If only we could slow the aging process. Of course looking younger is pretty much the top reason that stopping or reversing aging is on most people’s wish list.
However, in addition to wrinkly, sagging skin, all sorts of other negative things happen as you age such as:
- metabolism slows down
- body fat percentage goes up
- muscle mass and strength decrease
- cholesterol goes up
- blood sugar tolerance goes out of whack
- blood pressure destabilizes, often shooting up
- bone density dissipates, resulting in those stereotypcial broken hips
The fact that World Health says the anti-aging industry is on course to reach $291.9 billion by 2015 is
proof that it’s not just a few vain celebrities that want to slow the aging process and look younger. The entire world wants to slow the aging process and hold onto its youth as long they can.
Looking Younger From the Inside Out
Mama said, “You are what you eat,” and she could have expanded that to say, “What you eat can help you look younger, if you eat (or drink) the right things.” Of the eight items the Huffington Post lists that slow the aging process, seven of them are ingestible. Green tea and pomegranate juice are drinks that are supposed to have anti-oxidative effects on skin and your very DNA. Olive oil also contains anti-oxidants and is linked to low rates of cancer and heart disease.
Dark berries such as blueberries, blackberries and strawberries have shown to improve muscle tone and brain function. A meal of fish and orange veggies, such as carrots and pumpkin, at least twice a week is supposed to slow the aging process to help you live longer and lower your risk of heart disease and cancer. Also, Vitamin C is one vitamin that has youth-enhancing properties, specifically addressing looking younger by helping your body produce collagen to smooth wrinkles and fine lines.
Youth is Skin-Deep
If, for you, slowing the aging process applies strictly to your looks, you’ll be interested in ways to slow the aging process of your skin. Because people’s genetics contribute to how well their skin holds up to aging, all techniques for looking young may not work for everyone. Even though we’re all subject to thinning skin and gravity, some people’s genes help them age gracefully while others’ genetics age them faster than normal.
Whatever your natural propensity to age or not to age, there are steps you can take that will slow the aging process and keep you looking younger longer. According to Web MD, sun damage is responsible for the majority of wrinkles and other skin conditions associated with aging. Maybe you considered a gorgeous tan in your teens to look healthy, but your skin will pay the price when you get older. A suntan itself is a sign of damage to your skin so, although it might be difficult to resist, don’t intentionally cultivate a tan. You can slow the aging process by using body and face moisturizers with and SPF of 15 or higher, and wearing a hat with a brim that shades your face. Also, try to stay out of the sun during mid-day hours, between 10 am and 3 pm. That’s when the sun’s damaging rays are at their peak strength.
Other things cause your skin to age, too. There’s a reason why people who smoke look much older than their friends and siblings. It’s because smoking reduces blood flow in the face, and the smoke contains toxic chemicals that damage most cells in the human body, including skin cells. It also doesn’t help that smokers squint from the irritation of smoke in their eyes and pucker their mouths in an exaggerated manner when taking a drag off a cigarette.
Those actions speed up the formation of wrinkles around the eyes and mouth. If you just gotta have your nicotine fix, don’t start thinking that e-cigarettes are a “healthy” option. The alternative to the traditional cancer sticks still emit toxins such as benzene, lead, cadmium and formaldehyde, none of which will help you look younger. Your best bet to slow the aging process is give up smoking altogether. Because smoking is associated with a boatload of age-related diseases such as emphysema, lung and heart disease, hardening of the arteries and cancer, it’s the healthy choice that will have youth-enhancing effects.
Exercise Yourself Young
Let’s go back to the top for a moment. All those biomarkers that are signs of aging can be addressed with one youth-enhancing activity: exercise. When you regularly participate in cardio and strength training exercise, you’ll build muscle mass and strength, you’ll increase your basal metabolic rate and burn fat more efficiently, you’ll improve your aerobic capacity and blood sugar tolerance, your blood pressure will be easier to control and your bones will stay nice and dense. You may even cultivate your ideal body in the process, with the bonus that, overall, you’ll look younger.
A healthy body with good muscle tone stands erect, not stooped. It has a vibrant energy that nearly glows. An additional benefit is that exercising reduces stress, another factor that accelerates aging and leads to age-related issues. Take a run along the greenbelt, enroll in a kickboxing class or start strength training with free weights, weight machines or resistance bands. You’ll notice the positive effects on your mental state within minutes, once the blood starts pumping and the endorphins start flowing. You’ll feel better overall and it will help to know that it’s just one more thing you’re doing to look younger longer and slow the aging process in general.