September is Healthy Aging Month

Healthy Aging Month

The month of September is observed as Healthy Aging Month. It was created by Carolyn Worthington, editor-in-chief of Healthy Aging® Magazine and executive director of Healthy Aging to draw attention to the positive aspects of growing older. Healthy Aging Month aims to raise awareness about the importance of following a healthy lifestyle as you age.

It’s a fact that as we age, our mind and physical appearance change. But thinking that you are getting older and can’t do anything like before is not a healthy thing. The major goal behind this annual health observance is to overcome such insecurities. It targets those who are 45-plus to provide inspiration about the aspects that can positively impact their physical, social, financial and mental wellness.

So how can we ensure healthy aging? The answer is: by adopting a healthy lifestyle.

By following a healthy lifestyle, you can not only deal with aging changes but also prevent health problems and make the most of your life. From improving your diet and levels of physical activity to getting health screenings and managing risk factors for disease, there are many things you can do to.

Here are some tips for re-inventing yourself this Healthy Aging Month:

  • Stay positive: Maintain a positive attitude and ditch all the negativity. Surround yourself with energetic, positive people of all ages and do things which will make you happier. It will make you feel positive and go a long way towards feeling better about yourself.
  • Stay active: Staying fit and active is necessary at all ages, but older adults need to consider this very seriously. They have to choose right kinds of physical activities that they can do comfortably. Walking is one of the best exercises for seniors – it not only keeps you fit, but also increases flexibility, boosts your mood and safeguards your health. Walk for at least 15 minutes every day. With the advisory to stay indoors due to COVID-19, you could sign up for paid or free online classes or programs to stay active. You could choose from yoga, Pilates, weightlifting, tai chi, and a variety of active older adult classes.
  • Stay Social: Don’t lead a sedentary lifestyle that lacks the interaction with friends and family as it can lead to depression and many other health issues. Make an effort to get in touch with your old friends or make new friends. Socialize, even if it’s virtually.
  • Have regular eye exams: Aging is associated with loss of vision, depending on family history, health and certain eye diseases. However, eye diseases don’t usually have any early symptoms, but can be detected during an eye evaluation. Early detection and treatment are the key to saving your sight. So, don’t miss your regular eye exam. Online options are available, but you may have to see your physician if you need comprehensive tests.
  • Maintain good oral health: One of the essential elements of healthy aging is to maintain good oral health. Get a regular dental exam to identify and treat problems before they get worse. Brush your teeth twice a day, floss once a day, and quit smoking.
  • Get regular health check-ups: It’s very important to get regular check-ups and yearly physicals, because many diseases can be effectively treated when caught early. Never ignore symptoms. If you’re not feeling well, don’t “wait for it to go away” – contact your doctor, even if you feel it’s not a serious ailment. Always follow what your doctor recommends in taking medications and vitamins/supplements.
  • Maintain a healthy diet: For healthy aging and to maintain a healthy weight, good nutrition is a must. Eat a lot of fruit, veggies, healthy proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats. The United States Department of Agriculture emphasizes the need for more vegetables and fruits in the American diet, and recommends five a day. Avoid excessive processed foods and cut down on sugar and salt. Importantly, stay hydrated by drinking a lot of water, at least 6-8 glasses per day.
  • Quit smoking: If you smoke cigarettes, quit. Quitting smoking is one of the most important things that you can do for your health. It can lower your risk of getting different types of cancer, certain lung diseases, and heart disease.

September is considered to be a perfect time to celebrate this observance, because it’s the time when many people think about getting started on new tasks after the summer. So, if you are looking to reinvent yourself, this is the ideal time to start!

12 Natural Ways to Prevent Premature Aging of Your Skin

Premature Aging

Many people look older than they really are. With today’s hectic lifestyles, we really don’t get time to take care of our skin even if we want to. The environment and lifestyle habits can cause premature aging. To maintain the skin’s youthful appearance and prevent premature aging, you have to incorporate healthy practices in your daily life. Taking care of your skin can prevent premature aging and help you look more youthful and confident.

