How to Age Gracefully

3
woman smiling

Aging is something that many people dread, finding it harder and harder as they progress through the decades.

However, rather than worrying about it, why not try focussing on ensuring that you age as gracefully as possible?

After all, in these modern times, age really is just a number…

Reconsider Your Lipstick

Lipstick is something that many women would hate to do without, and a pop of color on your lips does really help to brighten the face up, no matter what age you may be.

However, as you get older, your lips begin to thin, due to lowered collagen levels in your body. 

This is why many experts recommend older women stay away from red lipstick, because, in many cases, the boldness of the red only attracts attention to the thinness of lips.

woman applying lipstick

So, what can you do about this?

There are still ways in which you can wear red lipstick, so long as you spend a bit of extra time choosing a lipstick that really works with your lips.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • The lipstick formula – opt for a lighter weight formula, such as a lipstick/lip gloss hybrid, or even a tinted balm. This will add some gloss and shine, helping to make your lips appear fuller and softer
  • The shade of red – the shade of red that you choose should be based on your skin tone and complexion. For example, those with a darker complexion should go for brighter, cherry-like shades, whereas those with a lighter complexion are best off with an orange-red
  • Your application technique – nobody wants their lip color to bleed, but this is a common problem with thinner lips. Try lining your lips with the balm or stain that you are going to be using, but making use of an applicator wand. Then, fill them in. This will help to define your lips, while ensuring that the color lasts for longer

Regular Trims for Longer Hair

Many older women tend to stay away from having longer hair.

Why?

Well, as mentioned above, collagen levels decline with age, and this leads to the face thinning. Long hair can often emphasize this, dragging your features down rather than enhancing them.

However, there are still ways around this without having to chop all of your locks off…

Try going for a layered style, as this will help to add definition around your face.

If your face shape is changing quite rapidly, it may be worth keeping the length of your hair to just above the clasp of your bra, as any longer than this may only end up dulling your features.

Regular trims are also a must, at least three or four times a year. These will help to avoid split ends, keeping your hair in a healthy state.

Don’t forget…

As you age, your hair will become drier, and therefore more brittle, so you will need to pay extra attention to this as well.

How?

By using a deep conditioning treatment on your hair each week. Look for one that contains:

  • Ceramides – these are moisturizing fats that will nourish and strengthen your hair
  • Antioxidants – to protect your shine from UV rays and pollution
  • Omega-6 fatty acids – for nourishing your hair

Exercise Regularly

Many people end up leading quite a sedentary lifestyle as they age, but this is something that you should definitely be trying to avoid.

Why?

Because keeping active is so important, especially as you get older. There is so much evidence out there that points to the way in which regular exercise is able to lower a person’s risk of everything from strokes and heart disease to cancer and dementia.

Keeping fit will also help you to stay pain-free as you reach your later years, while enabling you to be so much more independent than you otherwise would have been.

Physical activity will help to slow down the rate at which your body declines with age, making this something well worth incorporating into your lifestyle now, no matter how old you may currently be. 

So, how much exercise do you actually need to do?

Experts recommend around 150 minutes per week, and this should be moderate activity. A few examples of moderate physical activities include:

  • Walking
  • Bike riding
  • Mowing the lawn
  • Playing volleyball or doubles tennis
  • Ballroom and line dancing

How do you know if the activity you are doing counts as moderate?

Your heart rate should be raised, and you should be breathing faster, but you should still be able to talk, although not sing.

physical exercise infographic

In addition to this, you should also be doing various activities that give your muscles a work out. There are many everyday tasks that do this, from carrying heavy loads to doing some heavy gardening.

Take Care of Your Skin

A person’s skin can often be a huge giveaway of their actual age, but, if you take good care of your skin, this does not need to be the case.

While the way in which your skin ages is partly due to genetics, lifestyle factors actually have a much bigger impact…

Your skin’s needs will change as you age, but here are some quick guidelines on what you can do for your skin as you progress through the decades:

  • Your 30s – this is when your metabolism begins to slow down, meaning that collagen and elastin also begin breaking down. Now is the time to begin using anti-aging products, and make sure that at least one of these contains niacinimide, also known as vitamin B3, as this will help to speed your metabolism back up 
  • Your 40s – wrinkles will start to deepen and become more defined, while sagging skin will not bounce back in the same way. Ingredients to help with this include retinol, glycolic acid, and peptides
  • Your 50s and 60s – skin becomes much drier, often exacerbated by menopause, and sun spots will begin to appear. Rich moisturizers and oils are essential, as is aerobic exercise, as this can help to transform your skin’s protein structure

While all of that may be important, there is one piece of advice that tops it all…

Make sure that you wear sunscreen, each and every day.

