By Maria Jauhar, M.D.
Until recent years we all thought we knew what getting older looked like. After all, we’d seen our older relatives move through stages that most of them had in common. Our overall perception was once encapsulated in the expression, “Getting old is not for sissies.”
Healthy Aging Month was founded to bring another point of view to the attention of a rapidly growing population. It’s not surprising that the influential “Baby Boom” generation now swells the ranks of America’s seniors, but with 82 million “Generation X-ers” joining them at age 50 and above, a huge proportion of society can live better by taking a different view of aging.
Let’s Get Physical – and Social and Financial and Mental
Healthy aging calls for attention to all the key aspects of well-being, from the body to the bank account. So Healthy Aging Month reminds people to pay attention to them all. September was chosen as the month to celebrate because, more than the calendar year, the school year sticks with us as the time to begin learning new skills and insights.
And “new” is a lot of what healthy aging is about. New knowledge, new goals, and new habits can be the foundation for a life we didn’t foresee when our mission was establishing a career, making a home, or rearing a family. One of the delights of this new view of aging is that in many cases the focus can shift in a good way to the self.
Seemingly “Soft Stuff” Counts
Catnaps can reduce the danger of heart disease. People with goals and a sense of drive to achieve them are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s. These findings are research-backed, and they’re just two of the lifestyle tips you can find on the Healthy Aging Magazine website.
Among the magazine’s 10 Tips to Celebrate Healthy Aging Month are some that sound strangely simple, yet contribute a lot to a person’s fresh approach to living.
One of the most unexpected of these tips might be this one. Remember your favorite age or chapter in your life. Picture yourself as that age and feel it. Some of the other tips might remind us of things our parents seemed to harp on. Stand up straight. Smile. Walk like a vibrant, healthy person.
They might have sounded tiresome when we were teenagers, but later in life they can shape for us an approach to living that helps make living worthwhile. Do we stand and walk this way, or carry this facial expression, because we have to? Or is it just a habit we developed as life progressed? With consciousness and desire, we can just as well develop a new and different habit that serves us much better.
Put Professional Coaching On Your Side, Too
Of course, regular medical attention plays a big role in preventing drastic medical attention at any stage of life. This is especially true as we grow older. A firm foundation for this preventative care is to develop a relationship with a family physician who can get to know you overall – at your best and not just when something goes wrong.
And the best time to develop that relationship is before you need it.
By Maria Jauhar, M.D.
So many of us these days see aging as a time of growing freedom. We’ve “tested out” of many of life’s most difficult courses. Our families depend less on us – or at best depend on us for different things. Now we have the time. Do we still have the ability?
This beautiful opportunity calls for a type of planning we might not have needed until now – a strategy for well-being that makes the most of our gifts and manages the aging factors that might restrain us.
Enlisting a physician in your anti-aging strategies makes sense for a host of reasons. A doctor’s knowledge can clear up the fuzzy boundaries between a lifetime of living and a pre-existing condition. Those are assessments best left to a professional.
Uniquely Qualified to Help
Understandably, specialists view you from the perspective of their unique vantage point. Orthopedists, rheumatologists, cardiologists may be just the persons you need when a certain issue reaches the horizon. But a family physician could be your best anti-aging consultant because she is not focused on one solution.
Family medicine can take a whole-body approach that includes preventive elements like diet, stress management, exercise, and other lifestyle-based strategies .
An Especially Efficient Approach
Hormones are part of the body’s own anti-aging process, and as they decline the effects of age show up. Deficiencies can undermine overall health too, impacting sleep, digestion, outlook and even mental processes.
Since hormones signal and regulate many of the body’s essential activities, and since they decline with age in both women and men, hormone replacement has been an effective approach to address the effects of deficiencies and imbalances.
In particular, bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) has become an important part of anti-aging programs that are unique to each patient. Supplementing and monitoring hormone levels can restore lost energy, impart renewed confidence and improved outlook, and ease the physical impact of growing older.
Hormones That the Body Can Believe
Synthetic hormones have molecular differences the body can sense, and it responds with some of the drawbacks of a foreign substance. That’s why the advance of bio-identical hormone replacement therapy is so important. Bio-identical hormones are derived from natural sources like yams and soy, and they have the same chemical structure as those produced naturally by our bodies.
They fit perfectly into the hormone receptors of your body, so you absorb them more easily, and your body responds without many of the drawbacks that earlier forms of hormone replacement could bring.
These bio-identical hormones can be compounded into forms your body can absorb more easily, too, like creams, gels, pellets and pills.
A talk with your family physician could be the beginning of an anti-aging strategy tailored especially for you. And if that family physician is also a qualified hormone therapist, that talk could put the most effective tools in your hands.
By Maria Jauhar, M.D.
Depending on your health habits, your skin can show the signs of aging as early as your 30th birthday. Some things are beyond your control, such as genetics or falling estrogen levels that can lead to sagging skin. But there are plenty of things within your control that can slow down the aging process – or even reverse the signs of aging. Here are five things you can do right now to improve the appearance of your skin:
1. Cut Your Sun Exposure in Half
UV exposure is the No. 1 cause of premature skin again. Sun causes a loss of collagen, which gives your skin elasticity and a healthy, youthful appearance, and it also damages elastin. Both of these can lead to wrinkles, drooping skin, and a lost jawline, not to mention discoloration and a rough skin texture. What’s more, UV rays are the main cause of skin cancers, which is all the more reason to stay out of the sun.
Use sunblock with a sun-protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 on your face, spreading it to your neck and ears. Know that older skin tends to be more vulnerable to the effects of the sun than younger skin. If you don’t like wearing sunscreen, then use makeup bases and moisturizers with UV-protection built in. While you might not get the optimum amount of SPF, this is better than having no protection at all.
Also, wear UV-protective clothing. A host of new apparel blocks UV rays while wicking away moisture, making these clothes especially good for outdoor exercise.
Finally, if you exercise outside, then do so in the early morning or late afternoon. Avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when UV rays are most potent
2. Pay Attention to What You Put In Your Body
Your skin is your largest organ, and your diet directly affects how you age. If you’re not getting all the nutrients you need, then your skin will show signs of premature aging. To ensure you are getting your nutrients, take a vitamin D supplement, eat plenty of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids (from natural sources such as olive oil, ground flaxseed, and salmon), drink water throughout the day (strive for a liter per day), and cut way back on processed foods and sugars.
3. Use a Retinoid
Retinoids are a derivatives of vitamin A that have been shown to boost collagen production and cell turnover, as well as to unclog pores and stimulate blood vessels. Retinoids reduce oil and acne, smooths the skin, and gives you a brighter, healthier appearance. If you would like to discuss prescription-strength retinoids, which are generally the most effective, then call our office at 912-897-6832 to schedule an appointment or use our online appointment request form.
4. Develop a Nighttime Routine
Sure, you took care of your skin in the morning by applying sunscreen. You also need to take care of your skin at night. First, remove all makeup and wash your face before you go to bed. Your skin has been assaulted all day by chemicals in the air that break down collagen and cause other damage. If you don’t clean your face, your exposure to these pollutants will continue all night long, too. Second, retinoid and then a moisturizer. Third, sleep on a clean pillow.
5. Select Appropriate Cosmetic Procedures
Sometimes, despite staying out of the sun, adhering to a healthy diet, and doing everything in your power to maintain healthy skin, you need a little extra. Should you need help in maintaining a youthful appearance, we are here to help. We offer both Juvederm and Radiesse, which are fillers that reduce wrinkles and lines, at great prices. Just call us at 912-897-6832 to schedule a consultation, and we’ll discuss all of our anti-aging programs with you.