UV radiation plays a major role in premature aging of your skin. Using sunscreen when stepping out can protect your skin from sun’s rays without much effort. Likewise, here are some other tips to slow down the effects of aging on your skin:

  • Start your day with exercise: Start our day with exercise or exercise whenever you get time. Studies say that exercise
    • can improve blood circulation and boost the immune system
    • makes your heart rate goes up and deliverd oxygen and nutrients to the skin which keeps the skin healthy
    • promotes collagen production, which keeps your skin from sagging and maintains its youthful look
    • promotes growth of new skin cells which keeps the skin glowing
  • Follow a well-balanced diet: Eat the right food. Make sure your diet includes fresh fruit and vegetables. This can slow down skin aging. Always try to eat fresh food. It is very important to avoid foods that contain lots of sugar or other refined carbohydrates because this can accelerate aging. Improve the appearance of your skin by including the following foods in your diet:
    • Papaya
    • Blueberries
    • Avocado
    • Nuts
    • Watercress
    • Red bell pepper
    • Spinach
  • Cleanse your skin: Gently scrub your skin with a good scrub to remove dead skin cells and dirt. Be careful while scrubbing – your movements should be light, small, circular strokes around your face. Always rinse with lukewarm water. Avoid using hot water as it will irritate exfoliated skin.
  • Avoid frequent hot showers: Hot showers are good for muscle relaxation. But it has some downsides. Having hot showers can dry out and irritate your skin. It can damage the keratin cells that are located on the outer most layer of the skin – the epidermis. This will disrupt the skin’s natural balance of moisture. It can also worsen skin conditions like eczema, and increase BP. So, avoid bathing in hot water frequently.
  • Avoid using skin care products that can irritate the skin: Buy skin care products to suit your skin type. Stay away from any product that can irritate your skin. Do a patch test on your palm and can wait for 24 hrs or 48 hrs to find whether any irritation occurs. Consider buying products that are free from the following chemicals:
    • Parabens
    • Sulfates
    • Phthalates
    • Formaldehyde
    • Fragrance
    • Alcohols
    • Phenoxyethanol
    • PEG (Polyethylene glycols)
  • Apply sun protection when you go out: It is estimated that 90% of skin aging occurs due to sun’s UV radiation. Over exposure to sun damages the fibers in the skin called elastin. When these fibers breakdown, your skin starts to sag, stretch which can cause wrinkles and lose the ability to go back into place after stretching. It can cause dryness, itching etc. Protect yourself from sun by seeking shade, cover up with clothing, using sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher). If it is possible, try all the natural ways to avoid over exposure to sun.

    You should use sunscreen throughout the year. UV rays are strong enough all the year round and can cause wrinkles, premature aging and skin damage. Protect yourself from sun depending on your outdoor activities. Don’t forget to drink sufficient water when you feel dehydrated due to the heat.

  • Quit smoking: Smoking triggers and accelerates the aging process. Nicotine will narrow the blood vessels in the outermost layers of your skin. This reduces blood flow and the skin will not get the needed oxygen and important nutrients, such as Vitamin A. This can cause wrinkles, affect collagen production, and lead to a dull and sallow complexion.
  • Avoid repetitive facial expressions: The underlying muscles contract when you make certain facial expressions. Repeating these expressions for many years will cause permanent lines to form. If you wear sunglasses, you can reduce lines caused by squinting.
  • Reduce alcohol consumption: Dr. Spizuoco, a board-certified dermatologist and dermatopathologist, points out that alcohol dilates the pores of the skin and it leads to blackheads and whiteheads. In the long term, this ages the skin and cause permanent scarring. It also impairs sleep. It decreases normal cellular turnover and leads to an unhealthy and dull complexion.
  • Drink required amount of water: Water is essential to maintain optimal skin moisture. It delivers vital nutrients to skin cells and helps replenish the skin tissue and also improve its elasticity. As a result, it delays the aging process like wrinkles and fine lines.
  • Avoid stress: Stress hormones break down collagen and elastin. Research shows that chronic stress can also increase inflammation and accelerates the signs of aging like wrinkles, sagging, etc.
  • Wash your face twice a day and after sweating heavily: This one of the important skin care rules that you should never break. Dirt, oil, bodily fluids will accumulate in the body and face when you sweat and clogs the pores. According to American Academy of Dermatology, sweat can irritate your skin, which could eventually leads to wrinkles. So, make sure you wash your face after sweating.

