A while back I ran into a friend of my sister's from high school. She was with an older looking lady that I assumed was her mother. (You should never assume.) In the course of the conversation, I asked, "Is this your mom?" Her faced dropped and the lady replied, "No, I'm her sister."
I was mortified. I felt terrible and hoped that I had not offended her too much, but what could I do? Afterwards, I thought about what I could have said or done differently, and vowed to never again ask someone a question like that so casually. I also thought about how it must have made her feel to be thought so much older than her sister. Nobody wants to look older than they really are, and I have made it my mission to find out what steps we can all take to not only look younger, but feel younger than we are.
We all probably know someone who just seems to never age and we would love to know what their secret is. Here are a few secrets that will help you feel, look and act like a kid again!
EAT FRESH, WHOLE FOODS
You really are what you eat, so avoid processed, packaged foods that have been sitting on a grocery store shelf for months on end and reach for fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds and herbs. Fresh foods contain more vitamins, nutrients, oxygen, fiber, and water than processed foods. Try to get a variety of colors and textures as well. Adding in just 1 fresh fruit or vegetable a day to your diet will make a huge difference in how you look and feel.
DRINK PLENTY OF WATER
Staying hydrated allows all of the systems in your body to function properly. Water flushes out toxins, lowers blood pressure, promotes weight loss, and prevents premature aging of the skin. Dehydration causes dry, wrinkled looking skin, headaches, pain, lethargy, decreased coordination and impaired judgement. If you drink soda or coffee, drink an equal amount of water to counteract the effects.
TAKE YOUR SUPPLEMENTS
It is almost impossible to eat enough of the right foods to get all the nutrients and vitamins your body needs, so I recommend taking a daily multi-vitamin, fish oil supplement, and an anti-oxidant. Protandim is a supplement that combats the oxidative stress that occurs in the body and fights free-radical damage. Contact me if you would like to know more about how to get Protandim.
EXERCISE, SLEEP, AND RELAX
15-20 minutes of moderate exercise three to four times a week is all you need to stay looking a feeling young. The most important thing is to stay active and flexible. You need at least 7 hours of sleep every night in order for your body and brain to function properly, so make sure to get your beauty rest. You also need to take time to relax, de-stress, and connect with friends and family. Make time in your schedule for things you love that are relaxing, such as reading a book, getting a massage, or taking a long bath.
SHOW YOUR HAIR SOME LOVE
Dry, brittle, damaged hair makes you look older than you are. Invest in a high-quality product that will nourish and protect your locks. I love Wen Hair Care products, especially the cleansing conditioner. Avoid using super hot styling tools on a daily basis, and try washing your hair every 2 or 3 days instead of every day. Dry hair can look healthier and younger by running a little bit of Macadamia healing oil treatment through the ends every day. Get ends trimmed regularly.
PROTECT YOUR SKIN
Too much sun exposure can damage skin, so protect it by wearing sunscreen every day. A good one to try is this one by Josie Maran or this one by Yes to Carrots. The sensitive skin around your eyes tends to wrinkle easily if not protected (or if you squint a lot), so be sure to wear sunglasses when you are outside. Use a gentle cleanser to remove makeup, dirt, and built up oils before bed, and use a moisturizer with retinol while you sleep.
POLISH YOUR PEARLY WHITES
Nothing shows age faster than yellow looking teeth. Brushing at least twice a day and flossing once a day will keep your teeth looking young and healthy. Flossing daily has also been shown to add at least one year to your life because it prevents a build up of plaque in the arteries. Avoid foods and drinks that can stain your teeth, and get regular check-ups and cleanings. You can buy whitening products from your dentist, or the ones from the drugstore work just as well.
BONUS SECRET: BE IN LOVE WITH YOUR LIFE
The people who look and act the youngest are the ones who love life. They have fun no matter what they are doing, they enjoy being around other people, and they always seem to have a smile on their face. Some people are just born that way, but I think there are some who really do work at it. It is possible to learn how to be a positive, happy, young-at-heart lover of life. Spend time observing the way these people live and interact with others, or just go up and ask them what their secret is. They will most likely be more than happy to share their wisdom with you! :)