Everyone wants to slow down the aging process so that they look younger and feel fit as they get older.

Here are my top tips for staying younger looking and feeling fitter and healthier.

STRESS

Stress causes physical changes in the body that can accelerate ageing.  Surges of the hormones adrenaline and cortisol cause our blood pressure to rise and the heart to beat faster.

These days we all seem to lead such fast based lives,  juggling work life with children or looking after older relatives.   Large doses of adrenaline and cortisol take a heavy toll on our physical and emotional health

Try to get in the habit of making some “You time”.  Meditation is becoming very popular and I have been experimenting with mediation to help get my stress levels under control.  I am currently trying out Deepak Chopra and Oprah Winfrey’s mediation CD “Flow” which is lovely, calming relaxing and POSITIVE.  Ask me about it in class.

Yoga and Pilates are great ways to switch off from the everyday grind and you are also getting a great strength and flexibility workout.

Get out in the countryside for walks and appreciate nature around you!

SUGAR

Sugar has been in the press and on the TV a lot recently, and people don’t realise just how much sugar they are consuming.   So much of it is added to the food we buy and we innocently don’t realise how much is in natural foods such as fruit, which is healthy, but we need to be aware of how much of it we are eating.   Try eating more veg or juicing it to replace some fruit.

A lot of sugar in your diet really does speed up the ageing process in the body and how your skin looks over time.

It causes a process called glycation which causes skin cells to degrade.

Sugar also has a negative impact on your insulin levels putting you at risk of diabetes and other conditions as you age.

EXERCISE

Regular exercise can help slow down the effects of ageing by up to 12 years aerobic/strength training exercise, from middle age onwards can slow and even reverse the decline in muscle strength, balance, and co-ordination in later life”.

Fitness levels can fall in men by up to 50% between 20 and 60 years of age, while women begin to lose their fitness at around 35, with a 50% loss by age 60. This has an impact on the independence of the elderly, people would be able to remain independent for far longer if they exercise throughout middle age and into retirement.  Many women shy away from strength training, but this form of exercise is crucial for maintaining bone density and a slim, toned appearance,”

STAY OUT THE SUN

Over the last few years we have heard about how the sun can cause skin cancer, but did you know that it also accounts for 80 per cent of skin ageing, including wrinkles.  You only have to compare the skin on the parts of your body which are always covered up ie, you bottom with that on your face!

Make sure you are putting sunscreen on even in the UK.  Cover up when you can.

We do need some sun exposure to get Vitamin D, but don’t put yourself at risk.

DROP THE FAT FREE LIFESTYLE

Healthy fats are your anti-ageing friend, helping to keep you skin supple, balance hormone levels and for your  metabolism.  They are also good for keeping your heart healthy and joints flexible and great for boosting your immune system.

Try stocking up on healthy oils, ie olive and coconut.  Incorporate nuts, avocado, oily fish and flax into your diet.

SLEEP

There has been a lot come out recently about the importance of getting a good night sleep.

Researchers have uncovered evidence that sleep both the quality and quantity is imperative to our health in lots of ways.

Whilst you sleep your body enters into repair mode, repairing damage from the day and preparing the body to handle whatever comes next.  Not getting enough sleep

Not getting enough sleep can also lead to onset of certain illnesses such as type 2 diabetes, as low quality sleep increases insulin resistance.

It has also been linked to weight gain and obesity.

You should be aiming for between 7 and 9 hours sleep per night.

SMOKING AND ALCOHOL

Smoking alone ages your skin!  British Skin Foundation states that smoking reduces the skins natural elasticity by promoting the breakdown of collagen and reduces the amount that is produced.

Alcohol can make your body and skin dehydrated.   The body considers it a toxin, it has no use for it, so if you are trying to lose weight it is not your friend it will slow your metabolism down.

WATER

We perspire all day and the body loses water which it needs for vital function of our organs.  We need around 2 litres of water per day.

When we are dehydrated the body diverts the water available to essential organs such as heart and liver.  The skin is not given biological importance, so taking on more water will ensure that your skin gets what it needs for skin cell formation.

Moisturise your skin from the inside, you will see the difference.

Have a fabulous bank holiday weekend and I look forward to seeing you in class next week from Tuesday onwards.

Ann-Marie. xx