Living in a world with a thriving global beauty industry means constantly being bombarded with advertisements for miracle products that claim to make the user look twenty years younger. Though products and procedures can minimize some of the visible effects of aging, they can also be costly and ineffective.
Believe it or not, the best anti-aging tricks are completely free and effective. No, really. Give these a try and see for yourself.
Do what you love
Most people become caretakers as adults, whether they mean to or not. Those who become parents spend most of their lives caring for and worrying about their children’s needs. In our careers, we support co-workers, managers, and bosses to maintain a healthy and productive office environment. As the children reach adulthood and we grow closer to retirement age, though, it’s important to remember to care for ourselves.
Find something you’re passionate about and pursue it in the name of self care. Whether it’s baking or golf, whether you’re a novice or seasoned veteran, the hours you devote to the things you’re passionate about will give you a boost, as will the knowledge that you’re doing something just for you.
Kick your bad habits
Though it’s a common conception that the damage is “already done” from living with years of bad habits, quitting a habit late is better than never quitting at all. In a review of three studies, the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg determined that smokers over the age of 60 who quit could reduce their risk of premature death by 28 percent.
Other habits to consider addressing are excessive drinking, hiding or being antisocial, and sitting constantly.
Socialize with younger generations
Hanging out with kids is a great way to adjust your perspective. Their candidness can remind us not to take life so seriously, maintain a sense of curiosity, and love ourselves. If you don’t have grandchildren, volunteering to become a mentor is a great way to spend time with young people—they’ll likely learn as much from you as you will from them.
This is also a great way to combat loneliness, which is a major issue for older generations and can be physically damaging to health.
Get up and go
Staying in shape becomes significantly more difficult after 50. For women, changes in hormones make it easier to gain weight in the abdomen area after menopause, but weight also changes based on other factors, such as genetics and lifestyle.
Most of us will never be supermodels or professional athletes, but we can all lead healthier lives by building healthier habits. The best way to do this is to do what you can. For example, if you don’t have the endurance to walk for an hour, start by walking in one or two minute increments, building up to an hour by adding a minute every day. There might be some pitfalls, some days where you can’t or forget to walk, but your body will thank you for your effort.
Pay attention to your skin
Your skin is fairly self-sufficient; as your body’s largest organ, it has to be. Moisturizer will ensure you avoid dryness in the winter, but the most important things for maintaining healthy skin are water, a balanced diet, and sunscreen. Supplemental vitamins can help you make sure you don’t miss any important vitamins, but the best way to get vitamins is through a balanced diet.
Build a support system
Good friends are one of the best things for anti-aging. Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases intake of oxygen-rich air, which stimulates your heart, lungs, muscles, and the production of endorphins. Laughter also increases the production of immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies.
Having good friends will also encourage you to engage in healthy behaviors. It will provide you with a solid support system when laughter is tough to come by, something that is valuable beyond a monetary value.
Put on a genuine smile
A smile is one of the most fashionable things you can wear. Scowling ages the face, and the opposite is true in that smiling makes you appear younger. It projects confidence and can also make you happier.
If you’re happy, you’re much more likely to engage in activities that will benefit your body and your mind and keep you feeling young for a long time.