While it’s impossible to stay forever young, there are plenty of things one can do to naturally ease the aches and pains of aging. From eating foods that have anti-inflammatory properties to breathing exercises to lessen chronic muscle pain, these five tips from experts can help reduce tension and aches in simple and easy ways.
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“What we eat has a dramatic impact on levels of pain in the body,” says Beth Reardon, Director of Integrative Nutrition at Duke Integrative Medicine. Fruits such as blueberries and tart cherries, spices à la ginger and turmeric, as well as fish and soy products, all have anti-inflammatory properties that can help to give you some relief.
“Physical activity reduces chronic pain by building muscle strength and flexibility, reducing fatigue, reducing pain sensitivity and reducing inflammation,” say the experts at Utah State University. For starters, try gentle aerobic activities like walking, swimming, cycling, dancing, yoga or tai chi.
Per the folks at Harvard Medical School, mind body techniques, which include “meditation, mindfulness, and breathing exercises, help you restore a sense of control over your body and turn down the ‘fight or flight’ response, which can worsen chronic muscle tension and pain.”
According to Britain’s National Health Service: “Shift your attention onto something else so the pain is not the only thing on your mind. Get stuck into an activity that you enjoy or find stimulating. Many hobbies, like photography, sewing or knitting, are possible even when your mobility is restricted.”
Go Hot and Cold
Last, but not least, “applying heat and cold often can ease joint pain, back strains, neck pain and other types of pain,” says the Mayo Clinic. “Cold numbs pain by causing blood vessels to constrict, which reduces swelling. Heat, on the other hand, is a muscle relaxer. [It] loosens tense muscles, which relieves pain.”