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Look and Feel Younger

Updated on February 3, 2013

Look and Feel Younger without Botox or Cosmetic Surgery

Looking young and feeling young really go hand in hand. It is very difficult to have a youthful appearance when you feel old, tired, and let's face it, just plain worn out.

It is completely possible to look and feel younger than your chronological age and without Botox or cosmetic surgery. It starts by changing the way you think about yourself and your life and by taking better care of yourself inside and out.

Picture courtesy of morguefile.

You won't find any Botox here, just some good old fashioned elbow grease is all that you need to create a better and more youthful you.

What Factors Contribute to the Aging Process?

What makes us look older? In order to look younger, we need to first understand what is making us look older.

Extra Weight

Daily Diet

Inactivity

Lack of Sleep

Sun Damage

Wrinkles and Dark Circles

Grey Hair

Lifestyle

Thoughts

Lose Weight

Nothing Ages Your Appearance More Than a Chubby Face

It's a terrible truth that we all want to ignore, but just about all of us put on weight as we age. It is most apparent in our faces, the one part of us that the world sees every day. Every time you see younger pictures of someone, their face is thinner. A thin face and jawline gives the appearance of youth.

So, you may be wondering, what's the quick fix? There is no quick fix. You didn't put on weight over night, you cannot expect to lose it that way. Companies that want to sell you their weight loss products will have you believe that there is a magic pill that you can take to lose weight, but you have to remember that they will say anything to get your money.

The only true way to lose weight and keep it off isn't to start a diet or take a pill, it is to make a lifestyle change. Our metabolisms change as we age. That pizza, soda, and candy bars that our bodies handled with ease in our teenage years now really pack on the pounds. In addition to our metabolisms slowing down, so do our lives. We were all much more active as kids and teenagers than we are as adults.

To lose weight and keep it off, you have to start eating right and exercising. I know, I know...I heard a collective groan just now. It doesn't sound like fun, but not only will you look and feel better if you make this lifestyle change, you should also live a longer and healthier life.

Look and Feel Young at Any Age

Look and Feel Young at Any Age
Look and Feel Young at Any Age

Eat Healthy - Relearn How to Eat

Eat Healthy Food
Eat Healthy Food

Vegetable Woman by Petr Kratochvil

Eating well is a very important part of looking and feeling younger. Not only will eating well help you lost weight, it will greatly improve the way you feel, the way your body performs, and and the way your skin looks.

I am not an advocate of diets by any means. Fad diets, bars, shakes and pills are not the way to lose weight, feel better, and look younger. They are not good solutions to getting the best results out of your body. They are not good for you. You may lose weight at first, but it will likely be water weight, which will not stay off, will not give you the results you want (because you'll still have the fat), and your skin will be dehydrated (actually exaggerating your skin's aged appearance).

Losing weight, looking younger, and feeling great will require a change in the way you eat. Sure, part of changing your daily diet will be unpleasant, but it only takes 14 days to break a bad habit or make a good one. So, if you just get rid of all of the junk food in your house and only buy good foods and decide to not eat out once for 14 days, before you know it eating healthy will become second nature to you.

If you combine your new healthy eating with exercise, it will be that much easier. I find that when I'm working out regularly, just the thought of junk food is repulsive. I used to eat McDonald's quarter pounder with cheese and think they were great. Once I started working out, I couldn't even stand the smell and I started to crave water instead of soft drinks and fruits instead of candy bars.

The easiest way to start a healthy eating plan if you're used to eating a junky diet is to only eat fresh foods. This means fresh meats, yes even beef, is fine. Eat only fresh fruits and vegetables, nothing from a can or box. Once you get used to eating fresh foods, you can then start to look at your calorie and fat intake.

Recent studies have shown that eating dairy while eating healthier and exercising will help you lose more belly fat than just eating healthier and exercising alone. Scientists are attributing this to the calcium. The studies showed that you cannot get the same results from calcium supplements. Eating light yogurt or drinking skim milk is the best way to get the belly fat busting calcium.

Eating healthily doesn't just have the benefit of weight loss and management, it also improves the appearance of your skin and hair and slows the aging process. In addition to the aesthetic benefits of eating right, eating certain fruits and vegetables lower your risks of cancer and heart disease. It really is a win-win for you. If you eat right, you will look and feel great AND live a longer and healthier life!

So, What Foods Should You Eat?

Read On to Find Out....

