No one ever says they want to look and feel older than they are, yet many of us have daily habits that do just that. Our energy is zapped, causing us to age faster because of some of our negative mental and physical habits and many of us are searching for ways to look younger.
Those of us who are a bit older may look back on our younger days and wish we had better health practices. Thankfully, there are still natural ways to look younger as the human body, for the most part is able to rebound from what we do to it. It is never too late to begin choosing healthier options. So, here’s a list of 7 best ways to look younger, effortlessly.
#1. Avoid Smoking
Smoking, by far, is the one habit that will speed up the aging process. Everyone is aware that smoking is harmful to our bodies due to the multitude of chemicals and carcinogens found in tobacco.
The smoke itself weakens your immune system, leaving you susceptible to various illnesses. It also damages DNA and causes you to physically look older. Think about when you inhale the smoke – your eyes squint and your lips are pursed, causing wrinkles.
Don’t start smoking but if you have, know that quitting now can reverse much of the damage that has been done to your organs and skin. The appearance of your skin is an indicator to the outside world of your age. Smoking tobacco dulls the skin, reduces elasticity, creates wrinkles, promotes an unhealthy texture and even affects vascularization (the formation of blood vessels and how easily the oxygen flows).
Once you quit smoking, you will see a very quick improvement in your skin, resulting in an age reduction of almost 13 years!
Don’t you want to look over a decade younger than your chronological age???
#2. Avoid Living a Sedentary Lifestyle
Physical activity is essential for looking and feeling younger. It keeps us flexible and strong so that we can face our future years with ease. Many of us are sitting at an office desk for the majority of the day and although we are not exerting much physical energy, we are exhausted at the end of the day due to mental stress. We then go home and choose to plunk ourselves on the couch and do nothing but watch television and zone out.
Living a sedentary life has many health risks associated with it. This may be what we feel like doing after an 8-hour shift but the reality is we are damaging not only our physical selves but also our ability to think and process information. Our mental health and cognitive abilities are just as important as being physically healthy and are impacted by the lack of physical exercise.
Skills that you use to process and act on information coming your way are called executive functions. These are essential to feeling younger because they include your ability to regulate your emotions, control your impulses, have flexible thinking, organize, plan, and recall things.
By becoming more physically and mentally active, you can improve these things. So what types of activities will improve your physical self and keep your brain in working order?
- Toss out that calculator and do some good, old-fashioned mental math.
- Listen to some music of the classical variety.
- Try learning a new language.
- Cook and then eat some new foods.
- Take a class – pottery, painting, history, sociology – whatever is of interest to you.
- Test your memory. There are tons of apps that you can download that can help you with this.
- Play some games like Scrabble or Sudoku or what about that crossword puzzle in your magazine?
- Check out tips to Improve Brain Power to discover more ways to keep that brain of yours functioning well.
Meditation is not just for some monk on a hillside or that hippie dressed in tie-dye from head to toe. It is actually probably one of the best things you can do for your mind and body! Meditation originated in the East, and the benefits of being able to “quiet” the mind are astounding.
Some researches have shown that those who meditate tend to have higher concentrations of grey area in various parts of their brains. We rely on these areas for making decisions, feelings, controlling our impulses, hearing, sight, and speech.
It can also assist in reducing blood pressure, increasing insulin resistance, slowing biological aging, and even significantly (almost 50%!) reducing the risk of heart attacks and death.
If you are not one who meditates, it will not necessarily age you. However, by meditating, you can reap some of its benefits that can help you feel better, mentally and physically. It is just one of the ways to look younger.
#4. Stand Up Straight and Avoid Slouching
Our spine is literally the backbone for our upper body’s support and stability. Eventually, slouching, whether it be over a desk, chair, etc., causes strain and tightening on our muscles, our spines become misaligned, and we may even experience pain in our lower backs, hips, and/or necks. Poor posture also affects the disks in our spines and a variety of other bones.
We all are probably aware of how we should be sitting – feet flat on the floor, hips back in the chair, hips and knees aligned with one another, relaxed shoulders – but do we do it? Often not so, here are a few helpful hints to improve your posture as one of the ways to feel younger.
If you are sitting:
- Keeping your feet on the floor or footrest
- Avoiding sitting in one position for an extended period
- Relaxing your shoulders
If you are standing:
- Keep your knees slightly bent and feet shoulder-width apart
- Put most of your weight on the balls of your feet
- Stand straight and tall with the shoulders pulled slightly back
If you are lying down:
- Don’t sleep on your stomach
- Use a firm, comfortable mattress
- Support your body by sleeping with a pillow
These practices can help to avoid the back, neck and hip pain and prevent you from becoming stooped over.
#5. Avoid Extremely Loud Noises
As we age, our body inevitably begins to deteriorate and one of the things to go first is often our hearing. Listening to overly loud music at any age is not helping to prevent hearing loss. Even single instances of loud noises can damage parts of the inner ear.
Do you enjoy attending loud concerts?
Upping the volume while wearing headphones or earbuds?
Using loud tools and equipment at work or at home?
These are all things that can and probably will damage your hearing. Try to avoid damaging volumes and wear protective earplugs to reduce the loss of your hearing. Louder is not always better!!!
#6. Get a Quality Sleep
Throughout our many articles, we continue to mention the importance of good, quality sleep every night for your mental and physical health. When we do not get the proper 7-8 hours of sleep, we may be at risk for multiple health issues such as cancer, diabetes, immunity disorders, and even obesity so there is no surprise that your skin will also suffer.
With the required sleep, our skin can remain to look younger, retain its elasticity, and have a clear, even pigmentation. The moisture in our skin can remain at optimum levels, which maintains the barrier between bacteria, toxins, and viruses.
#7. Reduce Stress Levels
Stress, whether work-related or in our personal lives, is essentially unavoidable but it is that stress that is constant and persistent that causes us to age prematurely. When we are stressed, we often are not receiving adequate sleep or our blood pressure may be increased to unhealthy levels. Even your memory and ability to process information can be affected.
There are numerous health reasons to reduce stress. All of these effects can hasten the aging process.
Reducing your stress levels may not be simple but here are several hints:
- Practice mindfulness and breathing deeply from your diaphragm
- Enjoy some sunshine throughout the days
- Evaluate what you can control and what you cannot control
- Limit your work tasks to your time at work. Working 24 hours a day is not good for anyone.
- Take part in hobbies of interest to you.
- Spend time with people you enjoy and love.
Does the fountain of youth exist? Who knows but becoming more aware of your habits that either accelerate the aging process or impede it can allow you to look and feel younger.
Try some of these ways to look younger for your overall health. Take care of yourself, inside and out, starting today!
Check out this YouTube video from CityTV to learn more about ways to look younger.