Fact or fiction: It is possible to slow the aging process both mentally and physically? Fact! While there isn’t a map to a magical fountain you can drink from, there are many lifestyle choices that can make a big impact on how you look and feel.
You Don’t Have to Act Your Age
A study examined 1,000 people who were the same age and compared their cognitive abilities and cardio health at the ages of 26, 32, and 38. When they looked at the slope of each person’s markers, they found that they declined at different rates—and some didn’t decline at all. When examined at 38 years of age, the study’s volunteers were found to have biological ages that ranged from under 30 to almost 60. This means that genetics aren’t the only factors influencing the aging process.
How to Age Gracefully
1. You Are What You Eat
When you eat food that nourishes your body, you’re able to support its optimal health. But if you’re eating too much processed food and not enough nutrient-dense food, your body doesn’t get the nutrients it needs and can become inflamed. Research shows that a diet that includes too much sugar and refined carbohydrates can age the body faster.
That’s not to say we’re suggesting you never eat anything fun again—it’s just all about balance. Fruits and vegetables like broccoli and blueberries are full of powerful antioxidants and vitamins to support the body’s essential processes.
One especially beneficial compound is called curcumin, which is what gives turmeric its golden color. Curcumin has antioxidant properties and supports normal inflammation responses in the body. Smarter Curcumin is formulated with black cumin seed oil and AstraGin® to help the body absorb and utilize curcumin more easily.
2. Keep On Moving
If you want to keep moving, it’s important to literally keep moving. Studies suggest that moderate exercise can help improve circulation and immune functions. Dr. Benjamin Epstein, a family medicine specialist with Piedmont Physicians, suggests participating in 30 minutes of aerobic exercise 5 days a week and 10 minutes of strength training 2 days a week.
For those adverse to exercise, physical activity doesn’t have to be difficult or exhausting work. Any physical activity that increases your breathing and heart rate can help improve your heart health. Swimming, bicycling, walking, and yoga are low-impact but beneficial activities.
3. Drink Responsibly
As we age, the moisture content of our skin decreases, and unfortunately alcohol exacerbates that process. Alcohol dehydrates the skin and can cause significant damage over time. It also permeates your cells, which can lead to detrimental effects elsewhere in the body.
If you want to indulge in a drink every once and a while, research suggests that red wine is the best choice because it contains antioxidants that can help protect the heart and discourage inflammation. If you’re having trouble deciding between white and red, red wine has higher level of antioxidants.
4. Get Your Beauty Sleep
Sleep is needed for the body to renew and replenish its physiological systems. When you’re not able to sleep properly, these processes can be interrupted. A study of 60 women found that that chronic poor sleep was connected to increased signs of aging, a weakened skin barrier, and diminished satisfaction with their appearance.
Smarter Sleep is formulated with Lactium®, a natural ingredient clinically proven to help encourage the reduction of stress to facilitate rest, and Melatonin to help lull you to dreamland.*
5. Support Your Skin
Sunscreen should be part of your everyday skin routine in order to prevent your skin from developing premature wrinkles from the sun. Conveniently, many moisturizers and foundations include sunscreen ingredients. Reach for brands with at least SPF 30 that block both UVA and UVB rays.
“What’s equally important for the best protection against aging – and skin cancer — is a broad spectrum sunscreen designed to protect you from both types of damaging ultraviolet rays,” said dermatologist Melissa Piliang.
While it can be tempting to skimp on sunscreen so that you can get a tan, your skin prematurely ages every time you do. Opt for applying self-tanner or getting a spray tan rather than lying out in the sun or using a tanning bed.
Supplementation can help support the skin’s texture and moisture as it begins to decrease over time. Smarter Skin Collagen is made with marine collagen, which is mostly Type 1 and the same type that makes up the majority of the collagen in your skin. The collagen used in Smarter Skin Collagen has been studied for its ability to improve skin hydration in humans.*
6. Take A Load Off
Stress has been linked to accelerated aging and an increase in insulin resistance, but regulating your emotions and focusing on self-control can help.
“This research reaffirms that stress is not just a feeling and will manifest physically. When we grow accustomed to constant levels of stress, we don’t understand how out of control it has gotten,” said Dr. Howard Pratt, behavioral health medical director at Community Health of South Florida Inc.
Although not all stress can be avoided, it’s important to look to for ways to decrease unnecessary stress.
7. No Smoking
One of the simplest ways to look and feel younger is to not smoke or vape. Smoking is not only linked to a litany of diseases and disorders, it accelerates aging in the skin by causing wrinkles and giving it a pale appearance.
“Smoking cessation is the single most important action that an individual can take regardless of age,” said Dr. Jyotir Jani, primary care physician with Piedmont Healthcare. “Smoking literally causes internal damage to your genetic code, as well as blood vessels and multiple organ systems.”
- WebMD. “12 Ways to Feel and Look Younger.” 2002.
- American Academy of Dermatology Association. “11 Ways to Reduce Premature Skin Aging.” 2021.
- Donvito, Tina. “15 Things You Didn’t Know Could Slow Down Aging” The Healthy. 2022.
- Sobel, Ashley MD. “Can a Glass of Wine Benefit Your Health?” Healthline. 2019.
- Oyetakin-White, P et al. “Does poor sleep quality affect skin ageing?.” Clinical and experimental dermatology vol. 40,1 (2015): 17-22. doi:10.1111/ced.12455
- Asserin, Jérome, Lati, Elian, Shioya, Toshiaki, and Prawitt, Janne. 2015/09/12. “The effect of oral collagen peptide supplementation on skin moisture and the dermal collagen network: Evidence from an ex vivo model and randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials.” Journal of cosmetic dermatology.
- Jagoo, Krystal. “Stress Is Aging You Faster—But It’s Possible to Slow Down the Biological Clock.” Very Well Mind. 2022.