The majority of the factors that cause premature aging are caused by habits. So, it’s up to you to decide whether to stay youthful and confident or not. Cultivate and maintain healthy habits to preserve your skin. If aging still bothers you, there are a slew of new non-invasive and minimally-invasive facelift procedures that can help you achieve a youthful appearance.

How to slow the facial aging process starting in your 30s

Facial Aging

Starting from age 30, people start worrying about the changes that appears in their face. Sun damage, genetics, lifestyle and others factors can wreak havoc on your skin and trigger facial aging. The good news is that adopting certain beauty rules when you hit your 30s can slow down the aging process.

Usually, the first visible signs of aging are fine lines, wrinkles, folds and sagging due to collagen loss. Collagen is the protein that gives your skin its shape. It helps your skin bounce back and stay plump. Aging, smoking, stress and sun damage can break down the skin’s collagen and elastin and lead to the loss of that youthful appearance over time.

Here are the main causes of facial wrinkles and sagging:

  • Decrease in collagen production due to natural aging, which leads to loss of elasticity, wrinkles and sagging.
  • Using bad quality cosmetics which contain harmful chemicals can cause wrinkles.
  • Weight loss can cause sagging in the face.
  • An unhealthy diet which does not include enough proteins, vitamins, iron and calcium can lead to unhealthy skin.
  • Stress can lead to break down of collagen and formation of wrinkles.
  • The sun’s UV rays can cause break down of collagen at a higher rate than normal aging.
  • Lack of sleep can cause sagging – the skin makes new collagen when you sleep.
  • Not drinking enough water – lack of hydration can cause wrinkles, fine lines, sagging etc.

You cannot stop the natural aging process, but you can slow it down with the right care. Here are some tips to keep your skin looking fresh and youthful:

  • Use sun protection and moisturizer: During summer and winter, use sun protection whenever you go out. Sunscreen can protect you from harmful UV rays of sun. Don’t forget to use moisturizer according to your skin type and climate.
  • Use collagen beauty products: Using collagen content products can help you with wrinkles and sagging.
  • Try home remedies
    • Egg white mask – Firms the skin: Apply the white of 2 eggs on your face and wash it with cold water after 20 minutes.
    • Milk and cucumber mask – Tightens the skin: Take 2 tablespoons of grated cucumber and mix with 2 tablespoons of milk. Apply, leave the mask on your face for 30 minutes, and then wash off with cold water.
  • Massage

    Doing facial massages 2-3 times a week can increase blood circulation, relax facial muscles, reduce stress, decreases puffiness, fine lines, wrinkles and provide a healthy glow to the skin. Prepare your skin before massaging your face:

    • Wash your face with lukewarm water and pat dry, after that moisture your skin with suitable oil for your skin.
    • Steam your face to soften the pores and this will help oil to penetrate into your skin.
    • Use your fingers to gently massage your face in circular motion.
    • You can also use skin care gadgets for massaging like a metal roller or jade roller if you are comfortable.

    Massage your forehead, eye area, cheeks, area around the mouth, the chin, and neck using the right techniques.

    Daily habits that can help prevent wrinkles and sagging:

    • Exfoliate once a week to get rid of dead skin and stimulate blood circulation.
    • Stay hydrated always skin.
    • Do facial exercises through movements and expressions.
    • Consume Vitamin C rich foods such as oranges, red peppers, kale, brussels sprouts, and strawberries to increase the levels of hyaluronic acid that helps to retain water to keep your tissues well lubricated and moist and to increase the levels of collagen.
    • Reduce sugar consumption as eating too much sugar reduces the collagen production.

If you take care of yourself, you can slow down the signs of facial aging. The above-mentioned strategies are a good way to start. Maintain consistency with these habits to win the war against wrinkles and other signs of aging.

