What makes a Highly Effective Anti-Ager? Or, lets put this another way: What makes a highly effective AGER?
The answer? Good habits and an instinct for knowing what is going to help and what might hurt, plus, your intention to grow younger every day!
Lets first discuss the 7 things that are going to age you, or "anti-age" you, depending how you act in your day to day life. Then we will counter with the 7 habits of highly effective Anti-Agers.
What makes you look older...
1. Your skin tone and elasticity – The outward appearance of your skin is the first thing people see and the one thing they remember the most;
2. Your posture – Nothing says aging like a bent forward, shrivelled kind of posture —nothing says "I am not sure how old she is" like an erect and youthful body;
3. Your muscle tone – We lose tone with age so people automatically assess other people’s age using muscle tone as one of the clues;
4. Your clothing – Many people get locked in a time period when it comes to their clothing, and they are unsure what to wear when challenged to update their wardrobe. This is a dead give-away as to chronological age;
5. Your cardio capacity – If you can’t climb a few flights of stairs without dizziness or breathing heavily, regardless how good your outside appearance, your cardio capacity will be a tell-tale;
6. Your interests and vocabulary – if our interests, and vocabulary is from some earlier era, say the 1980s or 90's, this is a sign that we stopped learning at some point, a common characteristic of age;
7. Your mental outlook – Aging people tend to start looking backwards a lot; youthful people look forward.
My 7 Habits of Highly Effective Agers take a cue from the above. Adopt these strategies consistently —make them a part of your DNA— and guarantee you will look and feel many years younger!
1. Look after Your Skin
Look, we all know that the sun is our best frenemy —we love it, we worship it, it gives us life, but it also makes us look old. We absolutely have to internalize this fact and act in our everyday lives to protect our skins from the one we love! That means: sun avoidance, sun block, sun recovery strategies must always be in our minds. I have written extensively on this —check out 7 Sunsational Sunseeker Solutions for Beautiful Skin, AND 7 Sun Protection Myths You Need Know to Keep You Safe in the Sun.
And while you are at it, pick up my favorite natural sunscreen picks from the box below!
2. Be mindful of your posture
Stand in front of a full length mirror. Turn sideways, both sides. Check yourself out! Like what you see?
Your posture should be natural, but upright. And when you walk, there should be no stooping or leaning forward. You might want someone to watch and give you their opinion as it is difficult to see yourself in motion.
So when you are happy with your posture, keep it in mind. Before you leave the house each day, click a switch in your brain that reminds you to walk like a thirty year old!
Standing up tall is one of the ingredients in my wake-up recipe to start every day 5 years-or more- younger!
My gift to you!
3. Do weight and resistance training
This can be in a gym but absolutely does not have to be. A small collection of weights and resistance bands can completely do the job at home, if you want. Or you may get more motivation from a gym environment. Either way, it is absolutely essential that as we lose our natural muscle tone from youth, we fight the loss with weight bearing exercise. This also fights the inevitable loss of bone density that comes with time. On top of this, nothing says attractive and youthful like a toned arm and leg. So make weight bearing exercise at least a 10 - 15 minute component of your everyday routine.
4. Keep your wardrobe up to date
This does not need to mean spending a lot of money, it means spending the money you do spend smartly. You need to avoid being in a rut of "I don’t know what to wear that will be fashion forward but not make me look silly".
So first, get it out of your mind that you cannot wear "current" fashions. The truth is, today there is a very wide range of fashionable attire —you just need to make the effort to find out what is for you.
Fortunately, there is no shortage of on-line, in store and for hire expertise available to you. It might be a good idea to pay for unbiased advice from a personal shopper —they do this analysis every day— but if that is not in the budget, there are many excellent salespeople/advisors around. You can make a shopping trip without your credit cards —so you won’t be tempted to buy on the spot— and seek advice from multiple sources.
5. You should aim to get your cardio capacity up that of someone 10 – 20 years younger – can you do that? Of course you can!
And it doesn’t have to cost anything at all —but if you are inclined to get a coach, go for it! The beauty of improving your cardio capacity is that it not only makes you act, look and feel so much younger, the ripple effects on skin health, heart health, digestion and any number of other areas are profound.
It does not matter how you do it as long as you do: walk, bike, hike, ride, row, swim…. there are unlimited choices but only one prerogative —do it, every day if you can.
6. Update your interests!
Tell me: are your favorite shows still Laverne and Shirley? Ironsides? Seinfeld? And all your fave tunes from Motown and the 1970’s? Hey that’s ok —mine too – but – and it’s a big but— you really need to make sure you are staying current with what is now to convey and to feel, younger than your birth certificate. And this goes to watching with whom you associate. Old friends are the best friends, it is true, but there is a giveaway word there —"old".
Make a point of cultivating some younger acquaintances and hang out with them sometimes. This will "anti –age" you without you even noticing, and will add a new dimension to your life too!
7. Live in the future
We have all had a lot of "past" —hopefully, yours was great— but we have a lot of future ahead of us too. So it is very important to set your mental state into "future mode". You should always be making plans for next months, and for the coming years, setting goals and aspirations. And then making plans to achieve these aspirations. It does not matter whether that is a trip to safari in Africa, or an intention to start a new business. What matters is that you are thinking forward.
So there you are, 7 Habits of Highly Effective Anti-Agers. Or putting another way, 7 Habits of Highly Effective Agers! Read them again, process them as they apply best to you, and make a new resolution to apply them to your life. Happy anti-aging!
Until Next Time,