Thumbnail image from Pixabay
By Rebecca Fending
Age may just be a number, but that doesn’t mean we don’t feel our age sometimes. Whether you’re wanting to look, feel or act younger, there are a number of things you can start doing to make this the year of rejuvenation.
This is a no-brainer when it comes to the fountain of youth. Eating the right foods can help provide your mind and body with the vitamins and minerals it needs to slow aging processes. From eating more GBOMBS for brain health to working in vegetables into your diet that you would normally not eat, what’s on your plate can help keep you younger for longer.
The easiest way to eat right for youth? Make a stir fry! Not only is a stir fry ridiculously easy to throw together for a quick lunch, but it’s the perfect way to consume a number of youth-provoking vegetables in one dish. Be sure not to sauté the vegetables for too long, otherwise the health benefits will be diminished.
Stir Fry of Youth
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (Antioxidants)
- Medium red onion or sweet onion, sliced (Vitamins, antioxidant-rich)
- Red bell pepper, sliced (for LOADS of antioxidants)
- 1 head of broccoli (Antioxidants, vitamins and tons of fiber)
- Brussel sprouts (replace with fresh cabbage, if preferred) (Vitamin A, folate)
- 1 clove fresh minced garlic (Antioxidants)
- 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon turmeric (Anti-inflammatory antioxidants)
- Salt and pepper to taste
Prepare all ingredients. Eat a large skillet on medium-high heat with olive oil. Once hot, toss vegetables in and sauté for 5 minutes until lightly softened. Add garlic, soy sauce and salt and pepper. Cook for another minute. Serve and enjoy, or keep refrigerated for 2-3 days.
Take Care of Your Skin
Another obvious but necessary step in slowing the aging process is proper skin care for both men and women. As we age, our skin’s needs change. When we’re young, we can get away with a lot in terms of skipping moisturizer, sunblock or protective coverings. While it’s easy to bounce back from a sunburn or dry skin patches in our 20s, it becomes much harder once we hit our 50s.
The first step to keeping your skin youthful is proper washing techniques. When it comes to showering, be sure to use warm water, not hot. Although a hot shower can do us good every now and then, daily bathing in water above 110 degrees Fahrenheit can irritate and damage the skin as it causes drying and general irritation of the tissue.
Once out of the shower, be sure to pat, not rub, your skin dry. Rubbing the skin with a cotton towel can both pull and irritate already delicate skin. Be sure to lather up with an ultra-moisturizing, unscented lotion within three minutes of drying off. Moisturizing immediately helps lock in any moisture from the water left on your skin after toweling off.
When going into the sun, be sure to wear a hat that covers your face, neck and chest in order to prevent sun damage. These areas tend to be the top three that age first, often manifesting wrinkles and discoloration. If you aren’t able to wear a large hat, opt for a quality sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher. Re-apply your sunscreen every hour and a half or sooner, if you’ve been in water.
Getting up and moving doesn’t necessarily mean exercise, although that’s an excellent way to get your blood flowing and help keep you mentally alert. Studies have shown that activities such as volunteering, going for short walks or even just socializing with friends more frequently can help keep the brain and spirit from rapid aging.
Studies done on volunteering have shown that the activity lowers a person’s blood pressure and helps them live longer. Lowered blood pressure comes from the reduction of stress and increase of serotonin from helping others. Whether it’s once a week at your local humane society, shelter or food pantry, philanthropy goes a long way in a community and in slowing the aging process of the volunteer.
Although studies in friendship have only recently begun, many have shown that friendships later in life are vital to the well-being of a person. From combating loneliness to lifting the spirit, socializing with friends during retirement is a must. But the biggest advantage to friendship as we age? Smiling. A grin is one of the best ways to appear and feel younger. So, practice that grin with a pal and knock off the last five years.
Another great way to stay young in spirit? Get out and explore. You can do this either by taking a spontaneous road trip to a site you’ve wanted to visit for so long, attending a local festival or event as we approach the spring season or even take classes at your local community center to keep learning. Stop aging in its tracks by allowing yourself to keep living.