Keeping your skin looking and feeling healthy as you age can seem like a complicated, time-consuming and expensive task. However, maintaining good health as you get older can translate into beautiful skin and a confident appearance.
Cooper Clinic Dermatologist Dr. Helen Kaporis recommends using daily sunblock with SPF higher than 30. Sunblock not only reduces the risk of developing skin cancer, but also decreases premature collagen breakdown. We naturally lose one teaspoon of collagen each year in our face, and sunblock helps prevent additional breakdown.
Dr. Kaporis also notes that daily use of antioxidants can help diminish environmental free radicals that cause oxidative stress on skin. Antioxidants such as Obagi Vitamin C Serum or Skinceuticals Phloretin CF Gel Pump are her top recommendations. In addition, tretinoin or retinol can help reverse photo aging, fine lines and dyspigmentation.
Finally, Dr. Kaporis suggests using moisturizers with ceramics, such as Elta MD Lotion or Cerave Cream, on dry skin that develops over time. These products will help lock in moisture and repair damaged skin.
Cooper Spa’s newest esthetician, Andrea Rankin, also shares her own tips that can help you age beautifully:
- Less is best! Too much product will strip your skin of the acid mantle, the skin’s natural protector, and imbalance your pH levels.
- Wash your face both morning and night – and after any workout. Even if you don’t have time to fully shower, use a towelette on your face, neck and back to remove toxins and bacteria. And, if you have time, use a toner to moisturize and protect your skin until you have time to shower.
- Before bed, wash your face properly and use moisturizer for soft and supple skin.
- To support your diet for healthy skin, take Cooper Complete Dermatologic Health to be sure you’re taking in the proper nutrients.
- Exfoliate once a week. Men typically exfoliate as they shave every day, but don’t forget to exfoliate your nose and forehead, too!
Andrea’s favorite age-defying skin care products include:
- SkinCeuticals A.G.E. Interrupter
- Improves skin creping and thinning
- Corrects the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and rough texture
- Restores water and nutrients to improve the appearance of skin elasticity
- Restores comfort to dry, aging skin
- SkinCeuticals A.G.E. Eye Cream
- Helps protect against stress factors and environmental aggressors
- Combats the appearance of puffiness, sagging skin and dark circles
- Supports the skin’s natural hydration
- Suitable for normal, combination and oily aging skin
Focusing on skin care at any age is an important part of keeping your body healthy. Prevention is key – the more you can take care of and protect your skin in your younger years, the less your skin will seem to age in your later years. But remember, it’s never too late to start a skin care routine that will leave you looking and feeling beautiful!
By: Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper
Becoming healthier as you grow older does not have to be a far-fetched goal. Our bodies are built to last, as long as we take care of them properly. At 84 years of age, I continue to exercise, maintain my weight, take supplements and more in order to maintain the healthy and active life I want to continue living.
Taking the proper supplementation keeps your body full of the nutrients it needs, especially if those nutrients are unattainable from your diet. Recent studies show that taking 3 grams of EPA/DHA found in Omega-3 is associated with the reduction of muscle deterioration throughout the aging process. People normally begin losing muscle around age 50, but those taking the aforementioned levels of Omega-3 actually maintain their strength as they grow older. The supplement is also known to reduce the pain and symptoms associated with rheumatoid arthritis.
Healthy aging might seem like a difficult task, but if you take preventive measures early on, many unfortunate health circumstances can be avoided. As you begin to age and think about your desired quality of life as you get older, imagine how you would like to live. Would you prefer to reach your peak of fitness at an early age and feel your health steadily decline due to unhealthy habits? Or would you prefer to remain active throughout middle age and beyond, with no decline in health and a quick demise? I call this “squaring off the curve,” and it is the lifestyle model that I recommend to all of my patients, and that I fully embrace myself.
As I like to say, “you don’t stop exercising when you grow old; you grow old when you stop exercising.” To benefit the most from exercise as you age, I recommend the following balance between aerobic and strength training:
- If you’re 40 years old or younger, devote 80 percent of your workout time to aerobic training and 20 percent to strength training.
