I am SO of the belief that you are as young as you feel. Chronological age means nothing at all because a fit and healthy sixty something can easily give an unfit twenty year-old a serious run for her money. I see it over and over. But we all have days when we don’t feel crazily energetic and ready to seize the day with both hands. There’s also a fine line between working like a lunatic (because you love it), and burning out – the latter being aging. I wanted to offer you my 7 Ways To Grow Younger (when you’re not feeling it), because I feel younger and better now, than I did twenty years ago (most of the time). It’s probably because I do make my wellness a major priority. Do I feel like guzzling green juices, meditating, and doing excruciatingly hard resistance training? Absolutely not. I’d much rather be lolling around in a cozy robe with a latte and a juicy text thread going on. But, I want to grow YOUNGER in mind, body and spirit, so I have to do the work.
- Exercise harder than you think you need to every single day: Did I say every single day? Yep, I did. You can perhaps go very light one day, but seriously – you need to get in a good 5-6 exercise sessions that are challenging. It doesn’t really matter what exercise it is, as long as it challenges you to move beyond what you could do yesterday. It could be running, rebounding, strength training, yoga, swimming, spinning – you choose what rocks your boat. But just do it. I will say that as you get older you want to make sure that you address the big three: cardio, strength and flexibility. All three diminish as you age, so you’ve got to fight that uphill battle.
- Meditate: I don’t care how I do it, I just DO it – every day. Sometimes all I can manage is five minutes, and other days I get in a good 20-30 minutes. It’s honestly the one thing that I resist over all the others. I just can’t stand to sit still when there’s so much to do. But the benefits in terms of stress relief, and a connection to my deeper values and my spirit, are priceless.
- Un-process your diet: You need a bunch of nutrients from your diet and the sure fire way to make sure you are getting them in their best possible form is to eat minimally-processed plant-based foods. This means generally trying to avoid foods that come in boxes, packets and cans. It means avoiding refined grains, sugars, and oils. And, my friends, the easiest way of un-process your diet is to try to cook every meal from scratch. Easy and effortless – heck NO! But it’s like meditating: when I get in the kitchen and commit to cooking a whole meal from scratch, I slow down and wind up enjoying myself more than I would have done had I stayed glued to my computer.
- Full On Beauty Regime: A few women I know (mostly those with very good bone structure), can get away with a swipe of Argan oil for all their beauty needs, but most of us need a LOT more attention and care when it comes to how and what we put on our skin and hair. You do need really good quality skin care products, with well-considered formulas. You need to know how to build a perfect anti-aging beauty regime (stay tuned), and you need to make your health and beauty a priority – like French women do.
- Sleep: Most of us really do need 8 – 9 hours a night. No getting away from it. Get to bed earlier than you think you need to. Even if you can’t sleep, you can read until you drop off. Lack of sleep has been shown to be a major factor in premature aging.
- Supplement: Make sure you are taking good quality supplements. We all have different needs in terms of vitamins and minerals. Although there isn’t a one-size-fits-all, I will say that almost everyone needs to supplement with: probiotics, Omega 3 Fatty Acids, Vitamin D, and a good Vitamin B complex. You may need other supplements, but you would need to have a nutrient blood panel done first. I always recommend this rather than tossing dozens of pills down the gullet.
- Let Go & Laugh: Have fun! Are you having a lot of fun in your life right now? Do you laugh a lot? If not, it might be time to get out – go swing on a tree, lie on a hammock with your loved one and look up at the stars, walk barefoot in the grass at night, play a new game you’ve never played before. Call up a few girlfriends and schedule a night on the town. Laughter is freeing, healing, and always the best medicine. Laughter is more potent than an anti-aging serum, and it’s free!