27 May 2008

How To Age Well

We're obsessed with ageing and the older we get, the more obsessive we become. Thanks to Madonna, it is no longer acceptable to look your age when you finally hit 50. Sure, she may have had some help (or so my wife tells me!) but that woman doesn't look a day over 35. Any idea we had of letting ourselves go a bit when we get older is now redundant. We all want to look younger than we are, but if you say no to the knife, how can you challenge the signs of ageing? It's possible if you take a fresh look at the way you eat, sleep, rest, play and live. Here's how.


Anti-oxidants are a group of organic substances which include vitamins C, E and vitamin A, selenium, and carotenoids. They help combat the signs of ageing by destroying the oxidants or free radicals inside the human body that attack it and they help to keep the skin firm by protecting the skin's collagen and elastic tissue. Anti-ageing foods are full of anti-oxidants so eating this is a big step towards holding back the years and improving your general health.

Eat This - Garlic, onions, green leafy vegetables, chilli peppers, lentils, kidney beans, chick peas, yogurt, nuts and seeds, rasberries, cherries, plums, oranges.

Fitness for Life

Rarely will you find someone who looks younger than their years who doesn't exercise. Fitness not only keeps you trim, agile and healthy, but it gives you a glow of healthiness and youthfulness that radiates from you. Make exercise a part of your life - it doesn't have to be high-impact spinning or weight training, regular gentle exercise is great too. The more you do this, the better you look. The longer you do this, the better you look for longer. Simple.

Try This- Add a daily walk to your routine or swim regularly. Sign up for a 10k run or subscribe to a fitness or health magazine for 6 months and body-envy will motivate you if nothing else.

Reduce Stress

If you've ever seen someone you know after they've had some trauma in their life, you'll have noticed how much they've aged in a short time. that's what stress does to you over a longer period but the end result is the same. If you know you are more stressed than you can cope with, change something. You will be giving yourself the best gift ever and likely extending your life. Stress sits on your face and your heart - reduce it now.

Do This - Try breathing exercises to relax you; book a massage - treat yourself; take up yoga.

Stop smoking

I wont go into what it does to your heart and lungs because everyone knows this by now. But smoking gives you deep wrinkles, dries out your skin and gives your skin a lovely, grey colour that adds 10+ years to your face. Nice.

Know This - One of my clients is a plastic surgeon and he once told me that the people who age the most are blondes, who live in the sun and who smoke. You can't control your natural hair colour or re-locate so easily but you can control the smoking.

Stop frowning

Look in the mirror and have a conversation with yourself. Look out for the faces you pull and when you come to the frown face, stop. That's the face you should avoid pulling from now on. Frowning gives you wrinkles and deep ones at that but it also makes you appear stern and flat. A smile brightens the face, works the muscles in the right direction (up) and is contagious. It generates great feedback.

Do This - Try to smile for as much of the day as you can. When you're at work, sitting on the train, walking by. You'll become aware of how many people make eye contact with you and smile back.

Break the Habit
Your day is dictated by what you say to yourself in the morning. Waking up and dreading the office is the first step to ensuring your day will be bad. Break this negative habit immediately and try 'power talking' to yourself instead. Today is going to be great. I can't wait for this afternoon. By changing your attitude, you become more positive and upbeat and look and feel better. This is a youthful and vital approach to life whereas moaning, whingeing, dreading is very negative and comes across as old and unable to cope with what life throws at you.

Try This - next time you are supposed to go to a meeting or meet a friend when you would rather crash out at home, say this -I can't wait to do _______, it's always great fun. I can't wait for _________, it's usually really interesting. I promise this works a charm.

P.S. - My client, the plastic surgeon I mentioned above also told me this, the only skin creme on the market that he believed really helped to delay the signs of ageing? The cheapest - Nivea. The original version, the creme your mum used to smear all over your face as a child...who knew?


  1. Frowning...that's a big one for me. I do catch myself and frown less now days. My other down fall is rest which I have started working on more frequently. Sometimes I just have to ignore the chores and play with the kids or just sit and do nothing. These are great tips. Thanks.

  2. Spin diva
    Thanks for your comments. We all should frown a lot less than we do. Forget the lines, it's good for the soul!