25 Things That Will Keep You Young
Source: MSN Health & Fitness
"Staying young is all about being happy with yourself. I don't mean 'ha-ha' happy, but 'content happy.' Just enjoy every day, whether it's good or bad, because tomorrow will be better." Sophie Barone, 81, Syracuse, NY Wishing for the fountain of youth? You many not need it. We've rounded up real-women secrets, tried-and-true beauty tips, and the latest research to help you fight aging.
EYES ON THE PRIZE
Protect your eyes, where skin is thinnest, and likely the first spot to show signs of aging. UV rays and free radicals make it worse. "Moisturizers with a chemical sunscreen may irritate this delicate area," says Missy Hughes, spa director at The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort in Charleston, South Carolina. Instead, opt for a zinc oxide or a titanium-based cream that provides a physical sunblock without the chemicals.
THE CHILDREN ARE OUR FUTURE
"Look at yourself from a child's perspective. It's about taking things at face value without preconceived notions. It keeps you grounded in reality rather than stuck in your head and your thoughts." — Heather Parcells, 34, New York, NY
SWEAT IT OUT
Research shows that the most effective form of exercise — and the type that can help keep you younger longer — may be fast, short, and intense types of anaerobic exercise (as contrasted with low-intensity exercise like steady walking or bowling). "The most powerful body-fat-cutting, muscle-toning, anti-aging substance known in science, growth hormone, is naturally produced by the body with this type of exercise," says Greta Blackburn, CPT, fitness expert and founder of FITCAMPS. Whatever your normal exercise routine, add short intervals to fight off aging.
"Always wear sunblock, and never, ever tan or visit a tanning bed." — Jen Joy, via Facebook
MAKE A LEMON PLEDGE
Skin-cell turnover slows as you age, causing your complexion to look dry or washed out. Combat this with a weekly homemade peel: Apply two tablespoons of fresh lemon juice on your face using a cotton ball, avoiding your eye area. Leave on for about 10 minutes, then rinse with tepid water. The acidity of the lemon sloughs off old skin cells to promote new cell growth, says Matthew Dower, manager at Mirbeau Inn & Spa in Skaneateles, NY.
YOU SAY TOMATO, I SAY TOMATO
Get on board with this: Pizza and spaghetti may be the latest wrinkle fighters! Though it sounds too good to be true, researchers discovered that participants who added five tablespoons of tomato paste to their daily diet scored 33 percent more protection against sunburn and higher levels of skin-firming procollagen than those who didn't. "The red pigment in tomatoes known as lypocene is a powerful antioxidant that protects cells from DNA damage caused by sun exposure," says lead researcher Mark Birch-Machin. Cooked and processed tomatoes are more easily absorbed by your body, so try adding some canned tomatoes to your chili or thickening store-bought sauce with tomato paste.
Your hair tends to lose its shine as you age, so once a week after shampooing, mix equal amounts of extra virgin olive oil with your normal conditioner and leave in for five to ten minutes before rinsing. Olive oil's antioxidants, vitamin A, and vitamin E help shield hair from sun damage, says Damian Viera, spa director of The Aman Spa at Amangiri in Canyon Point, UT.
GRIN ABOUT IT
"Whiten your teeth and keep smiling!" — Roxanne Sweney, via Facebook
D IS FOR DISEASE-FREE
Pop vitamin D to stay healthy longer. A growing body of research shows that deficiency of the nutrient, which experts believe that most us have, can trigger a slew of health problems. Though current guidelines call for 600 to 800 IU daily, many researchers now believe we may need up to 4,000 IU. The very latest research supports the case that the "sunshine vitamin" is a powerful health-booster. In fact, people who get enough vitamin D have a lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, according to a study published in Diabetes Care. Experts speculate that the nutrient's anti-inflammatory powers might be one way that it offers protection against the disease.
