There is no getting away from it, we’re all getting older. Although we can’t stop the years going by, we can work on minimising the effects of ageing on our physical bodies. And we’re not talking about lotions, potions and concoctions for your skin!
Today’s post is all about healthy habits which are going to take years off the age listed on your driver’s license.
Take up tea
Ditching coffee and brewing a tea is the first healthy habit you’ll want to take up to turn back the clock. Reaching for a white tea can reduce your risk of arthritis, other inflammatory diseases and even help with fine lines! White tea is made from the first bloom of tea leaves when a tea plant is in it’s prime. Look out for White Peony or Silver Needle varieties at your local Asian supermarket.
Spend on sunnies
A pair of good sunglasses will do more than protect your eyes from harsh ultraviolet sun rays. They will also protect the delicate skin around your eyes! So while you may love slathering on eye cream, start with sunglasses as they will prevent wrinkles and discolouration from occurring in the first place. In Australia, we have pretty strict labelling laws so anything sold as ‘sunglasses’ will protect your eyes well – don’t be deceived by ‘fashion’ glasses, they won’t offer you any proper protection.
Add more fat
Eating good fats, like those from avocado and nuts, will help your skin to remain plump and youthful looking. Avo and nuts also contain antioxidants and Vitamin E, helping to prevent free radical damage and also protect against premature ageing.
Always apply sunscreen
Sunscreen isn’t just for days at the beach or for application before an outdoor workout. In Australia, we should be applying a broadspectrum (UVA/UVB) on a daily basis. UV rays are the cause of over 90% of visible signs of ageing – discolouration, wrinkles, sagging and texture. Use a sunscreen with an SPF of 30+ or higher.
Ditch the processed foods
Research shows that diets full of white flour based products (bread, pasta etc.), sugar and processed foods create effects in the body which lead to harm, from your brain to your heart to your skin. A lot of this damage is due to the inflammatory effects of processed foods. Even low-grade inflammation can lead to cell degeneration, causing signs of ageing – sagging skin, wrinkles and discolouration.
Take care in the car
While we may be well practised in slip, slop and slapping before a trip to the beach, do you do the same before jumping in the car? Probably not! Think about window tinting, keeping sunscreen in the car, wearing clothing that covers your skin and donning sunglasses. A pair of sassy driving gloves will complete your look and make sure your hands are protected from the ageing effects of the sun!
H2O is your friend
Did you know that water makes up about 30% of our skin? Makes sense then that supple, soft and youthful skin needs to be well hydrated. Not only is drinking water a quick fix for glowing skin, but sustained hydration will also help prevent signs of ageing like wrinkles from forming in the first place.
We’ve already mentioned that sugar can have an inflammatory effect on the body, causing premature signs of ageing to appear, but it deserves another mention. Sugar can also damage collagen and elastin in our skin, causing wrinkles, sagging and rough texture. Give it a miss to keep your skin firm and plump.
One of the best ways to exercise more is to add in incidental exercise opportunities during your day. Try:
- Taking the stairs instead of the elevator
- Walking to the lunch place that’s a bit further away
- Going for a lunchtime stroll instead of eating at your desk
- Getting off your train or bus a stop early and walking the rest of the way
- Doing ten squats at your desk each time you stand up to visit the bathroom or get a drink (get your coworkers involved too, so you don’t feel like a dill!)
- Standing up and walking around when you get a phone call
Sleep on your back
It’s called beauty sleep, but sleeping face down can do more harm than good when it comes to ageing. Sleeping on your face and waking up with crease marks on a regular basis can start to have a more permanent effect on your skin. Try sleeping on your back instead. Or invest in a silk pillowcase to prevent pulling and creasing!