As the sun sets later and the weather changes from cool to warm or even hot, it's time to break out your leg-baring bottoms like micro skirts, biking shorts, and midi dresses.
During skirt season, everyone values "lovely legs." As you age, though, you may wonder: Is it possible to acquire great legs after 50?
J.Lo proves that getting older doesn't prohibit having amazing legs. Getting and retaining them may be a bit harder as you advance due to natural physical changes, but you can preserve or even improve your legs' health and appearance all along the way.
Proper exercise and a healthy lifestyle are crucial for preserving muscle tone as we age, says Dr. Hadley King, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist and clinical instructor of dermatology at Cornell University's Weill Medical College who recommends sunscreen, moisturizers, antioxidants, retinoids, and exfoliants for the skin.
Here's how to get and keep great legs, whether you're in your 30s or 60s.
As you reach 40, it's typical to hit an exercise plateau or lose muscle. Sarcopenia, or muscle loss with age, is inevitable, but healthy living and exercise can slow it. A 2018 study in Age Cell found that older people who exercise don't lose muscle mass and strength with age.
Strength exercise helps build muscular mass and definition. Regular brisk walking can prevent sarcopenia and keep legs young. Juliet Kaska, a celebrity trainer and Vionic Innovation Lab member, says walking is a weight-bearing workout that helps prevent osteoporosis.
In your 40s, in addition to being fit, you need to consider what you eat. Alcohol and cigarettes can create early wrinkles and discoloration, making you look older. Cigarettes impair metabolism and speed aging, and smoking depletes vitamin C, an antioxidant that keeps skin supple and hydrated. On top of that, alcohol dilates blood vessels, creating the appearance of flushing. Diuretics like alcohol and caffeine cause water loss, and dry skin accentuates wrinkles.
So, dropping or limiting some of those habits might help keep your legs looking young as you age.
To age gracefully and have great legs after 50, you must understand why your leg skin changes.
Dr. King lists aging, genetics, photodamage, pollution, stress, smoking, and perimenopause as reasons of intrinsic and extrinsic skin aging. In the first five years after menopause, collagen decreases by 30%, causing fine lines and wrinkles.
As women reach menopause, which normally begins between 45 and 55, they may notice changes in their skin due to hormonal changes, such as an increase in wrinkles, discolouration, and lack of firmness in the legs.
"Aging skin fibroblasts produce less collagen and elastin. Reduced glycosaminoglycans and connective tissue, thinner epidermis and dermis,” says Dr. King. "This reduces hydration, barrier function, elasticity, and resilience. Thin, atrophic, dry, brittle, dull, and wrinkled skin characterize aging.”
Using Retinol, sunscreen, and other anti-aging topicals on your legs will promote collagen formation. Starting in your 50s, they will affect how your skin looks, even if you've never used them before. Emollients (also known as lotions and moisturizers) help "hydrate and moisturize the skin to keep it appearing plump," continues the doctor.
Legs in your 60s and beyond
While Individuals age differently, age spots and varicose veins are common in people's 60s and beyond.
Age spots, sometimes called solar lentigines, are brown to black pigmented patches caused by overactive melanin cells. They're linked to photodamage and emerge on sun-exposed skin. The earlier you start using SPF, the more you'll protect your skin's health and beauty because UV radiation causes age spots.
Spider and varicose veins aren't always preventable. When veins swell, rise, and fill with blood, they look bluish-purple or red. At least 41% of women have varicose veins. Progesterone regulates women's monthly cycles and relaxes vein walls and valves.
Regular activity, avoiding extended standing or sitting, putting your feet up, and using compression stockings can help prevent varicose veins, according to the U.S. Office on Women's Health.
Wearing skin-colored tights or stockings, using body cosmetics, or having a spray tan can enhance your confidence if you're self-conscious about your legs.
Accepting aging as normal is also important. Age spots, varicose veins, and cellulite are common and nothing to be ashamed of. Moisturizer and short walks will help your legs.
However, never wait to improve your fitness and skin health. The most important thing is to feel strong, healthy, and happy as you age.