Aging is a natural part of life— but getting old doesn’t have to be. By taking a proactive approach to your health and setting yourself up for success, you can age healthily. In doing so, you create an opportunity for improved longevity and high quality of life.
Here are nine fantastic healthy aging tips for women that you can start today.
Protect Yourself from the Sun
Protecting yourself from the sun promotes healthy aging in two ways. First and foremost, using an SPF sunscreen, wearing hats, and seeking shade will protect you from developing skin cancer. Prolonged exposure to the sun directly correlates with the development of deadly (and preventable) cancers.
Sun protection will also prevent the signs of aging by reducing skin damage. Wearing sunscreen can help prevent wrinkles, sun spots, and discoloration as you age. Don’t forget to put sunscreen on your hands as well!
Understand the Nutrition Basics
Yo-yo dieting and inconsistent eating can cause a plethora of issues as you age. Take the time to work with a coach and read reliable research about healthy nutrition. Use this information to instill sustainable habits that set the tone for your aging journey.
Take a holistic approach to nutrition and dive into the science regarding macronutrients, hydration, lean protein, and minimally-processed foods. Develop label-reading skills and find ways to overcome guilt to enjoy indulgences.
Use Supplements to Fill the Gaps
Even with a well-balanced diet, some nutrients remain elusive. Using supplements can help fill gaps in nutrition to ensure your body gets what it needs to age healthily.
Some common supplements for women include:
- Calcium – women are more susceptible to diminished bone density with age. A calcium supplement can help maintain bone density, preventing fall-related injuries.
- Omega-3s – these fatty acids reduce inflammation and promote cognitive function. You can get Omega-3s in enriched eggs or Krill Oil supplements.
- Vitamin B12 – a vitamin B12 deficiency is common for aging women and people who eat a plant-based diet. This vitamin can help fill the gap left in a modern diet.
It’s also worth taking a high-quality multivitamin to fill general nutrition gaps.
Make Time to Move
Joining a gym or engaging in the latest fitness craze is not something you absolutely have to do to get exercise. Find an exercise regime that speaks to you and make it a habit. Low-impact activities like daily walks and yoga can get your blood flowing and promote long-term health.
It’s also worth adding resistance training to your schedule to maintain muscle mass, prevent bone density loss, and maintain a healthy metabolism. Resistance exercises can include bodyweight exercises, weights, or resistance bands.
While it’s reasonable to experience stressful situations throughout your life, chronic stress can wreak havoc on your body. The stress hormone, cortisol, can cause sleep disruptions, skin problems, weight gain, and even lead to the development of diseases.
The key to healthy aging is learning how to cope with stress. Put stress management protocols in place to help navigate difficult situations and process your emotions accordingly. Using mindfulness practices like journaling and meditation can help you process your feelings, while self-care practices can help you relax and unwind.
Use Proactive Wellness Screenings
Too many women ignore their options for proactive health. The risk for debilitating health issues and diseases increases as we age, even with a healthy lifestyle. Go to your annual well-woman checks and talk to your doctor about age-related screenings. Standard screens for aging women include:
- Pap smears and pelvic exams
- Colon cancer screening
- Thyroid checks
It’s especially important to take a proactive approach to your health if you have a family history of chronic diseases. Early screening can be the difference between life and death when it comes to disease treatment. Don’t let inconvenience or dislike of medical procedures be a death sentence.
Remove Household Toxins
As time goes by, consumers are becoming more aware of the impacts of toxins within their homes. These toxic materials are often related to cosmetics and cleaning supplies. Cosmetics, in particular, often have numerous chemicals that impact women’s health.
Start by replacing your cosmetic with natural and organic alternatives. Some of the critical offenders to focus on include deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, and face cream. Unfortunately, the FDA doesn’t regulate the ingredients in consumer cosmetics, so becoming a label-reader is a valuable skill. Watch out for some of the top offenders, including:
- polyethylene glycol
- propylene glycol
- butylene glycol
- sodium lauryl sulfate
Then shift the focus to natural cleaning supplies. Never underestimate the power of hot water and vinegar when cleaning. Create your own cleaning supplies using Castille soap and essential oils or buy from sustainable, natural-based cleaning supply companies.
Eliminate Toxic Relationships
Like toxins in our homes, toxic relationships break people down in other ways. Setting boundaries and removing toxic relationships from your life is an essential step in the healthy aging process. Don’t be afraid to confront people who treat you poorly or tackle longstanding resentments. Permit yourself to forgive people— even when they don’t apologize— and let go.
Take a deep dive into your sense of obligation when it comes to interpersonal relationships. While you may feel that you need to maintain a relationship with certain family members, you can set limits that protect your mental health.
Practice Sleep Hygiene
Making sure you get regular sleep is one of the most useful things you can do for your body. This is when your body does its best work. However, hormonal changes and the aches and pains associated with aging can sometimes make sleep challenging.
Put good sleep hygiene habits in place to give your body the rest it needs. Create a positive sleep environment that’s free of distractions and intrusive lights or sounds. Monitor your caffeine intake and reduce screen time in the evenings to protect your circadian rhythm. If there’s one thing you’re willing to splurge on in your life, make it a high-quality mattress.
With these nine tips, you can promote happy, healthy aging that nourishes your body and mind.