At some point in this life, everyone will face the fact that they are ageing. But how is it that two people can be the exact same age but one can look ten years younger without even trying? Although some of this is attributed to genetics, this probably isn’t by accident, as there are a number of things you can do which will help keep you looking, and feeling, younger for years to come.
1| Watch Sun Exposure
It may surprise you to find out, but 90% of visual ageing has actually been linked to exposure the sun’s UVA and UVB rays. These rays destroy the skins elasticity, which is what gives people a dull, sagging appearance.
Even if you don’t see the damage now, it could already be there, so make sure you avoid the sun whenever possible by wearing clothes and hats which cover your skin. If you like to exercise outdoors, try to do it in the early morning and early evening hours when the sun’s rays are less direct. And if you have children, it’s important you take steps to protect their skin from the sun even at a young age.
2| Use Sunscreen
If you must go outside (which everyone usually does at some point!) make sure you apply sunscreen and re-apply it often especially if you are spending time in the water or participating in sports which make you sweat.
Dermatologists always recommend using a sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher, even when it is cloudy, as the sun’s rays can still go through the clouds and cause serious damage. Although it will be more expensive, consider investing in a mineral or organic sunscreen, as these use natural ingredients to block the sun’s rays, instead of chemicals, and they are better for wildlife.
3| Eat More Veggies
In a study published in the journal of Evolution and Human Behavior, researchers discovered that participants who ate large quantities of fruits and vegetables had a healthier tone to their skin, which in turn made them look more attractive when rated by other participants. This is likely because vegetables are a healthy source of carotenoids, which are compounds that your body uses to produce vitamin A.
Besides just making you look better; studies have also found that these carotenoids lower your chances of getting some forms of cancer as well as certain eye diseases. And in the same study, it was found that supplements of these compounds do not produce the same effects as they do when you naturally acquire them from foods your diet.
4| Eat Protein
Your body uses the protein you eat to produce collagen and elastin, which are two key ingredients to keeping your skin younger and healthier as you age. This doesn’t mean you need to eat keto, or go eat an all-meat diet, just make sure you are getting a healthy amount of protein with each meal.
This can be as simple as some almonds, black beans, or yogurt. You should aim get all your protein from natural sources, as the scientists at Healthline found that collagen supplements, which are often all the rage, are simply broken down by your intestines and don’t actually help your body with the production of collagen at all.
5| Eat Healthy Fats
Not all fats are bad, in fact some fats, especially those found in fish, nuts, and seeds, actually have been shown in studies to help slow down the ageing process. These healthy fats help slow down the rate of tissue damage and help block the skin from harmful UV rays.
They also help lower the levels of inflammation in the body, which will make you feel younger as well. So next time you go out, don’t be afraid to try the fish! In general, you should aim to have healthy fats make up about 20%, or one fifth, of your diet.
Make sure you take care to avoid the unhealthy fats, such as saturated and trans fats, which come in meat, dairy, and other animal products. Trans fats are normally found in pre-packaged, unhealthy foods. Both of these types of fat have been shown to raise cholesterol and levels of inflammation and thus should be extremely limited in your diet or avoided altogether.
6| Drink Water
Although juice may taste better, water is truly the way to stay looking, and feeling, younger for decades. The natural hydration from water replenishes your cells and helps to keep deep wrinkles and lines from forming. It also helps lubricate the joints and provides cushion for the brain. It’s not only that, but almost every system in your body needs water in order to perform its vital functions.
Experts recommend drinking at least 6-8 glasses of water every day, and make sure these glasses of water are in place of any other forms of sugary drinks you may consume. If you are having trouble consuming enough water, one tactic many people use is to get a large water bottle which can hold all their water for the day, then they have a clear visual goal of how much water they must drink before bedtime.
7| Be Physically Active
Exercise is one of the most critical factors in helping you stay young. Exercise not only boosts the immune system, helping keep you healthy on a daily basis, but it also helps lower your chances of other life ending illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes.
It additionally helps boost your mood and aids you get better sleep at night. It is important that you exercise at a rate and capability to which you are able and consult a professional if you have any questions. Most experts agree that you should try to exercise for thirty minutes a day, five days a week, and this exercise should be one which raises your heart rate and keeps it up for the entire duration of the exercise. Some examples would be running, jogging, swimming, brisk walking, or bike riding.
If you find yourself struggling to get enough exercise, try making it a social activity with friends! That way you can enjoy each other’s company as you all get in shape. Try to find like-minded people who enjoy the same type of activity to the same pace as yourself to achieve the best results. Maybe you’ll even look forward to the next time you exercise!
