Once some birthdays in the 30's pass, we truly DO NOT look forward to getting older. It's just a fact. You go from being a child, counting the days until your birthday to an adult, dreading the days until your next birthday. You trade in fun-themed birthday parties for backaches and birthday presents for bills that are due. As we get older, the joys of adulthood can weigh us down and that in itself can make us look and feel older than we really are. We have to wonder if there are functional things we can do ourselves to change our physical and emotional state as we age. As you will find, there are more ways to do that than you probably realize. Certain aspects of anti-aging you will be familiar with but there will be a few that will surprise you. Here we have them broken down into 3 separate categories that end up weaving together a happier, healthier you that will leave you not quite as sad to see those birthdays come and go anymore. The keys to look and feel 20 years younger are found in physical ways, emotional ways, and social ways.
The most common, and well researched topic on how to look younger is obviously our physical appearance and physical health. You can't cross a magazine or online news media outlet without at least one article on how to beat the aging process. There are all kinds of ways and theories on how to be younger looking, but the best is an overall health journey that will help you from the inside out:
- Eat fruits and vegetables - It's an obvious way to be healthier, but it holds more value than you realize. It starts with eating a healthy breakfast and goes throughout the day with eating as many different fruits and vegetables as you can, preferably ones high in antioxidants and fiber. Antioxidants fight off inflammation. Also try and add spices to your foods like cinnamon, turmeric, and cayenne pepper. These work to help improve your body's circulation.
- Exercise - Another key concept you know is vital to your health and making your body look and feel younger. Regular exercise and activity are imperative to your overall health. Make sure you are adding in weights to your workouts, even light ones make a difference. The more movement you can add to your day, the better. In addition to your regular exercise plan, go out for walks during the day, take the stairs when you can, these extra added movements can really help your body.
- Drink water - Keeping yourself hydrated is key to looking and feeling better. The Mayo Clinic says the amount of water women need a day is 2.7 liters, and the amount men need is 3.7 liters. Dehydration itself prevents the body from functioning properly and dries out skin, leaving it without the color and vibrancy it needs to look youthful.
- For anti aging your skin and appearance it is vital to keep it moisturized. Moisturizers containing glycerin and hyaluronic acid are the best. Collagen creams are very good for your skin and can tighten up your wrinkles, leaving the appearance of wrinkles dramatically reduced, but be warned, collagen creams can be very expensive. Sunscreen is also a MUST! Damage from the sun can make you look older. Make sure your sunscreen says broad-spectrum and has ingredients that block UVA rays like titanium dioxide, avobenzone, zinc oxide, or ecamsule.
- Get enough sleep - Sleep experts will tell you not getting enough sleep can shorten your lifespan and make you more susceptible to conditions like diabetes, and being overweight. During sleep your brain produces a chemical called leptin which controls your appetite. If you don't get enough leptin you will feel hungry all day, which makes you want to eat all day. Another sleep issue is exposing your brain to blue light at night, via your television, phone, laptop or computer. All the light can make your brain think it's time to wake up instead of time to sleep. Limit blue light devices before getting ready for bed.
Most people think it's only the physical changes that can make you look younger, but that's not the case. Remember the saying, "You're only as old as you think you are?" There is something to that. Looking younger is one thing but feeling younger is just as important. Exercise, eating the right foods, and drinking water will help you FEEL better so you can work on how to emotionally feel younger, and what happens on the inside will shine through to the outside.
- Go outside as often as you can. Fresh air, nature, sunshine, all things that will leave you feeling peaceful and help to relax you, especially if you find yourself in stressful times.
- Make it a point to find things you are grateful for everyday. Beginning your day with gratitude starts the day in a positive way, and thinking about the people and things that we cherish helps us open the day in a good way and keep the positive attitude for the rest of the day.
- Make time available for you to relax. Eliminating stress is a key factor in helping you to look younger and feel younger. Anything that helps you relax is a good thing. In our busy lifestyles you may have to schedule time to relax, whatever it takes to help you find time for yourself is a good idea.
- Treat yourself - Nothing can be as exciting as a little something special to look forward to. An article of new clothing, new shoes, a movie, or a visit to your favorite bookstore can lift your spirits and take you back in years, like when you were a child on a trip to your favorite toy store. Treat yourself to a little something special every so often, it's a welcome boost to your emotional well being.
An important aspect in the quest to look and feel 20 years younger is our social health. Often an overlooked part of a healthy lifestyle, social interaction is a key to complete health. Being around other people, in environments outside our home is good for all aspects of our health. Here are some ways we can turn back the clock with our social health:
- Do volunteer and charity work - A good way to not allow yourself to be quite so self-reflective is to take time and get involved with a charity or volunteer organization in your area. There are so many people that can use the help that you can provide, spend a day doing something for other people, it will make you happy and take some years off your emotional health and improve your social well being.
- Have good friends, good positive people in your life. There's nothing better than laughter and friendship to make you feel young and free again. Surround yourself with positive people that you have fun with, laugh with and that care about you. They will lighten your spirits and help you feel younger in the best way! Fun with fun people can make you feel 20 years younger pretty quickly!
- Travel (when you can) - There's nothing more exciting and invigorating than seeing new places and sights that you've never seen before. Travel can be such a good thing for your physical, emotional and social well being. It definitely can make you look years younger and feel younger too!
- Find something you are passionate about and do it! Busy work schedules and families to take care of don't leave much time for hobbies and personal interests, but you must find time. The things you love to do make up who you are. Find a hobby, or two, that you love and make time to pursue it. The boost it brings to your life will make you feel younger and that will pour over into your physical appearance as well.
- We never stop learning, even as we age. It's important to keep our brains constantly growing and evolving as we continue to learn and grow. Want a good anti aging activity for your overall health? Learn something new, take a class, learn how to play an instrument, keep your brain active and always learning. We can't turn back the clock if we aren't keeping our brain on a good, continuous workout.
Worth The Effort
It's not an easy process to look and feel years younger but it's one that will prove beneficial by adding years to your life, making you look and feel better by doing so. It would be fantastic to have some of that fountain of youth that Ponce De Leon had been searching for in his journey to what is now the United States. Most historians consider that to be a myth with no tangible evidence that was his intent on his travels. The same goes for our efforts to look and feel years younger. There is no magic potion that will instantly turn back the clock for us. It comes with hard work, commitment, and the deep desire to live a healthier, fuller life. We only get one chance to do it right, let's go on all in and live this life to the fullest!!
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