, demonstrating potent cellular anti-aging properties.
Some recent research has also suggested omega-3s may help slow age-associated memory loss. What’s more, omega-3 fats can help nourish and protect the skin. In a recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers found that women who consumed more omega-3s had better skin-aging appearances, including fewer wrinkles and better skin moisture.
Hack #5: Get Moving!
There’s no shortage of evidence that regular exercise has a potent anti-aging effect whereas a sedentary lifestyle accelerates the aging process and makes one more susceptible to age-related health maladies. Here’s some great news: To slow cellular aging, it doesn’t matter how much you exercise or what you choose.
It all helps, and according to some research, the more variety, the better. So, dance today, practice yoga tomorrow, lift weights the next day, and do some aerobic exercise after that. Just choose activities and movements to fit your mood and hit it!
While no one can guarantee an end to the aging process, the simple anti-aging hacks above may help you defend against cellular aging. What’s more, they can also help you look and feel better and promote a healthy, vibrant life!