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10 ways to look and feel 10 years younger

28 Jan 2013 at 13:48hrs | Views
Say goodbye to ageing and hello to a youthful new you

If wrinkles, memory loss and poor posture just aren't topping your 'must-have' list this year, it's time to take action against ageing. Give your health a boost and give ageing the elbow with these top tips to look and feel 10 years younger.

Look and feel younger, tip 1: Get active more often

Not only is exercise essential for good heart health and for keeping off the weight gain that many of us experience as we get older, staying active is also important for good posture and skin. Improving your core strength and your body's flexibility through exercises such as yoga and Pilates can help to improve postural problems and correct spine curvature. Exercise also increases blood flow to the skin, which helps to nourish skin cells.

Look and feel younger, tip 2: Adopt the Mediterranean diet

The Mediterranean diet has long been renowned as one of the healthiest diets in the world and, unlike with many faddy weight loss plans, the reported health benefits are more than just hype.  This healthy diet is rich in oily fish; a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which can help to prevent cardiovascular disease, wrinkles and joint pain and which are beneficial for your brain and eyesight. It is also packed with antioxidant-rich fruit, veg and olive oil, which can help to protect against age-related illnesses and keep your skin wrinkle-free.

Look and feel younger, tip 3: Think positively

If you want to look and feel 10 years younger, adopting a positive mindset can make all the difference. Not only does positive thinking cut stress (which can increase your risk of heart disease and speed up cellular ageing) but a ground-breaking experiment by psychologist Ellen Langer studied the effects of positive thinking and found that when elderly participants were treated as physically capable and encouraged to think of themselves in this way, their bodies actually followed suit. Tests showed that the men showed remarkable improvement in many areas, including dexterity, speed of movement, memory, arthritis and blood pressure, and they even had better hearing and eyesight.

Look and feel younger, tip 4: Pay special attention to problem areas

Certain areas of our bodies – including our eyes, hands and neck – commonly begin to show signs of ageing before others, and these are often also the areas that are most neglected. To stay looking youthful whatever your age, make sure you pay special attention to these areas. Moisturise your neck every time you apply your face cream and apply a separate eye cream to the sensitive under-eye area. To look after your hands, try washing with a gentle hand wash and applying hand lotion after every wash. You can also give your hands an overnight treatment by slathering them with olive oil and putting on some softening gloves before you go to sleep.

Look and feel younger, tip 5: Reduce your sugar intake

Not only will reducing your sugar consumption help to improve your appearance by keeping off any excess pounds, it can also help to reduce one of the most bothersome signs of ageing – wrinkles. When blood sugar levels are high, a process called glycation occurs which damages the collagen in your skin, leading to wrinkles and sagging. This process also makes the skin more vulnerable to other ageing factors such as smoking and UV light.

Look and feel younger, tip 6: Stop smoking

Not only does smoking increase your risk of many serious illnesses, including cancer and heart disease, it is also a major factor behind many common signs of ageing. Smoking can irritate the skin and deprive it of oxygen and nutrients, leading to wrinkles and dull skin. It can also increase risk of many common eye conditions and, according to research by the Erasmus Medical School in Rotterdam, can double your risk of developing Alzheimer's Disease.

Look and feel younger, tip 7: Wear an SPF lotion every day

One of the most visible signs of getting older is ageing skin. While this is often seen as an unavoidable part of getting older, there are many things you can do to help keep your skin looking youthful. While certain amounts of sunshine are beneficial for your health and skin, too much sun exposure is a major cause of ageing skin and wrinkles, so make sure you wear an SPF of at least factor 15 when exposed to the sun for over 15 minutes at a time. Switch to a higher SPF in hotter climates and when the sun is at its strongest.

Look and feel younger, tip 8: Makeover your makeup bag

If you've been choosing the same makeup products since you were a teenager, it may be time to invest in something new. While vibrant eyeshadows and setting powders may have looked great when you were younger, after a certain age heavy products can actually add on the years. To instantly look younger, make sure your skin is primed with a nourishing moisturiser, then apply a liquid foundation and blusher; steering clear of powder products which can settle into fine lines and wrinkles on the face, exaggerating their appearance. Opt for a sheer, plumping lipgloss and a volumising mascara for a wide awake, youthful look.

Look and feel younger, tip 9: Get more sleep

Most of us lead busy lives, and this can mean that we cut back on our sleep. However, researchers believe that this could actually accelerate the speed with which we age. Researchers from the US Department of Medicine in Chicago found that the hormonal changes resulting from a lack of sleep trigger changes in the body similar to ageing, meaning that ongoing sleep deprivation could exacerbate or speed up the onset of many age-related conditions such as memory loss, obesity and diabetes. To look and feel younger, try to implement a regular bedtime routine and make sure that you are getting enough sleep.

Look and feel younger, tip 10: Take up a hobby

Research suggests that frequent participation in mentally stimulating actives can reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, while separate studies show that the wider the range of relationships a person has, the less cognitive decline they will experience with ageing. To keep your brain young and healthy, try to take up a hobby that will both challenge your brain and ensure that you spend time with a wide range of people. Games such as chess or cards are good sociable activities that are beneficial for the brain, or you could consider doing some voluntary work or joining a book club, writing group, orchestra or language class to stay sociable and engage your brain.

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