- If you’re 41 to 50 years old, shift to 70 percent aerobic and 30 percent strength work.
- If you’re 51 to 60, do 60 percent aerobic exercise and 40 percent strength training.
- After you pass 60, divide your workout time more evenly between the two strategies – while still giving an edge to aerobic exercise, which provides the most health benefits: 55 percent aerobic work and 45 percent strength work.
New studies also reveal a direct correlation between exercise and dementia and Alzheimer’s – proving that exercise of the mind can be just as important as physical exercise when it comes to healthy aging. These studies show that levels of the protein TAU, which causes Alzheimer’s, actually lower following periods of consistent physical activity; even people who already have the disease show improved symptoms following intervals of exercise.
In addition to physical activity, one should follow my eight steps to Get Cooperized in order to thrive throughout the aging process. I also recommend the following steps to exercise your mind in order to prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s and dementia:
- Exercise your mind daily
- Get adequate sleep
- Take Omega-3
- Take Vitamin D3
- Take Vitamin B12
Physical activity has also been shown to reduce neurological psychiatric symptoms such as depression, and those over the age of 70 actually show the most improvement under these circumstances.
Remember – age is just a number. Making the choice to stay healthy and active, no matter your age, can make a great difference in how much of your life you actually get to live, especially as you grow older. You can choose to age fast or age slow…it’s up to you.
Dining out can be a challenge when you’re watching your weight. With so many food and drink options put directly in front of you, it can be tough to turn down the free chips and salsa, a refreshing soda or a slice of cake for dessert. Part III of the Cooper Clinic Nutrition Services Weight Loss Checklist will guide you through difficult dining situations and keep you on track for eating healthy and losing pounds. Download the checklist here.
Part II of the exclusive Cooper Clinic Nutrition Services Weight Loss Checklist is now available! You can download it here.
Limiting variety and temptation can be a challenge, but with some kitchen reorganization, healthy substitutions and determination, you can make it happen! Share your best tips for limiting food variety and unhealthy temptations in the comments below.
Looking for a way to jump start your weight loss journey and set attainable goals? Cooper Clinic Nutrition Services has created an exclusive weight loss checklist that can fold into your daily life, one step at a time. Start by taking things slow and substituting certain foods for healthier options, as described in our first weight loss checklist. Download the checklist here, and be sure to share your healthy lifestyle changes and experiences in the comments below!
Food is fuel, and this is especially true when you’re exercising. Whether or not you’re an athlete, the goal is to maximize your body’s potential by feeding it the right foods before, during and after your workouts. Nutrition makes a big difference in not only how you feel, but how you perform–aim for leaner, faster and stronger!
In general, try to eat “whole” foods instead of processed foods. For example, grab a piece of fruit instead of drinking fruit juice or eat a Greek yogurt instead of a protein shake. You don’t need packaged foods to get the best bang for the buck! However, that’s not to say you shouldn’t opt for convenience bars or shakes when you’re in a time crunch.
The three macronutrients in the diet include carbohydrates, protein and fat. These play unique roles when it comes to exercise. First, carbohydrates are the best fuel source for your muscles because your body requires and absorbs them fairly quickly. You need carbs before your workout. Second, protein plays an important role in muscle recovery and is critical after your workout, but not as a stand-alone fuel source. You need a combination of protein mixed with carbs to maximize your recovery and fuel muscle repair and glycogen storage. Studies indicate we should strive to refuel after a vigorous workout within 30-45 minutes.
- Fruit smoothie (e.g., fat-free yogurt blended with berries)
- Low-fat or fat-free yogurt (regular or Greek variety)
- Plain English muffin, toast or a mini bagel
- Oatmeal or other hot cereal
- Snack bar (ex: Kashi Chewy granola bars, Nature Valley bars or Nutragrain bars – skip the very high fiber bars with more than 4 grams of fiber)
Note: Avoid too much fiber prior to working out because it may cause gastrointestinal distress. And beware of too much fat (ex. peanut butter) because it digests slowly and is not as efficient in getting energy to your muscle quickly enough to use during your workout.
