I embraced turning 30. I personally feel that every year I get a little better with age due to the wisdom of taking better care of myself. Plus, having a tiny bit of disposable income allows for those work out classes, cleaner eating, and good eye cream. I love when I meet someone and tell them my age (31) and they most often say “I thought you were in your mid 20’s“. Hey I’ll take it. I have some tried and true commandants for how to age well and I’m going to share them with you today.
Ten Things to Stop Doing Right Now: How to Age Well
Stop Laying Out in the Sun
You want to know what is the number way of speeding up aging to your skin? Purposely laying out in the sun. I pretty much cringe when I see girls who are not 16 baking glistening out in the sun. I mean don’t get me wrong, my 16-year-old self was obsessed with that tan line between my stomach and where the top of my bathing suit was. I used to call it a hoodsie (like remember those chocolate and vanilla ice cream bowls?). Now I’m all about slathering on the SPF as high as it can go, protecting my face and hair with a beach hat, a fab coverup and lounging in the shade. Obviously there are some exceptions like being on vacation but to bake out in the sun with minimal sunscreen……stop doing it. Those tans fade, there are amazing self tanners on the market now and your future freckled/sun spotted/wrinkled self will thank you.
With that said, wear sunscreen daily and don’t forget your hands. I put sunscreen on my hands every day. I always look at women’s hands, first sign of aging.
Not Drinking At Least 60-80 oz daily
I know everyone says this but are you really doing it? Water keeps your skin hydrated and supple. Get a 20oz water bottle and drink 4 of them. Get 4 rubber bands/hair ties and take one off each time you take one down. I drink one in the morning before work, one mid morning, one with lunch and one with dinner. Sometimes I’ll even drink more depending on a workout. Stop drinking soda/juice/energy drinks/calories. Those are all just liquid sugar in its simplest form which leads to weight gain, diabetes and inability to manage caloric intake during the day due to its effects on insulin.
Stop Binge Drinking and Smoking
The smoking really goes without saying but you know when you meet someone who is older and you can clearly tell they smoked? Yes, it ages you exponentially. Also, binge drinking which is more than 3 drinks in a night. A glass of wine or a martini is one thing but call it quits after that. Excessive drinking is terrible for your liver and trust me, that is one organ you want working for a long time.
Not Having a Skincare Regimen
I have been using eye cream I swear since I was 18. I am all about prevention. Have a regimen that you stick to morning and night. I recently have been having some crazy hormonal breakouts that nothing was touching. My sister got my hooked on the Beauty Counter line and my skin is finally clearing up. It is on the pricier side but the products last forever. The lustre oil is the best. Oil on my face no way I thought but it actually improved my break outs. I want to sing from the rooftops after finding it. I use the cream cleanser, the charcoal bar on the breakout spots, the am and pm cream mixed with the lustre oil. I also got the rose water spray, it was a splurge but spray on after washing and wait 20 seconds before applying your creams. All the redness and irritation on my cheeks is gone and my flaky dry Winter skin on my nose is finally gone. Oh, and my makeup goes on flawless now. I actually look forward to washing my face now because of this line, it’s crazy but true.
I promise you it will get done tomorrow. Get to bed. Move your phone across your room, take the screen distractions out of your sleep space. Invest in a good mattress and pillow. I am a firm believer in at least 7-8 hours of sleep every night and more on the weekend. Beauty sleep is not just a saying. Also, if you can sleep on your back and not mash your face into a pillow, your skin will appreciate it. Get a mirror and press your face into it. See those lines that are formed? Now stay that way for 8 hours with your body weight pressing against it. Does that make you want to try sleeping on your back? When you get sleep, your overall next day is so much more productive. You eat better, feel like working out and generally just take better care of yourself. So get that iPhone off your nightstand and get to sleep.
Not Getting That Heart Rate up Regularly
The older and busier I get, I feel like it is that much more important to stay active. Not only for your physical well-being but mental as well. You know when you are having a high stress day and you fit that work out in? Tell me how you feel afterwards. Don’t have time for a full workout? Try to fit in 10 minute intervals throughout the day. Shut your door and do a plank series, walk the stairs on your lunch break. Get moving every chance you get.
