Though some people are blessed with great genes and may look 20 in their 40’s, yet sooner or later even good genes, fall short, if you don’t adhere to some good habits. The earlier you start, the better it is. As to be honest once you have turned 40, and then you desperately try for measures to make you look 20, again without resorting to plastic surgery, that’s calling for a rather iffy situation. It is great, if you have all the money and time in the world to indulge in some nips and tucks but I speak for the great majority who either do not or at least are too scared to go through the knife. Here are some of the habits, generally observed in people who have successfully managed to defy their biological clocks:
1. Exercise Regularly
Various studies have found that exercise is a powerful anti-aging tool. Both in terms of physical and mental health, it can keep you feeling energized. Exercise keeps ‘inflammation’, which is a formidable ‘ager’, in check. It strengthens muscles, which support joints and bones, thus protecting from degenerative diseases like arthritis. It improves circulation and blood flow to the organs, one of the reasons, our skin glows after a workout. Exercise releases endorphins, which are not just natural painkillers but also mood elevators. Besides, sweating during exercise helps detoxify our bodies.
A study by Harvard University in 2013, “found that exercise can be at least as effective as prescription drugs when it comes to preventing common conditions such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes”. To get the benefits of exercise, you do not have to be an athlete; 15-20 minutes of moderate intensity activity everyday or every other day can suffice, add years to your life and take off years from your face.
2. Eat to Stay Young
There is little doubt, that good eating habits lay the foundation to good health. A healthy or unhealthy internal system has direct bearing on the way you look, as has been confirmed by University of Otago’s long-running Dunedin Multidisciplinary Study. The study tracked more than 1000 people born in Dunedin in 1972-73 from birth to the present. It measured the biological aging of people, in contrast to their physical/apparent aging. And it was found, that people who were biologically aging slower, looked apparently younger too.
This was further validated by another research by the New York College of Podiatric Medicine, USA. The research on, the ‘Importance of Nutrition and Natural Medicine In Anti-Aging and Aesthetic Practices’, noted that diet plays a major role against aging. And an ideal anti aging diet should be rich in nutrients but low in calories. A Calorie controlled diet is crucial for longevity. While, sugar and saturated fats should be kept to a minimum, it should have a plentiful supply of the omega-3 fatty acids. It should incorporate, a mix of protein from vegetable and fish, as well as a moderate amount of fiber – at least 25 grams per day. Finally, the diet must contain an abundance of minerals and antioxidants, if it is to actively fend off aging.
Laughter is indeed the best medicine and one that promises to keep you looking younger. Although you might think that laugh lines and crow’s feet usually, make their first appearances on faces that are more animated and smile more often, yet a new study by Nivea Q10plus on the launch of one of their serums, revealed that smiling can take off on average, about two years of your actual age, from the face. The reason for this could be that smiling can make a person look more attractive, and so more youthful.
Besides, people who have a positive outlook of life and laugh often have more ‘endorphins’ or ‘happy hormones’ circulating in their systems. These pleasure chemicals are known to reduce stress levels, lower blood pressure and have a favorable effect on your overall health. When your insides are functioning properly, the effect will be apparent externally too.
On the contrary, people who have negative mindset are in a constant state of stress. The hormone ‘cortisol’, the stress hormone, can zap one out of energy and you don’t just feel drained physically but you will look jaded too.
4. Never Skip on Sunblock
In a research on the (“Effect of the sun on visible clinical signs of aging in Caucasian skin” -Dove Medical Press), it was noted that 80% of visible facial aging was caused due to UV exposure. Hence, the one thing that dermatologists often stress on is the usage of sunblocks, as they include filters that absorb the harmful UV rays. And protect against, ‘photo-aging’ which is the cumulative effect of sun exposure over the years. Sun induced aging, can greatly alter the texture of the skin, making it leathery, causing wrinkles, pigmentation and the appearance of broken blood vessels.
In another study (by the University College Hospital, Besancon, in France), on ‘how sections of the face age at different rates related to sun exposure; researchers said: “Participants showed significantly more clinical signs of facial ageing on one side of their face due to driving or working close to windows over many years.’” As a matter of fact, it was noted that in some cases the side of the face that had been exposed to the sun for longer periods, looked up to seven years older than the opposite side.
When it comes to sunscreens, the secret lies not as much in the product, as it does on the application of the product. Sunblocks with SPFs 30 are good in the sun for only about 30 minutes. Therefore, re-applying them liberally at least every two hours is necessary, if you want to look young enough, to be mistaken for your daughter’s sister.
A good serum can maintain the youthful texture of the skin and keep it glowing. Dr. Jessica Wu, the author of Feed Your Face and an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the University of Southern California, often recommends serums to her patients. Since, serums are made of small molecules they penetrate the skin deeper than anti-aging creams. Serums contain high concentration of anti aging ingredients like, peptides, antioxidants, retinyl palmitate and brighteners like vitamin C. As they contain potent active ingredients, they can be the most expensive item in a skincare range. Usually, available in small bottles with either a pump to dispense or dropper applicator, a little can go a long way, if used correctly.
Therefore, an essential to any anti aging skincare regime, a promising serum is worth the investment.
6. Stick to Natural Herbal Remedies
Last, but not the least a lot of young-looking folks that I have come across to date, have invariably chosen natural remedies and complementary therapies; over the chemical laden allopathic medication. Nowadays, we don’t take a minute to pop a pill, when we have a headache or tummy ache, hardly giving much thought to the list of side effects and contra indications given on the literature of the drug. While, most of us shrug them off as ‘rare’, the fact remains that they are there and even if you may not suffer from a direct side effect, it cannot be denied that you are taking in chemicals that obviously contain toxins.
Your liver functions to eliminate toxins from your system. However, when it is faced with an overload of toxins, those toxins are stored in your fat. This is one of the reasons, why it becomes harder to lose weight sometimes. If we completely replace these artificial toxins with natural substances, it will be easier to maintain a healthier weight. An ideal weight/BMI and a detoxified body undoubtedly, makes you look and feel younger.