It is a well-worn cliche but age really is a state of mind. If you follow these simple tips you’ll feel soon younger than your years. And if you feel younger, your body is apt to be respond physiologically and before you know it you’ll actually be healthier than others of your age. Of course we can’t completely escape the aging process, but there are many easy and enjoyable things you can do to make you feel better and look younger – and most of them don’t cost much! Many of the current articles about anti-aging will tell you to drink plenty of water and get lots of sleep and exercise etc, all of which are important, however, I wanted to share some not so common tips about slowing the age clock.
1) An Inversion a Day
When was the last time you went upside down? Unless you are a gymnast, yogi, or grade school kid, it has probably been a while if ever since you’ve seen the world from this perspective. Yet therapists and fitness experts from ancient yoga masters to modern day physiologists rave about the benefits of practicing daily inversions. Here’s just a few reasons why: inverting, that is, raising part or all of the body upside down, strengthens and stimulates the circulatory system, boosts the immune system, nourishes the organs and glands above the heart and generally gives your vital organs a break by reversing the effects of gravity. According to these experts, five to fifteen minutes each day is all it takes to help mitigate the damage our upright lives have wrought upon us. And, considering the other more subtle benefits of inversion—lifting mood, building confidence, boosting immunity and rejuvenating energy—five to fifteen minutes seems like a worthy investment indeed. All you need to do is have your legs above your heart to get the benefits, even just lying on the floor with your legs up against the wall will work or if you’re a seasoned yoga or Pilates instructor try doing a Roll-over or Plow.
2) Stand Taller.
Maintain good posture. Proper posture is a great anti-aging tool because when you stand up taller your body can take in more oxygen. All the cells in you body need oxygen to function correctly. Having good posture can also help your body remove harmful toxins and make you more energetic and alert, which can keep you looking young and refreshed. As people age they begin to slouch, as a result when you see someone hunched over you automatically begin to think they are older, heavier, and insecure. Stand taller and you appear thinner and have more confidence. Taking only a couple minutes a day, learning strong posture exercises will keep you feeling and appearing young, confident, and strong. Studies now show that a loss of height as we age might also indicate a shorter life span. Simply put, the taller we stand, the better we move and the better our heart, respiratory, and gastrointestinal systems function. You have to keep moving as you age to keep moving well as you age.
Proper posture can make you look 5 pounds slimmer, not to mention stave off back and neck pain.
3) Get your Vitamin D and Some Fresh Air.
Docs Mehmet C. Oz, M.D., and Michael F. Roizen, M.D., call vitamin D “the ultimate anti-ager.” That’s because it nourishes your memory, skin, heart, bones, and arteries, and it helps fight off cancer. Getting enough vitamin D daily (1,000 mg; 1,200 mg after age 60) can make your body think it’s 10 years younger. Nothing rejuvenates like fresh air and sunshine — and with good reason. Sunlight encourages your body to produce serotonin, a brain chemical that’s a natural mood booster. So revel in every opportunity you get to spend time outside (after putting on sunscreen and being careful to avoid sunlight between 11am and 2pm, of course). It doesn’t have to be complicated: You can work in your garden, read a book in the park, or just take a stroll around the neighborhood. You’ll find it’s refreshing just to enjoy and be part of the world around you.
4) Find a Sauna.
Sitting in a sauna is another way to potentially reduce the appearance of wrinkles and give you a natural, healthy glow. Saunas help relax your muscles and help your skin eliminate toxins that may contribute to wrinkles. As the steam from the sauna penetrates your skin, it may also help plump up wrinkles and regular use can help keep you looking younger. Take a cold shower following you sauna treatment to help revitalize your skin. Drink plenty of water after your sauna session to help replenish the fluids lost from sweating.
5) C, Señorita.
Vitamin C is essential for your body to make collagen, the protein that keeps skin firm and elastic. Lisa Zdinak, MD, chief surgeon at Precision Aesthetics in New York City, recommends eating C-rich foods, such as strawberries and kiwis, to promote collagen production, in addition to applying a C serum such as Skincueticals C/E Serum, it makes you glow.
6) Keep Stress in Check and Meditate.
