Archive for Anti Aging

12 Tips on Feeling Younger

Stay Young: 12 Tips on Feeling Younger
Let’s face it: most people dread getting older. We tend to focus on the unpleasant things: new aches and pains, changes in our appearance, loss of energy, lapses in memory. But growing older doesn’t have to be so distasteful:  with attention to your physical and mental health now, you can ensure that you have the energy, good health, and youthfulness to enjoy your retirement, to travel, to keep up with your grandchildren, and to live these years to their fullest.
Maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle is the best way to keep yourself feeling young, vibrant, and ready for the new adventures that growing older brings! A healthy lifestyle also ensures that you will live a longer, fuller life. Here are 12 ways to help you do just that:

  1. Exercise!
    Staying strong is extremely important as we age – our bodies weaken over time.  Doing a little bit of exercise each day will help keep you in shape, and help protect you against various health problems such as obesity, diabetes, and arthritis. Exercise is also important for the health of your heart. Try incorporating 20-30 minutes of exercise into your day: brisk walks; bike rides; weight-lifting, etc. Choose activities that will make you sweat, but that don’t overexert or put too much strain on your body. These days, exercise can come through many different mediums: the Wii Fit for example, can function as a highly productive addition to your workout plan.
  2. Eat Right!
    Maintain a healthy diet, eating foods that have high nutritional value, such as leafy greens (spinach, kale); fruits (blueberries are high in antioxidants); lean proteins (choose fish and chicken over red meat); and whole grains (such as oats and brown rice.) Avoid fatty foods as they contribute to heart disease. Try and control your calorie intake as well – obesity causes a range of health issues and puts more strain on your body. You don’t need to follow a strict, no-fun diet, but be conscious of what you eat, making sure your body gets the nutrients it needs.
  3. Get outside!
    This goes along with staying active and fit – when you are outdoors, you are naturally active, both physically and mentally. Your body, senses, and mind are stimulated by what you see and interact with. Walking around in nature, in sunshine and fresh air, will physically and mentally rejuvenate you. Nature hikes and bike rides are fantastic ways to interact with nature and keep up your energy levels. Staying indoors on the couch will only contribute to feeling old. We are meant to be active beings, and our minds and bodies suffer when idle.
  4. Read!
    It’s not just your body that needs exercise: your mind needs to engage in mental activities to stay keen and sharp. Reading is the best exercise for this, particularly if you have a diverse reading list, with books on a variety of topics. Reading keeps your mind sharp, and up on the latest thoughts and ideas – not to mention improving your vocabulary, teaching you new things, improve your writing, and help you express yourself more eloquently and clearly. So make a trip to your local library or bookstore and start reading!
  5. Try New Things!
    Incorporating new things to do or try is an important way to keep your mind keen and eager. you have hobbies? If you do, why not add a new one? If not, look around – what interests you? Hobbies give us focus and enjoyment,  contributing to our physical and mental health by keeping us active and engaged. Take a pottery course, join a book club, break out the canvas and try painting – the choices are endless. You might find you have a knack for a new activity, and might even be able to sell what you make at local craft and art fairs, stores, or online.
  6. Take Risks!
    Just as you try out new hobbies, you should also try out new activities. As we age, we tend to limit ourselves, becoming more conservative in what we do and try out, less willing to take on new things. But pushing yourself out of your comfort zone will keep you alert and engaged wih the world, helping to keep you from slipping into an uninspiring routine. Fear only holds us back, and you are never too old to try new things. Travel! Look into starting your own business! Try out a new activity! If you’ve always wanted to do something and haven’t yet, there’s no day like today. Life is all about change.
  7. Engage with Young People!
    Want to feel young? Surround yourself with young, energetic people. Their enthusiasm, liveliness, and zest for life is contagious – it’s a shot of energy to the heart! Go out with your family and other young families – you’ll get exercise and feel young. Play with children, talk to young adults – you’ll soon be feeling lively!
  8. Be Positive!
    No one wants to become a bitter, cynical old person. Don’t allow yourself to slip too deeply into past regrets, disappointments or depression. How you perceive yourself and what you think has tremendous impact on how you live your life. Stay positive and enthusiastic in attitude, and you will see positive things in your life.
  9. Laugh!
    Just as you need to stay positive, you need to keep a sense of humour. Laughter  doesn’t just make us feel good:  laugh more and you will experience other health benefits, such as protection against heart disease, boosts to your immune system, a more balanced blood pressure, and decreases in your stress levels. It also helps keep you looking young:  what would you prefer: wrinkles or laugh lines? Maintaining a lively wit and charm draws people to you and helps you build lasting relationships, and lasting relationships, with a healthy dose of laughter and good humour, help us cope with stress that otherwise ages us.
  10. Teach and Encourage Others!
    This goes hand in hand with having strong relationships. Your experiences and wisdom can be of great help to others, and sharing it will help you feel significant and valuable. Nothing keeps us young like knowing you are making a meaningful contribution to the life of another. As we get older, it’s easy to lose self-worth: if you teach others – whether practical skills, mental concepts or sharing personal philosophies – you’ll feel useful, young and still valued.
  11. Be Grateful!
    Remind yourself that you have much to be thankful for: it will help you stay positive and happy. It is important to cultivate and practice gratitude at any age, but as we grow older it becomes even more important that we look back on our lives and appreciate just how fulfilling they have been. This practice is important to our mental health, which in turn affects our physical help.
  12. Get the most out of life!
    Each day presents a new opportunity and challenge to live life to its fullest, to wring out more joy and experience from this world.  Keeping yourself focused on having a fulfilling life will help keep you young at heart – be curious, be interested, be spontaneous! Life doesn’t have to end or become a boring chore as you age – you can keep accomplishing things whether you’re 40, 60, or even in your 90s! The years will go on, but you’re only as young as you feel – live for the good times, and keep your spirits up!

