Find out how to enhance your well being as you age

There is no Benjamin Button secret to staying young forever, and every minute of every day you get older whether you like it or not. The good news is that many aspects of aging are in your control. If you exercise regularly, nourish your skin, and properly refuel your body, you can face the decades with dignity.

Staying active and strengthening the body is important at any age.

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In your 20s …

exercise

In your 20s, you have plenty of time to exercise hard and sleep well (between bouts of socializing), and luckily, your metabolism is scorching hot. Your workout results come quick and easy, and losing 5 or 10 pounds for an upcoming vacation or reunion isn't much of a challenge. "Most women reach their highest basal metabolic rate (the number of calories you burn if you are just alive) in their late teens and early 20s," says Dr. Michele Olson, exercise physiologist and clinical professor of exercise science at Huntingdon College in Montgomery, Alabama. "These women don't have to worry too much about losing weight, and time feels limitless."

While you may not be focusing on weight loss, muscle building should be considered because while your metabolism is going well for years to come, it will slow down as you lose lean body mass naturally. If you haven't already, add resistance training to your schedule to start building muscle and building strong bones: Research has shown you will continue to build bone density well into your 20s. So start your way to a stronger skeleton now.

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According to the American Council on Exercise, your basal metabolic rate drops 1 to 2 percent every decade.

nutrition

With your metabolism and hormones in full swing, happy hour and late-night nibbles aren't a big deal for now. "This decade is where you create habits that you can fall back on as you age," said Amy Gorin, MS, RDN, a registered nutritionist based in New York City. Skipping meals, especially if you are a college student, is also common at this age. While this seems like a great nutritional maneuver, it actually kills your metabolism. Eat your three squares every day and add a snack or two if you want to be out and about to keep your metabolism going.

Women generally struggle to get enough protein, and this is even more true of young adults, who tend to be skewed about meal decisions. Be aware of the quality of the protein you are eating – e.g. B. a grilled chicken breast, not a fried chicken tender – and add a source of protein to every meal and snack.

Also, make sure you're getting enough folic acid, even if you're not planning on getting pregnant anytime soon, advises Gorin. Add items like spinach, beans, lentils, edamame, and Brussels sprouts to your menu.

Young woman with clear skin smiling

While your 20 skin is at its best, you are taking the right precautions to maintain it for years to come.

skin

In your 20s, your skin still produces a lot of oil and you probably don't have wrinkles to speak of. "Your skin cell turnover is at its best and your foundation is at its peak," said Joshua Zeichenner, M.D., director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. Twenty also produce lots of collagen and elastin which make your complexion moist, plump, and full.

In your late 20s, you may experience slight drought, especially when the weather turns cold. So invest in a firm night cream to lock in moisture while you sleep. And of course, you always need to wear sunscreen whether you're hiking, biking, or just going to the store. "Even a small amount of UV exposure adds up and contributes to premature aging," says Zeichenner.

Regardless of your age, use a skin care product that is designed to protect the environment in the morning and one that is designed to promote repair in the evening.

Woman smiling while lifting weights in gym

In your 30s, you may suddenly find areas that were never a concern before suddenly problematic.

In your 30s …

exercise

By your 30s, your metabolism begins to slow down, which is bad in and of itself but results in a lack of free time and work, family and social responsibilities, and you are on your way to the fat city. Pregnancy can also mean adding 25 pounds or more to your body that you then need to lose in order to regain some semblance of normalcy.

According to the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology, nearly half of American women gain too much weight during pregnancy.

Their shape as you know them also changes as your body fat shifts: a Japanese study found that as women age, subcutaneous fat slowly disappears from your cheeks, neck, breasts, and lower legs and settles in your waistline , under your glutes and on your stomach. Areas that were never relevant before suddenly become problematic.

This decade can be a messy one, and you will need to prioritize exercise to get it done. Schedule your workouts like a business meeting or set up a gym at home where you can work out on the fly. Do heavy weight training in the range of three to six reps to build and maintain muscle, and start your metabolism to a level of 20.

nutrition

Even if arthritis isn't on your radar right now, eating right prevention can begin today. "Omega-3 fatty acids can slow down cartilage degeneration and reduce inflammation," says Gorin. Several studies show that omega-3 fatty acids, such as those found in fish like salmon, promote brain health, fight metabolic syndrome, and improve risk factors for heart disease.

Fresh salmon with herbs

A serving of salmon, mackerel, trout or halibut contains more than 1,000 milligrams of DHA and EPA omega-3 fatty acids.

