Sunday, April 1, 2007

4 Simple Anti-Aging Tips

4 Simple Anti-Aging Tips by Donovan Baldwin

Articles on anti-aging are all over the internet these days, so I thought I would chip in my four cent's worth. That's a penny a tip.

We cannot do much about the fact that we age, but we can do something about the effects that aging has on us. Here are four simple things you can do to delay and diminish the effects of aging.





Think you can handle those?


One of the most obvious effects of aging is what happens to the outward appearance of our bodies as well as what happens to our ability to use them. When we age, systems slow down, or even break down, we lose muscle mass, our heart begins to have problems, we lose our balance more often, we are more likely to break bones. If injured, we recover more slowly. Wrinkles form, breasts sag, stomachs poke out, and we gain weight.

Simple fact: Regular moderate exercise tightens muscles, builds lean muscle mass, helps keep us flexible and strong. It keeps systems and organs in peak health and operating at optimum efficiency. There are people in their 80's and 90's who are doing "athletic" things. Of course, some of this is related to our genetic makeup, but almost anyone can improve their overall health and fitness through a regular program of moderate exercise.

Exercise doesn't HAVE to be exercise, by the way. Gardening is exercise. So is walking, bicycling, aerobics in front of the TV (Richard Simmons, ladies), yoga, weight training, and playing with the grandkids.

Divide exercise into three types: Muscle building and toning, aerobic (cardiovascular) activity, and stretching. A basic, moderate strength routine two or three times a week, a cardiovascular activity such as a walk five times a week, and a few minutes of stretching every day should do it. It's long been understood that regular exercise can keep anybody looking and feeling good.


When people age, their nutrition often suffers. First of all, we have all kinds of exhortations to eat less, lose weight, etc. At the same time, as we age, our metabolism slows down and our body's ability to process certain nutrients diminishes as well. Many seniors lose interest in food. Our taste buds even betray us.

For seniors, eating should be fun, of course, but it needs to become a bit more logical. The body requires nutrients, but is having a hard time processing nutrients. Metabolism drops, fat starts packing on, but we need to keep our nutrient level up at a time that our sense of taste is deserting us and we are losing interest in food and a lot of other things anyway.

The exercise I mentioned earlier helps to keep your appetite up while it raises your metabolism and increases your enjoyment of life as well. It will also be necessary to make yourself eat what you are supposed to eat when you are supposed to eat it. If you have any doubt about your ability to get the appropriate nutrition from the foods you do eat, supplement your diet with vitamins and minerals. At the least, you might want to take a daily multivitamin supplement. Look for the ones that say they are for seniors.

Seniors also tend to not get enough protein. You might not need to butcher a whole cow, but try to make sure that you are getting your protein. While not perfect answers, supplements such as Ensure can help you get protein and other nutrients if you are not sure.

If you are engaging in regular physical activity (exercise) and eating properly, you will almost certainly feel more like having fun!


Having fun can have many benefits to anybody at any age, but can be of particular importance to seniors. As we age (I am 62) many of us begin to feel isolated as we quit going to work, friends die, it gets harder to get around, everybody around us (those young folks) seems to enjoy things that seem meaningless to us. Based on what a friend of mine, a geriatric nurse, told me, this is the slippery slope that leads many perfectly healthy and normal people to a chair on a senior daycare porch. She told me that many of her patients were fine, they had just figured that there was no reason to be interested in life any more.

Social interaction can keep juices flowing that otherwise would dry up, and I am talking actual chemicals, hormones, and enzymes. Spend time with friends and family. If you no longer have a job to go to daily, why not volunteer in order to keep physically, mentally, and socially active. Find something you always wished you could do, but didn't have the time because you were so busy earning a living. People with partners and pets live longer, healthier lives. There's a clue.

Keep your mind active with puzzles and games. Believe it or not, a little Sudoku, or a few logic puzzles can not only help mental alertness and thinking ability, but can actually contribute to physical health.

Just thought I'd mention, sex is good for you too!


Rest is important at all stages of our lives, and it becomes very important as we age. Regular exercise, proper nutrition, and some fun will help you fall asleep at night and sleep well. Most of us, both young and old, should be trying to get between six and eight hours of decent sleep a night. Just because you wake up a couple of times to take care of some urgent business doesn't mean that you need to stay up.

If you feel you are not getting enough sleep, or are just not rested enough, by all means have it checked out medically. In the meantime, maybe some meditation during the day can help. Hey! That's M-E-D-I-T-A-T-I-O-N so you don't need M-E-D-I-C-A-T-I-O-N!

Have a happy, healthy life.

Donovan Baldwin is a Texas writer, a University of West Florida alumnus, a member of Mensa, and is retired from the U. S. Army after 21 years of service. You can find a collection of his articles on health, fitness, diet and weight loss at

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