GO AHEAD AND GIGGLE
"Surround yourself with people who make you laugh and enjoy life!" — Brandy Gilbreath Leach, via Facebook
GET YOUR BEST BROW
Your eyebrows affect your face more than any other feature — and they tend to thin out or turn gray as we age. "Your brows shape your face and set the canvas for your makeup," says Laura Hittleman, corporate beauty services director at Canyon Ranch in Tucson, AZ. Try using a tinted brow gel in a shade similar to your non-gray eyebrows — or filling in a sparse arch with a brow pencil in a similar hue. This will add definition to your brows, scoring you a more youthful appearance instantly.
Go red — with your wine, that is. A compound found in red vino known as reseveratrol helps protect your ticker against age-related damage. Just a glass a day of a type high in resveratrol, such as pinot noir, may be a heart-helper.
KEEP THE GRAYS AWAY
There may be some truth behind the notion that stress can turn your hair gray: Those experiencing chronic or long-term stress, as well as recurring depression, can actually age faster, according to the journal Biological Psychiatry. While short-term stress — such as the kind of heart-racing, sweaty palm anxiety you may experience before giving a big speech — has been linked to health benefits such as boosting immunity, long-term stress has been pegged as a culprit in everything from weight gain, to heart attack, to hair loss.
TAKE A DEEP BREATH
If you can't bust that aging stress, a number of simple lifestyle tricks that can help you slash harmful cortisol levels. For example, earlier research found that subjects who practiced Buddhist meditation significantly decreased both cortisol and blood pressure in a six-week Thai study. Similarly, participants who meditated daily for four months decreased the hormone by an average of 20 percent in a study at Maharishi University, while levels in the non-meditating control group actually rose slightly.
"Having a great sex life makes a difference in your attitude and appearance!" — Anonymous Redbook reader
BRUSH IT OFF
Keep your skin baby-soft as you age with dry brushing. It removes dead skin cells, improves circulation, and detoxifies the body by stimulating the lymphatic system, which adds up to radiant skin, says Loretta Taylor, director of spa operations at Skana Spa at The Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, NY. Take five-minutes before your morning shower, and use a natural-bristle dry brush and apply gentle but firm pressure, stroking your feet in circular upward motions in the direction of your heart. Then brush your legs, buttocks and stomach. Finish with a sweeping motion over your hands, back and heart.
It's no secret that smoking gives you wrinkles, but it can also do serious damage to your memory — even if you're not puffing, but merely hanging out with smokers. People exposed to secondhand smoke forgot almost 20 percent more than those not exposed to secondhand smoking, according to a new study in the journal Addiction.
IN GOOD COMPANY
"Hang around older people. Ha! Seriously, learning to turn worry into faith. Relax and love life." — Keryl Pesce, author of Happy Bitch: The girlfriend's straight-up guide to losing the baggage and finding the fun, fabulous you inside!
"I swear that running and jumping around and singing action songs with my toddler keeps me both young at heart and in looks." — Petrina Tan, via Facebook
BE A SOFTIE
"Moisturize! I swear I can tell when people don't, especially when we are the same age." - Amber Warfield, via Twitter
Years of exposure to damaging UV rays can cause dark patches on your skin. The most effective way to lighten these stubborn spots is to regularly apply a product containing a lab-created antioxidant called Idebenone, says Jeannie Jarnot, director of spa operations at the Spa at Carneros Inn in Napa, CA. One to try: PRIORI's Radical Defense SPF 30 with Ibedenone.
Staying young means remaining disease-free, and there may be some potent ways to keep away illness inside your spice cabinet. Curcurmin, the antioxidant ingredient that gives turmeric its yellow color, has already been linked with preventing diabetes, protecting against Alzheimer's, and easing arthritis pain. A new study show it also helps ward off tumors.
BACK TO THE BASICS
"Take good care of your skin, get plenty of sleep, and lots of water." — Deb Rose, via Facebook
YOU BETTER BELIEVE IT
"Age is more of an attitude. People who don't dwell on how old they are actually act and look younger than people who think they have to start slowing down once they hit a certain number of candles on their birthday cake. Keep busy doing what you love and don't let age stop you." — Sister Michael Delores, 70, Denver, CO