Eating lots of protein is still high on your nutritional list to promote satiety and hinder muscle loss. The timing of your ingestion could be the key to success. "People often eat most of their daily protein with dinner, but it's a good idea to include a source of protein with each meal," says Gorin. Case in point, a study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that people who were in their mid-30s and divided their protein intake into around 30 grams per meal throughout the day built more muscle than if they ate their protein all at once .

skin

In your 30s you will learn the magical powers of retinol. "In your 30s, the first signs of aging appear, when the turnover in skin cells decreases and the production of new collagen slows down," says Schildner. Your night cream should now contain a retinoid product plus alpha hydroxy and glycolic acids to help combat fine lines and blemishes. And while you should get plenty of antioxidants in your diet to prevent free radical damage, you can apply them topically too. "Antioxidants act like fire extinguishers and dampen damage caused by UV rays," explains Drafter. Serums with vitamin C, vitamin E, and ferulic acid can help repair the skin during the day.

Although you are well past the blackheads and pimples stage, if you break out like a teenager, your workout can be to blame. "The longer sweat, dirt, and oil sit on your skin, the more likely they are to clog your pores, promote inflammation, and cause breakouts," says Zeichenner. His advice: wash your face with salicylic acid cleanser immediately after exercising to thoroughly remove dirt and oil from your skin.

In your 40s …

exercise

In your 40s, your hormones start playing hide and seek as your baby maker starts closing the store. Your levels of estrogen, progesterone, and human growth hormone decrease, your metabolism continues to decline, and your energy begins to wane – all of which could mean additional body fat gain and muscle loss.

There isn't much you can do about your decreasing hormones, but you can fight against their effects. First, leave those pink, plastic-coated dumbbells behind and pick up real iron, Olson urges. Pick a weight that is heavy enough to encourage failure between 12-15 reps. This area causes your muscles to rebuild and grow. Also, swap out some of your longer cardio workouts for high-intensity interval workouts that have been shown to promote the release of antiaging hormones and promote fat metabolism.

Research from Harvard T.H. The Chan School of Public Health found that people who lift weights build less belly fat as they age than cardio junkies.

Smiling woman holding healthy fruit

In your 40s, hormones play a huge role in your nutritional needs.

nutrition

Your badly behaved hormones also affect your nutritional needs. "Estrogen is a key factor in bone health, so if a woman's levels start to drop, it can lead to bone loss," says Gorin. Adequate calcium and vitamin D consumption and / or adequate dietary supplements help keep bones healthy and reduce the risk of osteoporosis and subsequent injury. Keep your protein intake high to avoid muscle wasting and to prevent excessive weight gain. Consider reducing your total caloric intake a little. "If you exercise regularly, it can mean you eat 150 calories fewer a day," explains Olson. This means that around 30 to 50 calories are saved per meal and / or snack per day.

And of course, you should combine your exercise and eating habits for best results: Research from Wake Forest University found that older obese adults who shed 300 calories a day lost 12 pounds, 2 of which were muscle. But those who cut 300 calories and also did weight training lost nearly 20 pounds, most of which came from fat.

According to a study published in Osteoporosis International, eating five to six prunes a day helps to prevent bone loss.

skin

In your 40s, you will experience loss of facial volume due to – you guessed it – hormonal fluctuations. Your skin becomes less elastic and you lose bone density in your face. And unfortunately, fitness can mean looking gaunt, because a slim body also means a slim face. Your skin may look duller too, but don't scrub it too hard. "In the forties, the skin becomes more sensitive and tends to be irritated," says Drake. "Exfoliate only once a week to keep your skin glowing and healthy."

"Plumping" moisturizers can now be used in combination with a nighttime retinoid product. If your saggy look is really bothering you, consult your dermatologist to discuss the possibility of face fillers.

Healthy senior woman smiling in the kitchen

Continue to maintain healthy habits, such as: B. Consistent exercise if you are over 50 years old.

Your 50s and beyond

exercise

Your estrogen levels continue to drop as you enter and then complete menopause. During this time, you will also lose bone density and mass. By now, your children are older and your family needs are likely to be lower, which means finding time to exercise should be less difficult.

Maintain a consistent exercise routine to promote a healthy metabolism and choose workouts that are more effective – literally – a study in the American Journal of Health Promotion found that jumping ten times a day had greater bone building benefits than running or jogging. You should also include metabolic conditioning workouts that burn fat and build muscle at the same time in your training plan. "These maximize the number of calories your body burns while increasing your metabolism," says Olson.

