Ageing is the process of gradual deterioration of the body and, to some extent, our minds, too, culminating in death. You slog for years, accumulating wealth and knowledge. Alas! Just as you are about to set that table to enjoy the fruits of our labour, you realize you can’t! The body isn’t agile; the mind is not keen and sharp, nor do you have much of an appetite. Though ageing and mortality are facts of life, you can slow down the process of ageing.
We have compiled a practical guide below to slow down the clock:
- Sunscreen: You develop wrinkles due to constant exposure to the sun or photo-ageing. You are exposed to harsh sunlight if you live in hot tropical countries. Living in cities like Chennai can aggravate skin damage as pollution combines with sun rays. So, wearing sunscreen is a must whenever you go out. Dermatologists in Chennai recommend slathering a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with SPF 30 or above UVA/UVB protection.
- Liberally slather sunscreen on your face and all exposed parts of your body.
- There is a misconception in some quarters that sunscreen will block the benefits of sunshine. Rest assured, you will get vitamin D, and other sun uses, but without damaging your skin.
- The key, however, is to use it every day. According to a study done in 2013, was no detectable increase in ageing in participants who used sunscreen daily for 4.5 years. They also scored 24 per cent lower in ageing than those who used sunscreen sporadically.
- Irrespective of whether you get sunburnt easily or not, applying sunscreen is crucial for everyone.
- Don’t skip sunscreen in the winter months. Even on a cold winter day, the ultra-violet rays from the sun are passing through our skin. During winter, there is a decrease in UVB rays that cause burns. But there is no decrease in the UVA rays that are responsible for wrinkles and ageing. UVB rays are more dangerous, but UVA rays are a contributing factor for skin cancer.
- Due to precipitation in the winter months, snow reflects 80 to 90 per cent of the sunlight back into the atmosphere. Thus, there is an increase in the number of rays hitting your skin when light bounces off the snow.
- A good quality sunscreen does a beautiful job of protecting your skin. Consult a dermatologist to prescribe one for you. With a Bajaj Finserv health EMI card covering your medical expenses, lack of money is no longer an excuse for bad skin.
- Moisturize: Regularly moisturize your skin. Use a moisturizer that suits your skin type. Moisturiser prevents dryness and irritation. Using moisturizers with retinol prevents skin damage and wrinkles.
- Clothing: Wear clothes that are lightweight, long-sleeved, pants or skirts fully covering the legs, hat with a wide brim and sunglasses with UV protection. You can also wear sun-protective clothing that provides a minimum of SPF 30 protection against UVB and UVA.
- Sunglasses: Invest in a good pair of sunglasses. Continuous exposure to UV rays can damage your eyes and make you more susceptible to cataracts. You tend to squint and wrinkle the area around your eyes when going out in the sunlight. Sunglasses protect your eyes and prevents squinting, thereby reducing the wrinkles around your eyes.
- Nutritious diet: Eat a nutritious diet with a good balance of carbohydrates, fat and proteins. Include five to six servings of fresh fruits and vegetables every day. Make sure to eat foods with antioxidant properties like eggs, garlic, onions, spinach, kale, cabbage, lettuce, berries like strawberries and blueberries. Avoid trans fats like margarine. Instead, use olive oil. It lowers the risk of heart disease and lowers cholesterol. Avoid all processed food, fast food and canned food. Sugar is one of the chief causes of ageing prematurely. Avoid or limit the consumption of sweets. Beware of sugar hidden in many readymade foods like salad dressings, frozen yoghurts and baked items. Sugar is linked to unhealthy levels of insulin. Glycation is the molecule resulting from sugar attaching itself to proteins like collagen and elastin in your bloodstream. The firmness and elasticity of your skin depend on these proteins. Sugar makes your skin dry and brittle. Avoid smoking if you have the habit, as it speeds the process of ageing while simultaneously being harmful to health. For reputed dermatologists in Chennai, beauty is not skin deep. Apart from topical applications to improve skin health, they customize a healthy diet for patients.
- Hydration: Your body is made up of 70 per cent water. Your body can’t function without water. Hydration is the foundation of healthy skin. So, drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of water. Avoid sodas, and aerated drinks as phosphoric acid can damage your skin, heart and kidney.
- Sleep: Ensure that you get sufficient sleep. Sleep is the elixir of health and youthfulness. Sleep restores and repairs damaged cells, prevents illness and keeps your skin glowing.
- Exercise: Exercise regularly to get your heart pumping, to prevent fat and plaque accumulation in your body. Regular long walks are protective of heart health. Exercise boosts the production of collagen, making the skin firm and healthy.
- Supplements: Ideally, you should get all your nutrients from your diet alone. However, aggressive agriculture methods have depleted the soil. Today’s quick-growing vegetables that are pest-resistant have much less nutrition than those that your ancestors ate. Moreover, as you age, your body loses more minerals and vitamins than can be replaced by diet. Supplements can address this lacuna. Hence it is essential to consume supplements under the supervision of your doctor. Bajaj Finserv health EMI card can help you get the best medical treatment. It divides your medical expenses into no-cost EMI.
- Stress: Studies have shown that stress accelerates the ageing process. After all, don’t we feel older when we are under stress? Meditation helps to destress by reducing high blood pressure, calming your nerves and promoting good sleep. Meditation slows down ageing as it deactivates the NFkB skin gene, which causes inflammation and wrinkles. Develop a positive outlook and smile often. Smiling is a stress buster as it releases endorphins. When your inner lamp is lit, it lights up your physical appearance and skin.
Follow these tips! Don’t let age deter you from having a healthy body and mind. “Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art.” – Eleanor Roosevelt.