7 Ways to Defy Your Age

Sure, no one wants to be 21 again—some misadventures and irresponsibility are better left in the past. But to feelyoung again? Now that’s a different story!

Rediscover the zest and optimism you felt when you were younger for a happier life now. Just follow these simple stepsto reclaim the energy, zeal, and sense of well-being you enjoyed in your youth:

Hit the hay early. Getting your beauty sleep is the simplest way to feel younger right now. Resting up gives your brain and body the chance to fully recharge. But in all likelihood, you’re not getting as much as you need. Make the effort to turn in early and get 8 hours of sleep for 6 weeks straight. After 6 weeks, you’ll have a healthy sleep schedule formed, and feel the difference.

Eat healthy food. You are what you eat—so fuel your body with age-proof meals. Start every meal with a fruit or vegetable and a tall glass of water. Loading up on the vitamins and antioxidants in fruits and veggies will make you feel refreshed, recharged, and reenergized.

Build up your strength. The right kind of strength-training can help you feel decades younger. When done properly, weight-training makes microtears in the muscles, which leads your body to generate thicker, stronger muscle fiber. Strengthening your muscles in this way leaves you less vulnerable to injuries and builds your stamina.

Indulge your vanity. Forget the nips and tucks—there’s no such thing as eternal youth. But don’t underestimate the power of taking care of your looks. There’s a vast difference between trying too hard to look 10 years younger and trying to look your best at whatever age you are. So schedule that salon date and invest in a good face cream, guilt-free. It’s good for you.

Throw in a little spontaneity. Doing the same thing in the same order everyday is a surefire way to make you feel run down. Give your brain the stimulation you did in your youth by keeping your day fresh and trying new things. Just make little, out-of-the-ordinary changes like stopping at a different café for your morning latte or trying a new workout routine.

Get nostalgic. Load your iPod with your favorite tunes from your youth, and have a nice long stroll down memory land. Harvard University found that people who were placed in an environment that resembled their youth—with movies, music, and memorabilia from the past—experienced marked improvements in their memory, vision, happiness level, and overall health.

Play up the positive. Age has a way of making you clearly see the gloom in the world, from natural disasters to divorce and lost jobs.That’s why the final step to feeling younger is to shift your focus from what makes you unhappy to the things that make you happy. This isn’t an exercise in denying what is unpleasant—rather, it’s a way to tap into your gratitude. In turn, your optimism will motivate you to live your life fully and meaningfully.

What are some ways you cultivate your youthful vigor?