Top 10 anti-aging foods for glowing, younger looking skin

anti-aging foods

When you eat good food, your body will show its appreciation through your skin. Aging and environmental factors take a toll on our skin. Many women depend on countless beauty products like lotions, creams, etc., to fight aging, but it’s actually what you eat that really matters when it comes to preserving the quality of your skin. Here are some top anti-aging foods with high vitamin content and antioxidant properties that can help you maintain hydrated, softer and beautiful skin.

  • Avocado: This fruit contains natural oils that penetrate into the skin to nourish, hydrate and soften it. It is rich in vitamins A, B, C, E and K and antioxidants. This property helps reduce wrinkles and fine lines and counteract premature aging, and also provide immunity against stress and other environmental factors.
  • Dark chocolate: The antioxidants present in dark chocolate can make your skin smoother and lessen redness caused by sun exposure. Flavonoids in dark chocolate protect your skin from harmful UV rays, prevent sunburn and conditions like skin cancer.
  • Broccoli: This anti-inflammatory food contains vitamins C and K and minerals like zinc which is very important for skin health. It also contains lutein which protects the skin from oxidative damage and cause it to become dry and wrinkled.
  • Carrots: Carrots contain beta carotene which the body converts into vitamin A, which is very important for healthy skin. Eating carrots can reduce wrinkles and smile lines. Carrots are also rich in vitamin C that boosts collagen production and slows the aging process.
  • Papaya: Rich in vitamin A, papaya enhances skin health by removing dead skin cells and inactive proteins. It can help the body to produce melanin (the pigment that gives colour to the skin, hair and eyes), which provides protection against skin damage from the sun. Skincare experts recommend a papaya-honey mask for glowing skin.
  • Tomatoes: They are rich in antioxidant properties, and when cooked, they have an even higher content of a unique antioxidant called lycopene that protects the skin from sun damage. Tomatoes contain vitamin C, which promotes wound healing, soothes skin inflammation, removes dead skin cells, and fights cellular damage.
  • Banana: Bananas contain several vitamins and minerals, including potassium, vitamin B6 and C, which work to tighten the skin and prevent wrinkling and fine lines from forming. This fruit also has natural moisturizing properties.
  • Blueberries: Blueberries are a powerful antioxidant. They contain vitamin C and protects the skin from premature aging by fighting against skin damaging elements like stress, pollution and free radicals.
  • Pineapple: This fruit is a storehouse of vitamin C, bromelain and antioxidants, which are very beneficial to prevent acne and also treat fine lines, uneven skin tone, etc. Bromelain helps soften the skin and protects against skin inflammation and swelling. Lisa Hayim, the creator of beauty blog The Well Necessities, explained to Redbook: “Pineapple is rich in a mineral called manganese, which activates the enzyme prolidase. It provides the amino acid proline for the formation of collagen in skin, which helps in skin strengthening and elasticity” (www.us.hola.com).
  • Watermelon: This is a perfect option to keep your skin hydrated. It contains lycopene ,a phytochemical known for protecting skin from UV rays, and vitamins A and C which help slow down the aging process.

Everything that affects our body is reflected through our skin in a good or bad way. This means that not only eating, but also mental health can affect our skin health. For instance, the skin can reflect our emotions like anxiety, depression, etc. So, it is very important to not only consider our diet but also our mental health to maintain a beautiful healthy younger looking skin. Focus on improving your diet first, stay hydrated always, avoid over exposure to sunlight, and stay happy and motivated as well. These are the key to achieving beautiful, healthy, glowing skin.

10 Tips to Build Confidence as You Age

Build Confidence Aging brings difficult milestones and one of these is losing your confidence. As you become older, your body changes and you may face life-altering events, like retirement, health issues, and loss of loved ones, which consequently can impact your self-esteem and confidence. Harvard Health cites a study which suggests that “a person’s level of confidence and self-esteem typically follows a bell curve. It gradually rises during the late teen years, peaks during middle age, and tends to decline after age 60”.

