New Year, Fresher You
They say that you’re only as old as you feel. Age is but a number. Just because your birthday heralds another year of life completed, it doesn’t mean that you have to look or feel older. If you’re keen to stay young for as long as possible, here are some tips and tricks to help you channel your inner Peter Pan.
Look After Your Skin
There is no other commandment more important than looking after your skin when it comes to keeping the ageing process at bay. Even in your teens and twenties, there are things you can do to delay the appearance of signs of ageing and keep your skin in perfect condition. Always wear a base such as a moisturiser or face cream that contain SPF even on days when it’s not boiling outside, some foundations now even include SPF to keep skin protected from those pesky UV rays. If it’s bright and the sun has reared its beautiful head, pop on some lotion as a precaution. Sunburn causes significant damage to your skin cells and UV exposure is one of the most common causes of premature ageing. Take two minutes every morning and evening to cleanse your skin. Never go to bed with your makeup on and moisturise twice a day. As you start to get older, it’s worth looking into products that are designed for ageing skin. If you can’t make it to the shops, don’t worry. You can shop online for anti-aging whitening serum, eye creams and face masks which work with your skin to give a brighter appearance and keep though laughter lines at bay.
An active social life can keep you young at heart. If you’re out and about and you’re spending time with others, this is great for your mental health. If you spend most of your time with the same work colleagues or friends you’ve had since your schooldays, you can widen your social circle by taking up a new hobby or getting involved in community projects. You never know, you might just find something you fall in love with. I’ve recently found my fitness mojo and actually enjoy heading to the gym after working all day. It helps me to relax and I feel great afterwards. I even take part in some of the classes available and get to meet loads of new faces each week.
Stretch & Relax
Stretching is the secret to suppleness and flexibility and it can keep you looking and feeling youthful. You can take classes in practices like yoga or Pilates, or incorporate stretching into gym workouts and warm ups for team sports. Stretching is also cathartic. You can almost feel tension and strain leaving your body as you reach for the sky or touch your toes. Even better for those of us who don’t feel quite so confident doing the whole ‘Downward Dog’ in a room full of people, there are online solutions and workout dvd’s available for you to practice in the comfort of your own home – so no excuse! Stretching is also really good for your core muscles to help trim and tone any of that body fat still lurking around the muffin top area (seriously, that stuff is the bane of my life).
A healthy diet is essential for good health, no matter how old you are. Try and hit your 5-a-day target every day, avoid processed, fatty foods and moderate your sugar intake. Embrace whole grains and ensure you eat a wide range of foods. Cook at home when you can and don’t worry if you’re not a maestro in the kitchen. You can buy recipe books and search for recipes online that are aimed at beginners. I’ve been loving Joe Wicks’ Lean in 15 (haven’t we all) recently and it’s even opened my eyes to food I never normally eat. There are some great subscription boxes out there too which provide you with all the ingredients you need to create healthy, balanced meals at home such as Gousto, HelloFresh and Mindful Chef. Even Simply Cook can help you get a little more creative in the kitchen whilst maintaining a good diet.
Sadly, ageing is something that we can’t avoid. We all get older and we all get wrinkles in all the wrong places. There’s no time machine that can catapult us back to the days when we had no wrinkles and no cares in the world. That said, there’s no harm in trying to stay young for as long as possible. You shouldn’t be defined by your age, or let it hold you back in any way. Take care of your body and mind, challenge yourself, and have fun along the way. You’re only as old as you feel!