Aging is a natural process that none of us can avoid, but the decline can be less severe if we practice good self-care.
There are many expensive treatments and serums that help ward off the signs of aging, but treating our bodies with kindness and feeding our soul what it craves can give some of the best results available without spending a penny.
Eating nutritious foods, exercising consistently, and even indulging from time-to-time, will all support health. There are also anti-aging activities that won’t break the bank. By practicing these completely free activities, you’ll help yourself age more gracefully without hurting your wallet.
Not getting enough sleep can make you age more quickly. Our skin, immune system, and metabolism all suffer when we are sleep deprived. Human growth hormone is produced when we sleep and cutting back on shut-eye will leave you tired, grumpy and achy. Adults ages 18 to 64 should aim for 7-9 hours of sleep, while those 65 and older can thrive on 7-8 hours of sleep.
Here are a couple of tips to get more and better sleep:
- Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day
- Establish a nighttime routine where you shut off all screens and start winding down the hour before you sleep
- Keep your room quiet and cool when you sleep
- Walk for 30–45 minutes in the morning sun to spur production of serotonin
2. Time in Nature
Nature helps us unplug from the modern world and reconnect with a greater sense of the eternal. Fresh air, sunlight, and exercise are good for the body and soul. Whether it’s the woods, the beach, or the desert, nature is easily accessible, even in big cities. Most cities have local parks nearby. In the winter, even viewing pictures of nature will change your mood and how your brain functions.
Meditation slows the aging process. Even taking as little as fifteen minutes a day to be present with your breath can help you to feel more at ease and allow you to think better. Normally, aging brings on a decrease in memory and cognition. However, dementia and Alzheimer’s may be prevented or slowed through practicing meditation as it helps with brain connectivity. Finally, highly productive and successful people take the time to meditate to help them see their goals and desires more clearly so they can accomplish more throughout the day.
Having healthy relationships provides connection and companionship, which is crucial for our emotional and mental health. Friendships that are nurturing influence our habits and hobbies. Whether we stay active or sedentary, eat right or drink too often, depends on the people we associate with the most. Our closest friends affect our decisions and moods. They can provide help when we are in need and laughter when we are blue. To keep friendships healthy, it’s important to resolve conflict when it comes up. The stress and anxiety from being upset can lead to depression and a suppressed immune system.
Laughter is fun and good for our bodies. It releases endorphins, a hormone that makes us feel good and relieves pain. Laughter also decreases cortisol, a stress hormone, that can cause inflammation in the body. Less inflammation means less stress on our immune system, freeing it up to protect us from infection and disease. Laughter also promotes heart health as it lowers blood pressure, increases circulation and oxygen intake, and improves the function of blood vessels. Plus, studies have found that about 15 minutes of laughing can burn up to 40 calories. No, you won’t be able to shed excessive weight with a few hearty chuckles, but burning extra calories is always a bonus so don’t hold back.
By incorporating these free activities into your life, you can experience more vibrant health as you grow older. You can also age with more grace and ease.
Erika Long loves corgis, curry, and comedy. Always searching for the next great snuggle, flavor, or laugh, she inspires people to live their best life now. When not writing, Erika can be found at her local brewery dominating Harry Potter trivia night.