8| Don’t Smoke
Tobacco use, especially in the form of smoking, is bad news for both your health and skin. Smoking cigars and cigarettes reduces vitamin C and collagen in your body, as well as causes dehydration, which will make your skin cells age. If prolonged, this will lead to the formation of wrinkles on the face, especially around the mouth.
Tobacco also causes teeth to rot and smell, definitely not giving you any points in the attraction classification. Besides just on the outside, smoking causes a lot of internal damage such as anxiety, bronchitis, and poor vision—all of which can make you feel years older than your actual age.
Not only that but smoking increases your chances of a number of different cancers—not just those related to the lungs. So, if you want to stay young and healthy, it’s time to quit that nasty smoking habit. Your body, and your friends, will thank you.
9| Limit Alcohol
Although a small amount of alcohol on occasion can be okay for the body, it’s important to drink it in extreme moderation as alcohol dehydrates your body and depletes it of vital nutrients.
Drinking Alcohol also causes the blood vessels in your face to dilate, which creates the flushed look when your drink. If you drink enough, these results can be permanent, causing you to have a perpetually flushed look, which isn’t necessarily attractive. You should also take steps to avoid sugary drinks when you do indulge, instead choosing to stick to something low in calories and sugar, such as a vodka soda or glass of red wine.
10| Drink Green Tea
Recent research out of the Norwich Bioscience Institutes has discovered that the micronutrients in green tea actually signal molecules in your body which prevent plaque buildup in your arteries. This means you will be less susceptible to heart disease as you age.
Green tea also fights inflammation, and boosts the metabolism, which will keep you looking, and feeling great! Just make sure when you partake, that you drink the green tea unsweetened, or with a small amount of honey, as adding sugar can undo some of the great benefits of this beverage.
11| Take Care Of Your Teeth
One of the first things people notice when they look at you is your smile. So besides just wanting to feel younger(it’s no fun to not be able to eat chewy foods), it’s important to keep your mouth healthy in order appear younger.
This can be done by brushing and flossing your teeth on a regular basis such as twice a day, as well as avoiding things like tobacco, and sugary foods. You may also want to consider the occasional whitening procedure at the dentist office for especially hard to get rid of stains.
Besides just keeping your mouth healthy, make sure you have any pains investigated immediately, as tooth infections and other dental issues have been known to spread and cause other problems throughout the body.
12| Take Care Of Your Skin
It is vitally important if you want to look young, that you take care of your skin on a regular basis. And the number one way to do this, is by ensuring you remove any products you put on your skin throughout the day, including sunscreen or other makeup products.
Use a wipe, or warm water with soap on a nightly basis to keep your skin as clean as possible. This will help reduce the risk of developing different skin conditions, as well as reduce your chances of different facial blemishes which result from oil, dust, dirt, and other grime.
13| Use Moisturizer
After you have washed your face for the evening, it is equally important to apply a moisturizer before you officially call it a night. Rubbing in a moisturizer which is correct for your skin type (ask a dermatologist about what yours is), will help fight off dry skin and keep you looking young for years to come. Using a daily moisturizer with SPF in the morning can also help protect your skin all day long from those harmful UV rays.
Besides just washing your face and using a daily and nightly moisturizer, it is also crucial that you use some sort of exfoliator on your face. This helps remove dead skin cells and keep them from clogging your pores. As humans age, dead skill cells tend to pile up faster, giving you a dull or grey look. Most dermatologists recommend using a gentle exfoliating scrub on a weekly basis and visiting a professional esthetician on a monthly basis.
15| Watch Stress Levels
Stress is one of the main factors which directly causes cellular ageing, thus it is absolutely necessary that you take all the steps you can to lower stress in order to keep yourself looking and feeling young. Start by setting apart a bit of every day to meditate, relax, or just breathe deeply.
For best results, try to keep your mind empty during this time and let all your worries fade away. If you live in a house which is constantly busy, consider taking a weekend trip alone away from it all to destress.
If your life is simply too stressful, it might be time to re-evaluate your priorities and consider cutting some of the most stressful parts of your life out. Even if this is a person, resolve to see them less if possible. Chances are you will be glad you did and feel much happier in the long run.
16| Eat Less Calories
Numerous studies have connected a long-term reduction in calories to an increased lifespan. This is because restricting calories lowers the production of certain thyroid hormones which are directly related to the aging process.
So, by lowering your body’s exposure to these hormones, you can effectively naturally slow your body’s aging process. You can do this by engaging in a diet such as intermittent fasting, or calorie counting. You can also eat less calories by ensuring you don’t over eat.
