Apparently I am at the stage in my life where I look good “for my age.” I will be 32 this year, but feel like I am 21 (younger sometimes). I don’t consider myself to be old and I never shy away when someone asks how old I am, but for some reason, 30 and up is when numbers start becoming taboo for most women. It’s shocking and sad that 30 is considered old. But, I can’t buy into that, especially when I have 50, 60, and 70 year olds who take my classes (multiple classes) every week…and kick ass! Recently I was asked to share my “secret” to looking so young…I was, of course, amused. I have a secret?? Really?! I was flattered she would think so. Well, I wouldn’t say it’s a secret, and I’m not sure if this “secret” works for everyone, but I thought it would be fun to share my thoughts on staying young.
I believe that the fountain of youth is in your mind (sorry, Mr. Ponce de Léon). I’m sure that you’ve heard the saying “age is a state of mind.” I’ve been saying that since I was in middle school and I learned this frame of mind from my dad. He turns 76 this year. Ask him his age, he responds with “21.” Ask him about his white hair, he tells you it’s blonde. He doesn’t take life seriously, and I think that is a big part of the anti-aging process. Of course, genetics play a large part in how you age as well, but I feel that you can control some of your aging process with your mind. I believe our minds are far more powerful than we know. Think like an old fart, and you’re going to look and act like an old fart. Simple solution: start thinking young! In order to do this you must stop being an arithmophobe (fear of numbers, I just looked it up)! Don’t cringe in horror when someone asks your age. Own the numbers that say how long you have been alive. They are just numbers, and you will still look the same, whether you lie about your age or tell the truth. (Side note, lying about your age in the entertainment industry is different, so I’ll let that slide.)
Now that I’ve covered mind control, I will offer a list of other functional anti-aging tips. Some have been proven with science others are just theory. I believe in all of them, so they are all included in my fountain of youth:
- Be less sedentary and exercise often. You had to know I would include this one. I exercise because it’s fun and I feel like a million bucks when I’m done exercising. In case you’re still not convinced, the Mayo Clinic says that exercise controls weight, combats health conditions/diseases, improves mood, boosts energy, and promotes better sleep.
- Don’t smoke. Not only is it bad for your innards, but it can cause premature wrinkles which tend to make one look older.
- Don’t drink excessively. Moderation is key when it comes to alcohol. Heavy drinking can have a detrimental effect on your liver and can cause an increase in weight gain, not to mention, with the increasing popularity of social media, any decisions made under the influence of alcohol are on display for all to see (I know pictures of your intoxication don’t have to do with the aging process, but it might cause added stress!)
- Moisturize daily. As you age, your skin loses some of its natural moisture. Dry skin tends to show more wrinkles, thereby making you look older. I’m a big fan of Aveeno products; Aveeno is dermatologist recommended, and it’s not expensive, PLUS you can get it at Costco.
- Eat lots of fruits and vegetables. F&Vs are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants. Instead of spending all of your money on pills and powders, spend a little bit of your money on fresh produce!
- De-stress daily. Whether it’s a long, luxurious bubble bath, listening to Sade, or snuggling with your puppy dog, it’s important to take a few minutes everyday to clear your mind and take advice from Frankie Goes to Hollywood (for my younger readers, they sing the song “Relax”).
- Laugh often. No, seriously, laugh often. It elevates your mood AND it can be a great ab workout — two birds with one stone! I learned this one from my family. We all think we’re hilarious. My mom always says, it doesn’t matter if anyone else thinks you’re funny as long as you think you are…and her jokes are pretty corny (she’s probably thinking of a witty comment to write at the end of this post as reads this point).
- Be true to yourself. There is nothing more stressful than pretending to be something that you are not, and since you’re reading my blog, you know that one of my previous anti-aging tips is to de stress daily. So take preventative measures and avoid the unnecessary stress of being someone else!
- Take care of your teeth. A bright smile definitely adds to the youthful look, but there are other benefits to flossing daily. There are several studies that show a link between gum disease and heart disease.
- Stay hydrated. My favorite anti-aging tip by far. You won’t catch me going anywhere without my Bubba Keg (keeps liquids cold for 8 hours!). I’ve always been a big hydrator, ever since my days of fainting on the Phillippi Shores Elementary playground. Dehydration is not only dangerous, it can cause your skin to dry and crack which in turn makes you look older.
Now that I’ve shared my “secrets” with you, I hope that all you ‘old maids’ over 30 are inspired to run outside and play hopscotch to get your aging reversal jump-started!