The idea that aging had some benefits occurred to me while recently canoodling with my husband of 20 years prior to our morning cup of coffee. We had been lying in bed, face-to-face, talking when he leaned back to get a better view. We had been too close for his eyes to focus, thus blurring me and my imperfections. It struck me then, that my husband’s loss of clarity is a definite benefit of our aging. Maybe my own diminishing eyesight was a blessing bestowed by Mother-Nature to intentionally soften aging’s hard edges. It made me wonder, what other things I can be grateful for as a result of aging. So here is short list of what I’ve come up with so far. Let’s see how many things we can add to the list.
We’ve known for quite a while that we have to choose our “fanny or our face”, but why is that? According to experts we begin to lose facial volume as we age, which can cause our eyes to look slightly sunken, cheeks to hollow out, and skin to lose its firmness and elasticity. Increasing your body mass index (BMI) minimally, 1-5% (I don’t mean obesity here people) can help plump out lines and wrinkles. That decrease in metabolism may be Mother-Nature’s way of making us look younger longer.
Speaking of exercise - having sex can now be considered part of your exercise routine (so get to it, your husband can thank me later ;)). Sex releases endorphins which aids in the reduction of cortisol which is our primary stress hormone. This hormone has scientifically been proven to be one of the primary factors of skin related aging. In fact, in a recent experiment, laboratory rats were given cortisol. These poor animals lost collagen in the skin ten times greater than in any other tissue in their body! I cringe thinking about those poor wrinkly rats. Not only that, but sex improves your physical and mental health and we all know a smiling face is much more beautiful than a dour one.
Laughter has also been found to counteract stress, release feel-good hormones and counts as exercise. A big belly laugh works the muscles in your face and body, and respiratory muscles, raises your heart rate, and sends more oxygen to tissues. Sign me up for more of that!
Eating healthy as we age is so much easier. As children, Mother-Nature gave us taste buds that searched for the most sweet foods they could find (naturally made sweet things are less likely to be poisonous; so don’t give your kids too much grief they can’t help it). As we age our taste buds become more in-tune with the tastes of good-for-you fruits and vegetables (including bitter things like kale and spinach). I personally have felt a reduction in my “sweet tooth” over the last few years. Health experts believe that sugar, and processed foods create inflammation in the body that harms your organs--including your largest organ, your skin. Numerous studies have shown that low-grade inflammation causes cellular deterioration (aka: wrinkles and sagging). A diet rich in healthy fats (found in omega-fortified eggs and foods like avocados and salmon) is suggested. High protein boosts cellular repair and fresh fruits and veggies are loaded with the anti-oxidants. Adding to this, drinking wine and eating dark
chocolate are now considered “healthy habits”. These two foods contain age-fighting compounds called flavenoids that fight free-radical cells in our body that cause our cells to deteriorate.
Some days, it can all be so overwhelming; you just want to stay in your sweats and hunker down. But with advice like the above, I think I can enjoy aging and be healthier and prettier to boot. There are plenty of things to celebrate about
getting older, it’s all in our frame of mind. Let me know what you are grateful for about aging.
To get more tips about how to feel and look your best at any age contact: Candace Morton @ firstname.lastname@example.org and to find out more about her check out the December issue of O magazine and online at: http://www.oprah.com/packages/chase-blueprint-for-a-better-you.html
Content for this article was found in the following:
Houck JC, Sharma VK, Patel YM, Gladner JA (October 1968). "Induction of collagenolytic and proteolytic activities by anti-inflammatory drugs in the skin and
fibroblast". Biochem. Pharmacol. 17 (10): 2081–90. doi:10.1016/0006-2952(68)90182-2. PMID 4301453