Utahns are some of the healthiest people in the nation, with seniors being the most active and mobile in their age groups. However, although Utahns might feel and act younger than their age, they also look a bit older. Everyone wants to remain physically young, and nobody wants to look old. Note the factors that keep you young as well as those that make you age.
Things that Make You Look Old
Living elevated has downfalls, and one of them is the higher concentration of ultraviolet (UV) radiation. The sun’s harmful UV rays are considered the primary cause of visible skin aging. UV penetrates your skin, and chronic exposure can damage the elastin and collagen in your skin.
Elastin keeps your skin smooth and flexible, while collagen keeps it firm. As sun damage reduces your levels of elastin and collagen, wrinkles become more pronounced, and parts of your face begin to sag. Avoid the sun as much as possible by staying in the shade, using sunscreen when you go out, or by wearing protective clothing.
2. Dry Air
Thinner and drier air is the norm after 2,000 feet. Dry air robs your skin of its moisture, and elevation dulls your body’s feelings of thirst. Make sure to consciously track your water consumption and put on moisturizer before you go to bed.
Utah’s pollution problem can get extremely bad, especially during winter inversions. Air pollution can clog your pores or even get into your lungs. While surface grime can easily be washed off with a bit of soap, inhaled pollution and particulates can send free radicals into your body that can damage your elastin and collagen stores. Try to avoid going out during the winter or maybe wear a mask when you do.
Aging is relative. Continue with the things that keep you young and avoid the things that make you age. Of course, if you missed out on prevention, you could always head to a clinic and get a few specials on Botox or Juvederm.
Things that Keep You Healthy and Young
1. Utah’s Outdoor Culture
Long hikes on nature trails provide a refreshing feeling and a bit of exercise. Utah’s love for the outdoors translates to fewer hours spent lying on the couch and more hours walking and hiking. Regular exercise prevents your musculature from deteriorating and keeps your bones healthy.
Activities like walking, running, and cycling also improve your balance and sharpen your reflexes. Utah’s youth obesity rates are the lowest in the nation, and keeping the weight off puts less strain on your knees as you grow older. These benefits are significant to seniors, allowing them to stay mobile and maintain their independence.
2. Clean Living
Very few people in Utah smoke or drink. Liver and lung problems are at all-time lows, and fewer health problems keep the body relatively young. Smoking and alcohol also have aging effects (poor skin tone, sagging skin, dehydration, and cognitive damage) that Utahns avoid by living clean.
3. Spirituality and Community
Utah’s tight-knit families and communities allow people to interact with one another continually. This socially active climate invigorates your mind and brain functions, helping you ward-off Alzheimer’s and other cognitive-affecting conditions. Socialization — whether in church or the greater community — also keeps you happy, and happiness prevents mental degradation.