While aging is a natural process and cannot be stopped, there are preventative measures one can take to slow down the development. To look younger and vibrant, not only is it important to take proper care of your body physically, but internally with your diet and sleep and externally with your skin. In this final installment of “My Secrets to Aging Young,” I will reveal what I do for my daily diet, shuteye and daily skincare.
Daily Diet. Like most of us, I love to eat. Fortunately, I can afford to consume more than the recommend daily allowance since I have maintained my high metabolism through my exercising and genes. But even though I could get away with eating almost anything, I do make the effort to eat a daily balanced diet that is about 95% healthy. My diet is full of at least 50% fruit and vegetables daily, protein with almost every meal eaten and very healthy snacks in between, such as yogurt, nuts, seeds, fruit and raw veggies.
A typical day’s menu for me will include a whole wheat item, eggs or oatmeal cereal for breakfast plus fresh fruit. Lunch is usually a fresh green salad with chicken, tuna or shrimp tossed in. Dinner varies, but a favorite is a white fish and hot green veggies. My daily sweet treat is an ounce or two of dark chocolate, usually after breakfast. From time-to-time, I eat what I refer to as my “cheat-cheat” foods; an occasional dessert after dinner, a hot dog at a ball game or a slice of cheese pizza during a party. I try to keep processed foods to a bare minimum, very little whites, rarely any red meat, and no caffeine, lunchmeats or saturated fats.
Sleep. Like regular workouts and a healthy diet, a good night’s sleep is just as important. It improves your concentration, sharpens your reflexes, regulates your hormones and reduces stress. Not getting enough shuteye can cause you to age quicker as well as cause forgetfulness, moodiness, slower reaction times and even weight gain. I know my body needs the average eight to nine hours of sleep every night, and I make an effort to get it. Lights out is by ten if I need to be up by six, and sooner if I need to rise earlier. If I go a few nights without getting my eight hours, not only do I see it in the dark circles that appear under my eyes, but my face lacks a healthy glow, my body becomes a bit sluggish and my cadio workouts are not nearly at full capacity.
Skincare. The sooner one takes close care of their skin, the better. Your face, neck, hands and other parts of your body will reflect your age as accurate, older or younger. Most of us wake up and splash on some cold water or perhaps apply a facial cleanser in the morning. Many roll into bed at night without washing the undetected collect grime, letting it sit overnight on our aging skin.
I take my skincare very seriously and have done so only for last 10-15 years as I was late to seeing the importance. I was one of the ones who took my skin for granted. Now I cleanse my face twice a day with glycolic-based skin products and exfoliate regularly with products that I originally purchased from a physician. I swear by their results and could never part with them.
When cleansing, I pay particular attention to zones that can age quicker, such as the neck, hands and knees and also use my facial products on these areas as well. I apply a daily moisturizer to my entire body, cocoa butter on certain areas and, for about the past 20 years, massage castor oil into my face and neck to keep muscles firm and enhance my skin tone, a skin secret my mother shared with me many years ago. Once or twice a week, I apply a mud pack masque to my face and the aging zones in addition to my belly which tightens and smoothes your skin. I also apply prescription-strength Retina-A to my face and aging zones almost daily, sometimes twice, which aids in the exfoliating.
When in the sun, I skip the Retina-A and apply sunscreen throughout the day to help shield my body from the harmful rays that pre-age your delicate skin. I use lip balm with a SPF for added protection on my lips and wear sunglass and a hat to protect my smooth face. Additionally, I drink water throughout the day to hydrate my skin and keep my healthy glow.
I hope you found my tips to looking young helpful and useful. Remember, anti-aging is not just about exercising, diet and taking care of your body, but also about having a positive outlook on life. Avoid stress, laugh every day and appreciate all that life has to offer.
Be Fit. Be Strong. Be Well.