While we continue the search for the fountain of youth, there are a few things you can do today to help yourself look and feel younger!
1. Get Enough Sleep
We are surely all familiar with the saying “a good night’s sleep,” but how good is a good night’s sleep? Not only can sleep help you feel well-rested by daybreak, but it will also enhance your memory, attention, and concentration. You may also be surprised to know that an adequate amount of sleep will reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke.
Sleep is a major asset for optimal brain function. Your body has a chance to repair and rebuild tissue and stamina while you sleep. Be sure to eat early in the evening to give your body time to do the work it needs to do for digestion. Going to sleep on a full stomach can slow your metabolism and disrupt your sleep cycles.
2. Eat a Plant-Based Diet
The older you get, the more your diet matters. Focus on fueling your body! A healthy plant-based diet not only helps you feel better, but also helps you fight chronic pain and fatigue.
Here are some tips to fuel your body with revitalizing energy and a taste of the rainbow:
- Eat some high protein food like whole grains or legumes for breakfast to boost energy.
- Whole grains will keep you full.
- If you’re 50+, start your day with calcium-rich foods such as dark leafy greens and fruits and nuts.
- Magnesium helps produce serotonin. (nuts and whole grains).
- Avoid starchy high-calorie (white bread/ white rice), lunches because these will weigh you down and cause fatigue.
- Omega-3 fatty acids found in nuts and seeds and sea vegetables will not only boost your energy but also boost your circulation and mood.
- If you have had a stressful morning, monounsaturated fats will lower your blood pressure. You can find this in food like avocados, nuts and seeds.
- Onions help regulate blood sugar and slow bone loss while bananas increase happiness by regulating your mood and helping you relax!
- And make sure to get plenty of beans—people who eat them may have fewer wrinkles.
- Vitamin C is essential for your body to make collagen, the protein that keeps skin firm and elastic.
3. Do What Makes You Smile
Research shows that happiness is associated with longevity. And when it comes to shifting our moods, it’s the little things that count. “Every person should spend time thinking, ‘What makes me happy, and how can I bring that more into my life?'” says Archer. Spend time with your pet. Pick up a green tea at 3 p.m. Carve out time to read a book or learn something new, or watch your favorite TV show. Whatever makes you feel good.
4. Make Time for Playtime
There’s no better way to feel young than to spend time with those who are. Join little ones as they color, play with blocks, and spend time in the park. Or, take the lead and introduce a child to something new, like your favorite card game. Whether it’s someone in your own family or simply a young person in need, there are endless ways for generations to play and learn together — and you’ll both appreciate the bond you’re forming in the years to come.
5. Find people who inspire and encourage you.
“In my 20s, I was friends with a woman who was 40, and it was a really good experience. I wondered if I’d reverse that when I myself was older, and I have,” Niederlander says. Age isn’t relevant if you share interests and passions. Hollis-Sawyer also recommends intergenerational mentoring. “It’s the best way to break out of your situation and see others’ perspectives,” she says.
But having friends your own age is important too, as long as they don’t hold you back. Fordyce credits one friend with helping her stay active: “We can say something like, ‘I’ve always wanted to try skydiving—what do you think?’”
6. Try Something New
You needn’t take on a huge task or challenge—just embrace novelty. “Do something you haven’t done before or that’s not routine,” says McDonough. Working with a teacher or friend who can guide and challenge you can help you avoid frustration and also has beneficial effects on the brain, he adds.
And even if you’re too busy now to throw yourself into a new hobby, “stay engaged with the people and projects that matter to you,” Carstensen says. “Explore what you might want to do when you have more time.” That might mean reading up on certain topics or volunteering for a few hours.