By the age of 60, the signs of ageing are already evident in our skin, but that’s certainly no reason to neglect it. More than ever, our skin needs to be deeply nourished and hydrated with the help of specially-tailored skincare.
What to do
Avoid taking aggressive beauty steps and treat your skin with the utmost gentleness. Choose cleansing milks over astringent solutions. Nourish your skin morning and night with rich creams specially designed for mature skin (with active ingredients such as collagen). Don’t forget to use appropriate products to pamper your hands, where skin is thinner.
Loss of muscle and bone density are two important metabolic processes which affect us after the age of 60. They can increase our risk of both osteoporosis and suffering a fall.
What to do
Continue to take regular exercise, say, two to three sessions a week of gentle activity such as going to the gym, swimming or power-walking, in order to maintain good muscle and bone mass. Choose outdoor leisure activities such as gardening or walking to ensure you get plenty of vitamin D which is produced by the body on exposure to the sun. Vitamin D, particularly vitamin D3, actually helps prevent osteoporosis. Also available in the form of dietary supplements, vitamin D3 can be taken as a course of supplementation to correct any deficiency.
After the menopause, the effects of hormones can sometimes mean that women tend to put on weight. Others may lose their appetite. Whichever is the case, it’s important to try and maintain a stable weight, focusing on a varied, balanced diet, in order to prevent health problems.
What to do
Try to eat as many fruits and vegetables as possible – whether raw or cooked – every day. They provide fibre, vitamins, minerals and trace elements which fight cellular ageing. Protein - in meat, fish and eggs - is also essential for maintaining good muscle mass, as are grains and pulses (chickpeas, lentils …). And don’t forget about calcium-rich dairy products to ensure bone strength. Last but not least, make sure you drink enough fluid throughout the day to maintain optimal hydration.
Problems with intestinal transit are common among the over-60s. Constipation, while it may not be serious, is still distressing, especially if accompanied by problems such as bloating, acid reflux or nausea (otherwise known as dyspepsia).
What to do
If you suffer from constipation, prioritise fibre-rich food to improve intestinal transit: raw fruits and vegetables, whole grains (wholemeal bread, for example), and pulses (lentils, dried beans, chickpeas …). Phytotherapy can also be an effective aid for sluggish digestion. Psyllium, for example, is extremely effective because of its high content in soluble fibre.
Our immune defences tend to decline with age but maintaining a tip-top immune system both improves your body’s ability to fight external attacks and keeps you generally fitter.
What to do
Probiotics are a real help here as they restore balance to gut flora which is itself directly involved in our immune defences. They are found in fermented products such as yogurt, kefir and sauerkraut, as well as in dietary supplements. A probiotic containing several strains of ‘friendly’ bacteria (Probio Forte) would be an excellent choice.
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