You likely already know that the sun is damaging to your skin, but did you know that 80% of facial wrinkles are directly caused by the sun

This means that 80% of your facial wrinkles can actually be avoided, so long as you are diligent when it comes to sun protection.

Make the Most of Foundation

While nothing beats a naturally youthful complexion, there is nothing wrong with using a bit of foundation to help you out.

The technology used for makeup is constantly changing, and there are now foundation formulas out there that can do everything from hide broken capillaries to cover redness and fine lines, replicating the skin’s natural texture.

Here are a few tips for choosing a new foundation:

  • Go for a cream, mousse or liquid formula, as these will be more hydrating
  • A foundation that contains light-diffusing pigments will brighten your complexion
  • Formulas containing antioxidants will help to protect your skin from environmental damage 
  • Match your foundation to the skin on your breastbone, rather than the skin on your face

Give Bangs a Try

Want an easy way to cover up forehead wrinkles?

Bangs are perfect for this, and they also give your whole look a playful, younger vibe by adding a few extra angles to your face. This helps to make your face appear much more defined, especially if your skin is starting to sag.

woman with short hair and hair bangs

Wondering what type of bangs to go for?

Here are a few tips:

  • Wispy, side-swept bangs, that end at the brows, tend to look better than blunt bangs
  • If your face is wide, opt for wide bangs that go from temple to temple
  • If your face is narrow, narrow bangs are best, and these should extend from the outer tip of one brow to the other
  • Make sure that you have your bangs trimmed every four weeks, or learn how to trim them yourself

Stay Positive

Aging gracefully applies to both your body as well as your mind.

According to many experts, the key factor when it comes to aging healthily is making sure that you have a positive outlook on life.

Why?

Because this means that your general resiliency will be so much stronger, and so will the way in which you cope with stress.

Stress actually has a huge effect on how you age:

  • It can damage the DNA within cells, making them wear down even faster over time
  • Chronic stress has been linked to the development of Alzheimer’s disease
  • Prolonged stress, and therefore repeated adrenalin production, can lead to a decrease in vision and hearing
  • Stress leads to an unhealthier lifestyle in general 

Eat Well

Eating well does not mean over-filling your stomach with unhealthy, processed foods until you feel too full to move.

Instead, it refers to consuming a healthy, nutritious diet

Wondering how this has anything to do with aging gracefully?

Because your diet will have a direct impact on the way in which you age, protecting you from the chronic conditions that many people experience as they reach their later years.

No matter how old you may currently be, making positive changes to your diet will likely bring about some immediate visible results.

To begin with, opt for whole grains and low-fat dairy products, although try to keep dairy to a minimum. Protein is important, especially as you age, as this helps to maintain muscle mass. Try to include a protein source with each meal, opting for fish as one of these a couple of times a week. 

If you are someone that eats two or three big meals a day, this is something else you can change…

Try to start eating every three or four hours instead, as this helps to keep your energy levels high.

Of course, this does mean that you will need to practice portion control, but eating at shorter intervals does help to control appetite hormones, and actually prevents over-eating.

When making meals at home, opt for healthy cooking techniques. Rather than frying something, try steaming, roasting or baking instead.

Why?

Because this greatly reduces the amount of fat that will be in your food.

Your nutritional needs will also change as you age, and you may want to think about some supplements. Here are a few worth considering:

  • Vitamin B12
  • Vitamin D
  • Calcium
  • Folate
  • Omega-3 fatty acids

Nutritional ideals have also changed a lot in the last 40 years, thanks to the latest research. Check out this infographic here.

nutritional infographic

Don’t Overindulge

Many are tempted to make the most of their younger years, overindulging in many aspects of life. From fatty foods to alcohol, overindulgence may seem fun at the time, but this will definitely not help you to age gracefully.

Overindulgence only leads to increased insulin and leptin in the body, both of which are responsible for a number of different health conditions that become more prevalent with age, including obesity, high cholesterol and diabetes.

Overindulgence also tends to lead to the formation of free radicals within the body, which is something else that accelerates the aging process.

Focus on the Benefits of Aging

Rather than driving yourself crazy thinking about all of the things you may miss out on as you age, make it a point to focus on all of the positive aspects of aging.

And yes, there are actually quite a few…

To begin with, most people get more confident as they get older, and really develop a sense of self. They also stop comparing themselves to others, which can be a huge weight off the shoulders.

Instead of dreading retirement, think of this as a time in which you will be able to pursue any long-lost dreams, whether this may be travelling around the world or writing a novel.

Post your comment

Name:

Email:

Leave a comment: