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5 Ways to Age Gracefully

Guess what you and fine wine have in common? That’s right, you both get better with age! Getting older doesn’t have to be something to dread. Here are some simple tips for aging gracefully:

1. Move More 

One secret to aging gracefully is regular exercise. Researchers at McMaster University found that people over the age of 40 who exercise regularly have healthier skin. It’s closer in composition to 20 and 30-year-old skin.

And we all know that the benefits of exercise aren’t just skin deep. It helps you manage your weight, improve your ability to do everyday activities, boosts your immune system, and reduces risk of chronic health issues like diabetes and heart disease.

Exercise doesn’t have to be limited to the gym. Being outside has its own benefits, and when you combine activity with the outdoors – walking a local park trail, bicycling, or even yard and garden work- it’s even good for your smile. The sunshine can help boost your oral health.

2. Stress Less 

We can’t always control what happens in life, but we can control our reaction.  One study says excessively worrying about things like your job, finances, or relationships can show on our faces.

Stress can take a toll on your skin through wrinkles, bags under the eyes, flaky skin, and acne. Manage stress by learning how to say “no” and not taking on too much in your professional or personal life.

If you can’t change the situation, consider changing how you react by adjusting your standards and practicing gratitude. When everyday demands cause stress, take a moment to reflect on all the things you appreciate in life.

Moving more and exercising can help manage your stress, and mindfulness activities like meditation have been shown to reduce stress.

3. Slow Down on Sugar  

You’ve heard it before, and it’s true—you are what you eat.  Ariel Ostad, a doctor of Dermatology, says a poor diet can speed up the aging process in our skin and teeth. One of the biggest culprits is sugar. When you eat more sugar than your cells can process, the leftover sugar molecules are exposed to proteins, creating “advanced glycation end products,” or “AGEs”. In time, AGEs can ruin your skin’s collagen—the protein that helps keep skin youthful and firm. 

Why spend money on expensive creams and treatments that may not work when adjusting adjust your diet can prevent the need for them in the first place? All that sugar can also ruin your smile. It sticks to your teeth and sits between them and along the gum line, encouraging plaque and bacteria that can lead to cavities.  

4. Drink More Water

Plants wither when they don’t get enough water. The same is true for your skin and body. Skin cells need water. Without enough of it, your skin won’t look its best. Water reaches all of your other organs before the skin, so it’s important that we drink enough water to keep fully hydrated. Dehydration causes dry and flaky skin and also makes skin more prone to wrinkling. 

5. Brush, Floss, and Visit the Dentist

Brushing and flossing helps to remove plaque and leftover food from your mouth and between your teeth. Not sticking to the routine could lead to yellow teeth and cavities. Combine twice-a-day brushing and flossing with regular dentist visits for a comprehensive check-up that goes beyond your teeth. Because oral health is connected to overall health in many ways, dentists can identify other health issues during your regular exam.

Use these tips for aging gracefully for better oral and overall health and enjoy an active lifestyle as you become an older adult.