Boosting self-esteem can lead to living longer safely on your own and an overall greater feeling of happiness and well-being. Your goal should be focused on regaining confidence by reminding yourself of your capabilities, addressing the problems, and working around these problems. Here are ten tips that can help build or restore your confidence and self-esteem as you age:

  • Stay social: One of the best ways to remain confident and happy is to stay social. Socialize by engaging in activities like playing golf, getting together with friend and family for dinner, and so on. Having those you care about around you and engaging with them can boost your confidence.
  • Dress well and look good: When you dress well and look good, you always feel good. Take pride in your appearance, practice good hygiene, and dress well. If you want to try out new looks, don’t hesitate. Doing so could give you a kind of satisfaction and improve your confidence.
  • Volunteering: A great way to increase your self-esteem is to help others. Doing good deeds will make you feel proud of yourself.
  • Exercise: Regular exercise is beneficial for both physical and mental health. It will help build confidence in your ability to be active. Set small challenges with mini goals that you can realistically complete.
  • Engage in hobbies you love: Think about the hobbies you enjoy and set up activities around these hobbies.
  • Challenge limiting self-talk: According to a blog from SIXTY+ME, “Low self-esteem is often the result of limiting self-talk- that dialogue in our heads that consistently puts us down. This self-talk may appear when we look in the mirror.” In many ways, negative self-talk can be more powerful than insults or negative comments from friends and colleagues because we are far more likely to believe our own thoughts than others. If negative thoughts about your appearance or age surface, pay attention to situations that trigger them. This will help you find ways to challenge each specific thought through logic or reasoning.
  • Healthy binging: You might feel better about yourself when you eat healthy and exercise.
  • Pursue a new passion: A great way to gain confidence is through learning new things. Learning is a powerful activity as it can create new pathways in the brain, forging fresh memories and circuitry (https://sixtyandme.com). You can learn to paint, play an instrument, study a foreign language, start dance lessons or writing classes or anything that makes you happy. All these can help you build self-confidence and will also help you to master a new skill.
  • Stay connected:Socializing might become a challenge as you age as you might feel uneasy to interact or communicate with people, especially if you are less confident. Staying connected can help you overcome this problem. According to Harvard Health, studies show that personal connections help reduce the risks for depression and anxiety often associated with feelings of low self-esteem.
  • Seek help: If you feel something is affecting your confidence, then you can ask for a group therapy or one-on-counseling to work on it. Never be afraid to seek professional help, especially when you need it very badly.

Confidence and self-esteem doesn’t have to lessen while you age. Eliminate harmful stereotypes and thoughts and stay engaged.

 

Four Healthy Aging Tips for Women [infographic]

Aging causes a variety of health challenges, especially in women. It’s important to maintain a level of wellness in all dimensions: physically, spiritually and mentally to overcome these challenges. A survey by the National Council on Aging (NCOA) has found that many women age 44 and older have numerous chronic conditions. Most chronic conditions are likely to lead to missed work. The good news is that proper nutrition and lifestyle habits can help older adults improve health and overall quality of life.

Check out the infographic below

Healthy Aging Tips for Women

 

9 Tips to Keep Aging Eyes Healthy

9 Tips to Keep Aging Eyes Healthy
People usually experience changes to vision and face concerns about eye health as they age. Age-related eye diseases such as macular degeneration and cataracts can cause impaired vision and blindness. Making certain lifestyle changes and maintaining good nutrition can delay or prevent certain eye problems. Here are 9 tips to keep your eyes healthy as you age:

