It’s shocking how many people attribute their poor health to getting older, as if they have no control or ability to change things. Truth be told, many signs that you are aging fast are in fact controllable as long as we address the underlying issues and causes.
In this article I address these common symptoms and provide some ideas on how you can take control of your health, and change things for the better.
DIGESTIVE HEALTH MATTERS
The digestive system is essential to our overall health. It determines what nutrients, vitamins and minerals get absorbed into our bloodstream. It’s also one of the first steps in knowing if something we consume is agreeable with our body or not.
In a way, our immune system really starts with our digestive system. Its reaction to what we eat such as bloating, constipation or diarrhea is our body’s way of telling something is wrong. Rather than medicating the symptoms, let’s try and listen to what our gut is trying to tell us.
Here are some checkup questions for you:
Do you have gas, bloating, acid reflux or abdominal pain?
Have you noticed, as you get older, that you’re more sensitive to certain foods?
Do you have issues with constipation?
Do you have diarrhea?
If something’s off in your digestive system, then you will likely have issues throughout the rest of your body. One section with a strong correlation to digestive health is your skin.
Here are some quick questions to ask about your skin health:
Do you have wrinkles?
Is your skin dry?
Do you have puffiness or dark circles under your eyes?
Does your skin have a gray or ashen look to it?
Do you have acne, sunspots, eczema or psoriasis?
Do you have hyperpigmentation?
These can all be symptoms that there is an underlying issue going on. Many of these issues can be addressed with proper nutrition and digestive health.
Some easy steps you can make toward better digestive health is to make sure you are drinking a healthy amount of water, and walking a bit each day. Getting tested for sensitivity to certain foods can help to determine if your symptoms are food related.
STRENGTH AND MOBILITY
One of the major signs attributed to aging is a loss in strength and mobility. In all truth, however, you could be 30 or 60 years old, and if you don’t move your body, you are at risk of losing strength and mobility.
Simply walking 30 minutes each day can help maintain or even recover the mobility and strength you once had.
Here are a few questions to help diagnose the health of your strength and mobility:
When sitting or laying on the floor, are you able to stand up on your own without the use of a chair, desk or other person to help you up?
Can you bend over and at touch your shins or your ankles?
Can you reach back and touch between your shoulder blades with one hand? Can you do it with both hands?
Can you get up from a seated position, walk ten feet, then turn around, come back and sit down? Can you do it within ten seconds? From a seated position, are you able to stand without using your arms for assistance?
If you face difficulty with any of these simple tasks, it is advisable that you work on improving your strength and mobility. Check with a physician first to determine what exercises may be best for you.
Apart from walking, spending time in the pool can be of great benefit. Low impact water exercises can be a great way to safely increase strength and mobility. Your body’s ability to float in the water, makes the exercises easy and fun. Water aerobics instructors are well rehearsed in working with people who have certain needs. Check in with your local pool to see if they have any such classes available.
STRESS AND YOUR MIND
Did you know that stress affects the digestive system? It can prevent us from absorbing vital nutrients we need to help to repair our skin and keep it nice and looking plump, elastic and toned.
How is your focus? How is your ability to multitask? What about memory? Are you becoming more forgetful?
While difficulty in these areas can be a sign of aging, it can also be a sign of stress. The more stressed you are, the more difficult it is for your mind to work properly.
If you look at side by side images of U.S. presidents before and after their presidency, It’s shocking to see them aging too fast. I see this in my patients and friends as well, when looking at pictures of them before and after a stressful season, or situation, in their lives.
One thing I do with folks who are stressed, is to give them my routine planner. This planner helps them schedule each thing they do throughout the day, from morning to night.
If you only schedule two things, make sure that it’s your sleep time and your meals.
When we fail to plan meals we often make poor decisions based on what’s easy, like eating fast food or skipping meals altogether. Skipping meals often results in binge eating later on, or a lack of nutrition.
We are creatures of habit, who thrive off routines. Organizing your time will free your mind to focus on things it should be.
HAVE SOME FUN!
One major way to slow down the signs of aging is to simply have some fun.
Whether you love or hate your job, it’s still a form a responsibility that can build up stress in your life. The same goes for you children. Just because you are doing fun things with your kids doesn’t mean it’s fun for you!
I encourage you to find some simple activities that you can enjoy, free from stress and responsibility. You might be amazed at how you feel the next day.
Stop Aging Too Fast
Don’t feel paralyzed in how you address your health! There are number of small steps you can take toward stopping what seems to be the effects of aging. Daily exercise, drinking water, creating a routine and having fun can contribute greatly toward improving your overall health.
If you are having digestive health issues, don’t hesitate to contact us or a trusted medical professional in your area.
This blog is a summary of a podcast. If you want to hear more about aging fast – click here now to listen to the podcast!