Aging with Grace: How People Age Today vs. Fifty Years Ago

By: Charlie Fletcher

We’ve all seen them: breathtakingly beautiful Hollywood starlets who’ve been around for decades, and yet they still look as gorgeous as they did 30 years ago—if not better. But it’s not just Hollywood. If you look through old family photos, you’re probably going to be shocked at how different women in their 40s, 50s, 60s, and beyond looked then compared to how women of the same age look today. So what happened?

Have we all fallen into some strange time warp, or do today’s women know something the women of yesterday didn’t? The answer to the latter question is yes. Women now have more knowledge and better tools than ever to combat the aging process. Read on for the best tips and tricks to help you stay young in mind, body, and spirit!

Start from the Inside

Slowing down the sands of time isn’t about stuffing every nook and cranny of your face with Botox and fillers, nor does it involve coating yourself head to foot in pricy exotic potions and unguents. It starts by taking care of your insides, physically, spiritually, and emotionally. Take the time every day to do something that you love, whether that’s relaxing in front of the fireplace with a great book or dancing through your kitchen with your favorite tunes turned full blast.

Taking care of your insides also means getting out and getting physical. It means challenging yourself to learn new things and take on new adventures. Above all, it means building—and maintaining—strong connections with others. Building these active and social habits into your daily routine will help you combat stress, loneliness, and physical frailty. You’ll feel more engaged in and excited about it because you’ll be living a life you actually enjoy!

Nourish Your Body

Taking care of your insides is about more than just having fun and getting out into the world. It’s also about providing your body with the fuel it needs to look and feel its best. Load your body with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables and take care to stay well-hydrated.

And no matter how much of a partier you may have been back in the day, if you want to slow the aging process, then it’s a good idea to scale back on your former wild child ways. You can still enjoy a night out for cocktails with your forever friends. Just keep it in moderation. Even more important, if you smoke, stop.

There are few things worse for your health than smoking—and those effects will show up not only in your lungs but also on your skin and face. Most important, don’t be fooled by the recent hype on vaping. While it’s true that vape cigarettes contain fewer toxins and carcinogens than tobacco cigarettes, studies show that some vape flavors can significantly reduce lung capacity, even with minimal exposure.

Don’t Skimp on the Z’s

As important as it is to be active and stay active, if you want to keep your youthful vitality and prime of life looks, then you must get your rest! Studies show that getting seven to nine hours of uninterrupted sleep on a consistent basis will boost your mood, cognitive function, and physical performance.

Studies also show that habitual, quality sleep can help control your weight, reduce inflammation, and decrease your risk of heart attack and stroke. So not only will you feel better and look great, but you’ll also live longer, delaying or entirely avoiding many of the illnesses and impairments commonly associated with aging.

The Takeaway: Putting Yourself on Your Priorities List

One of the leading causes of rapid aging is stress, and one of the principal causes of stress is the failure to practice self-care. As women, we often give too much and take too little, and that puts our physical, spiritual, and emotional health at risk, taking a toll that shows up on our faces as well as in our bodies. Consider, for example, the case of social workers, those who devote their entire career to caring for others. Studies show that people in this profession frequently prioritize the care of others over their own self-care and, as a result, are at significantly higher risk for anxiety, depression, burnout, and illness.

There’s no shame in putting yourself on your own priorities list. In fact, taking care of your physical and emotional needs will help you live a healthier and happier life, and that is not only a gift to yourself but also a gift to all those who love you! So don’t feel guilty about pursuing what you want, from embarking on that Caribbean cruise you’ve always dreamt of to making the career change you’ve long fantasized about.

Matching the Outside to the Inside

Growing older doesn’t have to mean growing old. In fact, in many ways, you probably feel a lot like you did when you were a teenager--only now you are an even better, smarter, and more confident you! But your outside may not entirely match the vibrant, passionate, spirited woman you are on the inside.  If that’s the case, there’s certainly no shame in treating yourself to a little nip or tuck to help you feel more like you.

Once upon a time, women didn’t have the choices we have today. It was either let the hands of time do what they well, or subject yourself to a host of aggressive, inartful, and obvious surgical procedures that left you looking like some strange, sometimes disturbing, sometimes uncomfortably comic, and sometimes downright sad plastic version of yourself. Today, however, advances in cosmetic surgery and other anti-aging technologies can keep you looking fresh and youthful, and no one will be any the wiser!

Consider your favorite celebrities. Some of Hollywood’s most beautiful women, from Cindy Crawford to Jane Fonda, admit to having plastic surgery, botox, and collagen injections, all while maintaining their natural appearance and the unique beauty that is so distinctly their own.