Aging is inevitable—here’s how to do it smarter, better and more gracefully
Although an inevitable part of life, aging is often viewed as a “bad” thing in our society. However, we don’t have to fear aging. Aging well is very much possible. The secret? Taking care of our mind, body and skin, and who better to teach us how than Murad founder and board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Howard Murad. He not only embodies these principles but also has the science to back them up. Below, he shares his top mind, body, skin and diet tips for aging smarter, better and more gracefully.
Positive affirmations top Dr. Murad’s list of aging secrets. Here’s why: A study showed that participants who reviewed positive phrases about optimism, emotion regulation and gratitude every day for four weeks showed lower stress levels and began to look at life through a more positive lens. Examples of affirmations included “be imperfect, live longer” and “forgive yourself” — all specifically curated to “encourage you to have strength from within to make positive changes in your life,” Dr. Murad explains.
Exercise and supplementation
Taking good care of our physical bodies is also vital for aging well. Particularly, Dr. Murad points to exercise, emphasizing that not all fitness styles work for everyone. For this reason, he encourages trying different types of workouts until you find what works best for you. Supplementation is another tip he shares on maintaining a healthy body that ages gracefully. Specifically, he notes our joints and connective tissue don’t work as well as we get older, so he recommends taking glucosamine supplements to encourage healthy connective tissue.
Wear (and eat) your sunscreen
Protecting our skin from the sun’s harmful rays also plays a role in graceful aging, which is why Dr. Murad advises being religious about sunscreen application and not just once in the morning but also every three to four hours (or as directed on the packaging) to ensure your skin is well protected. For even more protection, you can also “eat your sunscreen,” Dr. Murad says. That means eating foods that help protect against sun damage, such as watermelon and pomegranates.
Keeping your skin hydrated is also of utmost importance because skin gets drier as we get older. “The most important thing scientifically, from my perspective, is to encourage better hydration,” Dr. Murad says. “Not just drinking water, but a combination of things.” His mantra? “Eat your water” by consuming water-rich foods—think raw fruits and vegetables like cucumber—so you don’t just reap the hydration benefits of water, you also get the added antioxidants and phytonutrients.
Aging doesn’t have to be scary. With Dr. Murad’s tips, it’s possible to approach getting older with ease and enthusiasm. The vital step, he says, is acceptance. Accept that you may not be able to do run or complete soduku puzzles as fast as you did when you were younger. However, no matter your age, you still have lots of potential ahead of you, he says. So it’s important to focus on what you can do. For instance, if want to take up a new hobby or achieve a big dream, remember it’s never too late.
The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Murad, and are for informational purposes only, even if the advice of physicians and medical practitioners are included. This article is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, and should not be considered specific medical advice.