Today I Learned...
hether your goal is to slow down the aging process or simply feel better about yourself, we've got you covered. Sometimes all it takes is a little inspiration—or even a few tips—to help us get there.
Here are 5 proven ways to look younger and feel better:
1. Finding your purpose
Why are you here? It's a big question, but one worth considering.
"We need to have a sense that we're doing something that matters to others in some way and is meaningful to us," says Dawn Carr, PhD, assistant professor of sociology, Pepper Institute on Aging and Public Policy at Florida State University. "Feeling younger is about having a sense of relevance in the world. It's your reason to get up in the morning and feel excited," she says.
For some retirees, leisure time can mean pursuing a longtime goal or taking on a new challenge, for others it might involve staying active in the community and spending more time with family.
Learn more about what finding your purpose looks like for you.
2. Move your body
There's so much research to suggest that an active lifestyle helps you keep strong—and youthful. In fact, a recent study showed that older cyclists had muscle and immune function decades younger than their actual ages (Source: Martha Stewart).
If riding isn't your thing, walk! According to a study conducted by American Psychological Association, People who increased their weekly step count over a five-week span reported that they felt younger than people who walked less. People who walked faster also felt younger, so you might want to take a brisker pace than usual (if you can).
3. SPF, SPF, SPF!
The best anti-aging treatment is sunscreen!
You may be tempted to spend hundreds on anti-aging creams, but sunscreen is more important.
Research suggests that middle-aged adults who wear sunscreen every day may have skin that appears 24 percent younger than those who do not use it regularly according to the Annals of Internal Medicine. "Sunscreen helps prevent damaging UV rays from degrading collagen and causing wrinkles and sunspots," says Adarsh Vijay Mudgil, MD, medical director of Mudgil Dermatology and clinical assistant professor at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City.
Even if it’s overcast, snowing or raining—apply a broad-spectrum SPF 30!
4. Do what makes you happy
Studies have shown that happiness is associated with longevity! And sometimes the simplest advice is also the best: just do what makes you happy.
Take a moment and reflect on what truly makes you happy and think about how you can incorporate this more into your day-to-day life. Whether that be spending time with your pet, getting out in nature, or watching your favorite TV show. Whatever makes you feel good, add more of it into your life.
5. Shift your mind-set
As we get older, it's easy to feel like the only thing that's changing is the number on our birth certificate. But the truth is, with each passing year you gain a wealth of new experiences and skills.
In a new study in the journal Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, older adults who said they felt younger actually had younger-looking brains than their actual age. It may be that they felt young because they were neurologically healthier, but it may also be the case that having a younger mindset helped them stay more active physically and mentally—and this preserved their cognitive functioning.