EXPRESS YOURSELF DECEMBER 31/KHANS
HAPPY RENEW YOU –
The 16 surprisingly simple changes you can make in 2016 to beat ageing, stay healthy and look good
As we all strive to add years to our life, let’s not forget that we also need to add life to our later years, so that we are not missing out on the benefits and opportunities that a longer life can bring. Here are 12 small changes you can make in 2016 to improve your well being so you can enjoy living life to the full, looking good and feeling great.
While good health and financial security are seen as important, the value of human relationships is often ignored. But developing and maintaining close friendships can lead to a longer, healthier life. Feeling loved boosts production of feel good chemicals dopamine and oxytocin which fight ageing and boost brain power. Talking to close friends will also you deal with any stress and emotional problems. Avoid doing this on line or on the phone and strengthen real life relationships instead. Connecting with friends and family regularly will also boost brain health and memory.
2.Exercise your face
Most of us try to exercise our bodies but very few of us think of exercising the one part that is on show all the time – the face. Although there are over 650 muscles in the body, around 57 are concentrated in the face, and like our bodies without proper stimulation, face muscles are prone to sagging. Facial exercises are an amazing way to keep muscles strong and toned, boost blood supply to nourish the skin and flush toxins away. Just like a body workout, and performed regularly, they will keep the face fit, tone jawlines and give skin a radiant glow. (see evafraser.com)
3.Improve your balance
While you are brushing your teeth, try balancing on alternative legs every morning for at least 20 seconds. As your balance improves try an extra challenge by doing it with your eyes shut. The ability to balance is as important for brain health as well as core strength and could also help protect against falls and broken bones as you get older – a recent study by the UK’s Medical Research Council found that 53-year-olds who could stand on one leg for ten seconds with their eyes closed were the most likely to be fit and well in 13 years’ time.
4.Don’t eat so much
Waistband straining after all the Christmas food? Cut back on the quantity of food you eat and eat like an Okinawan. The people of Okinawa Japan live longer than any other group on Earth and their diet, rich in green and yellow vegetables, is also low in calories, as they usually eat only 80 per cent of the food on their plate. Research has also found that animals can live up to twice as long if their food intake is reduced by up to a third. Eating less puts less long-term stress on the body and gives the metabolism a bit of a rest. Slimming down can also protect you from diabetes, heart disease and other health conditions which can take years off your life.
5 Stop rinsing after cleaning your teeth.
Over the last decade studies have shown that gum disease leads to an increased risk of diabetes and heart disease. Beat it by getting regular checks at the dentist. . Use a toothpaste containing fluoride and after a thorough brushing, don’t rinse but leave the paste in your mouth, as it will help protect from gum disease. Floss daily and during the day use a mouthwash containing fluoride.
6 Double your fruit and veg
The latest research suggests that people eating up to eight portions of fruit and veg daily have 25 per cent less chance of dying from heart disease than someone who only eats three portions. Fruit and veg are packed full of antioxidants which boost the immune system strong and help fight free radicals, which trigger premature ageing.
- Be positive
Feeling low or depressed is associated with accelerated molecular ageing. A recent study showed that staying optimistic can help you live at least a decade longer than being a pessimist. . You can also improve depression through exercise, and taking a mood and energy boosting Folate supplement (vitamin B). A diet high in Omega 3s (found in fish and nuts) has also been shown to reduce anxiety by up to twenty per cent while houseplants dotted around the home have been shown to help soothe the soul.
8 Give your brain a workout
Do something different every day to stimulate your brain. You don’t need to splash out on expensive brain training games – reading a book or simply cleaning our your cupboards and organising a filing system can all help work the mind and boost a sense of productivity. The key is to focus on something you love doing, stay interested in life and be passionate about something. Research found that people who are conscientious live longer.
- Take a brisk walk every day
Incorporate walking into you daily life. Walk to the station, the park or the supermarket. A new report claims that people who did a brisk 30-minute walk every day had lower BMIs and smaller waists than those who worked out at the gym. Exercising outdoors is also an incredible mood booster, great for clearing brain fog; easing anxiety and helping you sleep better.
- Switch off
Having trouble sleeping? Our constant use of technology means we are surrounded by light day and night. Most devices emit blue light which can suppress melatonin production in the pineal glands in our brains, a hormone which helps regulate sleeping and waking cycles. Switch off all electronics at least two hours before going to bed and remove all devices from the bedroom, including the phone, the laptop, the TV and, yes, even the Kindle. Read a book instead. Good quality sleep is essential for all round good health and good looks.
- Stay in tune with your body clock
Midnight snacks are not only bad for your digestion but they can also be bad for your memory according to new research. Eating food when we should be asleep is thought to upset the part of the brain that controls memories. Regular mealtimes during the day will help boost the body’s internal rhythm, likewise exercising at set times every day can help maintain the tiny biological clocks inside the body’s joints which can even prevent arthritis. The bottom line – healthy habits will help slow ageing at cellular level
12 Be fat smart.
Fats are an essential part of your diet and it’s good to eat a certain amount of healthier fats, like monounsatured fat found in avocados, nuts, cooking oils made from plants or seeds, and omega 6 polyunsaturated fats in foods such as oily fish, such as salmon and mackerel. Eating fish can also help prevent middle age spread. Latest research found that omega-3 fats in fish oil turned bad fat cells into healthy ones helping to burn off calories. Turning down your heating notch can also aid weight loss. A new study discovered that being cold changes bacteria in the gut which leads to weight loss. Being exposed to low temperatures creates more ‘good’ brown and beige types of body fat which burns calories in the body.
- Take a nap
There’s scientific evidence to show that an afternoon snooze is good for you and may even help you live longer. Regular siestas can protect the heart by keeping stress hormones at bay.
Persistent anger is linked to decreased lung function and other health problems so calm down and don’t get so het up.
Letting go of grudges and forgiving yourself and others can have surprising health benefits, from reducing stress and anxiety to regulating breathing and lowering blood pressure
15 Cut down on sugar
Sugar is not only bad for your waistline, it also causes inflammation and prematurely wrinkles skin, a process called Glycation. Avoid refined sugars like corn syrup and white sugar and be aware of other foods than contain sugar by checking the packaging. Green tea has been proven to significantly interfere with the glycation process and to help boost collagen synthesis.
16 Manage Stress
Reducing the level of stress in your life will keep you looking and feeling younger for longer. Yoga and Pilates can help, as well as meditation. Studies show that meditation helps us to recover more quickly from disturbing events. It also allows the body to rest and improves focus and memory.