When I was 10, I started using anti-wrinkle creams. It may sound nuts, but I figured once I hit double digits it was time to start taking my mortality and longevity seriously by adopting healthy habits. My mother – a face cream addict, had every possible selection in her bathroom. Every night before bed, I would pile on the products designed for “mature skin.”
Wrinkle cream for 10 year olds is excessive, but it did prep me for one very important lesson: if you form healthy habits early on, you’ll feel great, live longer – and the best part? People will still card you way into your 30s.
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Nutritional tips to lose weight, eat smart and live a healthy life
Here is my favorite list of well-researched (and tried by me) habits that your health, longevity and youth depend on:
- Dental care – Taking care of your teeth in your 20s is one of the single most important actions you can take to prevent serious health problems in your life down the road. Did you know that gum disease has been strongly linked to strokes, heart disease – even diabetes? See your dentist at least twice a year, and don’t forget to brush and floss at least twice daily. White, healthy teeth have the ability to make a person look up to ten years younger – so does avoiding a heart attack.
- Green tea - Green tea is the miracle elixir. Its rich antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties protect against high cholesterol, cancer, heart disease, aids in weight loss, prevents wrinkles and my personal favorite – collagen depletion (meaning, you get to keep those cheekbones). A few cups a day also helps prevent gum disease – making this tea a number one brew.
- Hydrate – And not with soda. Sipping on water all day long quenches your cells thirst , hydrates and plumps skin, and also helps build lean muscle mass for those of you who are burning and toning at the gym. Hydrated skin is pretty, elastic skin that lasts.
- Circuit training – One of the best ways to look youthful and prevent serious health hazards for years to come is by developing a workout that keeps your heart pumping at its ideal heart rate – while strengthening muscle memory. I had great success with a boxing and lifting routine that I did 3 times a week for an hour each. In addition to having a sexy, lean body that your muscles remember for years, cardiovascular workouts can take up to ten years off your face, by pumping oxygen into your cells.
- Yoga – I wasn’t a believer until I tried it. I come from the “pain is gain” mentality and so the first five minutes of my first yoga class, I yawned. And that’s when the yawning stopped. A workout for the body, mind, and spirit, you’ll learn to manage stress, increase flexibility and tone your body from head to toe – and you will feel it the next day! Stress leads to wrinkles and coronary illness (which also leads to wrinkles). Flexibility and strength training are an important factor in creating lean, strong muscles and bones for life.
- Not so sweet – Sugar is going to kill us all! It’s the number one enemy to our cells. Sugar acts as inflammatory agent that irritates and then breaks down cell structure. This leads to collagen breakdown and that sunken “flat-faced” look around cheekbones and eyes. Sugar also depresses our immune system, which makes us more vulnerable to acute and chronic diseases.
- Supplements – You are what you eat, and what you supplement with. Supplements are an extra way to ensure that your body is getting the essentials – especially when in our 20s, we stop producing some of our best anti-aging defenses. My list for a healthy, beautiful and long-lasting complexion: CoQ10, a powerful antioxidant that scavenges the body for damaging free radicals, fish oil and a daily multivitamin. These three set up the foundation for smooth, radiant skin and overall health. But of course, if you can get your vitamins and other nutrients from fresh foods, that is even better!