Is that another grey hair? That wrinkle didn’t used to be there, did it? Dark spots, sagging skin, loss of energy, forgetfulness… must I go on? Aging is a natural process, and one that we all have to go through at some point--but that doesn’t mean that we just have to sit back and take it! There are a few unique hacks that anyone can utilize in order to fend off the signs of aging.

1. Eat a balanced diet

Okay, this isn’t exactly a hack. In this day and age, it’s pretty conventional wisdom--and yet, at the end of a long day or when on the go, you may still find yourself with a burger and fries in hand. These foods are high in calories and low in nutrition. They leave you feeling sluggish throughout the day, and are made up of a lot of salt, complex carbs, and factory-engineered fats (not the good stuff!). Avoid fast food at all costs.

Instead, opt for a diet that consists of whole foods: leafy greens, colorful in-season vegetables, and high quality proteins like legumes, organically-raised beef, chicken, and fish-- which is especially good for your hair and skin due to the omega fatty acids that it contains. You can use simple smartphone apps like MyFitnessPal to log your overall nutrient intake and make sure that you’re on track.

2. Exercise regularly

Another one of the doctor’s orders. Regular exercise will help you to maintain muscle mass and skin elasticity, meaning less droopy skin. Remember when exercising that quantity is not quality! Two hours on the elliptical won’t do much for your overall health. When exercising , it’s incredibly important to incorporate both aerobic exercises (cardio) and anaerobic exercises (strength training). Regular exercise can help you to create a healthy mind and a healthy body, and it’s never too late to start!

3. Wear sunscreen

Using a daily moisturizer will help with wrinkles, and plenty of the options on the market these days contain SPF. If you’re going to the beach or somewhere particularly sunny, remember to pack your sunscreen! Always opt for an SPF of at least 30, as this blocks 97% of the sun’s dangerous UV rays that can cause wrinkles, skin sagging, and cancer.

Cover up when you can. Loose fitting, long-sleeved garments and hats are also a great way to protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays.

4. Stay hydrated

The body needs water to function. Aim for at least 8 glasses a day, and more if you are physically active. Proper hydration will help to keep your skin smooth and your body generally running the way that it’s supposed to be. Limiting caffeinated drinks and upping your fruit and vegetable intake (which you should be doing already) should also help you to stay adequately hydrated during the day.

5. Install an Air Purifier

The world is more polluted than ever, and that pollution is going straight to your lungs just like a chain-smoker. When considering pollution, most people often think of traffic and industrial pollution that creates smog. But reports suggest indoor air can be just as toxic to our health as the air outside, especially for those that suffer from asthma and allergies . Whilst an air purifier will not solve your problems entirely, they are an effective way to eradicate or at least reduce potentially harmful household pollutants.

6. Relax

Stress is one of the leading causes of physical aging. Try to lead a balanced lifestyle that includes both work and recreational activities, and remember that your health is more important than any deadline. Experiencing daily stress can cause actual changes to your genetics, which can make aging much more noticeable.

So, for the sake of your health, relax! Take that vacation or even just dedicate a few minutes each day to using self affirmation techniques, meditation, practicing yoga, or whatever it is that helps you unwind.

7. Cut back on the alcohol

This is a huge one, and not always easy to conquer if you want to maintain enjoying your social occasions with age. Alcohol is a poison and acts as a toxin on the liver and can cause damage to the immune system which puts you at a higher risk for disease . Superficially, alcohol can also lower the antioxidants in your skin which can cause inflammation and dreaded wrinkles.

Enjoy the occasional cocktail if you must! Getting older doesn’t have to be boring, after all. But do try to limit your consumption as much as possible.

Aging doesn’t have to be a buzz-kill

These hacks are designed for people of all ages and backgrounds. While making change can be difficult, follow these simple steps and your health (and those little wrinkle lines that are starting to form around your eyes) will definitely be thanking you in the long run.

Author's Bio: 

I have 10 years experience as a professional writer, editor and copy editor and love the written word. She loves to write content on various topics like health and fitness, parenting and kids, food, beauty, technology, etc.