  • Eat a balanced diet: One of the easiest ways for seniors to maintain their eye health is by maintaining a nutritious diet. Choose foods that are rich in antioxidants, like Vitamins A and C; leafy, green vegetables and fish. Many foods – especially fatty fish, such as salmon – contain essential omega-3 fatty acids that contribute to healthy eyes. There are also varieties of options that provide vitamins and nutrients that help with eye health such as kale, carrots, eggs, sweet potatoes, oranges and almonds are great sources. A balanced diet also helps keep you maintain a healthy weight, which can lowers your risk of obesity and related diseases such as type 2 diabetes, the leading cause of blindness in adults.
  • Exercise: Physical activity improves blood circulation, which boosts oxygen levels to the eyes and helps remove toxins. Following a physician-recommended exercise plan has benefits for the eyes and also improves physical fitness.
  • Stop Smoking: According to National Eye Institute, research has linked smoking to an increased risk of developing age-related macular degeneration, cataract, and optic nerve damage, all of which can lead to blindness. So quit smoking.
  • Take care to avoid eye injury: Eye injuries can have a huge impact on long-term eye and vision health. Wear protective eyewear or goggles when appropriate, such as when exposed to dust, flying particles or objects. Take care when using chemicals and take steps to eliminate fall hazards that can injure your eyes and body.
  • Smart computer use: Using computer or phone screen for too long can cause:
    • Eyestrain
    • Blurry vision
    • Trouble focusing at a distance
    • Dry eyes
    • Headaches

Computer screens can be more harmful to aging eyes, so older adults should be smarter while using computers or phones. Those who use a computer for long periods at a stretch should make sure that their desk has good lighting, take regular breaks, blink more often, and use corrective eyewear.

  • Sunglasses: Wear sunglasses that block ultraviolet (UV) radiation and a hat with a wide brim when you are outdoors.
  • Get a good sleep: Getting a good night’s rest is very important for eye health. Sleep is beneficial for overall health, well-being, and quality of life.
  • Keep a check on health issues: It’s very common that older adults can have various health issues that affect their vision health. Understand how physical conditions and medications can impact the eyes. Your doctor may recommend more frequent eye exams to catch any issues early.
  • Get regular vision screenings: Everyone needs a regular eye exam. As changes to vision and eye health can happen rapidly for older adults, they should get a vision test done once a year.

Once you hit the fifties make sure you get a vision test done once a year and follow your doctor’s recommendations on treatment plans and vision health.

Aging Gracefully: Importance of Drinking Lots of Water

importance-of-drinking-lots-of-waterAging is a natural process and you can’t prevent its happening, but with proper planning and care you can age gracefully. In fact, you can experience more happiness, more success and get even better with age and experience. Taking care of your mind, body, and health is important for graceful aging and there are many strategies that can help older adults improve their health and overall quality of life. One such strategy is hydrating your body with proper water intake.

So, how does water intake ensure aging gracefully?

Hydration is vital for people of any age, especially for senior people, as they often lose their appetite for water with aging. Our bodies run on water, that is, our bodies are 50-60% water, so it’s important to stay hydrated. Most nutritionists recommend drinking at least half your weight in ounces of water a day. For example, a 150-pound person should drink at least 75 ounces of water a day.

Here are a few reasons why seniors need to stay hydrated:

  • Avoid dehydration: As mentioned before, the sensation of thirst reduces as you age, which means seniors are less likely to realize when they’re thirsty. Seniors face an increased risk of dehydration and have to stay extra vigilant about their water intake. With proper water intake, seniors can avoid dehydration and also reduce their thirst.
  • Improves metabolism: It is important for seniors to stay vigilant about hydration because they metabolize water differently from younger individuals. While younger adults have the ability to regulate water balance, seniors often compromise on their water turnover.
  • Enhances brain function: As the body and brain are mainly comprised of water, staying hydrated is important for mental function. Cognitive function is enhanced when the brain cells receive the appropriate amount of hydration.
  • Boosts physical and mental health: As we age, our cognitive abilities slow down and even mild dehydration can affect the brain’s ability to function to its full potential. Drinking enough water can improve our endurance levels, lower the heart rate and speed up the recovery process of physical activity.
  • Keeps up urinary health: Some elderly people face urinary incontinence, which might lead them to drink less water. But drinking less water when you have this condition can actually exacerbate the problem. Seniors with urinary incontinence should maintain healthy drinking habits, as a reduction in fluid intake can cause even more problems such as urinary tract infections.
  • Aids in better digestion: Some seniors who might not drink adequate water can end up with constipation or digestive discomfort. In such cases, they should always make sure to drink their daily dose of water, as dehydration is often linked to constipation. Regular hydration and fiber consumption can help seniors afflicted with constipation. Moreover, hydration is the key to digestive health.
  • Helps manage kidney health: Low water intake increases the risk for kidney stones, bladder and colon cancers, and other health issues. As seniors age, kidney function often diminishes, which leads to a decrease in the body’s ability to concentrate urine. To boost renal ability, seniors should drink water throughout the day, even when they don’t feel thirsty.

