Eating right and exercising are the keys to feeling young again.
If only youth were found in a bottle. With so much money pumped into marketing wrinkle-free this and tightening that, you would think a daily dollop of face cream would restore that youthful energy you remember. But while you’re spending so much time and money on the outside, you might be neglecting the real ‘fountain of youth’ — diet and exercise. With a few simple lifestyle changes, you can reclaim your youth and significantly slow down the aging process without expensive creams or surgeries.
Most of us know that eating a balanced diet can improve energy and protect us from disease. But the following “superfoods” also keep us young:
Fresh fruits and vegetables are packed with anti-aging phytochemicals, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals — chemical compounds that fight disease and cellular damage, prevent wrinkles, boost energy, and give these natural foods their different colors. Since no one fruit or vegetable is going to give you all the vital nutrients you need to feel young, try adding a variety of colorful fruits and veggies to your daily diet.
Don’t cut the fat! In the 1980s, low-fat diets were all the rage. Yet, after dieters trimmed the fat from their meals, they struggled to keep the weight off. Why? Because they also cut healthy, anti-aging fats from their diets. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, seeds, and walnuts, have fantastic anti-inflammatory power, keep bones strong, make your mind sharp, stabilize mood, and zap body fat.
Add more protein-rich lean meats to your diet to maintain a healthy muscle mass. You’ll stay stronger and increase your metabolic rate, which can help you lose weight.
Drink up! There are three drinks nutritionists recommend adding to your daily diet for a big anti-aging boost: green tea, water, and red wine. Drinking two to three cups of green tea a day can help your body fight certain cancers and rev your metabolism. Water keeps cells hydrated, helps you maintain a healthy weight, energizes muscles, keeps vital organs strong, and aids in digestion. Red wine is good for your heart and helps keep blood pressure low. But be moderate — only one glass of red wine per day is recommended.
Now that you know what to eat to reclaim youth, let’s get you moving!
Many people get creative when it comes to making up excuses as to why they can’t exercise. They have no time, it’s boring, her head hurts, his back hurts, their dog ate their gym membership cards, etc. The bottom line is that if you want to recapture youth, you must exercise.
It’s hard to make excuses when you look at the anti-aging properties of exercising, such as the ones below:
- Stabilizes mood
- Reduces stress and anxiety
- Helps relieve pain
- Strengthens muscles and bones
- Aids in weight loss
- Boosts brain power
- Helps fight disease and chronic medical conditions
If you’re new to exercise or haven’t worked out in a while, start slow. Do what you can for 30 minutes a day, every other day. If all you can do is walk down the block and back, that’s better than doing nothing. The next time you work out, try two blocks. Ideally, you want to build up to working out 30–60 minutes every day. Check out these 4 ways to fit exercise into your busy schedule.
Some of the best forms of exercise to reclaim youth:
Yoga. This popular exercise increases blood circulation, improves strength and flexibility, helps reduce pain, lubricates the joints, and relaxes the mind. With repeated practice, yoga can condition your body and mind and reverse signs of aging. Don’t be afraid to try yoga if you aren’t flexible. The more you practice, the more flexible and stronger you will become.
Strength Training. This is especially important as we age. In our mid-thirties, we start to lose muscle mass at a rate of about 5% every decade. In order to enjoy your favorite activities — and have the energy to do them — keep those muscles strong! People with strong muscles tend to recover faster from physical activity. Doctors even recommended weight-bearing exercises to ward off bone loss.
Cardio exercises. Cardio keeps your heart strong and helps fight heart disease. Plus, the increase in blood circulation can add a healthy, youthful glow to your skin.
So, the next time you’re tempted to buy the latest ‘hope in a jar’ to recapture youth, save your money, and take a trip to the grocery store — right after you lace up your athletic shoes.
Before starting any new exercise regimen, you should check in with your doctor. Need a doctor? Find one here.