As we get older, it seems like the list of things we need to worry about just gets longer and longer. However, we like to think that aging just offers us a new opportunity to focus on self care. Problems may arise, but with a little bit of focus and a few simple practices, we can actually feel better than we’ve ever felt before.
Your mental and physical health deserve your time and attention, perhaps now more than ever. Whether you’re going through or have gone through menopause, being a women is a lot of work. But a little goes a long way when it comes to giving your body what it needs.
With this in mind, we’ve outlined a few simple practices and tips that will help you look and feel your best, no matter what your age is. Check them out below.
Protect your brain with healthy fats.
Taking care of your brain health is especially important as time goes along. Luckily, there’s so much research out there that shows that making small changes to your daily routine can help you keep your memory and ward off conditions like Alzheimer’s and dementia.
For example, did you know that just two spoonfuls of nuts per day might be all you need to enhance your mental functioning and protect your brain from disease? That’s because fatty acids in nuts like pistachios and walnuts help protect your brain from beta-amyloid plaque accumulation (a leading cause of dementia). Similarly, omega-3 fatty acids from things like avocados, chia seeds, and salmon reduce plaque accumulation and help to preserve your memory!
Fight inflammation to lose weight and lower disease risk.
Chronic inflammation describes a state in which the immune system is in constant defense, leading to larger issues like weight gain, joint pain, and conditions like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. As all of these tend to be on our radar as we get older, it behooves us to follow a diet that favors anti-inflammatory foods, and eliminates the most common culprits of inflammation (think sugar, refined carbs, and processed, packaged foods).
Luckily, there are so many eating plans out there that focus on reducing inflammation, like this one developed by nutrition expert Dr. Steven Gundry. On Gundry’s diet protocol, you’ll focus on real, whole foods with anti-inflammatory properties like lean meats, veggies, and fruits, while reducing processed foods and. foods high in sugar. Many who adopt an anti-inflammatory lifestyle report that their other chronic health conditions disappear!
Protect your bones with vitamin D and calcium.
Nutrients like vitamin D and calcium are essential to keeping healthy bones. Many of us are naturally deficient in vitamin D, and our body’s ability to absorb calcium tends to lessen over time. Adding foods that contain more of these vital nutrients is essential for aging women.
To protect yourself from bone loss, make sure you’re eating calcium rich foods like milk, yogurt, and cheese. You should also do your best to reduce your intake of foods that hinder calcium absorption, like coffee, tea, and soda. You can up your intake of vitamin D by eating more white mushrooms and fish like tuna, sardines, or rainbow trout. You can also take a quality calcium and/or vitamin D supplement. As always, get your doctors OK before starting any new supplement regimen.
Reduce muscle loss with an active lifestyle.
Age-related muscle loss, also called sarcopenia, occurs naturally as we get older. However, studies have shown that exercise can help slow down this process and even help us gain more strength and stability. The good news? You don’t have to spend an hour on the elliptical machine to do it.
Light resistance training has shown to be quite effective in not only fighting muscle loss, but increasing total-body strength and stability in older adults. One particular study showed that resistance training resulted in increased muscle mass after 12 weeks in subjects 65 and older with limited mobility. Those in the program also experienced greater flexibility and mobility in their bodies at the end of the study!
You can find some great, simple resistance training videos on YouTube that are designed specifically for older women. Check them out, totally free, here!
Fight hair loss with more iron.
Our hair is yet another thing we get accustomed to saying goodbye to as time goes along, but maybe it doesn’t have to be that way. It’s pretty common for people (especially older women) to become iron deficient, and studies have demonstrated that this can cause hair loss. One study found that not only did iron deficiency play a role in hair loss, but it could produce a similar effect to that of genetic pattern baldness.
Check out some of the other symptoms of iron-deficiency here. If you suspect that this could be a problem for you, talk to your doctor about ways to boost your iron. He or she may recommend that you start taking an iron supplement or up your intake of iron-rich foods to boost your levels and fight the problem.
Boost your skin with collagen.
Last but not least, no one likes to deal with the unsightly affects of aging — namely, wrinkles. Wrinkles happen because naturally, we produce less of a protein called collagen which helps to plump the skin and prevent sagging and lines from forming. Fortunately, in addition to topical creams and serums that help us fight wrinkles, collagen supplements have emerged in the world of beauty to help us tackle this problem from the inside out.
On top of all that, collagen may also help improve the quality of your hair and reduce joint pain since bones, muscles, skin, hair, and tendons are all made up of the protein-rich compound. Some even say that taking it may help with weight loss and gut health!
Check out these collagen supplements from some of our favorite suppliers. As always, consult your doctor before trying any new supplement.
There you have it. With a few tweaks to your diet and lifestyle, you can feel your best at age 50, 60, 70 and beyond. Small interventions can make a world of difference, and we’re wishing you a healthy, happy, long, and beautiful life.