Is it all in the genes – or can we do anything to prevent the deep lines and dry skin from aging us prematurely? In our youth we felt our baby-soft skin was invincible, and we spent hours basking in the sun and tanning our bodies to a golden brown hue.
Now, some of us – over 40 – are paying dearly with skin that’s turning to leather before our very eyes. What can be done, if anything, to get back some of that youthful glow and elasticity?
We need to know that there are two types of aging that affects our skin – intrinsic (genes) and extrinsic (external reasons, such as exposure to the sun’s rays). While some deterioration of the skin goes along with the aging process, there are ways we can lessen its effects. These include:
Minimizing repetitive facial expressions – Frowning, smiling or raising your brows repeatedly can cause those deep furrows around your eyes and mouth and across your forehead.
Sleeping positions – Do you sleep with your face pressed into the pillow or with the side of your face resting on the pillow? If you do, chances are you’ll eventually discover “sleep lines” across your chin and cheeks. Try to sleep on your back to minimize this type of wrinkle.
If you smoke – quit – Smoking can cause unsightly lines and wrinkles, not to mention a yellowish, leathery texture to your skin. When you quit smoking the lines and unhealthy coloring and texture will immediately begin to disappear.
Wear sunscreen – Sunscreen should be worn daily and become part of your overall skin protection regime. Be sure you choose a broad spectrum (UVA and UVB) protector and at least 15 or higher SPF.
While you can’t really do anything about the intrinsic (genetic) factors that contribute to aging skin, you can opt for a medical treatment such as dermabrasion, chemical peeling, botulinum or injectable fillers.
Newer treatments such as radiofrequency are taking the place of more invasive procedures like a complete facelift.
See a licensed dermatologist if you suffer anxiety over aging skin or just want to look and feel younger. There are newer and better treatment options becoming available all the time, and your dermatologist should be able to suggest a treatment for you and your type of skin.
So far as anyone knows, there is no magic pill to keep your youth intact forever – but there is a lot of hype out there about how taking a pill will restore your energy, build your muscles and help you lose weight.
Don’t believe the hype. All you’ll get for your money and time is the possibility of developing a real health problem.
But while there isn’t a single remedy to reverse the effects of aging, there are ways to help keep the aging process at bay and improve your health and lifestyle. If you’re hoping to turn back the clock, talk to your doctor and do some research yourself before taking a pill or drug that’s said to be a sure-fire way to regain your youth.
The Evidence is In On Anti-Aging Therapies
While there’s no tried and true method of warding off the aging process, there are proven therapies that can preserve your general health and extend your life expectancy. Below are some therapies that you may want to check out:
Hormone Therapy – Hormones are natural chemicals produced in your body. As you age, hormonal levels decline and the aging process becomes more pronounced. Restoring those levels with therapies such as DHEA and HGH (Human Growth Hormone) may slow aging, boost immunity and improve cognition capability. But hormone therapy can come with its own set of problems, such as liver damage. Check with your doctor before you begin any type of hormone therapy.
Antioxidants – “Free radicals” (the substance your body produces as it process the food you eat) can be one cause of aging and diseases. Antioxidants such as the vitamins and minerals contained in the food you eat can neutralize these free radicals and prevent diseases like diabetes and heart disease. If you aren’t eating a balanced diet, you might benefit from vitamin supplements such as Vitamin B6, C, E and A.
Restrict Your Caloric Intake – Recent studies have found that reducing the number of calories in your diet can help you live a longer, healthier life. But you must be sure that you’re getting enough nutrients such as those found in fruits and vegetables.
There are many factors involved in the aging process – and what may be effective for one, might not be healthy for another. Be sure and talk to your doctor before you begin any type of therapeutic remedy.
Perhaps the most important thing you can do for yourself to increase longevity and live a happier, healthier life is to learn how to develop and keep a positive mental attitude.
The process of developing an attitude that will help you later in life should be nurtured during the younger years. How you learn skills when you’re young to help cope with adversities and strategies through life will become all important when you reach a time that requires those skills.
We now know how important it is to our mental health to figure out a mission for our lives. Then, as you go through the stages and hurdles of life, you can reassess that mission and reconfigure it for where you currently are on life’s path.
Living a full, rich life should be a goal that you not only strive for, but work toward by doing everything possible to make sure you’re healthy, both in body and mind to withstand the ravages of time.
