As we get older, change is inevitable. Some changes are great. We really do become calmer and wiser as we get older. Other changes are not so wonderful.
Most of us would like to hold onto our youthful appearance, if possible. Many of us, though, shy away from plastic surgery. We don’t want to deal with the expense, pain, and possible bad results of going under the knife.
Luckily there are some simple things you can do that melt away the years — with no surgical gown required.
This is so easy — and surprisingly effective. A smile not only lights up your face, but it also makes people think you are several years younger, according to a study from the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin.
2. Stand up Straight
You’ve probably heard this since you were a child. But now it’s more important than ever. Bad posture can make you look older. Good posture can make you look younger — and can make you look thinner too. We associate a slumped-over posture, or a head that juts forward, with old age. So lift yourself up. Imagine an invisible string attached to the top or your head, pulling your head up. Keep your chin parallel to the floor, move your shoulders back and down, and lift your chest without sticking it out.
Good posture is the gift that keeps on giving — it not only makes you look younger, it will make you feel younger too. Stand, sit, or walk with good posture, and your lungs will have room to expand, filling your body with oxygen that will increase your energy and make you feel great. Your joints will be in their proper positions and will feel better and enable you to move with fluidly. The better you feel, the better you’ll look, and the better you look, the better you’ll feel.
Nothing says “old” as much as a person with stiff joints moving in a jerky way — or worse, not wanting to move much at all. Keep your joints flexible and maintain your range of motion by doing just a few minutes of yoga or other stretching exercises every day. Don’t know how? Join a class, read a book, or get an instructional DVD. Many yoga DVDs are made specifically for boomers and seniors, so if you’re inflexible now, that’s no excuse. Just start where you are, and work slowly and gradually. The key to safe stretching is to always stretch to the point of tightness, not pain.
4. Put Down the Blow Dryer
Hair styling tools that rely on heat, like blow dryers, straightening irons, and curing irons, can damage your hair, taking away its shine. Since we see shiny hair as a sign of youth, you should avoid doing anything that lessens your natural shine. Try avoiding the heat at least two days every week to give your hair a chance to recover.
5. Have More Sex
We’ve saved the best for last. A British psychologist conducted a study that found that having regular sex makes people appear five to seven years younger. He attributed this effect to multiple health benefits that sexually active people enjoy. Sex releases endorphins, which relieve anxiety and promote good sleep. It boosts circulation, which is good for the heart. It even causes the body to release human growth factor, which makes skin look more elastic. Who knew?
So there you have it. Five ways to look and feel younger naturally without going anywhere near a scalpel.