11 Easy Things You Can Do to Slow Down Aging
Changing some of your simple health habits can help slow down the aging process.
Since BC, myths of the Fountain of Youth have been circulating around the world. While the spring restoring the youth of anyone who bathes in or drinks its waters has never been located or confirmed, research has established that there are other things you can do to slow down the aging process.
From making simple changes to your diet to quitting toxic habits and even focusing on supporting body parts you've never thought twice about, the following steps have been proven by science to aid in the pursuit of looking and feeling forever young. Incorporate these into your routine right now to slow down the aging process.
If you are eating lots of processed foods and sugar, you might be speeding up the aging process. Not only has research found that proper nutrients help keep the brain functioning better longer, but specific diets focusing on whole, fresh foods, like the Mediterranean Diet, have been found to slow down the progression of aging.
There is ample research supporting exercise as one of the best methods to slow down the aging process. One study, published in Aging Cell found that people who exercised throughout their lives had the muscle mass, cholesterol levels, and even immune system function of much younger people.
Vitamin D, which you can absorb from the sun, boasts lots of health benefits. One study found that women with higher vitamin D levels also had longer telomeres, the end-part of DNA cells that determine a cell's lifespan.
While vitamin D can help you live longer, sun damage can shorten your life and result in cancer. The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends covering your skin up with clothing, wearing a broad-spectrum SPF 30 or higher sunscreen, and seeking shade on order to avoid premature aging.
Hydration is one of the key ways to slow down aging. The Mayo Clinic explains that water helps get rid of waste through urination, perspiration, and bowel movements, keeps your temperature normal, lubricates and cushions joints, and helps protect sensitive tissues.
Smoking can not only result in cancer, but smokers age faster, according to science. One study found that smoking tobacco could affect the biophysical parameters of your skin, especially the thickness and density of the dermis, epidermis, and nasolabial folds.
Prioritizing dental hygiene will not only keep your teeth looking better, it could also help prevent age-related problems like cardiovascular disease, stroke, and diabetes. Recent studies have also linked gum disease to a higher risk of dementia and Alzheimer's, so make sure you're brushing, flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash every day.
Increasing the amount of "good" bacteria in your intestines, aka the gut microbiome, may help protect you from age-related diseases such as dementia, according to research. Balancing your microbiome through specific foods, vitamins, and nutrients can be a straightforward and easy way to slow the aging process.
A number of studies have linked chronic stress to accelerated aging. One found that the telomeres in the cells of people with chronic stress shorten faster. Stress has also been linked to inflammation, so it benefits you to find impactful ways to reduce tension in your life. If your day is stressful, make it a point to take breaks for yourself: go outside for a walk, try breathing exercises, call a friend, or watch a funny video to bring your stress levels back to zero.
Get your beauty sleep. Not only does sleeping give your cells the opportunity to repair damage, but poor sleep ages skin faster, according to research. According to the Sleep Foundation, getting enough rest is a mood booster, promotes heart health, regulates blood sugar, improves mental function, restores your immune system, helps relieve stress, and aids in weight loss.
Finally, if you want to live longer and slow down aging, consider cutting back on alcohol. Consuming certain types of alcohol over long periods of time as well as binge drinking both speed up biological aging, according to a Northwestern Medicine study published in the journal Aging. If you want to look and feel vibrant, youthful, and glowing as you age, restricting how much alcohol you drink could be a big game-changer.