Your skin is the largest organ in your body, and the health of your skin is typically a reflection of your total wellness. Healthy skin is the sign of a healthy lifestyle.
An effective senior wellness program that addresses every aspect of senior life diminishes the impact of many health issues, like skin problems, typically associated with aging.
Healthy skin helps maintain senior wellness.
Your skin plays a vital role in maintaining health and wellness. It protects our bodies from infection and can cool and detoxify our bodies through perspiration. As we age our cells are not able to regenerate as they did before in order to repair skin damage, so we must work harder to keep good skin health.
It’s never too late to start working toward healthy living, and our wellness experts have a few health tips for seniors that will put that natural glow back into your skin.
- Get plenty of sleep. Restful sleep is an integral part of any senior wellness program. Getting a good 7 to 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep promotes faster regeneration of cells and keeps your body and hormonal systems function normally.
- Don’t smoke. Smoking is a major health risk. It increases your chance of developing a life-threatening condition and prematurely ages skin. Smoking breaks down the collagen and elastin in your skin, which keeps your skin firm, and causes wrinkles.
- Stay hydrated. Hydrated skin is healthier skin. You can maintain proper hydration by drinking plenty of water— about 8 to 12 glasses a day— and limiting your caffeine and alcohol consumption. Keep your skin from drying out during the winter with a humidifier or vaporizer.
- Keep your skin clean. Oil and dirt build up every day. Washing daily with a gentle cleanser can help removing these irritants and clean clogged pores. Don’t scrub, as skin thins with age and can be more easily damages, then pat dry and apply a moisturizer to help seal in the water.
- Change your eating habits. Studies have shown that eating a Mediterranean diet promotes better senior wellness. You’ll want to stock up on the whole grains, vegetables, legumes, fruits, cereals, fish rich in Omega-3, and mono-unsaturated fats. But cut back on saturated fats, dairy products, meat, and poultry. Research suggests that a diet especially high in antioxidants, like fresh berries, protect against age-related changes in the skin as well as in the brain. Foods like leafy greens that provide Vitamins A and C help to maintain skin with the kind of strength and elasticity that keeps you looking younger and protects against germs.
- Get the right amount of sun. Overexposure to sunlight can cause damage to the skin which compromises its ability to function and can lead to premature aging, wrinkling, and skin cancer. Reduce your exposure by staying out of direct sunlight, especially during the peak hours of intensity from 11:00 in the morning to 3:00 in the afternoon, and using a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF rating of 30 or higher. And don’t use tanning beds which damage your skin as badly as over exposure to the sun without the benefits of getting a dose of Vitamin D.
- Exercise. Regular physical activity promotes healthy aging. In addition to better sleep, brain health, and physical fitness, Exercise enhances your circulation which feeds your cells more nutrients and oxygen. Plus, when you work up a sweat, you’re helping your body eliminate toxins.
- Manage your stress. In addition to raising blood pressure, stress constricts blood flow and triggers an increase in hormonal levels that can be destructive to senior wellness and skin health.