- Energy gels or chews
- Low-sugar sports drink
- Small serving of plain crackers
- Low-fiber granola bar
If your workout lasts less than one hour, you may not need to refuel until afterwards. If you’re putting in a longer workout (such as a long walk, run or bike ride), use quick pure-carb options like those mentioned above.
- Fruit with a low-fat cheese stick
- Fruit with peanut or almond butter
- Greek yogurt and low-fat granola
- Peanut butter or cheese toast
- Protein smoothie (fruit blended with Greek yogurt and optional unsweetened almond milk)
- One cup low-fat 1% chocolate milk
- Half of a turkey sandwich
- Trail mix (mix nuts with your choice of dried fruit)
Your body will perform at its peak with the right type of fuel, so experiment with various options. What works well for one person may not work as well for the other. Don’t forget to enjoy the journey of working out and have fun!
To get a tailored plan from a Cooper Clinic registered dietitian nutritionist, visit cooperclinicnutrition.com or call 972.560.2655.
Sweet cherries include the popular Bing and Rainier varieties that are ripe for the picking from May to August. Sour or tart cherries are only available for a week or two in June. Select firm cherries with stems attached and refrigerate up to 10 days.
Twelve cherries have only 51 calories and almost 2 grams of fiber. They are a good source of vitamin C and potassium.
Tips to enjoy:
- Create a cherry shake by blending with a banana and fat-free vanilla yogurt.
- Make a fizzy cherry spritzer by combining cold seltzer, ice, water and pureed cherries.
- Grab a handful of washed whole cherries for an on-the-run snack.
Summer is not complete without corn on the cob! Corn is at its peak of freshness when picked from the stalk, so try to purchase at your local farmer’s market. Refrigerate corn with husks on or use within one or two days.
Corn contains a good amount of B-complex vitamins and vitamin C. Its sweet flavor makes it seem high in calories, but there are only 80 calories in a small ear along with 3 grams of fiber.
Tips to enjoy:
- Make a corn relish as a summer side dish by combining with chopped red bell peppers, red onion and tomatoes.
- Skip the butter and add flavor with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese and herbs, such as chili powder or cayenne pepper, for a kick.
- Throw corn on the grill to really bring out its natural sweet flavor. Go easy on the butter and use light butter or buttery spray instead.
The expression “cool as a cucumber” is not without merit. Cucumbers can be up to 20 degrees cooler than the outside temperature. No wonder they are such a refreshing summer vegetable!
Cucumbers are also one of the lowest calorie and carb vegetables per cup on the market, with only 8 calories and less than 2 grams of carbs per ½ cup sliced. Refrigerate in a plastic bag and eat within a week.
Tips to enjoy:
- Create a “cool” coleslaw by adding thinly sliced, peeled and seeded cucumbers to your favorite slaw recipe.
- Stuff cucumber slices in a whole wheat pita along with chopped tomatoes and red onions. Don’t forget the turkey for a summer sandwich treat.
- Did you know that you can even sautee cucumbers and serve warm with a dash of chopped dill!
These orange melons are high in vitamins A and C, and offer a good source of folate and potassium. Pick only fragrant, symmetrical fruits with yellow or cream undertones. Refrigerate cut melon in an airtight container for up to 5 days or store at room temperature for up to one week. One cup of cantaloupe balls has 60 calories and about 15 grams of carbohydrate.
Tips to enjoy:
- Create a light summer salad by combining cantaloupe, mangos and avocados with red onion, a splash of 100 percent orange juice, lime juice and cilantro.
- Make melon popsicles by pureeing cantaloupe with a dash of sugar and lime juice. Pour into molds and freeze.
- Cool off with a chilled melon soup. Puree cantaloupe and add a hint of lime juice and mint.
For more information about how to use these foods and others in creative, yet healthy, ways, check out the great recipes on our website.