Stop Eating Fast Food & Processed Junk
Stop the drive through madness. I can honestly tell you I haven’t been through a drive through in probably 10 years. Listen straight up, I run a Preventive Cardiology Clinic. I founded it. It is my baby. You know what I look at on a daily basis? Lipid panels. I can look at a lipid panel, turn to the patient and say “McDonalds 3 times a week“, they most likely will shake their head yes and add in “as well as Taco Bell, Chick-Fil-A, Chipotle, and XYZ“. Fast food eating wrecks havoc on your cholesterol. It lowers your good cholesterol, increases your bad cholesterol and sends your triglycerides sailing. Have you ever seen the viral post on pinterest from the Nutritionist who left out fast food burgers for years and what they look like afterwards? What do you think happened to them?
They didn’t mold or break down. They looked exactly the same. Want to know why? That isn’t real food. It is engineered to look like food you are used to eating but it’s not. There is no such thing as healthy fast food. Chick-Fil-A is just as bad as the rest of them, it still gets fried in oil correct? Marketing geniuses. I know we are all stressed and running from the next thing to the next thing but it’s all about food preparation. I have four jobs and I don’t go through a drive through. Stop making excuses. It is terrible for you even if you eat off the “healthy options menu“. Sorry about that soapbox and being so harsh but don’t fall into the master minds of these evil marketers. Stop fueling your body with processed fake food.
Stop Wearing Ill Fitting Shoes
You laugh but it’s true. Just because they are cheap doesn’t mean they are good for you. Especially if you are on your feet for work, invest in a good pair of shoes. Ones that are cushioned, don’t rub your heels and cause blisters/bunions. When you wear bad shoes or ill-fitting shoes it puts so much added strain and pressure on your back. I know Tieks are expensive but they are seriously like wearing padded sneakers but in the form of adorable ballet flats. Or find an affordable pair that gives you good support. THROW OUT the ill-fitting and poor supporting shoes. If they were cheap, I’m sure you’ve already gotten your use out of them. I completely notice the days I don’t wear good shoes, my back is aching and my alignment is out. Invest in the future and health of your back, you will thank yourself.
Stop Stressing Yourself Out
If you have met me in real life, you would know that not too much gets me upset. I am very easy-going and totally don’t sweat the small stuff kind of person. Stress releases all kinds of bad hormones in your body that ramps up other hormones like cortisol (think fight or flight response) and sends your body into a constant state of being revved up and anxious. That is definitely a sure-fire way to age yourself. One of the leading causes of early heart attacks is stress. Stress causes so many ailments to your body. Make sure to set time for yourself. Get up earlier so you’re not constantly rushing in the morning and sitting in horrible traffic because you left the same time as every one else. Stop stressing yourself out by comparing your life to your Facebook news feed. Stretch in the morning, decompress at night, make sure you have a good laugh daily, give someone a compliment and mean it. There are so many ways to take the stressors out of your life. Some days I look at my to-do list and start to get that panicky/butterflies oh crap there is no way I’m going to get it all done. Then I take a deep breath, start prioritizing what needs to be done today, what can wait till tomorrow, what can I delegate, what do I have to say no to and what I need to tackle right now. Tomorrow will come and I promise you stressing yourself sick about it is not going to solve the problem at hand.
Not Having Something That Makes You Truly Happy
You need a passion, a creative outlet, something that gives you satisfaction. I never thought it growing up but I am a teacher by heart. I love teaching my patients and seeing the change in results. I enjoy watching my students at the local college I teach at improve on their formal writing over the semester. I beam when I get a review after Pure Barre class from a client that says this is her favorite part of the day being in my class. I take pride when I get emails from my readers telling me that I inspired them in some way during their day or they made a change that worked because of something I suggested. If you don’t have a passion then seriously doesn’t every day just feel like Ground Hogs day? Alarm, work, dinner, sleep and repeat? Now is the time to finally take the plunge and pursue what truly makes you happy. It will lower your stress, increase your overall happiness and I guarantee it will help in that aging gracefully ideal.
Those are my top ten points in order to help one age well and gracefully. What are some of your tried and true methods or suggestions? Do you agree with these? If not, tell me what you are doing for prevention. Seriously, don’t forget to sunscreen the top of those hands! xoxoxo