Look and Feel Young

While you can’t turn back the clock, you can slow the ageing process by adopting a few good habits.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel
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While you can’t turn back the clock, you can slow the ageing process by adopting a few good habits.

Ever wonder why some guys look 10 years younger than their age, while others feel old beyond their years? Genetics may have something to do with it. Antiageing treatments and skincare products may help to a certain extent. But the real secret to looking and feeling young is simply to live a healthy, content life and to think like a young person. No matter your age, when you are happy and healthy, you will feel young. The following are some tips to put a spring in your step.

Hang out with younger people

Look around your circle of friends. Are they all around your age? There is nothing wrong with spending time with friends in the same bracket but if you are in your 40s, for example, it is good to have friends who are in their 20s. Young people tend to have a different way of looking at things and if you spend time with them, you will not only feel young, but learn to see things from a fresh perspective. Some guys become grouchy as they grow older without realising it, and younger friends may be able to coax you out of a foul mood.

Learn to smile

Smiling is contagious. When you smile at someone, that person can’t help but smile back. Before you set off to work – whether you are driving or commuting – look in the mirror and practise smiling. Maintain that smile on your way to work and throughout the day. You will find that the people around you appear to be friendlier. When you smile readily, you will not only feel happier, but more youthful as well.

Keep stress at bay

Stress and anxiety can result in psychosomatic disorders like stomach ulcers and high blood pressure. They can drag you down and make you age faster. Married men can look older than their single counterparts, perhaps due to the stress of being a parent. Learn to be tolerant, take it easy and unbothered by the small things in life. Some people are stressed out by work or by the people around them. It might help to take a look at your priorities in life. If you are busy making money, for example, you might want to slow down and ask if it is actually making you happy.

Walk every day

Regular exercise is not only good for your health, it may also slow ageing. Some guys may find the gym too much of a hassle. If you are not motivated enough to workout, walk every day instead, preferably at dawn. Start with 15 minutes and slowly build up. As you walk, you will feel more relaxed and have a chance to clear your mind. Complement your walks with stretching, yoga or meditation. Yoga keeps your body flexible while meditation can improve mindfulness and relaxation for an overall calming effect.

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Learn to breathe

Breathing seems like a simple, instinctive thing but most guys are not doing it right. When we practise yoga or meditation, we learn to take slow and deep breaths which can help to improve the flow of energy within the body. Aerobic exercises help, too, as we take in more oxygen which in turn helps to rejuvenate our cells and slow ageing. A simple way to give your lungs a good workout is to spend 10 minutes outdoors breathing in deeply through your nose and out through your mouth. Qigong practitioners encourage early morning breathing exercises as it is considered the time of greatest ‘creative energy’.

Get enough sleep

When we don’t get enough sleep, we wake up with puffy eyes, feeling lethargic and irritable. Our face may look haggard and we are prone to breakouts. Don’t feel guilty if you need eight or more hours of sleep. When you are well rested, you will wake up feeling energetic and look more radiant and youthful. If you have trouble sleeping, try meditation and regular exercise.

Eat right

Food that is good for your life force, also referred to as prana or chi, are fresh fruit and vegetables that is believed to be rich in oxygen. When you consume food filled with pranic energy on a daily basis, you feed your cells with the oxygen they need. As far as possible, avoid eating red meat, processed food and dairy. Food should be lightly cooked to preserve the nutrients. As you grow older, your metabolism becomes more sluggish and you should eat less accordingly. We can slow down ageing by eating right and staying trim.

Find a hobby

If you feel passionate about something – be it gardening, collecting watches or playing the guitar – you are more likely to find inner peace. Your mind will be at ease and you time will seem to pass more quickly. Remember the curiosity you experienced as a child at all the things around you. When you have a hobby, you become a more interesting person and may attract friends with common interests.

Experience Adventure

When you pack your bags and head for a new destination, you feel a sense of excitement and adventure. You experience new cultures, make new friends and try new food. Your days tend to start early with so many things to see and do. If you can’t afford it or have little time, travel shorter distances instead, like a weekend getaway or a trip to the park or beach. Mixing up your routine will make you feel young and full of life.

Learn to take slow and deep breaths which can help to improve the flow of energy within the body.

Men Poolside/thinkstock; Man sitting on bed doing yoga/thinkstock.