People often rely on “good genetics” as their key to aging well or are under the impression that we cannot control the aging process. Of course genetics plays a huge role and certain aspects are out of our hands in terms of the way in which we age. However, it is great knowing that we can actually control the aging process based on our everyday life decisions. It order to slow it down, we as individuals need to take personal responsibility and accountability of ourselves throughout the course of our lives. I always say, “Self care is the best health care.” By that I mean, by proactively taking the time to make your health a top priority today, you are creating a better tomorrow.
Another advantage of making healthy life choices each day is that this will preserve your youth. There are many things you can do to increase your vitality and physically look much younger than your physical age that come down to focusing on these three components:
Take Care of Your Skin – A person often likes to determine a person’s age based on their skin, specifically their face but this can also include the entire body. No matter what your gender is (*yes, I am talking to men too), you need to apply face moisturizer every day (at least once a day but twice if you can) and do not forget to bring it all the way down to your neck. Ideally, look for one with sun protection for the day time and something more rich for the evening with anti-aging ingredients such as retinol, glycolic acid, and hyaluronic acid. If you add other things to your skincare routine such as a toner and face serum, you are even more ahead of the skincare game. It might go without saying to stay out of the sun but I do like to point this out as well as it is important to avoid extended sun exposure as much as you can. I am a runner but I make sure to wear a hat and load up on SPF when I know I will be out in the sun or I try to go very late or super early in the morning to avoid the sun in its entirety.
[* I find that many men are not socialized to use skincare and take care of their skin the way that women are told to do so at a young age. That is why I want to point out, men should equally be taking care of their skin too. Although there aren’t as many male skincare products out on the market, they do very well exist and most skincare products are unisex anyhow so there is actually a lot to choose from].
Eat Clean and Healthy Foods – As they say, “You are what you eat.” I couldn’t agree more! For those of you who are gifted with skinny genes in which you do not gain much weight or any weight at all, that does not give you a pass to neglect your health altogether and just sit back and eat pints of ice cream everyday. Trust me, it all catches up later. I can’t tell you how many people I have seen who were naturally super skinny in their youth and you look at them years later–aged and heavy. One has to wonder, what the heck happened? I know what happened, the person relied too heavily (quite literally–pardon the pun) on their good genes and put their dieting habits to the wayside. It happens and people let themselves go but anyone can consciously make the effort to eat a healthier diet. It is also never too late to get back on a healthy track or to start but the sooner you invest in yourself and the more consistent over time, the better!
Exercise Everyday – I know realistically, not everyone is capable of exercising every day but I advise setting the goal to at least try to add some activity in your day each day. A light day can mean just going for a walk after dinner or lifting a few weights in your living room. When people hear exercise, they tend to shy away from it as they think this means long hours at the gym. Although I believe exercise should be somewhat challenging to optimize your results, you can still find physical activities that are fun and keep you physically fit in the process that do not even require a gym membership. I look at exercise as an everyday ritual and compare it to brushing and flossing your teeth. If you can make time to take care of your teeth daily, then why would you even consider not taking care of your body everyday? I know people will respond, “Oh taking care of my teeth only takes a few minutes whereas with exercise, I have to commit at least 30 minutes for it to count and I don’t have the time for that.” My response to that is, if you truly care about your health and overall well being, then there are zero excuses! You can plan ahead by assigning time out of your day to add some exercise–a minimum of 3-5 days at the very least. If one actually took the time to work out the body EACH AND EVERY DAY (skinny, fat, healthy weight–my point is, it doesn’t matter), then one can still look extremely young and fit at any age. Someone with a healthy weight and nicely shaped body is not only the epitome of excellent health but are signs of youth and vitality. Needless to say, the benefits of exercise are endless!