Blossoming With Age
"One day you will look back and see that all along you were blooming." - Morgan Harper Nichols
Most, past the age of 40 are a little wistful when the topic of “ageing” is brought up. We often start reminiscing about the “good old days” and how we used to run around, push limits, use 24 hours like it was 48 hours, where aches and pains were never ever part of the equation.
Yet ageing is part and parcel of living. It is a continuous process where we continue to bloom and blossom into the best version of ourselves.
However, to age well – if we were to use an analogy of how fine wines age – the conditions for the “ageing process” to take place requires deliberate care and conscious attention to ensure optimum conditions for the wine to age as perfectly as it can and should.
It is the same when applied to how we age. With proper care of our health, our daily diet, nutrition supplementation, regular fitness routine, health screening and taking good overall care of ourselves – ageing well and gracefully is not an unattainable dream.
Common concerns and symptoms that are often related to the ageing process include:
- Drier, thinner skin
- Wrinkles and age spots
- Loss of muscle mass
- Stiffness and body aches
- Feeling less energetic and more lethargic
While a couple of laugh lines and wrinkles may be in the writing on the wall, many of the above concerns and symptoms can be proactively managed to help you age well into your best golden years! The secret is, to start now.
We’ve rounded up our Top 5 Must Dos’ to Age Well:
#1 Exercise Regularly
If you’ve been keeping up with a regular fitness routine, you surely deserve a pat on your back! It is too easy to relegate fitness and exercise to the very least of our daily priorities through our 30s to 50s and beyond as we dedicate most of our energy to our work, family, children, care of parents and everything else that life throws at us.
The simple truth is that, exercise is a really important component to staying healthy and ageing well. Our muscles lose strength when we do not work them over a long period of time, and as we age, we lose muscle mass as well – coupled with the lack of exercise (imagine a car engine that has not been serviced for over 10 years); it is not difficult to imagine how one loses muscle strength and gradually become more frail over the years.
For those who are sedentary, it is never too late! Start off with simple and light-intensity physical activities such as walking or swimming for 5 to 10 minutes at a time, and slowly build up the intensity. The Health Promotion Board recommends adults and seniors to get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity such as brisk walking per week, along with strength and resistance training twice a week*.
Exercise supports cardiovascular health and helps to maintain muscle strength1.
Your body also releases endorphins while you exercise, which helps trigger positive feelings and uplifts your mood2.
*Please consult a doctor before engaging in physical activity if you have medical conditions
#2 Subscribe to a Healthy Diet
You are what you eat. Healthy nutritious foods = good health. Proper nutrition is essential at all ages to keep our body healthy and energy level strong throughout the day. Reducing intake of sugary foods and refined carbs, while eating a well-balanced and healthy diet that includes fruits and vegetables, lean meat, fish and poultry, dairy products and plenty of water becomes especially important as part of healthy ageing process. Foods such as fatty fish, leafy greens and whole grains are great for cardiovascular and brain health. Avoid excessive consumption of alcohol as it may impact memory and cognitive functions.
#3 Beautiful Mind
Our mental and emotional well-being is another important aspect of ageing well. Instead of nursing negative thoughts when it comes to ageing, embrace ageing as part of our life’s wondrous journey. Continue to have fun, enjoy the people you love, dive into new hobbies and experiences and always keep your sense of humour!
• Embrace your age
You have built countless memories and gained many life experiences, which makes you wiser! Have confidence and be assured with yourself as you continue walking through daily life.
• Practise mindfulness
Practising mindfulness is about living in the moment and focusing on the present. It can help you age better, as it has many proven health benefits such as lower stress, better memory and improved emotional reaction 3 .
Some examples of practising mindfulness include:
- Tai Chi
- Colouring/ Painting
• Stay connected
Studies have shown loneliness is detrimental to our overall health. Seniors who report feeling left out and isolated have more trouble with everyday tasks and are more likely to have higher stress hormones, which in turn affects their immune system.4
Spending quality time to connect with family and friends over meals and activities is always fulfilling. Social time helps us to stay connected, promote healthy mood balance and stay mentally engaged.
#4 Take Care of Your Skin
Our skin loses elastin and the epidermis thins as we age. The production of collagen and natural oils also slows down and it is more common to have drier and “looser” skin, wrinkles, age spots and skin tags. The golden rule is to “Be gentle with your skin”.
Avoid bathing in hot water and use mild soap. Make good skincare part of your daily routine and remember your sunscreen especially when you are planning to be outdoor. Drink up your H20 and stay well hydrated. Cut down on caffeine and alcohol that can further dehydrate your skin.
#5 Supplement To Fill In Nutritional Gaps & Deficiencies
As we age, our body becomes less efficient at producing certain nutrients that our body needs, such as Coenzymes NAD+ and Q10. NAD+ (Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide) promotes cell renewal, however, it declines with age. Consumption of NMN (Nicotinamide Mononucleotide) can help increase NAD+ levels which helps the body maintain youthful vitality, as NAD+ cannot be directly absorbed.
Health supplements can be a good way to insure against nutritional gaps and deficiencies and can help you enjoy better energy levels and overall vitality. Depending on your diet and lifestyle – calcium , fish oil , multis , brain & eyes as well as joint health supplements can be beneficial aides as part of healthy ageing.
Ageing is yet another new chapter, and we close with yet another golden saying, “we turn not older with years, but newer every day”.
1Health Hub. (2020, December 28). Never Too Late for Elderly to Start Exercising. Retrieved August 12, 2021, from Health Hub : https://www.healthhub.sg/live-healthy/883/never-too-late-to-start
2 Bruce, D. F. (2020, February 18). Exercise and Depression. Retrieved August 12, 2021, from WebMD: https://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/exercise-depression#:~:text=When%20you%20exercise%2C%20your%20body,similar%20to%20that%20of%20morphine
3 Longhurst, A. S. (2019, June 18). 12 Tips for Aging Gracefully. Retrieved August 12, 2021, from Healthline: https://www.healthline.com/health/aging-gracefully
4 Robinson, J. (9 June, 2020). 9 Scientific Secrets to Healthy Aging. Retrieved 18 August, 2020, from webmd.com: https://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/healthy-aging-secret#1