Ageing is a natural process we all go through. But, like many, some of us would do anything to slow it down, from smearing on expensive skincare products to getting a nip tuck. However, sometimes the choices we make, solve a permanent problem with a temporary solution when instead, to fight ageing truly boils down to our overall lifestyle choices.
To better understand how ageing works, meet the telomere. Telomeres act as a protective casing at the ends of our DNA chromosomes. And each time a cell divides, a small part of a telomere is lost, which means that our telomeres shrink as we age. Further still, when a telomere becomes too weak, it also dies, sometimes becoming pro-inflammatory, which causes fast ageing and even a decline in our overall health.
However, there are many ways we can keep our telomeres flexible if you will, and combat ageing. Hitting the gym and setting a solid workout regimen a few days a week is a wonderful way to fight ageing, but sometimes it’s not enough. And, in case you’re wondering, neither is a skincare regimen.
Instead, some of the best ways to fight ageing are through everyday lifestyle changes, such as getting proper nutrition and engaging in social activities. Let’s explore some of the best lifestyle changes to promote anti-ageing and live your life to the fullest.
Get Proper Nutrition
A change in diet, increasing fibre intake, as well as omega-3 fatty acids, can fight ageing, as well as prolong your life as a whole. A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids, like those consisting of fish and other kinds of seafood, may assist in preserving telomeres, which shrink with age.
You should also focus on consuming moderate amounts of healthy fats, such as those from avocados, fish and nuts. Nuts are especially linked to a healthier and longer life. According to some studies, daily nut-eaters are less likely to die of cancer, heart disease or respiratory failures. And, of course, there are antioxidant nutrients you get from vitamin E, vitamin C and beta-carotene.
In general, proper nutrition can help you resist chronic diseases like cancer, as well as ones like diabetes or heart disease.
It’s important to understand that removing certain things from your diet can also fight the ageing process–for instance, alcohol and nicotine. Excessive alcohol consumption is harmful to our ageing process, so only drink in moderation. And smoking also breaks down our collagen and elastin, causing sagging skin.
Refined sugars are also known to cause energy crashes and induce high stress (which we’ll cover next). Can you have sweets? Absolutely! But train yourself to eat nutritiously, and your body will thank you for it.
Reduce Your Stressors
Stressors play a significant role in our ageing process. The more stressed we are, the faster our cells and telomeres decay. So, find a hobby or creative outlet that helps you decompress and turns your brain off from everyday worries or even try a stress detox. Chronic stress or emotional stress can cause rapid ageing, not to mention it triggers an onslaught of other health issues.
Available are countless ways to reduce stress. For example, you can incorporate yoga or meditation into your routine. Meditation, especially, has been extensively researched and found to reduce stress, control anxiety levels and even stave off memory loss in older adults.
Another way you can reduce stress is by finding a creative outlet and especially mindfulness-based art therapy like meditation painting. Whether you pick up and learn a new instrument or try diamond art to boost your brain and relieve stress, discover a creative activity you enjoy.
Get Good Sleep
Sleep is crucial to combat ageing. For starters, studies show that insomnia and inadequate sleep can disrupt cognitive function. But when it comes to ageing, poor sleep habits and sleep deprivation can also cause your skin to age. We all experience baggy eyes and crow’s feet, but a lack of sleep does more than you realize. It not only causes fine lines and wrinkles but causes uneven pigmentation and reduces our skin’s elasticity. Getting good sleep also allows our brains to rest, reset and recover from sunburns and environmental toxins we’re exposed to every day.
It’s recommended that the average adult needs between seven and eight hours of sleep each night. But if you have trouble falling asleep in the first place, here are some tips that help. Getting adequate exercise is one way to force your body into a deeper sleep, but unplugging is another.
Put down your phone and handheld devices! They not only block your circadian rhythm and suppress the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin, but they also induce stress, causing you to worry about work, finances or relationships. Also, avoid falling asleep to a bright blue television screen (like those late-night talk show hosts). Instead, engage your brain and try to read a book or magazine.
Seek Out Social Support
It’s important to know that your friends, family and loved ones are always there for you. They can offer the social support you need to fight anti-ageing in several ways. At the very least, they offer a shoulder to lean on during times of stress.
However, as preliminary research suggests, social isolation does indeed play a significant role. It not only can trigger chronic and emotional stress, but reduces telomere lengths and, subsequently, a shortened life span. In short, reaching out and finding social support–through any means–can improve your life and fight ageing.
And there are various ways you can find a social circle. You can join a book club or sign up for a class to learn a new skill (which is also beneficial and keeps your brain active), as well as engage through social media outlets like Facebook or any number of online forums or groups.
Ready to Change Your Lifestyle to Reduce Ageing?
If you are ready to fight ageing, try not to change your lifestyle all at once. Instead, change one or two aspects and incorporate them slowly. Take it a step at a time to set your body and mind on the right path to fight the ageing process.