I recently celebrated my 25th birthday (for the fifth time) and it dawned on me that if I’m going to pull that off again for a few years, I need to actually look 25. I know I’m not the only one who strives to look younger than their actual age. Today it’s quite prevalent to resort to Botox and plastic surgery to look younger, but for the average Joe, like myself, here are some healthy habits you can develop that are proven to slow aging:
- Get Enough Sleep – Oh, who doesn’t love to sleep?! Sleep gives your body a chance to refresh and rejuvenate. Lack of sleep can speed up the aging process. It causes bags under the eyes and paleness to the skin which will definitely make you look old and weary. Sleep also significantly reduces stress – which disturbs the body metabolism and accelerates the aging process. Adjust your attitude and your lifestyle habits to make sure to get a full 7-8 eight hours of beauty sleep a night and give your body a chance to recover from its daytime exertions.
- Drink lots of Water – It’s as simple as drinking water. All doctors recommend around 8 glasses (64 oz.) of water per day. I know… 8 glasses sound like a lot! I recommend having a 32 oz. water bottle (i.e. 4 glasses) and develop a habit of drinking two of those water bottles a day. That would definitely seem much easier than going for 8 glasses a day. You need to drink water as dehydration (amongst many other adverse effects) will damage your skin, your hair and make you look a lot older than you actually are.
- Protect your Skin – You should know that nothing ages your skin faster than sun overexposure. UV radiation breaks down the skin’s collagen, (i.e. the structural protein of our skin) and causes skin wrinkles. Practice using a good sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher) or a daily SPF Moisturizer. Moisturize your face, hands and neck at least twice a day to help keep your skin elastic, fresh and young looking. Moisturizing your face can make a significant difference in your appearance over time, so I definitely recommend it as part of your daily routine. Exfoliate regularly and use gentle skin cleansers that would not strip away your natural skin moisture.
- Eat Right – It’s no secret that maintaining a balanced diet is directly related to aging. Most health professionals suggests that a balanced diet should be made up of a wide variety of colourful fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, low-fat dairy products, healthy monounsaturated fats, seeds and nuts, and whole grains. Cut down on sugar as too much sugar can also be the cause of wrinkles. Trust me, I know it’s hard; nobody loves chocolate more than me, but ease up on the soda and sugary goodies. You’ll be doing yourself a huge favour.
- Exercise Regularly – Developing a simple weekly exercise routine is a great anti-aging practice. Aside from toning your muscles and improving your balance and coordination, it gives you energy and keeps you active. It can help you maintain a youthful figure and it even release endorphins to lift your mood. It is recommended to combine cardiovascular exercise for heart and lungs, resistance exercise for muscles, stretching for flexibility and balance exercise for coordination.
- Protect Your Eyes – Having un-tested eyes or trying to adjust your eyes to see properly through the sun’s glare can cause you to squint your eyes which will eventually worsen fine lines around your eyes, making you look older. Have your eyes tested regularly and wear sunglasses that provide 99-100% UV protection for both UVA & UVB rays. No more squinting! Ditch the crow’s feet… you would be glad you did in the long run!
- Update Your Hair – Are you still faithful to that same hair style from a decade ago? By simply updating your hairstyle you can look much younger. I recommend some bangs – they will shed some years off you. Also, add some volume to thicken your hair using some volumizing products and techniques. Bouncy full hair will make you look much more youthful and vibrant, while flat thin hair will make you appear dull and much older.
- Smile (as often as you can) – Never underestimate the power of A simple smile can make a huge difference to how you look. As we age and life gets busy, we often forget to smile. Smiling relaxes your face muscles and decreases the formation of wrinkles on your face, making you appear younger than you really are. Also, maintain your white teeth as nothing can make you look older than yellow, stained or missing teeth.
- Drink Alcohol in Moderation – One alcoholic drink a day (4 ounces of red wine) may have beneficial effects on the heart, but excessive alcohol consumption can result in premature and exaggerated aging. Not only does excessive drinking cause cancers of the digestive tract, heart problems, strokes, high blood pressure, and liver disease; but drinking too much can give you serious health problems that will make you look much older than you actually are… it also gets you wasted and cause you to do very, very stupid things… trust me!
- No Smoking – If you’re a smoker, this may be easier said than done but if even you’ve been smoking for many years, quitting will still improve your health, allow your body to heal, and make you look and feel much younger. Smoking is directly related to wrinkles around the lips, yellowing of the teeth, and aging skin. If you want to look, feel and live longer, simply do not smoke!
…Keep Smiling – Love, Candace