Youth Retaining Tips for Men
Why is it that when those first tell-tale signs of aging are noticed, women are offered aisles worth of age-fighting beauty products, while men are expected to grin and bear it? This trend is slowly changing as the industry recognizes that men want to retain their youthful appearance as well! And why shouldn't they? Experts say that nearly 70% of the signs of aging are in your control! Says Steven Austad, Ph. D., an expert on human aging from San Antonio, "People just accept that they're going to start looking and feeling older, but they really don't have to." Follow these tips and erase years from your appearance!
The Eyes Have It: In one study on aging, people were asked to determine the age of a person by simply looking at their photo. While they were doing this, researchers were actually tracking the places the participants would look first...the result? Eyes. Eyes are the first place people check for aging and often the first place signs of aging appear. Protect your eyes with an all-natural sunblock product at 30 SPF or higher. Also, boost collagen production with vitamin C and exfoliate with a homemade salt scrub. Collagen helps keep skin supple and firm, rather than wrinkled and sagging, and exfoliation removes dead skin cells for a fresh, youthful skin tone.
Shave Years Off: Shaving is one of the reasons men show less wrinkles than women their same age shaving is another form of exfoliation, as it removes rough dead skin cells to reveal smooth, new skin. At the same time, the gentle friction helps stimulate collagen production, increasing skin elasticity. Plus, a study showed that women thought clean-shaven men look on average 5 years younger than men with a beard.
Make the Barber Your Friend: The appearance of thinning hair can be enhanced by an good barber. Cutting the hair shorter lightens the hair follicle and makes your hair appear thicker and fuller. All the kids may be wearing shaggy hair, but men will look younger with an upright or feathered style.
Beauty Sleep: If you're constantly falling below the recommended eight hours of sleep a night, you are not only lowering your immune system's effectiveness and vital energy throughout the day, you're also affecting your extraocular eye muscles. These muscles are the ones associated with restorative REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep. When you're consistently missing a solid night's rest, these muscles start to atrophy and contribute to under eye circles which not only age you, but make you look ill. If you're having trouble sleeping, the first thing to do is look at your diet. Adding carbs and/or a relaxing cup of chamomile tea before bed has been shown to significantly increase REM sleep.
At 40, your mind is still fresh and vital, yet it is not as fresh as it was just ten years ago. People often think of the mind and body as two separate things, but the fact is, your mind ages right along with your body. However, it is also true that similar to your body, the aging process taking place in your mind can be slowed and prevented with the right conditioning. Here are some tips.
Lose Your Calories, Not Your Marbles: Studies in Germany show that eating less when you're younger can reduce inflammation and insulin resistance later, both conditions that have been linked with cognitive decline later in life. The older participants in a study cut down their daily caloric intake by 30% over a three month time span and showed significant memory improvement on a word recall test.
Laugh Out Loud: As we get older, the number of stressors we deal with increases. For this, laughter may truly be the best medicine. Studies show even anticipating a good laugh can decrease two of the main stress chemicals in our bodies cortisol and epinephrine by 39-70%! Another study illustrated the effect of stress of our hearts. When participants were shown stressful movie clips, their blood vessels narrowed or vasocontricted. In contrast, when participants watched scenes from a comedy, their blood vessels expanded by 22%.
Opposites Attract: Even at 45, your mind is not as sharp as it was at age 30. Fight cognitive decline with the power of opposites. Try doing everyday tasks backwards! Use you nondominant hand to brush your teeth in the morning, or jog backwards during your exercise routine. When you tax your mind with unfamiliar activities, you're giving your brain its own workout. This can increase blood flow and recharge neurological connections.
It may be easier to notice changes in your appearance and mind as you grow older, but internal health should not be forgotten. Protect your heart, hormones, and musculature with these helpful tips:
Two Drink Max: According to Japanese researchers, those who consume two or fewer drinks a day are far less likely to die of cardiovascular disease - the number one killer in the United States. To further decrease your chances, make one of your drinks red. Red wine, unlike white, has a compound called reservatrol in it which has been found to delay the onset of several chronic diseases.
Eat Breakfast, Lose Weight: A flabby belly is not only unappealing, it also reduces testosterone levels in men! Just an extra 5 points on the body mass index scale (around 30 lbs) reduces testosterone to levels of a man 10 years older. Reduced testosterone levels can lead to lower libido and mood swings. Avoid this and shed some pounds easily with breakfast. Studies show that 19% of men in their 40's skip breakfast altogether, a habit that will actually lead to increased hunger and calorie intake throughout the day. However, making time for a donut is not any better. Says Louis Aronne, M.D., "I've seen guys drop serious weight just by eating protein at breakfast." In fact, research shows men who ate eggs instead of bagels with the same caloric value lost 65% more weight.
Maintain Muscle Mass: Don't use them? You'll lose them! Not only that, but when muscle mass is lost, it is typically replaced by fat. Just one pound of fat takes up 18% more space than muscle does, so even if you do keep your weight as you age, your stomach may still balloon. Spinach is a good way to fight this. Researchers at Rutgers University found that hormones in spinach work to increase protein synthesis, and are rich in vitamin and mineral needed to fight off bone loss.