In order to lower the possibility of overeating, eat slowly, putting your fork down between each bite so your stomach has time to signal to the brain that it is full. Other useful tips for avoiding over eating include using a smaller plate for your meal and avoiding family style meals if possible.
17| Do Brain Exercises
You may not think of your brain as something which needs care as you age, but it absolutely does! The brain is vital organ just like the heart or lungs, and as you get older, it becomes more susceptible to diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Help keep your brain healthy and on point by trying new things often, such as a new skill or activity. Experts also recommend spending some time each day doing brain teasers or other mind puzzles to help keep your mind fresh.
18| Maintain A Healthy Weight
As humans age, it tends to become increasingly difficult to remain at a healthy weight. And being overweight leads to a host of other issues such as increased risk for diabetes, dementia, and even a shorter lifespan.
Therefore, if you don’t already take maintaining your weight seriously, it’s time to do so! Work out regularly, eat a healthy and balanced diet, and make sure you are only consuming the number of calories you can burn off in a day. If you do all of these things and still notice your body composition changing, it may be time to check in with a doctor to make sure you don’t have something serious going on such as a hormone imbalance.
19| Get Enough Sleep
The stories you hear about beauty sleep are true, and getting enough sleep is closely tied to both how you look, as well as how your body functions. Scientist Sara Palmer Hussey actually considers sleep the best solution for keeping your skin, and eyes, healthy, as well as just generally feeling fantastic.
Science has shown that skin, hair, and nail cells all regenerate while you sleep at night. Your facial muscles also relax, and blood flow is increased to deliver the proper nutrients. Sleep also helps empty the mind, organizing the day’s events and filing the important ones away for later—which is why lack of sleep can make your memory and concentration bad.
It is recommended that in order to get enough sleep, and sleep deeply enough for your body to rejuvenate, that you go to bed at the same time each night and wake up at the same time each day. Make sure the times you pick allow you at least seven hours of uninterrupted sleep.
If you have trouble falling asleep, things like a warm bath, or meditation before bed can help make it easier for you to sleep. Stress management can also disrupt your sleep, so make sure you are adequately managing the stress in your life.
20| Sleep On Your Back
This one may seem a little odd, but there are actually a myriad of reasons why it is better to sleep on your back. First of all, it helps prevent neck and back issues, and puts lower pressure on your muscles—which will likely help you sleep more restfully as well.
Not only that but sleeping on your back has been found by dermatologists to cause less wrinkles on the face and neck. This position also helps the blood be spread out more evenly in your face.
If you sleep on one side or the other, blood is more likely to pool in one side of your face and cause puffiness. Sleeping on your side or stomach has also been tied to increased acne breakouts as it is not healthy for your skin to be sitting in product, sweat, or other debris which may collect on your pillowcase overnight.
For someone who is used to sleeping in one position on their side or stomach, it can be difficult to get used to sleeping on your back instead, but dermatologists reiterate that if you make the change you won’t regret it.
21| Maintain Friendships
Maintaining friendships as you grow older is actually a key part to maintaining your own health. Having a group, or a few friends, boosts your own feelings of happiness as well as reduces your stress. Having good friends can also help you deal with any sorts of trauma life may throw at you, such as a divorce, or the death of a loved one.
Maintaining friendships is not easy, and it will take an effort on the part of both parties in order to work. This doesn’t mean you have to message your friends every day (after all, they probably won’t appreciate that either) but try to check in with them every so often, especially if you haven’t heard from them in a while.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you should maintain all friendships, in fact, if you find that hanging around with certain people actually makes you feel worse, or critical of yourself, it’s probably time to cut those friendships. Instead, look to find like-minded people who will not only be your friend but also support you in all of your endeavors.
22| Adopt A Furry Friend
Adopting a pet has actually been shown in numerous studies to both prolong human life as well as lower blood pressure and increase your chances of surviving a heart attack. Which means, you no longer have a reason not to get a furry friend!
A study performed by SUNY Buffalo in 2002 even found that coming home to a furry friend reduced stress more than being around a family member (possibly due to the fact furry friends can’t give their opinions).
For this reason, pets have also been known to help people heal from trauma and overcome the symptoms of PTSD. Having a pet in the home, especially one which goes outside like a dog or a cat, also helps boost the immune system as you are exposed to pollen, dust, and other microbes in small enough doses for your immune system to handle.
Pets have even been found to help with weight loss, especially dogs, which are high energy and require a walk each day. Overall having a pet helps with a number of things on this list you may be struggling with! If you value your sleep though, experts recommend adopting an adult pet rather than a puppy or kitten which may need attention in the night like a newborn.