The Most Important Tools to Keep a Positive Attitude
Scientific research indicates that “retirement” as our ancestors viewed it really isn’t a good thing for us to keep a positive mental attitude about life. Below are some helpful tools for you to live by if living a full, rich life is of concern to you.
Keep Busy – A rocking chair isn’t the way to achieve “Fountain of Youth” effects during the aging process. We now know that keeping active, both in body and mind is the best way to live a long and productive life.
Write Your Own Road Map – Baby boomers entering their 60s never expected to age, so they’re now looking for ways to keep their youth – but most are trying to retain their youth with cosmetic surgery, pills or surrounding themselves with youthful “things” such as a bright red sports car. Writing your own road map for the rest of your life is empowering and can also help to build your mental aptitude just as you would build your muscles through exercise.
Cultivate Healthy Relationships – The relationships you cultivate with family and friends can make the difference in how you view the rest of your life. Taking trips and learning new things are all better done with someone you care about than alone.
Take the necessary steps to develop a positive mental attitude that will help you through the aging process gently and optimistically.
Men and women are frantically searching for “Fountain of Youth” remedies to make them look as young as they can. Unfortunately, many are choosing medical treatments rather than searching for more healthy alternatives.
There are some things you can do to look younger besides opting for injections of Botox or invasive surgeries like liposuction and facelifts. Take a look below at some of the “gentler” ways to seem younger than you really are:
Dress Your Age – Almost nothing makes you look older than you are than attempting to dress in the same style of clothing that your daughter or granddaughter wears. Dress your age and appear younger than you are.
Sleep Your Way to Youth – Your best sleep happens during what is called the “rejuvenation hours.” Your face won’t reveal as many lines and your eyes won’t be as puffy. If you’re in a habit of waking up at 3 or 4 o’clock in the morning, try meditation or take the natural herb, melatonin before turning in for the night.
Your Diet Can Make You Younger — Obesity can become a problem as you grow older because of a slower metabolism. Keep your weight on track, make your skin glow and your blood healthy by eating foods with beneficial properties.
Exercise Regularly – Nothing benefits your overall health like having an exercise regime that you enjoy and perform on a regular basis. No matter what exercise you choose, getting your body moving can drop the years from your body and mind.
Use Makeup Sparingly – You’ll appear to be much younger than you really are if you use makeup more to enhance your natural assets rather than attempting to cover up the flaws. Get a professional makeup artist to show you how to apply your makeup in the best and most flattering way.
Choose the Proper Hairstyle – Are you still wearing the same style you had in the 70s – or is your hair dull or gray? Do yourself a favor and visit a professional hairstylist and let him or her design a style that fits your face and coloring.
Break Those Bad Habits – If you smoke or drink too much alcohol, cut down or quit if possible. Too much alcohol will dry out your skin and smoking will rapidly age your entire body.
In your quest to look and feel younger, don’t forget your “attitude.” Do what you can to keep yourself upbeat and positive – and for goodness sake, don’t forget to smile!
As we age, hormonal levels diminish and our skin, muscles and bones begin to deteriorate. A good anti-aging exercise regime should stimulate hormone production and promote strength and flexibility.
Studies have shown that nothing works better to attain anti-aging effects than a regular exercise program. ‘Regular’ is the key word – unless your exercise program is consistent, the process won’t have the same effect.
There are certain types of exercises that will help you stay active, live a longer and happier life and stay mentally alert. How often and how strenuous you make your exercise program depends on your personal needs, both physical and your daily lifestyle.
The Best Exercises to Reap Anti-Aging Results
There are three definitive types of exercises that are best suited for an anti-aging regime:
Flexibility – The most important exercises to beat the aging process. It increases blood circulation and releases serotonin, which is a chemical produced by the brain and is necessary for overall health and well-being. Flexibility exercises are also safe and easy to perform.
Strength Building – These exercises will help build sturdiness and sustain bone mass. Your chances of having a debilitating injury are lessened as you build your muscle strength. Exercises to improve the muscles in your shoulders, back and legs will also help with hormone production.
Cardiovascular – Designed to keep your heart healthy, aerobic exercises also help fight depression and keep your weight down. Running, brisk walking and any other exercise that will increase your heart rate for a sustained period of time release brain chemicals that produce hormones.
Research has shown that there’s no particular time of the day when exercising is best, however accidents seem to happen more often in morning hours – muscles and joints seem to be less flexible at that time.
