When we talk about aging, it’s easy to get caught up in what we don’t want to happen. We don’t want to get sick. We don’t want fine lines. We don’t want gray hairs. But if we want to live a long life, the reality is we have to focus on what we do want for our bodies. And then, we need to really hone in on those desires and go after them in a smart, strategic way. So we caught up with Susan Nilon, a registered nurse at OrangeTwist, who helped us create a list of commandments that can guide us through the process of aging gracefully—and gratefully. “It’s about being grateful for what you have done and how far you’ve come. That’s what it means to age gratefully,” she says.
Thou shalt implement a skin care regimen
As you get older, your skin will go through endless changes. It will lose elasticity, moisture, and luminosity. This is the time to show some extra TLC to the skin you’ve been living in. You can still look and feel refreshed while you’re aging by (a) adopting a skin care routine with active ingredients and (b) seeing a skin care expert. “It’s not a bad time to be aging considering all of the products we have at our disposal,” Nilon says. One product she’s adamant about using? The HydraTint Pro Mineral Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 36 is a must-have, she explains. SPF should be a non-negotiable in your skin care routine—this one is hydrating and can double as a light foundation thanks to its tinted quality.
Thou shalt eat a balanced diet
Implementing a well-balanced diet is one of the best ways to keep your body in prime shape as you age. Include fruits and vegetables with every meal to ensure you’re getting all the vitamins and nutrients that will help your body function at its full potential. A well-balanced diet can also help combat health problems like high blood pressure, diabetes and more. Hydration is key, too. Our bodies are more than 50% water—in other words, H2O is important. Water aids the digestive system flushes the body of toxins, boosts the skin’s appearance and even improves the quality of sleep we get each night.
Thou shalt get a full night’s sleep
Speaking of catching some Zs, sleep is one of the most important activities you will ever do in your life. When you’re sleeping, your skin cells rejuvenate, your mind rests and your stress levels balance themselves out. As you age, sleep remains a crucial component of being able to function effectively on a daily basis. Forming good sleep habits as early as possible will benefit you in the long run.
Thou shalt exercise
Exercise comes in many forms. If joining a gym isn’t your thing, you can play a game outdoors, walk a couple of blocks or even get in a little swim. Exercise has many benefits, but one of the main perks is improved heart health. Exercise also helps promote healthy blood flow and builds cardiovascular endurance to keep your body functional. Even simple exercises like light stretching will make a difference.
Thou shalt show gratitude
Aging happens from the inside out—we have to take care of our entire body, which includes the mind! Start a gratitude journal, and list three to five things (or people!) that you’re grateful for at the end of each day. Gratitude journals increase feelings of happiness and empower you to put the world in perspective. “Expressing gratitude is about coming into who you are,” Nilon says.