Don’t Let the Pandemic Age You

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By Judy Gaman

Changing routines can take its toll both mentally and physically.

If one thing has come from 2020, it’s that we learned how to adapt and pivot from our usual daily practices. As much as we have all learned about ourselves and our world during this year, it’s also true that the pandemic has taken many things from us.

We may have lost our freedom to go and do as we please, and in some cases even our income, but we don’t have to let it take our youth, causing us to age prematurely. Here’s a few anti-aging tips from some of the top physicians in their fields:

Keep Moving!

Robert Bayless, MD, of Precision Orthopedics and Sports Medicine advises his patients, “Get outside and walk, go to the park, or ride a bike. Regular Exercise is the closest thing we have to the fountain of youth.”

Many studies have shown that regular exercise increases not only how long you live, but how many of those years are healthy years. Bayless says, “Don’t forget to do regular stretching. Yoga is a great way to stay flexible, and its fun.”

Exercise actually increases hormone levels. For example, growth hormone (GH), which helps the body stay young on a cellular level, increases with cardiovascular exercise. So, don’t forget to power walk or run if you’re physically able.

Take Care of Your Skin

Just because you may not be putting on makeup, it doesn’t mean you can skip your skincare routine. Perhaps more than ever, we need to pay special attention to our skin.

Board Certified Dermatologist Dr. Rawn Bosley of Prism Dermatology says, “Several factors that contribute to premature skin aging include: wearing a mask, increased screen time (phone and computer), and continuous exposure to air conditioning while at home.”

Many people have complained about the masks leading to acne or changes in skin texture.

One day this will all be over and we will emerge back into the real world of social gatherings, work at the office, and extended family functions. What we do with our skin now will determine how we look when that day arrives.

Bosley says, “Even if you’re not going out now, maintaining a skincare routine that includes adequate hydration and gentle exfoliation will keep your skin looking young and vibrant, while preventing premature aging.”

Place an Emphasis on Nutrition

It’s true that you really are what you eat and the only thing that will age you faster than packaged and processed foods, is fast food or fried foods. Eating nutritious, whole fruits and vegetables not only boosts your immune system, it also keeps the body healthy and young from the inside out.

Mark Anderson, MD, a partner at Executive Medicine of Texas says, “Everything we put in our mouth has the potential to help us or to harm us. The choice is yours to make, but remember that an anti-inflammatory diet will protect you from diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer.”

Foods that have an anti-inflammatory effect include: avocado, nuts, berries, and leafy green vegetables. Skip sodas and sugar drinks and instead opt for green tea sweetened with a dab of honey.

Anderson also advises, “Read labels. If you can’t pronounce the ingredients, or if it contains artificial sweeteners, don’t let it pass your lips.”

About the Author: Judy Gaman is a health and wellness expert and host of the Stay Young America! podcast. She’s authored many books on aging, and just released Love, Life, and Lucille, an award-winning memoir about incredible friendship with Lucille Fleming, a centenarian who died just shy of her 104th birthday.