Mentally, physically and emotionally. Follow our tips to stay young in body and mind. Here are 15 ways to a feel-good you!
1. Have sex
Frolicking between the sheets keeps you young. In a new study, Dr David Weeks, a clinical neuropsychologist found that older people who had an active love life looked five to seven years younger than their age. This is because sex is an aerobic activity that promotes skin renewal, reduces stress and keeps you fit.
2. Stand up straight
Poor posture can put years on you. Yoga and Pilates can help. Osteopath Adam Dallison says, ‘Correct posture helps improve breathing and blood flow, which means you won’t only look younger, but feel it, too,’ he says.
3. …and stretch
Flexibility, balance and strength go downhill when we age. Anti-ageing stretches are the key, says Adam. ‘When you wake in the morning, stand with your feet shoulder-distance apart and point your fingertips towards the ceiling. Relax and repeat six times.’ For your back and shoulders try ‘the cat and cow’ yoga pose. ‘Get on your hands and knees and alternate between hunching your back and dropping your head (like a cat) and curving your back inward and looking straight on (like a cow).’
Read more: 5 of the best moves for anyone starting yoga
4. Pop a ‘beauty’ pill
Beauty pills and drinking collagen are said to work well because the nourishing ingredients can be absorbed into the bloodstream through the gut wall, reaching skin from the inside.
5. Up your intake of carotenoid
Found in fruit and veg, people who increased their intake of carotenoids were rated more attractive, with a younger, healthier glow, according to research. Using light sensors, it was found that the skin’s red and yellow hues were enhanced as levels of carotenoids in the skin increased. A dramatic impact came from lycopene, found in red peppers and tomatoes.
6. Get gardening
Far from being an activity for fuddy-duddies, studies say gardening keeps you young. ‘The health benefits include reducing our likelihood of developing dementia and preventing heart disease, colon and breast cancer,’ says Professor Dominic Upton.
7. Endurance is everything
Research has found that people who regularly do workouts that boost stamina and make them break a sweat have longer telomeres – a sign of good health and a lower biological age. Telomeres are the protective caps at the end of chromosomes that prevent them from deteriorating.
8. Don’t believe the hype
If you fear that ageing is all doom and gloom (memory loss, aches and pains), then you could be on your way to a self-fulfilling prophecy. A new study showed that people who perceive themselves to be old and frail were more likely to give up activities that could help keep them young – such as socialising and doing regular exercise.
9. Fast now and then
The 5:2 Diet (eating normally for five days and cutting back to 2 000 kilojoules for two) can help you lose weight, but intermittent fasting could also slow down ageing. According to experts, fasting triggers a gene that helps protect cells in times of food shortage. The gene helps repair damage by free radicals, prevents cells from dying prematurely and reduces inflammation and oxidative stress – two markers of ageing.
10. Drink green tea
It’s been found that tea can also inhibit oxidative stress in the body. People who live to over 100 have been found to have lower markers of oxidative stress than average.
11. Get strong
Strength-training (making thicker, stronger muscle) is the latest must-do for women. It can leave you less prone to injuries as you age and make you feel years younger, too. The trick? Don’t just sit there lifting weights, make it fun by moving like a child again, and using your body weight as resistance, says Personal Trainer Greg Brookes. ‘When children play, they squat, lunge, bend, twist, push and pull. Moving like this lubricates the joints, keeps muscles toned and increases mobility. Try a circuit of squats, push-ups, lunges, rows and deadlifts with a set of dumbbells. Ten reps of each repeated two to three times, three times per week should be enough to grease the groove!’
12. Bark up the right tree
Recent research found that a supplement containing French pine bark extract – try Nativa Women Omega Complex – contributes to improved skin hydration and elasticity in women.
13. Keep your immune system strong
Studies of people who live to be 100 have shown they have stronger immune systems than average. ‘A well-functioning immune system determines our ability not only to fight off infections, but also the free radicals that damage our cells and have the potential to trigger disease,’ says nutritionist Claire Harper. ‘Help support your immunity with powerful antioxidants such as those found in olive leaf extract.’
14. Age in reverse
Play some music you loved when you were at school, get together with old friends, or take up a sport you loved as a child – going back in time can keep you young.
15. Massage the years away
The new way to tackle facial lines? ‘Lie back with a slice of cooling cucumber on each eye and gently iron out the creases around the eyes with your fingertips,’ says facial specialist Georgia Louise. ‘Do this for a few minutes each evening.’