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?


10 Easy Health Tips to Start the New Year Right

With 2013 right around the corner, it’s time to gear up for a year full of optimism and good health!

If you’ve been waiting to write your resolutions until last minute, consider incorporating any—or all—of these health tips into your plan for a shining new year:

1. Drink more water. Many of us may not even realize that we go through our entire day dehydrated. If you feel tired often, take a look at what you’re drinking during the day—dehydration is known to cause fatigue and muscle cramps. This coming year, make the resolution to drink more water. After all, it’s calorie-free and readily available.

2. Cut down on caffeine. Caffeine is fine for an early morning boost, but if you need a cup of joe, tea, or soda just to get your through the day, you’re training your body for dependence. In addition, too much caffeine can disrupt your sleep and lead to dehydration, so consider replacing one caffeinated beverage each day with a healthier alternative, such as water.

3. Get more beauty sleep. Make 2013 the year of feeling bright-eyed and busy-tailed by getting more sleep at night. A number of experts agree that we need seven to nine hours of sleep each night to feel adequately rested.

4. Celebrate in moderation. If you want to live a healthier lifestyle in the New Year, choose to celebrate in moderation and reduce your alcohol consumption.  Not only will you help keep your liver happy, but you’ll also avoid extra calories. Try to limit your intake to no more than one drink of alcohol per day (1 drink = 12oz. of beer, 5oz. of wine or 1.5 oz. of liquor).

5. Quit smoking. We’ve written extensively about how smoking can increase your risk of breast cancer and generally wreak havoc on your health. But a new year is as good a reason as any to finally kick the habit for good. If you need help, click here to read more about tobacco quitlines.

6. Walk more. Walking is a great and easy form of exercise. Not only does it burn calories, but it helps build muscle as well. It’s also low impact and most people can do it comfortably and effortlessly. If you’re looking to improve your health in the New Year, you don’t have to walk much; only 30 minutes a day at a brisk pace will dramatically improve cardiovascular health and help maintain a healthy weight.

7. Lift weights. Make the resolution to build your body’s strength this year with moderate weight training. Not only will you help protect your bones, but you’ll also prevent the muscle loss that occurs with aging. Try lifting weights or doing resistance exercises for 20 minutes 2 to 3 times per week to keep your body healthy and active.

8. Focus on eating in moderation. Forget the diets that pervade most people’s new year. If you deprive yourself too much and remain hungry all day, you’re more likely to overindulge, particularly in the evening. Focus on moderate eating by enjoying healthy, mini-meals every few hours to keep your energy up throughout the day.

9. Cut back on the sweets. Last year, nearly 2 million people were diagnosed with diabetes. Eating too much sugar or carbohydrates floods the body with insulin in response to the spike in blood sugar. In turn, this can lead to a condition called “insulin resistance.” Over time, insulin resistance may develop into type 2 diabetes. In 2013, do your body a huge favor by cutting back the sweets and increasing fiber to prevent insulin resistance and diabetes.

10. Take vitamins. Ask your doctor what nutrients you may be missing and how you may benefit from nutritional supplements. For example, if you’re a vegetarian, it’s important to make sure you get plenty of vitamin B12. You may find a daily multivitamin can help fill in the nutritional gaps within your diet.

What are your New Year’s resolutions for 2013? Share your aspirations in the comments section below!