Foods that Help You Lose Weight

A List of Food Everyone Should Eat and the Reasons Why

  • Dairy -- As I stated earlier, eating dairy helps you lose belly fat! Drink skim milk or eat light yogurt every day.
  • Apples -- The soluble fiber, pectin, found in apples helps keep you feeling full, which means you'll eat less. Eating one apple before each of your meals will really help you lose weight.
  • Barley -- One cup of hulled barley will increase your body's rate of burning calories. Try barley in an easy multigrain cereal. Combine 1/2 cup barley, 1/2 cup cracked wheat, and cup steel-cut oats with 41/2 cups water and place on high heat. Cover and boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit covered overnight. In the morning, reheat and eat.
  • Black Beans -- They are super high in fiber and low in fat. They are a healthy food that keep you filling full since they take a long time to digest.
  • Cantaloupe -- Use this super sweet, low-calorie fruit to satisfy your sweet cravings.
  • Carrots -- Carrots are a super easy, super healthy, high in fiber vegetable. Eat carrots when ever you want a snack. I buy the peels baby carrots or the ridged carrot slices (that are for salads). Both are ready to eat straight from the refrigerator.
  • Chile Peppers -- Peppers such as jalapeno, cayenne, and habanero are thought to help you burn calories faster. If you can't handle hot peppers, like me, cook with a little ground cayenne. It's super great in spaghetti.
  • Burdock Root -- This is a root vegetable that contains inulin, which regulates blood sugar and controls hunger. Find burdock in the produce section of natural food stores. You can cut it into thin slivers and add it to stir-fries. (Pregnant women should avoid burdock; some practitioners say it stimulates the uterus.)
  • Onions -- This is a miracle food. Onions have been proven to reduce your risk of developing many different kinds of cancer. Now, research shows that onions help break down fats so that you flush them out instead of storing them!
  • Soup -- I'm not talking about the canned soups that are high in sodium and preservatives, but homemade soups. Soups get you feeling full and most the fullness is coming from the water.

Foods that Improve Your Skin's Appearance

A List of Food Everyone Should Eat and the Reasons Why

  • Adzuki Beans -- These beans reduce inflammation and are full of zinc, which repairs skin damage.
  • Almonds -- Almonds are full of minerals, vitamins and nutrients that make your skin look smoother, younger and supple. A glow or shining will also be seen on your skin by consuming almonds regularly. Eat a handful every day. Keep in mind that the salted ones may cause you to retain water.
  • Collard Greens -- They protect your skin from sun damage. Steam them with a little garlic and onion. Sesame seed oil can also add a nice flavor to them.
  • Plums, Blackberries, Blueberries, and Strawberries -- These fruits are packed with antioxidants, which protect skin and slow the aging process.
  • Fish -- The healthy oils found in fish can add a healthy glow or luster to your skin.
  • Pomegranate Juice -- Pomegranate juice contains anthocyanins, which can actually stop the formation of spider veins.
  • Avocados -- Avocados help reduce inflammation. They also reduces redness and blotchiness!

Exercise Regularly

Get Up and Get Moving

An inactive lifestyle is possibly the one thing that ages us the most. A sedentary lifestyle causes us to gain weight, feel sluggish, lose sleep, and so much more. Exercise is an essential element to any look younger and feel younger plan.

Many people make the mistake of trying to use "willpower" to start exercising and keep with it. If you rely on willpower to go from an inactive to an active lifestyle, you will most likely fail. Instead, you need to focus on this being a lifestyle change. It takes 14 days to break a bad habit and 14 days to start a good one. So, act as if there were no other alternative. Don't tell yourself "I need to exercise" or "I should exercise." Instead, tell yourself "I will exercise" and do it. Exercise every day for 14 days and before you know it, exercising is your new habit.

Once you really get into a rhythm of exercising regularly it really will become addicting and you'll feel terrible if you miss a workout. Exercise is a natural high, because it produces endorphins. Endorphins are hormones secreted by the pituitary gland in response to physical stress. These hormones are known to block pain, decrease appetite, reduce feelings of anxiety and produce feelings of euphoria.

When first starting an exercise program, be sure to start off slow. You don't want sore muscles or an injury to discourage you from continuing. Start off walking, doing an elliptical machine, or recumbent bike. To get the best benefit be sure to do cardiovascular exercise (walking, biking, jogging, etc) for 20 minutes 4 times a week and continue until you can comfortably do 30 minute workouts.

Adding pilates and/or yoga to your routine will also give you great results. Alternate days, for example do cardiovascular exercise on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and do pilates on Tuesday and Thursday. Then do yoga on Saturdays and give your muscles a rest on Sunday.

My Absolute Favorite Workout Videos - I've Had Amazing Results With These DVD's

A workout on DVD is much more cost effective than a gym membership. You can do these workouts at a time that suits you, whatever the weather is like!

Cindy Crawford - Shape Your Body Workout
Cindy Crawford - Shape Your Body Workout

This is the original Cindy Crawford workout. The high cute swim wear, big hair, and music may be a little dated, but this is still a great fat burning/body sculpting workout. It has two workouts on it that are designed to do on alternate days. It includes a bonus mini workout that you can do super fast on days that you are pressed for time.

 
Winsor Pilates Basic 3 DVD Workout Set (Basics Step-by-Step / 20 Minute Workout / Accelerated Body Sculpting)
Winsor Pilates Basic 3 DVD Workout Set (Basics Step-by-Step / 20 Minute Workout / Accelerated Body Sculpting)

I was so intimidated to give pilates a try until my sister-in-law lent me these DVDs while she was pregnant. I loved them so much that when I had to return them after she had the baby, I bought my own set!

