Do you want to look and feel younger but don’t have thousands of dollars for cosmetic surgery, week long spa treatments or expensive skin cream?
As a single mom it has been a struggle to continue to take care of myself while still making a living, caring for the children and taking care of our home. Any extra time I might dig up from somewhere is spent just breathing.
The other night I was talking to my oldest son just before going to bed. When he asked why I was still up, I looked him straight in the eye and said, “I don’t want to go to sleep because I’m just going to have to get up tomorrow.”
In my defense, I’m a bit swamped with work right now and the thought of getting up and ploughing ahead while trying to work with my daughter on her school work, clean, cook and finish refinishing the kitchen table was just taking too much out of me.
On the other hand I was also breaking one of my cardinal anti-aging rules at the moment. Unfortunately, I’ve been breaking this particular rule more often and it’s beginning to show. In an effort to feel younger – or better! – and look good every day I’ve developed a three pronged approach.
Much of the research and writing I’m doing for clients these days has been in the area of natural health and wellness, so I’ve learned quite a bit that I’ve put into practice over the past five years. And, it’s been paying off!
If you glance through the article you’ll recognize each of these three strategies because they aren’t new. The news media covers them, your doctor tells you how important they are, and you likely have felt better when you practice them.
However, when you take a few minutes to read through the sections you may find a couple of facts you didn’t know or techniques that make these strategies even easier to execute. And really, it isn’t about what you know – but what you practice every day.
Strategy One: Nutrition
Your body runs on the nutrition you feed it. Eating a healthy diet, low in carbohydrates and high in healthy fats will go a long way toward reducing your risk for diabetes, cardiovascular disease and improve your energy levels. This article is much too short to go over the research that supports each of these strategies, so I leave it up to you to make the Google searches.
Although it’s not important to anti-aging, ensuring the health and wellness of my skin just makes me feel better. One of those strategies is to take a supplement each day – astaxanthin. This is a strong antioxidant that works wonders – not only on your skin, but also your internal organs. If you get a sunburn, take 10 mg of astaxanthin each day and you’ll find the pain recedes much more quickly.
Drink enough water each day that your urine is a light straw color. You may have been told to drink 8 – 8 ounce glasses of water each day, but unless your urine is a light straw color, it isn’t enough. Water helps your kidneys remove toxins from your body and will plump your skin cells, making your look younger and more radiant.
Healthy fats include saturated fats from organic, pasture raised, non-GMO meats and dairy products. When your meat and dairy products meet these requirements, they are very healthy. Include avocado, coconut oil and raw nuts and seeds. Steer clear of trans fatty acids found in baked goods.
Try to reduce or eliminate your consumption of processed foods and sugar. I have the most trouble eliminating sugar. Your body doesn’t NEED it – but I really WANT chocolate. Unfortunately, sugar can be as addictive to your brain as cocaine. It takes consistent and persistent effort.
In the same vein eliminate soda and reduce alcohol. Soda is nothing more than empty sugar carbonated calories designed to create an addiction that feeds obesity. Work to stop smoking and get enough smart sunshine, without sunscreen. Your body absorbs vitamin D from the sun in the best form you can use. Stay in the sun until your skin is just turning a very light pink. Try hard not to get burned.
Strategy Two: Exercise
In a day and age when the majority of people spend at least 12 hours a day sitting, this can be a real challenge. Get at least 30 minutes of moderate to intense exercise each day. This works to lengthen your cellular telomeres, reducing the rate at which your cells age. Exercise improves your creativity, productivity and reduces the rate at which your brain ages. All great reasons to exercise at least five days a week.
However, if you sit for 8 hours during the day, this can negate any benefits from your workouts. Get up from your desk at least every 20 to 30 minutes to stretch, walk and do a few jumping jacks. This simple step reduces your potential for heart attack and stroke. Ask your boss to install several walking desks where you and your coworkers can work while walking slowly. This reduces your risk of heart disease even further.
If a standing desk is not possible, use an exercise ball for your desk chair. This engages your core and leg muscles to stay upright while working. Ask about a rebounder for the office you can use for 1-2 minutes every hour. This is a great way to work muscles and get your heart pumping.
Strategy Three: Sleep
Believe it or not, your body is actively working while you’re sleeping. Your brain is detoxifying from the day’s activities and reducing your potential for developing dementia as you age. You need between 7.5 and 9 hours of sleep each night to achieve housekeeping in your brain. Sleeping improves your cognitive skills and makes you look and feel better.
There are several things you can do if you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. Here are the ones that have helped me the most.
- Don’t watch television within the last hour before you go to sleep. The blue light from the television or your phone reduces the production of melatonin, which controls your sleep. If you want to watch, get blue blocker lenses and put those on after 7pm – even in the house. By 10pm you’ll be sleepy and can drift off quickly.
- Sleep in complete darkness. If you can’t turn your alarm clock around, put room darkening blinds on the window or get rid of other light sources, use a night mask. Even a little light penetrates your eyelids and impacts your melatonin levels.
- Sleep in a cool room if you’re able. As you drop off to sleep your body temperature drops. If the room is too warm it can reduce the quality of your sleep.
- Sleep in bed – and nothing else. Reserve your bed for reading, sleep and intimate relations. Everything else belongs in another room.
- Establish a bedtime routine and stick with it. This helps your body produce melatonin as you’re getting ready for bed and anticipate sleeping.
- Go to the bathroom right before sleeping so a full bladder doesn’t wake you during the night. Along the same vein, stop drinking within 3 hours of going to bed.
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol just before bed.
- Exercise regularly.
- Try Emotional Freedom Techniques to help you relax and reduce your anxiety levels.
How beautiful you look is all about how beautiful you FEEL. Practice these three core principles in your life