The old saying is you are as old as you feel. Well, some days I feel way older than my chronological age. I do not think I am alone in feeling and looking older than I want to.
However, some simple steps can put some pep in your step while making you look younger and feel younger. Here are five tips to look and feel your best!
You Are What You Eat
If you live on sugar and junk, you will feel sluggish and not your best. Hydrate yourself — drink eight, 8-ounce glasses of water each day. It will make you more alert and make your body run more efficiently, helping you maintain a healthy weight and improving the look of your skin.
Want to lose weight and feel younger? Eat a healthy diet. Do not fall for the “lose 10 pounds while doing nothing” sales pitch that you see advertised on TV. There is no shortcut to eating healthy. It takes 14 days to break a bad habit or learn a new one. Fad diets will just dehydrate you, making you feel and look worse.
Looking to lose some weight? Then eat foods like dairy (skim milk or light yogurt), apples, black beans, carrots, onions and soup (not the canned kind high in sodium). These foods will make you feel full so you will lose weight the healthy way.
Want to improve how your skin looks? Good nutrition can help with that, also. Almonds, for example, will make your skin look smoother and more youthful. Collard greens can protect you from the sun, blackberries and blueberries can slow the aging process and pomegranate juice can stop the formation of “spider veins.”
If Your Skin Looks Young You Will Feel Young
If you want to make sure your skin looks its best, all you need to do is follow a few simple tips. Hydrate. Yes, we have said it before and we will say it again — drinking water is the best thing you can do to feel and look younger.
Don’t forget your sunscreen. Not only can sunscreen protect you from skin cancer, but it can reduce the incidence of sun spots and help to avoid fine lines and wrinkles. Dailey SPF can reverse some signs of sun-induced aging. Using a topical vitamin C cream before your sunscreen can help preserve your skin. In fact, it creates more collagen which makes the skin appear plumper. Also, anti-inflammatories in green tea can make your skin look younger.
Exercise Will Keep You Going
Move it or lose it has never been more true. Want to feel more vital, look younger, be more trim? Strength training exercises will increase your balance, trim your waistline, give you more energy and help you sleep. Keeping active puts some pep in your step and makes sure to keep you in the best health possible. Go for a walk, go for a swim, do some yoga. Whatever activity you enjoy is fine — just get out there and do it.
A Good Night’s Sleep
We all do it — we try to get away with as little sleep as possible. We reason that we are too busy to sleep, we will make it up on the weekend, or that we are tough and can handle it. Good try, but this is called denial. We all need a good night’s sleep. You need to get at least seven hours of sleep each night. If you want to look and feel your best, make sure you get your beauty rest.
The short term effects of lack of sleep are scary enough. Lose a few nights sleep and your immune system becomes impaired; you get confused, clumsy, are less aware and have difficulty thinking and reasoning. The long term effects can be downright deadly. Lack of sleep can cause high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack, obesity and depression.
Avoiding stress is tricky. The world is stressful and you can’t change that, but you can change how you react to it. Eat healthy, sleep well and stay active and you will be able to handle stress better. But if you really want to avoid stress, focus on the people and the things you love. Pamper yourself a little. Find a hobby you love, spend time with family and friends and make sure your to do list includes things that make you happy.
Laughter will not only make you look younger, it can make you feel like a kid again. So laugh a little and give yourself permission to make you a priority. As the saying goes, “You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.”
Sarah Lemnah writes on senior issues for CVAA.