Growing old is inevitable, but we have more control than we think, beauties. From the minute you made your debut here on earth, the aging process began. How quickly this inescapable circle of life occurs is up to you boo. In fact, orthopedic surgeon and author of Fitness After 40, Vonda Wright, M.D. estimates that only 30 percent of the effects of getting older are predetermined by genetics. The rest is totally based on daily lifestyle decisions. That’s right, no special creams or wacky diets needed.
You may not be able to turn back the hands of time, but these seven research-proven tips can certainly help you feel and look forever young all while staying healthy for decades to come.
1. Keep Your Weight Straight
Maintaining a healthy weight protects you against heart disease and diabetes – we already know that – but keeping the scale straight can also help preserve your looks too ladies. So if you’re a yo yo dieter, stop that and lose the weight once and for all, slow and steady. When you lose weight too fast the skin’s nutritional and hydration needs can’t be met –hello sunken and saggy skin. And while you think thin may be in, dropping too low is hazardous since a lack of adequate fat can cause even young women to look old and frail. The goal? Talk to your doctor about what healthy weight is best for you and make that happen.
2. Beauty Rest (Face Up) Is The Best
If you’re getting an adequate amount of sleep a night, (read: 8 hours) then that is 1/3 of your day snoozing. How you sleep can totally determine how many wrinkles and unsightly lines you have. Burrowing your face into a pillow might feel great after a long day, or you may be amongst the 76 percent of folks who sleep on their side, but the RAD thing to do for your looks is to sleep on your back. By snoozing face up gravity is on your side. Have a bad back? Tuck a small pillow under your knees to help maintain the natural curve of the spine. Now that’s what I call beauty rest!
3. Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff
Cussing out that sales clerk is not only bad for your karma, but all that unnecessary stress is also bound to speed up the aging process. Chronic stress is linked to a host of health conditions, but one side effect of stress not often talked about is the impact it has on your cellular levels. For instance, as you get older the caps on the ends of your chromosomes, called telomeres, start to slowly shrink. This is natural. However excess stress accelerates this process (read you live a shorter life), and can bring on dry skin, psoriasis, many other skin conditions, hair loss and even brittle nails. So next time you want to tell someone to “get their life,” get yours instead by choosing not to sweat the small stuff.
4. Get Your Daily Five
You can keep skimping on fruits and veggies if you want to, but this bad habit is guaranteed to have you looking like you are a member of AARP well before it’s time. Simply put, people who get fewer than five servings of fruits and vegetables a day also have shorter telomeres (scroll up). They don’t call these nature loving foods power foods for nothing–the antioxidants that produce contains is better than any product your can buy at Sephora. So get them in, whether you have to sneak them in sauces or blend them into smoothies. The effort will be worth the “oh my gosh you look so young” compliments to come.
5. Bring Sexy Back
Get busy more often beauties. In fact, research shows that people who have sex three or four times a week appear four to seven years younger than those who romped between the sheets less often. Don’t believe me? Research also shows that regular sex improves circulation to the capillaries in your face, giving you that rosy glow. So about that facial–schedule a love making sesh instead.
6. Have Tea Time All The Time
Want younger looking skin? Drink green tea. Studies show that women who sip this Asian staple every day have the substantial skin improvements in elasticity to prove it. Try it for 12 weeks and then send me your best #selfie for proof. Don’t worry, if downing the suggested eight servings a day sounds cray cray then drink what you can and sneak this power fluid into smoothies, whole grain rice or even baked goods.
If there is one thing on earth that costs nothing yet can change everything, it would undoubtedly be smiling. This upward curve is a total mood booster indeed (for the giver and the recipient), but studies show that people who get their grin on regularly naturally look more attractive. Plus, people often underestimate the age of happy faces by an average of two years (Psychology and Aging). So frown less and say cheese more.
Robbie Ann Darby (RAD Experience) is a professional FitGirl, Group Fitness Instructor and Personal Trainer in NYC. Follow her sweaty life on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for more fun health and fitness tips!