Want to look and feel younger? We asked experts with decades of science-backed research under their belts to give us all of their tips and tricks for how to look and feel our best, no matter what our age.
Rather than tips from plastic surgeons or influencers, we’ve gone to a bunch of doctors, physiotherapists, dietitians, and nutritionists to get their advice on the most healthy, sustainable ways to look after ourselves. Keep on scrolling to read their top tips.
The Joy of Sets
Muscle loss is one of aging’s ugliest aggressors, but as Feros Care Physiotherapist Ben Happ explains, strength training helps build muscle, bone, and joint tissues, which are critical for balance and mobility as we age.
“Just two sessions a week, starting with simple movements such as squatting on and off a chair, or push-ups against a wall (feet 30cm away) can start to make a difference.”
He suggests building up to three sets of five repetitions for each exercise on two or three non-consecutive days each week. “You need to make things progressively more challenging to keep gaining benefits,” says Ben, while stressing that it’s important to seek medical advice before doing a new fitness routine. “More and more studies show exercise is the elixir of youth as we age.”
We’ve heard it a million times, but the body is 75 percent water, and H2O aids every organ as we age.
Research from New Zealand’s Massey University links dehydration with joint pain. Water has also been shown to reduce breast, bladder, and colorectal cancer significantly, according to the Journal Of Clinical Oncology.
Easy on the Knees
“As we age, every extra pound of weight on the tummy or butt adds up to eight pounds of extra force to your knees when squatting, six pounds when walking upstairs and three pounds of knee force when walking,” says Associate Professor Nigel Hope, Orthopaedic Knee and Hip Surgeon at the University of Notre Dame Sydney.
The good news is that losing five to 22 pounds often resolves knee pain without surgery. Should the tell-tale signs of arthritis persist, such as joint pain when sitting, pain that wakes you, instability, swelling, warmth, and loss of range of motion, see your PCP for the assessment.
Eat More of These
When it comes to fighting off “aging” illnesses like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s, the all-star diet performers are blueberries, whole grains, oats, and passionfruit, says Geraldine Georgeou, who developed the What 2 Eat program with Diabetes NSW & ACT.
Not only are blueberries and strawberries excellent low-calorie foods, but “they are also the lowest sugar fruits and best for people trying to control diabetes,” she says.
“For brain health, fish, flaxseed oil and chia seeds are high in Omega 3s, which helps keep the grey matter in shape. We know that B12 deficiency is associated with dementia, and eggs, red meat, shellfish, and cheese are great sources of B12,” she says.
Harvard Health has recently confirmed what we have long suspected; that you’re as young as you feel. “People who report ‘feeling’ younger than their chronological age have been shown to live longer,” says Ben Happ.
One explanation is that thinking young leads to better health around eating, exercise, and mindfulness. Research also shows that people with regular social commitments have a lower risk of premature death.
A Medical Solution
Did you know that an anti-aging drug may be on the horizon?”Drugs like Metformin, which have been used to treat diabetes for decades, may actually have a range of new life-extending benefits,” says Geraldine Georgeou.
“Metformin is being assessed on 3000 elderly people with cancer, heart disease, and brain disorders to see if it can help stem these diseases. One study has already found those on Metformin develop 30 percent fewer cancers.
Another study on 180,000 people found that even compared to people who didn’t have diabetes, the Metformin takers lived longer.”
This article originally appeared on our sister site, Now to Love.