8 Tips to Age Slower & Support Longevity

Anti-aging strategies to maintain your youth, no matter your age!

By: Lexy Parsons

Aging is a natural and beautiful process that brings forth wisdom, experience, and a deeper appreciation of life. We grow, learn, and change, both physically and mentally, with every trip around the sun — and that’s something to embrace! However, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to slow the aging process in an effort to live a long, vibrant, healthy life. Different than trying to defy the natural course of aging, slowing down the aging process involves adopting healthy habits and practices that support overall well-being. This can include regular exercise, maintaining a balanced diet rich in nutrients, staying hydrated, getting enough sleep, managing stress, and avoiding harmful habits like smoking or excessive alcohol consumption. It’s all about finding the balance between embracing the natural process of aging and taking proactive steps to maintain our vitality and quality of life. And to help you do just that, we’re sharing the top (natural!) ways to age slower.

8 Healthy Habits That Will Help You Age Slower 

#1 Add Antioxidants For Anti-Inflammation

When it comes to slowing the aging process, the evidence is clear: eating a balanced whole foods diet is one of the best ways to support longevity. While it’s important to fill your plate with a variety of colors, darker-colored foods — such as dark leafy greens and red or purple fruits and veggies — are particularly important for anti-aging. These foods contain powerful antioxidant compounds such as polyphenols, anthocyanins, and flavonoids that help neutralize harmful free radicals, reduce inflammation, and protect cells from damage.

RELATED: 15 Powerful Antioxidant-Rich Foods to Add to Your Diet

#2 Eat Healthy Fats For Brain Fuel

To maintain mental sharpness, consuming healthy fats, particularly EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) Omega-3 fatty acids is crucial. Research suggests that omega-3 fatty acids have neuroprotective properties that help combat oxidative stress and inflammation in the brain, reducing the risk of cognitive decline, memory loss, and mood disorders.

Monounsaturated fats, found in plant-based foods such as olive oil, avocados, nuts, and seeds, are another source of healthy fats with anti-aging benefits. Shown to reduce inflammation, regulate cholesterol levels, support cardiovascular health, and help improve blood flow to the brain — all of which are crucial factors in promoting longevity — incorporating these healthy fats into your diet can help provide the necessary nutrients needed to slow the aging process.

RELATED: 12 Brain-Boosting Superfoods That Will Keep Your Mind Sharp

#3 Preserve Muscle Mass

Staying strong, agile, and mobile are some of the best ways to slow aging and maintain your youth, no matter your fitness level or age. While sarcopenia, the age-related loss of muscle mass and function, is a natural part of aging, prioritizing lifestyle factors such as strength training and boosting your intake of protein-rich foods can help preserve muscle mass. These activities help to stimulate muscle growth and repair and improve muscle strength. Not only does this reduce the risk of falls and fractures, but it also helps to slow aging by supporting mobility and improving overall quality of life.

Aim to incorporate resistance training exercises, such as weightlifting, bodyweight exercises, and resistance band workouts, into your fitness routine at least two to three times per week. Additionally, include protein-rich foods such as lean meats, fish, eggs, legumes, nuts, and seeds into your meals to preserve muscle mass and improve strength.

RELATED: The Anti-Aging Benefits of Exercise, According to Research

#4 Prioritize Heart Health

Heart-healthy habits like regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, managing stress, and avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption are some of the best ways to age slower. Not only can you reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases by lowering blood pressure and reducing inflammation, but by prioritizing heart health, you can also develop greater resilience against the effects of aging and improve overall quality of life.

Here are some heart-healthy habits to consider:

  • Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise per week
  • Avoid or limit refined fats, excess sodium, and added sugars
  • Limit alcohol consumption and avoid smoking
  • Opt for nutrient-dense foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats

RELATED: 9 Daily Habits That Support Heart Health

#5 Support Bone Health

As we age, maintaining strong bones becomes crucial to prevent osteoporosis and reduce the risk of fractures. While osteoporosis, characterized by low bone density and weakened bones, is a common age-related condition, there are many simple strategies to help support bone health and mobility. When it comes to nutrients for bone health, getting adequate calcium and vitamin D is crucial, whether through diet, supplements, or in the case of vitamin D, sunshine. 

As for exercise, weight-bearing and resistance exercises like walking, jogging, or weightlifting (whether utilizing equipment or your own body weight) can also help build and preserve bone density, reducing the risk of age-related bone loss.

#6 Optimize Gut Health

Gut health plays a significant role in longevity, with more and more research showing its profound impact on reduced aging and overall well-being. To support a healthy gut microbiome, consume a diverse range of fiber-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes as well as probiotic and prebiotic foods. Shown to reduce inflammation, enhance immune function, and improve digestion and nutrient absorption, gut-healthy foods can help promote digestive wellness, slow aging, and support overall longevity.

RELATED: The Best Foods For a Healthier Gut According to an RD

#7 Manage Stress

Chronic stress is one of the biggest contributors to accelerated aging and adverse health conditions. Linked to elevated levels of stress hormones like cortisol, increased inflammation, and oxidative stress, chronic stress can damage cells and tissues over time, leading to increased aging and risk of disease. To age slower, consider incorporating stress management techniques into your daily routine such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, yoga, or even uninterrupted time with friends or loved ones. Remember that managing stress is an ongoing process — even if you’re feeling good, taking a preventative approach can help support your mind and body now, and for years to come!

RELATED: 14 Life-Changing Tips to Practice Daily Stress Management

#8 Prioritize Social Connection

Speaking of support, maintaining and prioritizing meaningful social connections is one of the best ways to buffer against the negative effects of stress and support healthy aging. Whether it’s scheduling regular family dinners or coffee dates with friends, joining a local community like a new fitness studio or volunteer group, or seeking support from a therapist, support group, or medical professional, there are so many ways to cultivate a strong support network that supports longevity and well-being at every stage of life.

The Takeaway

Remember, age is just a number. No matter the number of years lived, there are so many science-backed strategies to age slower and optimize your overall health and well-being for years to come. From nourishing your body with wholesome foods, to prioritizing heart and brain health, to supporting bone and muscle strength, there are so many protective tools at your disposal. Use this longevity guide as inspiration for building your anti-aging lifestyle, and modify any area you see fit! Here’s to a more vibrant and healthy you, at every stage of life.