Stress comes in many shapes, sizes, and strengths. Some stress is good if managed, but the bad kind ages you inside and out. Reducing bad stress with meditation or other meditation techniques can help you feel years younger. Researchers suspect that meditation slows down aging since aging is nothing but an accumulation of stress. Meditation and other forms of relaxation also change your perception on stress. This can lighten the physiological load. Meditation and introspection, also teach us to separate the events happening in your life from your reactions. By simply observing situations without judging them, you can control a stressful event. Some other studies show that meditation can help strengthen the immune system and also promote healing of illnesses that come up as age goes up.
To help relax after a long day, take a warm bath with a few essential oil drops, like lavender and add some Himalayan salt to rejuvenate, purify and soften your skin.
Being mindful — really tuning in to the present, not the past or the future — can help you focus on handling the tasks at hand. Spend some time every day noticing the things most people tend to ignore, such as breathing, bodily sensations, and emotions.
If you are looking for ways that you can stay younger, you may want to add some deep breathing to your anti-aging program. You can deep breathe younger, but many people do not realize how important deep breathing is to your body keeping it as young as possible.
Oxygen is important to the body and the best way that you can get more oxygen into your cells is to do some deep breathing. When you breathe deeply it oxygenates your system, and also facilitates exhaling more carbon dioxide. Deep breathing helps to massage the stomach, liver, heart and other organs, keeping them healthy and young. The deep breaths helps stimulate your lymph system and improves blood flow. Increased blood flow and a healthy lymph helps eliminate more toxins from your body. Toxins are known to make you age more quickly, so deep breathing can help help you to stay looking and feeling younger longer.
Deep breathing is a great stress reliever. When you breathe deeply, you clear your lungs, increases mind focus, and the body relaxes and lets go of stress. Stress is a huge factor when it comes to aging so small steps can provide large benefits.
When you take a few deep breathes and hold for a count of six or seven, then exhale and you’ll see how this one exercise can make such a difference. When you oxygenate your cells, expand your lungs, eliminate toxins and stress, you’ll then notice how young and radiant your skin looks as a result.
8) Get Out of Your Comfort ZONE and Stay Inspired.
Looking for a quick way to feel footloose and fancy free? Try stepping out of your normal routine. Whether it’s a mentally invigorating tour of historic homes or a relaxing stay on the beach, traveling somewhere new opens you up to fresh experiences and keeps your mind engaged. And it’s not necessary to break the bank. Traveling on a budget is perfectly possible with senior discounts and economical options, such as group tours, which are perfect for those who dislike prevacation planning.
9) Keep Romance Alive.
Whether you’ve been together for 50 years or just 50 days, romance can be the spark that keeps you young. It’s the ultimate — or most intimate form of social connection. Love, new or seasoned, can boost morale and emotional wellness — and may even affect longevity. To amp up the romance in your relationship, share a candlelit dinner, create a thoughtful, homemade gift, or dance the night away to your favorite song. You’ll feel like young lovers all over again.
10) Get a Youthful Glow.
Attain glowing skin from the inside out by chowing down on foods like salmon, walnuts, chia and flaxseed, which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These foods help replenish your skin’s natural oils to keep it soft and supple and helps skin reflect light and looks more glowy, whereas dry, dehydrated skin looks dull because the flakes don’t reflect light as evenly.
A dry, flaky complexion could also be a deficiency in vitamin A, which helps drive cell turnover. Eating dark, leafy greens, like spinach and kale, and bright orange fruits and vegetables like carrots, cantaloupe, and sweet potatoes. “They’re good source of vitamin A, which helps revitalize the skin’s surface. Orange and red veggie, like carrots and tomatoes, contain carotenoids, pigmentation that increases yellow coloring in human skin and may produce a healthier-looking glow than a sun tan, according to a study published in the British journal Evolution and Human Behavior. Study participants who were asked to use a computer program to manipulate the levels of carotenoids and/or melanin in 51 Caucasian faces more strongly favored carotenoid pigments when tasked with adjusting color levels to create the healthiest-looking skin tone possible.
Try to incorporate these simple techniques into your daily life, it may help add years and zest to your life. And remember to have fun doing it. In fact that’s the 11th tip — don’t take it all to seriously, have fun, lighten up and soon you’ll be looking, feeling and moving years younger!
~To Growing Younger, Lo
Published May 22, 2012 at 4:40 PM