According to an article in The Villager Newspaper, water plays many key roles in the body, besides its contributions towards improving our health — it helps proteins to fold (from amino acid chains into their functional structures), helps make enzymes (the catalysts for all biochemical reactions), and helps the body cells respond to environmental stimuli.  Without enough H2O, none of these systems can remain healthy.

Below are some suggestions to make it a habit to drink sufficient water:

  • Try to consume liquids throughout the day.
  • Take a glass of water to bed each night and drink it down before leaving the bedroom in the morning. Make it a habit.
  • Take sips from a glass of water, milk, or juice between bites during meals.
  • If don’t want to drink plain water every time, add a slice of lemon, mint sprig, or a couple of drops of essential oils (that are safe to ingest) to your water, in a glass or stainless-steel container.
  • If you need to take a pill, drink a full glass of water.
  • Eating hydrating foods such as watermelon, strawberries, cucumbers, peaches, and oranges can also help in getting enough fluids into your body.
  • Have a glass of water before you exercise or go outside to garden or walk, especially on a hot day.

Drinking water regularly helps keep everything flowing and working in our system. Water flushes out toxins, aids in digestion, helps us sleep better, focus better, and even lose weight. Water also helps us avoid dry, flaky skin and fine lines, which let’s face it, don’t help us look any younger.

Strengthen Your Feet to Age Gracefully

Feet are the workhorses of our bodies and the foundation of our physical wellness, particularly as we age. At the same time, the feet are also the most neglected part of our body. When your feet is hurt or prematurely aging or aren’t functioning properly, it can affect your posture, fitness, and even your entire life. That is, the discomfort gradually moves up the body, eventually stiffening and restricting mobility in the knees, hips and even the lower back. So, if you don’t address the problem early, it can cause a gradual deterioration of your entire posture and gait as you age, which is tough to recover from at that period.

Strengthen Your FeetA 2017 study linked toe flexor strength to blood pressure, sleep quality and even body composition. Another even linked poor toe strength to type 2 diabetes (of course, this doesn’t indicate causation) (https://www.care2.com).

Some of the most common factors that harm our feet as we age include:

  • Injury and exposure to fungus and bacteria
  • Wear and tear (sports, work-related stresses)
  • Systemic disease (diabetes, peripheral artery disease)
  • Poorly constructed footwear (flip-flops)
  • Arthritis and loose ligaments
  • Tight connective tissue
  • Excessively dry skin
  • Reduced fat padding on the bottoms of the feet

Modern-day activity and poor footwear are the most common causes of premature ageing of the foot. Other factors include genetic foot posture disposition, body weight, lack of essential dietary nutrients and too much, or too little, weight-bearing exercises.

So, for healthy and graceful aging, make sure that you strengthen your feet. For that, we should take special care of them throughout our life.

