Looking young and beautiful always is every woman’s dream, but normally this desire remains a dream for the most of us. Once you start to age, it seems like there’s nothing much you can do about it. But that’s totally wrong. You can stave off the damage nature does to your body, both inside and out, by starting an anti-ageing regime today. Here are nine tip from health experts on how they fight ageing.
#1: Apply sunscreen every day
“Fight ageing: Be smart with your day and night skin regimes! For example, regularly applying sunscreen during the day (to minimise harmful sunray damage) and a vitamin A-based cream at night (to build up skin collagen) can make a tremendous difference!
Around 90 per cent of the signs we normally attribute to ageing skin, like brown pigmentation and wrinkling, are related to UV damage from the sun. Protection is key.”
– Dr Huma Jaffar, consultant, Division of Dermatology, National University Hospital
#2: I walk my dog
“I go on a 30-minute brisk walk every day with my ‘personal trainer’, Sputnik. He’s a rescue dog our family adopted from a shelter about three years ago and he’s an extremely enthusiastic walker. My daily walk with Sputnik provides excellent exercise, allows me to maintain my weight and is a great form of stress release. I hope that keeping fit will help the ageing process and provide protection against the development of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.”
– Dr Sonia Davidson, endocrinologist
#3: Take up a new hobby
“Keeping your brain active and challenged throughout life may help reduce your risk of dementia. So I started getting into chess – it’s a new way of thinking about things, solving problems and employing strategies. I also got a telescope and started learning about astronomy.
There’s a whole host of different things you can do to stimulate your brain – it could be learning a new card game, a language, a musical instrument, joining a bridge club, going dancing, or taking an art class. Basically, you should be activating and exercising your brain for as long as you can.”
– Dr Alex Knopman, clinical neuropsychologist
#4: I eat natural yoghurt every day
“Maintaining the good bacteria in your gut is a huge step towards healthy ageing, so I go past the fridge and eat two to three tablespoons of natural yoghurt with active probiotics every day. More and more we’re discovering that a healthy bowel is important in all aspects of health, including chronic illness, the immune system, mental health and mood. Many studies are showing a link between the microbiome, the composition of bacterial colony in the bowel, and obesity and chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease and colorectal cancer, and even the ageing process.”
– Dr Catherine Itsiopoulos, head of dietetics and human nutrition, La Trobe University
#5: I love my life
Several big studies have shown that love is the best thing for longevity and overall health. But you need to practise it every day and put love in action.
“I practise all those positive psychology things, like gratitude and good feelings and connection and being present in the moment. I love my work, I even love doing things like the dishes or the washing. I accept that it’s something that I have to do and I do it the best way I can – I treat it as time out.
This has a positive spin-off for your psychology and also for your physiology – it balances your stress hormones and reduces inflammation, and it also gives you the greatest resilience and the ability to respond to what’s going on. If your life becomes a manifestation of love in action that, I believe, is the best thing you can do for longevity.”
– Marc Cohen, professor of health sciences, RMIT University
#6: I run to stay healthy
“I enjoy a mix of weight training for my bones and muscles, interval training for fitness and stamina, and I’ve started running for weight control and endurance. I’ve come to running later in my life. Most of my work time now is spent sitting, and there’s a lot of evidence that this is unhealthy, inflammatory and ageing. As a psychologist, I’m especially aware of the benefits that physical activity has for both your mental health and well-being.
Running gives your brain a rest, it reduces the impact of stress on your body, and it increases all the good chemicals – these are all excellent ways to fight the effects of ageing.”
– Dr Carmel Loughland, associate professor, School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Newcastle
#7: I don't smoke
“Besides increasing your risk of cancer and causing your skin to age prematurely, smoking also reduces a woman’s oestrogen levels, which has an effect your bones and teeth as you get older. Women who smoke go through menopause on average one-and-a-half years earlier than those don’t – and an early menopause puts you at higher risk of osteoporosis and the fractures and pain that go with it. And not only does smoking turn your teeth to an unattractive shade of deep yellow, smokers are twice as likely to lose their teeth as non-smokers.”
– Dr Terri Foran, sexual health physician
#8: Have a glass of wine
You’ve probably heard a lot about resveratrol, a compound in red wine and grape juice that seems to slow aging. One recent study found that resveratrol-fed mice had stronger bones and better motor coordination, and showed fewer “old age” problems like heart disease, inflammation, and cataracts. The jury is still out on whether resveratrol has the same effect on humans, but nutritionists say drinking red wine in moderation does have heart-healthy benefits.
Related: 12 Tips To Live Longer And Healthier
#9: Sip on green tea
“Green tea is an amazing compound in terms of blocking the signaling network that is linked with the progression of cancer,” says Amy Yee, PhD, a professor of biochemistry at Tufts University and principal investigator of the cancer study. It’s also an effective weight-management agent because it appears to rev up metabolism, say experts. Preliminary research indicates that green tea may even help prevent Alzheimer’s disease. A Japanese study published last year in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that drinking at least one cup a day can help keep your brain sharp as you get older.
Text: Bauer/ Good Health/ Additional Reporting: Shenielle Aloysis