Preferably, exercise when you aren’t too tired, but when you’ve been up and about for a while. Midafternoon seems to be a good time for most people to perform exercises without too much fear of injury.
You don’t need a home gym or an expensive membership in a neighborhood gym. One piece of equipment that you know you’ll use on a regular basis is the best investment is one that you know you’ll use on a regular basis.
Having a good anti-aging fitness routine will help you stay young looking, and feeling, in many different ways. First of all, it will help give you energy as well as good muscle tone. Exercising will help you avoid weight gain – something that can add years to your age. Finally, if you keep your muscles in good condition, you are less likely to twist a muscle or become injured by falling because your coordination and balance will be better.
As you get older, your muscles lose strength and get less flexible. It takes more to keep at the same level of fitness. That combined with the fact that many people simply stop exercising as they get older is a big reason that we lose our strength, flexibility and range of motion.
Luckily, you don’t have to work out like an athlete in order to be fit. Just a simple routine that you can follow and stick with should do the trick. The key is to be consistent and keep to your exercise regimen no matter what else is going on in your life. It will benefit you more than you know as you age.
Even if you haven’t exercised in years, you can improve your muscle tone and flexibility with a simple anti-aging fitness routine that includes some cardio, stretching and a little bit of weight training. Not only will this help you lose those extra pounds, but studies show that a healthy lifestyle that includes exercise can help your DNA stay younger.
Cardio exercise can be anything that you enjoy that gets your heart rate up – walking, swimming, tennis, cycling, running – whatever you feel you can do for at least 30 minutes 4 or 5 days out of the week. If you get bored easily, mix it up doing tennis one day, swimming the next and walking on another day.
Another thing you want to be sure to do is some weight training. This is important for maintaining your strength as you age. Twice a week for 20 minutes is enough and you don’t have to train for the Olympics. Even 5 pound weights will do the trick, but try to work all your muscle groups. As an added benefit, the more muscle you have the faster your metabolism will be so you will burn more calories even at rest.
Stretching is also important and can help you keep your flexibility so you can still tie your own shoes even when you are 86! It will also help with your balance which is often a problem in older people. Yoga can be a great way to get in some stretching as can pilates.
Sticking with an anti-aging fitness routine no matter what your age will have many more benefits than just big muscles. The cardio exercises will also be exercising your heart, thus lowering your risk for heart disease. You’ll also be increasing blood flow which can help keep your brain sharp. Regular exercise is also helps reduce the risk of diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s and stroke. Plus, it will make you feel great and give you tons of energy and a youthful, vibrant appeal!
When it comes to taking care of aging skin, there are plenty of peels and creams on the market but what if you don’t want to subject your skin to chemicals and laser treatments? As is usually the case, nature has provided us with some potent skin care products of her own and you won’t have to spend an arm and a leg for these natural anti-aging skin care treatments.
Fruits can act as a great skin rejuvenator and pineapple in particular is a wonderful natural exfoliant due to the enzymes in the fruit. Dabbing the juices on your skin or mixing them with yogurt for a cooling face mask is a great way to get smoother, hydrated skin.
Another way to exfoliate is with scrubbing and for this I love to use sea salt mixed with olive oil. The sea salt acts as an abrasive to scrub off the old skin cells and the olive oil is a great moisturizer. Simply mix the two together and rub on your face in a circular motion. If you have oily skin to begin with, you might not want to use olive oil and you can simply mix the sea salt in a little water or even honey.
Speaking of honey, this treat from nature is a great natural anti-aging skin care substance. It is loaded with minerals, Vitamin C and a range of B vitamins. It is also a great anti-inflammatory and when applied directly to your skin can have wonderful anti-aging effects as inflammation is thought to be a major cause of wrinkles. Honey attracts water so it acts as a great moisturizer for your face. Simply spread the honey on – it feels great! Be sure to wash if off thoroughly though or you might end up being a bit sticky!
Apple cider vinegar is another natural food that is great for the skin. It can help heal the sting of both sunburns and insect bites and helps reduce acne. Simply apply it as-is to your skin and let it sit for 15 minutes then wash off.
Chamomile is not only a soothing drink, it is a great skin toner too! It can be applied directly or mixed with cornmeal to make a paste. To apply directly Simply brew up some chamomile and then dip cotton balls into the brew – apply to your face, let sit for 10 minutes and rinse off. Chamomile also has anti-inflammatory properties so it can help heal blemishes as well as fight wrinkles.
