This past January I turned 49, and to tell you the truth my feelings about it are a bit mixed. On one hand, I’m happy that just short of the half-century mark I feel better than I did in my twenties; on the other, Holy crap, I’m almost out of my forties!
But time marches on.
Like most of us, I’ve arrived in mid-life amid plenty of plot twists and ups and downs. And while that can be tough on a body, I am happy to say that I still feel pretty good (with most of my girl parts mostly where they should be).
It would be nice if the answer to how I got here was as easy as saying, “Getting older is inevitable, aging is optional,” but like anything, there’s usually more to it than just saying the words. So, in the interest of spreading the love and giving you some tricks on how to be carded buying wine in your forties (true story), here’s a few tips and hacks that can help keep you alive, well and kicking into the future.
Eat Your Greens
My top tip for a youthful glow is always a diet high in whole, plant-based foods. While there is a lot of debate these days about what constitutes a healthy diet, there is little argument that a diet low in processed food and high in whole, unprocessed vegetables and fruit is the way to go if you want to look, feel, and perform your best…regardless of your age! A plant-based diet not only helps maintain a healthy weight, but also contributes to healthy glowing skin, shiny hair, and – yes – even makes you look younger! The quickest and easiest way to do this? Incorporate green juicing and/or green smoothies into your diet. Even if your diet isn’t perfect otherwise, adding these will make a huge difference.
That’s right, meditation. A regular daily meditation practice helps slow down the aging process at the cellular level. Meditation has also been shown to significantly lower stress hormone levels, enhance immune function, lower metabolic and heart rates, and improve sleep. Not to mention all its other benefits!
Mix it Up
I’ve managed to remain reasonably fit over the years doing a range of activities including aerobics, running, weightlifting, mountain-biking, martial arts, hiking, and yoga. In all that time, one of the most invaluable lessons I’ve learned is that it’s important to cross-train and mix it up.(Especially if you might be getting up there. We all know we should exercise for optimum health, but as we age we lose muscle mass, so cross-training is more important than ever.) If you love running, throw in some weight training and yoga to help balance out your fitness routine. Don’t limit yourself to just one activity. Mixing it up helps keep you from getting bored. Plus, you keep your muscles on their toes. Cross-training also keeps you from the inevitable plateau phase where you’re no longer seeing results.
Get Some Sleep
You’ve heard it to death, good sleep is essential to feeling and looking your best, and no end of studies show the ill-effects of insufficient sleep. (So turn off your screens and go to bed already!) You should aim for at least seven hours a night. And if you do happen to be in your late 30s or 40s, you may be experiencing insomnia due to hormonal fluctuations. In which case, getting enough sleep can get complicated. If so, check out these natural ways to balance your hormones:
In my younger days, I stayed away from the sun; partly because I was worried about sun damage, but also because I liked the “pale look” at the time. I never went out in the sun without plenty of high-powered sunscreen. In retrospect, I did myself a huge favor. That said, I know a tan gives you that healthy glow (and who doesn’t like spending the afternoon by the pool?) But you have to be careful. Always cover up and use sunscreen when the UV index is high. Reckless tanning leads to future wrinkles, age-spots or, worse, melanoma. Plus, while you might not achieve George Hamilton status, a healthy diet and positive outlook will go a long way to giving you that glow you’re looking for! And if it’s a question of getting Vitamin D, yes we all need it and most of us don’t get enough of it, and unless you’re taking supplements the sun is your only source; with that said, you can still get good, healthy sun exposure without damaging your skin.
Photo Credit: 123RF
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