With age comes wisdom. Yet it’s hard to feel psyched about the sagging skin, fine lines, and age spots which come with that wisdom. No wonder women line their medicine cabinets with anti-aging serums and creams.

The secret to a healthier, sexier you doesn’t just depend on external beauty treatments. Don’t make the mistake of tackling your looks without attending to your inner self. Most dermatologists report that the best anti-aging treatments are nutritious food, sound rest, and exercise. The body ages in different ways, and some basic lifestyle tweaks can have a noticeable effect at the cellular level.

Aging process

Here are 16 things you can do right now to look and feel years younger.

1. Exercise daily

Everyone knows exercise is important, but not all of us do it. Bone mass tends to peak around age 30. After that, bone it declines about 1% to 2% per year. But regular weight-bearing activities like walking or jogging increases bone density. You should aim for 20 to 30 minutes of such exercise. Added bonus: you’ll likely lose inches.

2. Eat healthy

Diet can be a powerful weapon against aging. Happily, it’s easy to swap junk food for healthier fare. Instead of eating sugary cereal or a chocolate croissant for breakfast, eat an omelet with fresh fruit. Experts believe that a diet high in white flour, sugar, and processed foods promotes inflammation in the body. Inflammation leads to wrinkles, sagging, and other signs of aging. The ideal anti-aging diet is rich in healthy fats, high in protein, and loaded with antioxidants. The take-away: Be careful in what you eat and you’ll turn back the clock.

3. Stay calm

Don’t let small things stress you out. When you’re agitated or anxious, stress hormones like cortisol flood your body. Over time, they spur the excess inflammation blamed for much of the aging process. Try a short meditation to combat stress. Simply sit down and focus on breathing deeply in and out; you’ll dial down stress hormones in no time.

4. Walk, don't drive

Even 15 minutes of exercise allows you to reap anti-aging benefits. If you can spare a quick strength-training session, it's even better. Aerobic activity is important, but strength training is also key to reducing some of the biggest effects of aging, such as low muscle tone and a slowing metabolism.

5. Add variety to your diet

Because antioxidants found in fruit and vegetables are key to reducing inflammation and free radicals, make sure to add variety to your diet. Aim for a color palate of greens, reds, and oranges on your plate.

6. Drink green tea

Several recent studies have found that compounds in green and white tea can help minimize brain aging by reducing the damage caused by free radicals. And green tea can help protect against certain cancers and even reduce wrinkle-causing sun damage by minimizing cellular inflammation.

clear + brilliant

7. Eat more fish

Omega-3 fatty acids are great for your heart, may help ward off dementia, and can even help reduce inflammation. That’s one reason why experts recommend eating at least two servings of fish that contain these healthy fats, like salmon, albacore tuna, and sardines, every week. Pair them with a high-fiber grain, like bulgur wheat. Fiber reduces inflammation, improves immune function, lowers cholesterol and blood sugar levels, and helps fight a wide variety of other internal anti-aging problems, even belly bulge.

8. Laugh

Laughter is the best medicine — and it’s one of the best cures for stress. It releases feel-good hormones and counts as exercise, since it works the muscles in your face and body, engages the respiratory muscles, raises your heart rate, and send more oxygen to tissues.

9. Use an electric toothbrush

Though there’s no reason to give up wine or coffee, you should know that as you get older your teeth stain more easily. To keep your teeth white, use an electric toothbrush. It’s the most effective way, apart from bleaching, of removing tartar, which yellows choppers.

10. Get plenty of sleep

One of the best things you can do to look and feel younger is to get between six and eight hours of solid shut-eye every night. Sleep gives your body time to regenerate. It’s when most of the cellular repairs happen. It reboots your brain, and it helps your hormones stay in a healthy pattern. Too little sleep, meanwhile, has been shown to contribute to weight gain, excess inflammation, and numerous other age-related problems.

11. If you smoke, quit

Nearly one out of every five deaths in the United States from cancer and heart disease can be blamed on smoking. If you light up, you’re also more likely to suffer from age-related problems like hip fractures, yellowing teeth and nails, and wrinkled skin, among numerous other health woes.

12. Achieve a healthy weight and maintain it

Extra pounds open the door to killers like heart disease and diabetes. But losing just five to 10 percent of your total body weight can lower your risk dramatically. Talk to your doctor about ways to get support and shed pounds.

13. Skip the fast food

Cheese and red meat are high in saturated fats, and many commercially prepared fries are loaded with trans fats. Both contribute to clogged arteries, boost your cholesterol levels, and increase inflammation.

14. Get massages

Massages release muscle tension and give your posture a boost. They also break up the fascia — the tissue surrounding the muscle fibers — which brings more blood flow to your muscles so you’ll stand taller and move more easily.

15. Load up on vitamin C

Vitamin C is critical for your body and plays an important role in maintaining healthy, resilient skin. While young skin is full of vitamin C, aging skin naturally loses this nutrient over time. Other factors like exposure to UV light, pollutants, and cigarette smoke compound the loss of vitamin C and contribute to signs of aging. The good news is that you can fight back by replenishing your skin’s natural vitamin C levels. Foods such as oranges, mangoes, and carrots are all high in the nutrient.

16. Drink more water

Water is critical for your skin’s health and beauty. The more water you drink, the better your organs function, including your largest organ — your skin. Water keeps cells well hydrated, which can give skin a plumper, fuller, firmer and an overall more youthful appearance.

Inner beauty, and outer

Everything from regular strolls to nourishing dinners can make you feel and look younger. And the same habits that improve your appearance also help to keep cancer, heart disease, and other serious diseases at bay. The result is a longer, happier, and more beautiful life.

References

  1. "13 Ways To Look Younger Without Makeup or Surgery," NowLoss.com, April 6, 2014.
  2. "18 Little Ways To Look Younger On A Budget," Prevention, August 25, 2014.
  3. "50 Ways to Look Younger," The Telegraph, January 3, 2017.
  4. "How to Look Good Without Makeup: 20 Tips from Models and Beauty Experts," My Awesome Beauty, June 2, 2017.

aging | Diet and Health | hormones | longevity | nutrition | science