When it comes to natural anti-aging skin care, there are a lot of choices that have benefits to both your health and your pocketbook. And the best part is, you probably have some of these items in your kitchen right now!
As you age, there are a lot of changes that go on in your body. You start to get wrinkles, you might gain weight, your muscles aren’t quite as strong anymore etc.. But perhaps the most disturbing thing about aging is that your mind starts to slow down too. While people used to just take this as “part of getting older”, today we don’t have to accept mental decline as inevitable because there are many things you can do to keep your mind young.
One of the most important things you can do for your mind and body is to eat right. Just like any other cell, free radicals can damage your brain cells, so you want to include foods like fruits and vegetables in your diet as these are high in antioxidants that can render those free radicals harmless. Eating enough high antioxidant fruits can have other health benefits such as increasing blood flow to the brain and helping our bodies make more acetylcholine which is an important neurotransmitter that aids in mental function.
Stress can be a major contributor to mental decline and studies have shown that people who easily get stressed have a higher risk of cognitive impairment. One thing you should do is make sure you have a good method for handling stress because, in this day and age, it can’t always be avoided. Keeping up with your exercise routine will help and meditation can also be a great stress reliever. In fact, meditation can help improve attention span and memory.
Of course, sleep is important for good brain function as well. While you are sleeping, your brain is actually at work storing and sorting the information from the day. Not sleeping enough leaves things disjointed and you will likely be moody and not perform as well the next day.
One reason why older people suffer from mental decline is that they simply are not as engaged in life as they were at a younger age. With little to do the brain does little – it needs exercise to keep healthy just like the rest of you. It’s important to stay active in your older years – get involved in the community or volunteer to do something you really enjoy. This will keep those little gray cells active.
Finally, you want to keep up with your physical exercise regimen. Not only does exercise increase blood flow to the brain, but it keeps your whole body healthy and gets you out of the house and into the world. If you like to walk, then take some time to smell the roses, engaging all your sense will give your brain a workout as well as your body.
If you want to counteract the physical and mental effects of aging, then try eating more blueberries! This powerful little berry is loaded with antioxidants that help mop up free radicals associated with disease and ageing. Not only that but it is loaded with nutrients and tastes good too!
In fact, when it comes to antioxidants blueberries have the highest capacity of any food – along with other berries like strawberries and blackberries. Blueberries contain compounds that help to keep cells from aging, helping you to look and feel younger and they also help with your mental capacity too.
Blueberries are loaded with anthocyanin which is what gives them their wonderful color. This compound as well as the anti-inflammatory properties of blueberries is also thought to slow down the loss of mental function that is so often associated with aging. In fact, researchers report that blueberries might even help with slow down the cognitive deterioration that comes with Alzheimer’s disease.
Another age related problem that blueberries can help ward off is loss of coordination and balance – a major factor in age related accidents. Recent studies showed that people who ate 1 cup of blueberries a day performed 5% better in motor function skills than those who ate no blueberries.
Per serving, blueberries pack a wallop of nutritional value while having few calories. They are also a low glycemic index food meaning that that they won’t spike up your blood sugar like other fruits. They are packed with flavinoids, tannins, antioxidants, phytochemcials, iron, manganese, Vitamin C, and vitamin E – all of which can help prevent serious illness and disease.
Since the compounds found in blueberries can protect your DNA from damage, it is thought that they can play a role in preventing such deadly disease as cancer and heart disease. In addition, researchers also believe they may help reduce the damage done after a stroke as well as prevent urinary tract infections, lower cholesterol and improve eye sight. Due to it’s high anti-inflammatory properties, it is also though that blueberries can help provide some relief to those that suffer from arthritis.
While all this is evidence that blueberries can help your body on the inside, what about the outside?
When it comes to looking younger, blueberries can’t be beat! It seems that inflammation is a major cause of skin aging and wrinkling so, once again, the powerful anti-inflammatory properties of blueberries come into play. In fact, the world renowned dermatologist Dr. Nicholas Perricone recommends including blueberries in your daily diet in order to help you skin look younger.
Unlike some other anti-aging foods, blueberries are readily available and easy to eat. You can include them on your cereal, eat them with yogurt or ice cream and include them in a huge bowl of fruit for a snack. Heck, they even taste great by themselves! So why not make it a point to include blueberries in your daily diet today – your body will thank you for it tomorrow!