  • Always follow some basic exercises:
    • Make sure to exercise your feet. Exercising your feet on a regular basis not only improves overall foot health, but can also reduce your risk for injury.
    • Walking is the best overall foot exercise as it improves your cardiovascular health and can help your circulation, muscle tone, and mood.
    • Other than walking, you can also perform flexibility and resistance exercises to keep your feet healthy.
  • Give your feet some love and care:
    • Give a good massage to your feet. Use a massage ball to roll along the arch and toes to work out all the nooks and crannies of your feet.
    • Indulge in a Relaxing Foot Soak by simply adding 1/2 cup Epsom salt or a few drops of essential oils to a gallon of warm water. Soak your feet for 10-15 minutes, then dry gently with a fluffy towel. Be sure to dry especially well between your toes.
  • Choose the right footwear
    • Be cautious when you are choosing or buying footwear, because fashionable high heels and pointy-toed shoes result can result in corns, bunions, curled toes or other painful problems.
    • The American Podiatric Association advises avoiding high heels (nothing higher than 2 inches)
    • Be smart with your footwear and if you can, opt for shoes with plenty of toe room (width-wise), a low heel and minimal cushioning. This will help get your feet reacquainted to the ground and strengthen them over time.
    • Replace or repair your footwear before the wear and tear starts to show.
  • Take care of your general health and fitness
    • Keep your feet clean. Wash your feet with soap and water every day and dry them well.
    • Inspect your feet every day, particularly if you are diabetic or have problems with circulation.
    • Moisturize your feet daily to avoid cracking.
    • Wear clean, moisture-wicking socks and change them daily.
    • If you are heavy, lose weight and keep your body in optimal shape by maintaining a healthy bodyweight, eating a well-balanced diet, undertaking regular weight-bearing exercise of more than 30 minutes per day and seeking specialist medical opinion for assessment of ongoing pain or injury.
    • Stop smoking.
    • If you experience an ingrown toenail, corn, or callus, do see a doctor. Never perform do-it-your-self foot surgery.
    • Get a podiatric examination once a year.

Stop neglecting your feet and start taking care of them now, so that your feet will continue to serve you well into old age—significantly boosting your quality of life.

Five Healthy Aging Tips for Women

Skin ConcernsAging brings a variety of health challenges, especially in women. The right attitude and the right tools can help women meet their aging challenges. A survey by the National Council on Aging (NCOA) has found that many women age 44 and older have numerous chronic conditions, that most of them are likely to miss work due to health, and that nearly one-third have delayed health care in recession. The report recommends that learning how to eat better and exercise in realistic ways would go a long way in helping women improve health and manage conditions.

Here are five healthy aging tips for women:

Maintain a healthy diet

A healthy, balanced diet is critical to reduce risk for major health problems such as heart disease, cancer, stroke, bone loss, anemia and diabetes. It is important to choose right foods, because older adults can prone to food borne illness and food poisoning. Include high-fiber fruits, veggies and whole grains in your diet, and small amount of lean protein at each meal to maintain muscle mass and repair cells. Ensure the recommended servings where protein is concerned as excessive protein intake increases risk of cancer and heart disease. Also limit consumption of red meat, as it can increase the risk of cancer and other diseases.

The FDA has recommended four basic food safety – Clean (wash hands and surfaces often), Separate (don’t cross-contaminate), Cook (cook to safe temperatures), and Chill (refrigerate promptly). Don’t buy food displayed in unsafe or unclean conditions and when purchasing canned goods, make sure that they are free of dents, cracks, or bulging lids.

Keep moving, stay active

While strength training exercises such as weightlifting, elastic bands, and hand dumbbells promote toned, strong muscles, aerobic exercises can improve heart and lung health. Women with bones or joints that are not that strong can try exercises that put less stress on the joints such as walking, swimming or water aerobics. A blog in Healthy Women says studies show that people who increase their activity later in life often gain greater physical and mental improvements than younger people. Exercise also helps to prevent falls.

Use medications correctly

It is critical for older adults to use medicines wisely as incorrect use can cause serious health problems. To avoid such incidents, ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist to provide all the necessary information about the medicines you take and any changes to your prescriptions. Keep a list of your medications and note any side effects or problems you may have. Make sure to read and follow the directions on the label and ask your healthcare provider about medication dosage and timing.

Treat and manage health conditions

Work with your healthcare provider to manage common health conditions such as diabetes, blood pressure, and osteoporosis. Take your medications as instructed and get your blood sugar level, blood pressure and cholesterol tested. Know the signs of a heart attack – signs for the condition differ among men and women.

Preventive health screenings

Health screenings help recognize health problems, even before you show any signs or symptoms. Consult with your healthcare provider to know which health screenings are right for you and find out how often you should get screened. Based on your personal health history and your risk factors, more frequent screenings may be recommended. Most common screening tests for older women include mammograms, and colon cancer screening.