Everyone wants to stay healthy and vibrant as they age, but not everyone is equipped with the information and will power to do so. There are so many different types of fad diets, internet tips and tricks, and types of exercise out there that trying to maintain the health you had in your youth can be quite challenging. Thankfully, keeping up a youthful appearance doesn't have to be difficult. All it involves is doing the research necessary to begin a life of wellness and youthful joy... no matter what your age. Here are ten habits that healthy, vibrant people maintain every single day to live their best, happy life.
1. Low-Carb Diets
Before you despair about missing out on pasta, bread, and other delicious carb-loaded parts of life, just know that you don't have to completely cut out the foods you love in order to eat healthier. Dietitians suggest simply cutting back on carbs, rather than eliminating them completely. It comes down to being in a caloric deficit; as long as you burn more calories than you consume per day, you will lose weight. It's simple science. That's just one easy way that you can take your first step towards a healthier life.
2. Working out
Don't be intimidated by working out. You don't have to go to the gym every day or even join a gym. Just make sure that you're getting at least 30 minutes of activity every day and work up a sweat a couple times a week. This could range from doing yoga to running to walking briskly to lifting weights to finding a fun, exciting new hobby such as kickboxing, Zumba, or Pilates. The opportunities are endless. Another great way to ensure that you work out is to find a work out buddy to keep you motivated.
3. Eat less sugar
Sugar is one of the worst things that you can put in your body because it can cause weight gain, tiredness, headaches, and dependency to name just a few of the detriments. Artificial sweeteners aren't that much better because they contain carcinogens as well as making you even more addicted to the sweet stuff. If possible, it's best to simply try to monitor your daily sugar intake every day and be careful not to eat more than the recommended serving size of 37.5 grams a day for men and 25 grams a day for women.
4. Always wear sunscreen
This one is a no-brainer for those who want to maintain youthful skin for years to come. The sun is the number one cause of wrinkles and permanently damaged skin, according to the American Fitness Professionals and Associates. This means that you should be loading up on SPF every single day, especially on your face and neck to prevent premature aging and wrinkles from popping up. In addition, sunscreen can protect your delicate skin from skin cancer caused by harmful UV rays.
5. Eat your veggies
And fruits too! Filling up on delicious and nutritious fruits and vegetables ensures that you're giving your body the necessary fiber and vitamins that it craves. Eating more fruits and vegetables also prevents you from over eating unhealthier foods that are full of sugar. You get more food for less calories, so it's a win-win!
6. Drink up some green tea
Green tea is a fantastic alternative to other caffeinated beverages because it provides energy while promoting weight loss. In addition, it is loaded with antioxidants and nutrients that your body needs to age well. More benefits include essential antioxidants that keep your skin youthful and vibrant, promotes bone health, and providing blood sugar stability. Alternative caffeine sources such as energy drinks and coffee can be laden with sugar, chemicals, and fat, while green tea has zero calories and tastes delicious. If you really want to add a sweet flavor, try stirring in a little honey.
7. Quit smoking
It's no secret that smoking is the enemy of anyone trying to maintain a youthful appearance. Smoking frequently can cause the skin to lose its elasticity, gain wrinkles, and cause discoloration. More importantly, smoking can cause lasting health problems such as lung cancer. For those that want to live a more vibrant life, quitting smoking is absolutely essential. This can be quite challenging due to nicotine's addictiveness, but there are ways to ease the process and make it a bit less difficult. Check out these five tips from the American Lung Association to get started.
8. Load up on healthy fats
Though we've been indoctrinated to believe that fats are the enemy, unsaturated fats found in many healthy foods are actually an essential piece of an anti-aging diet. Foods such as avocados, nuts, and even dark chocolate contain heart-healthy, antioxidant-filled fats that will help your skin remain smooth and soft. Check out this article from Self Magazine to learn how to incorporate forms of healthy fat into your own diet.
9. Cut back on alcohol
While a small amount of alcohol every week won't kill your diet, going overboard can definitely pack on the calories. In addition, frequently drinking alcohol can cause other issues, such as dehydration and discolored skin. Try to stick to a glass or two a week for the best results.
10. Turn that frown upside down!
One of the most interesting causes of premature aging can be found in facial expressions. Those who tend to frown more tend to have more wrinkles, while those with happy, relaxed expressions tend to have smoother skin. Occasionally frowning won't cause wrinkles, of course, but be conscious of how often you frown. Let that be your excuse to smile more often.
Overall, the key to beautiful, ageless skin and body come down to lifestyle choices. Once you begin choosing healthier options more often, the benefits will come piling on. You'll be amazed at how vibrant and rejuvenated you'll feel, whether you're twenty or sixty!