 
Winsor Pilates - Bun and Thigh Sculpting
Winsor Pilates - Bun and Thigh Sculpting

This Winsor pilates workout targets your rear and thighs. It's a super great workout.

 
Winsor Pilates: Ab Sculpting
Winsor Pilates: Ab Sculpting

This is a super great pilates workout to help you get the abs of your dreams!

 

Get Plenty of Rest

Take Time to Get the Rest You Need

One of the quickest ways to immediately give yourself a brighter and more youthful appearance is to get the rest your body needs. To get the rest you need, you need to not only focus on how much time you spend sleeping, but also on the quality of sleep you're getting.

Short-Term Affects of Sleep Debt:

  • Impaired immune system.
  • Confusion.
  • Clumsiness.
  • Significant decrease in daytime alertness.
  • Difficulty thinking and reasoning

Long-Term Affects of Sleep Debt:

  • High blood pressure.
  • Stroke.
  • Heart attack.
  • Obesity.
  • Depression and other psychiatric disorders.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration attributes sleep debt to over 100,000 automobile wrecks, 71,000 injuries and 1,550 fatalities in the U.S each year.

How to Get a Better Night's Sleep

Tips to Getting Good Quality Night Time Sleep

Here is a list of things you can do in the daytime to help you get a better night's sleep.

  • Exercise -- 30 minutes of exercise 3 times a week is enough to help you fall asleep faster and get better quality sleep. It's also a great way to give yourself a natural energy boost in the day.
  • Get Some Sunlight -- Set your body clock by getting light exposure in the day. Start by opening the blinds when you first wake up in the morning.
  • No Naps -- If you are having trouble sleeping at night, then eliminate naps all together.
  • Avoid Alcohol and Smoking -- Both may help relax you where you can fall asleep easier, but both rob you of your quality sleep.
  • No Caffeine After 1:00pm -- Caffeine may be your secret weapon for surviving through the day, but caffeine can affect your body up to 12 hours after consumption. This doesn't mean you have to skip your morning cup of joe, but don't have any caffeine after lunch. I know if you're suffering from sleep debt that the first couple of afternoons without caffeine can be tough, but after you get a couple nights of good sleep it will be much easier. Also, try replacing your afternoon caffeine jolt with B vitamins instead. I love the Special K protein water. It has 5g of protein plus B6 and B12.

More About Looking and Feeling Younger

It's About Total Mind and Body Wellness

The other factors that age us are a little easier to address.

We can avoid sun damage by wearing sunscreen every single day. Stop thinking sunscreen just as a way to avoid a bad sunburn. That kind of thinking will only have you applying sunscreen in the summer months, and sun damage happens all year. Apply a light sunscreen every single morning before starting your day. This will keep you from developing sunspots and help to avoid getting as many fine lines and wrinkles.

You can help ward off wrinkles and decrease the ones you have with wrinkle creams. Oil of Olay and Garnier, both available at WalMart, make very good anti-aging products. You can also do facial exercises to avoid getting more wrinkles and do firm up your already sagging skin.

You can decrease the appearance of dark circles under your eyes by getting better sleep. Also, there are many eye care products that can decrease the darkness under your eyes. Products with vitamin K work best. If you have allergies, your circles may be allergic shiners. If you treat your allergy symptoms and avoid the allergens, if will lessen the intensity of your allergic shiners.

Find Joy and Fulfillment by Spending Time with Family

Find Joy and Fulfillment by Spending Time with Family
Find Joy and Fulfillment by Spending Time with Family

Make Time to do Something You Love

Make Time to do Something You Love
Make Time to do Something You Love
Your Lifestyle May Be Aging You - Stress
Your Lifestyle May Be Aging You - Stress

Your Lifestyle May Be Aging You

Find Joy in Your Daily Life and Take Care of Yourself to Look and Feel Younger

If your lifestyle is wearing you down or stressing you out, you can't expect to look young and feel well. You will have to reexamine your priorities and learn to put yourself and your health at the top of the list.

Also, you need to be aware that your internal thoughts are affecting your appearance. If you think you're tired all day long, you will look and feel more tired. If you are miserable with yourself, you will look miserable (and even create more worry lines)!

Picture courtesy of

grietgriet on morguefile.

The Way You Look is a Reflection of the Way You Care for Yourself

You cannot expect to look young and healthy when you're living an unhealthy lifestyle.

Take better care of yourself and you'll find that you not only look younger, but feel younger too.

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      Nice. Thanks for the information. These tips with facial exercises work very well together. I never would have thought, but this stuff is amazing.

      I tried a bunch of these tips already and they've worked pretty well.

      Best,

      Abby

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      herculeafitness1 6 years ago

      Beautiful lens and so full of useful information. Definitely worth the read.

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      miaponzo 6 years ago

      Thanks for all your great anti-aging tips!!!

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      missthrifty 8 years ago

      This is a really interesting lens and I enjoyed the read

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      sbucciarel 9 years ago

      Great lense. The Firestorm Forum is great for promoting your lenses and blogs. There's a very active Squidoo community there. firestormforum.com Hope you check it out. I also have a lense about it at http://www.squidoo.com/firestorm