Tips For Choosing Healthy Snacks

It can be difficult to always make healthy decisions when it comes to eating right, especially when trying to change your snacking habits. A lot of our “go-to” snacks – chips, salted nuts, candy – are full of unhealthy fats, additives and high levels of sugar.  Here are 9 steps to help you break the unhealthy snacking trend, and pick the snacks that are delicious and good for you.

Eat before you shop:  Going grocery shopping while hungry tends to make us make poor decisions, opting for junk food and premade, prepackaged food that we can eat right away! You may have intended to make healthy choices, but with a growling stomach, somehow, what ends up in your cart at checkout just doesn’t reflect healthy choices! Eat before you shop.

Eat less junk food:  If junk food has a big part in your diet, you might find switching to healthy snacks difficult. Remember that it is a gradual transition: instead of buying salty chips, try baked tortilla chips; make pizza instead of ordering out. You’ll be moving towards a healthier lifestyle in no time!

Promote healthy options: Not the person who shops for food in your household? Compile a list of healthy foods to help them navigate the aisles. Include dark green leafy vegetables, fruit, unsalted nuts and whole grain breads and cereals.

Avoid temptation:  Stocking your kitchen with healthy snacks instead of unhealthy options gets rid of the temptation. Watch out for party scenarios, dinner parties and events where unhealthy food abounds in leftovers: ice cream, desserts, chips, candy, etc. Having these foods in your house will tempt you to choose them over your healthier options.

Develop self control: Keeping unhealthy foods out of your kitchen is a big step in self-control. Now, go even further: listen to yourself, identify your bad snacking habits, and try your best to curb or control them. Focus less on food – instead of thinking on the sweets you’re missing out, focus on finding new, delicious and healthy treats. Try new recipes that encourage you to use healthy ingredients. If you have a habit of returning from work to an unhealthy snack every day, try alternatives: replace that snack with tea or a piece of fruit. Allow yourself the unhealthy snack once a week as opposed to every day.  These little steps can go a long way to helping you change your snacking habits for the better.

Distinguish between need and want: Try and understand food as a necessity and not just for comfort. Listen to your body and your behaviour: are you searching aimlessly through the cupboards, munching on what you find? You are eating compulsively and not for nourishment. Having a particular snack in mind, or craving fruit, water or salt, is an indication that your body craves the nutrients and minerals and needs the nourishment. However, cravings are not always indications of a need: craving ice cream doesn’t mean you need it.

Choose healthy snacks based on your meal plan:  It is important to balance your diet, and try and get a bit of each food group a day. This applies to your snacking habits as well: while yogurt is a great option for a snack, if you ate meals packed full with items from the dairy food group (milk, cheese), choose something from another food group to balance out your diet – a piece of fruit, a handful of nuts, or some veggies.

Gradually transition: We all have our favourite foods that can be difficult to give up. Instead of replacing your favourite snacks with completely different foods with unfamiliar flavours, try alternatives. If your favourite snack is chips and dip, try carrot sticks with small portions of ranch dressing.  Pop drinker? Keep the fizz by switching to mineral water. Enjoy milkshakes? Try fruit smoothies made with yogurt instead.

Control portion size, impulse buys and over-snacking: Even if you are eating a healthy snack, too much of it can ruin your appetite for meals that will provide you with more of the necessary nutrients you need: control your portion size, keeping snacks small.  Snacks should never be a replacement for a healthy meal. When you do snack, don’t go for impulse buys of sugary or fatty snacks – go for snacks that will supply you with energy and nutrients to help you make it to your next meal. These snacks include whole-grain foods, vegetables and fruits.