According to a study by McMaster University in Ontario, exercise appears to combat changes in the outer layers of the skin that come with age.

nutrition

When you cross the 50 mile mark, it's time to look inside and focus on keeping your heart and other systems in tip-top shape. Eating less dietary fat and more fruits, vegetables, and grains was linked to a reduced risk of dying from breast cancer and a lower risk of developing heart disease and type 2 diabetes, according to a report recently published in the Journal of Nutrition.

"Women over 50 should consume vitamin B12 to keep nerves and blood cells healthy, and magnesium for protein synthesis, blood pressure, and muscle and nerve function," says Gorin. Potassium is also essential for internal wellbeing, and research published in Advances in Nutrition showed a positive association between potassium intake and reduced high blood pressure.

Skin care creams

Add a hydroxy or glycolic acid cleanser or cream to your skin regimen. This will help lighten your skin and improve the appearance of fine lines.

skin

When your 50s are knocking, your skin no longer opens the door with a bright smile. “Your skin naturally sheds cells on its surface. With age, however, this process slows down and dead cells accumulate, which leads to a dull appearance, ”says Drake. Add a hydroxy or glycolic acid cleanser or cream to lighten your skin and improve the appearance of fine lines.

In your 60s and beyond, you may notice the appearance of more sunspots and your skin may feel rough to the touch or appear creepy. Wrinkles and lines really start to show and the skin around the jaw and eyes starts to sag. You can create your roadmap for happiness and longevity on the face. However, if you're unsatisfied with the way you look, go for rich moisturizers with ingredients like hyaluronic acid, which acts like a sponge to help moisturize and fill in wrinkles.

exercise

Healthy for life

While certain lifetimes require certain protocols, there are some absolutes that you should be doing every day of every decade to make the most of your time here on the planet.

lift weights

As you get older, you inevitably lose muscle mass. Since the muscle has a high metabolic rate, this loss means a great reduction in energy consumption – e.g. B. Calorie Consumption – and makes you more prone to weight / fat gain. Whether you are 26 or 62 years old, you should do weight training to maintain as much muscle as possible and optimize your metabolism.

"The relationship between muscle and fat needs to be balanced with age. If a woman maintains muscle through rigorous strength training, fat won't replace it," says Michele Olson. Lifting weights or doing bodyweight or plyometric exercises increases muscle strength, makes you stronger and more productive, while increasing your metabolism and optimizing hormonal release. It also increases bone density regardless of your age and protects against osteoporosis in your later years.

Hydrate properly

More than half of your body is made up of water, and hydration is important for all metabolic processes, including muscle building, digestion, and skin health. Shoot for half a gallon each day, more on days you exercise or when it's hot outside, and eat plenty of water-rich vegetables like leafy greens, cucumber, and celery to improve your intake.

Maintain mobility

Maintaining your flexibility will help prevent back and joint pain, reduce your risk of injury, and improve your results in the gym. Take five to ten minutes a day – even on days when you are not exercising – to foam or actively stretch. The more flexible and lubricated your joints are, the happier and healthier you will be in the long run.

HIIT it

High-intensity interval training improves body composition, promotes the release of anti-aging hormones, and adds muscle. Regardless of what decade you are in, you can benefit from EPOC – an excessive use of oxygen after exercise – also known as afterburn when your body burns calories long after you finish exercising. Do two to three HIIT sessions a week, either after a strength training session or on a separate day, to reap these benefits.

Reduce stress

Stress has no age limit and is a major contributor to poor health. Take time to relax, unwind, and even occasionally get away from it all to prevent things from getting overwhelming and affecting your health.

Use sunscreen

Babies, teenagers, teenagers and adults – nobody is exempt from the sun protection ordinance. This is one of the easiest ways to prevent cancer and it will reduce the formation of wrinkles and lines on the face, chest and neck. "The skin is subject to two types of aging," says Dr. Joshua draftsman. "Intrinsic, the natural aging process that occurs with age, and extrinsic, an accelerated erosion of the skin caused by environmental factors such as UV light."

Reduce harmful exposure with a regular sunscreen that contains SPF 30 or more on exposed areas daily. Apply it in the morning, after exercise, or after submerging in water.

Knowledge about nutrition

How you eat when you are younger usually creates the conditions for your life. The sooner you can adopt healthy habits and routines, the better you will be. Diet and metabolism are closely related. Focusing on optimizing both as you age can mean the difference between fat and fitness. Because as they say you are what you eat.

Eat Protein

Enough cannot be said about the importance of protein for women of all ages. It increases the feeling of satiety in a meal, helps build muscles and bones, and increases metabolism. Eat lots of lean protein throughout the day in the form of chicken breast, lentils, tofu, steak, or fish.

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