23| Keep Acting Young
One of the number one things when it comes to ageing is listening to how you feel and not how others tell you to feel. What does this mean? Well just because a man on a TV show is acting old because he turned 40 doesn’t mean you have to do the same!
Never be ashamed to act as you please, even if society tells you to act a different way. Do you want to go back to college even though you are retired? Do it.
Do you want to try skydiving even though you’re 65? Why not? The world is your oyster and only you can prevent yourself from doing something which you feel you can do.
In a study carried out by the University of Wisconsin in 2013, they found that meditating for a few minutes each day reduced the body’s production of cortisol—which is the hormone, which is produced during stress, which causes damage to the body. In the long term, meditation can also help control anxiety, depression, and even disorders which are linked to chronic pain.
Meditation also helps you with focus, and the lengthening your attention span, which will help you have better results in a number of different activities across your life. It has even shown to help slow age-related memory loss and help those suffering from addictions.
If you want to start meditating, but don’t know what to do, you can start by enrolling in a yoga class. Although this isn’t true meditation, they will teach you many techniques which you can later employ when you are by yourself. Try to set apart a certain amount of time each day for your meditation, ten to thirty minutes is what is suggested, but there is no harm in meditating longer!
25| Keep A Positive Attitude
Above all the other reasons, the most critical secret to not ageing is to always have a positive outlook. Age is just a number, only you know what is going on inside your head, and only you can decide how young or old you feel.
Positive attitude is powerful, and in a number of cancer treatment studies it has actually been found that how a patient feels about the treatment can dictate if it works or not. So, no matter what you may be facing in life, keep your chin up, and remember, you are young.
Overall, there is no one secret for staying young as you age. And it is likely that you will need to employ multiple aspects from this list in order to really keep yourself feeling your best. But remember, no matter what you may do, you are the one in control of how young or old you feel. Age really is only a number.
26| Don’t Act Your Age
Mindset and attitude are key to feeling young. Age really is just a number. You can still enjoy life, do many of the things you used to in your older years. The minute you think you can’t because of some number you seal your fate to unhealthy aging.
Harvard Health says, “A research letter in JAMA Internal Medicine found that older people who felt three or more years younger than their actual (chronological) age had a lower death rate compared with those who felt their age or those who felt more than one year older than their actual age.”
27| Use Your Brain And Do It Often
Dr. Michael Merzenich. PhD reports that you can train your brain to act like its younger version. Various mind exercise can accomplish this goal.
28| Stay Social
According to Lifehack, “Keeping good company will keep you socially happy and healthy throughout your life.”
29| Keep Learning
Experts acknowledge the value of learning for maintaining a youthful attitude. Learning helps work the brain and keeps memory sharper but learning also helps promote feelings of purpose and fulfillment.
According to Harvard Health, “Challenge yourself to try new things, learn new ideas, and develop new skills. Realizing that most human abilities follow a “use it or lose it” pattern can motivate us to stay active in all realms of our lives.”
According to Psychology Today “Recent research reveals that living with a sense of purpose—acting in accord with your most cherished values and goals— has numerous benefits for both physical and mental health.” Purpose can be found from various sources, including work, volunteer work, creative activities and anything that brings you joy and fulfillment.
31| Set Goals
Going hand in hand with purpose, goals can help keep you active, engaged and fulfilled. Challenging yourself is way to maintain enthusiasm for life.
32| Keep Laughing
According to the Elder Care Alliance, “research has found that laughter therapy can improve quality of life for older adults by increasing blood vessel function, relieving stress and tension, improving memory and boosting overall happiness.”
Science has well reported the benefits of laughter including its ability to boost immune system health, help circulation and even lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
One of its greatest accolades is that laughter stimulates the release of endorphins in the body which promotes positive mood and can therefore help seniors feel better mentally and emotionally.
33| Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone
Getting out of you comfort zone can help present cognitive decline and help keep you out a rut, which often promotes decay.
34| Give Yourself A Break
Various studies have found stress to accelerate aging. Rest and relaxation helps to alleviate stress, so get that time in daily.
Relationships offer key benefits to maintain a young mindset. Having a partner provides purpose, happiness, joy and of course, physical aspects of love help reduce stress and stimulate the release of feel good hormones.
According to the Better Health Channel, “The benefits of social connections and good mental health are numerous. Proven links include lower rates of anxiety and depression, higher self-esteem, greater empathy, and more trusting and cooperative relationships. Strong, healthy relationships can also help to strengthen your immune system, help you recover from disease, and may even lengthen your life.”
Healthy relationships also improve quality of life and general life satisfaction which offers psychological wellbeing as we age.