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Top 6 Tips to Look Younger in Your Middle Years

Top 6 Tips to Look Younger in Your Middle Years

When I was in my 20’s I was a theater nurse. You would be amazed at the conversations that would take place while you, the patient, was asleep. Nothing seemed off limits, albeit I did not have to listen to topics that are commonly discussed on television programs such as Grey’s Anatomy but nevertheless discussions would be lively.

What did amaze me back in my younger years was the way older women would discuss their tips on how to not only look younger but feel younger. Just because they had reached middle age did not mean that they were ready to be relegated to the Blue-Rinse Club quite yet.

Now that I find myself reaching the middle years I wish I had this lively group of women around me to keep me young and share in their laughter. I may find myself thankful to be tucked away in my comfy bed at 10.30pm as opposed to 3am after a night out dancing but I am not quite ready to surrender myself to the ageing process completely just yet.

If you are like me and suddenly realized that you are now in your middle years here are 6 top tips to help you look, AND FEEL, younger in your middle years.

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1. Take a good look at your diet

For many women in their middle years, this will be coupled with the start of menopause and with menopause comes hot flushes and night sweats which can leave a woman feeling tired and exhausted which is one sure way of speeding up the ageing process.

Also, when you were younger you may have found you were able to eat what you felt like without any weight gain, but now that you are in your middle years, you are gaining more weight than ever before.

Simple foods are usually tolerated better such as salads and fresh fruits as opposed to starchy processed carbohydrates.

2. Maintaining a healthy sex life

Nothing beats looking younger in your middle years than a healthy sex life. Some women find their libido decreasing to the point of being non-existent.

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If you are experiencing a diminished sex drive now is the time to slow down, take time out to meditate and rest, get regular exercise, and improve nutrition by eating a diet rich in plant-based whole foods.

3. Stay Hydrated and Drink Cucumber Water

Staying hydrated will help your skin stay supple and smooth. Add another twist by adding in cucumbers to your water intake means you’re getting extra nutrients that helps even more. Cucumbers contain silica, which provides extra benefits to the skin.

4. Apply Sunscreen

Applying sunscreen is very important in protecting against melanomas, but it can also slow down the ageing process. An Australian scientific study has discovered that people who regularly apply sunscreen have 24 per cent less skin ageing than people who only use sunscreen occasionally.

The study, which was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, looked at  900 people under 55 and discovered those regularly using sunscreens were less likely to have increased skin ageing after 4.5 years, even those in middle age.

5. Start the Day With A Green Smoothie

I love to start my day with a green smoothie.

Looking younger on the outside starts on the inside and with all your hormones burning out of control, having a green smoothie every day is one of the best remedies to decrease the heat and banish the hot flushes.

You will notice a visible difference in your skin and eyes. Here is an article I wrote expanding on the benefits of green smoothies as well as a simple, tasty recipe.

6. Stay Positive and Smile

Do you suffer from what is referred to as Marionette lines? Marionette lines are the pronounced crease that runs from the corners of the mouth to down along the chin.

As collagen in the face decreases with age, skin tends to crease and fold around the mouth. While not everyone experiences marionette lines, they can be quite bothersome for those who do as they can give the face an unhappy expression.

Genetics do play a role in the development of these lines, but there are some factors that can exacerbate the situation such as too much sun exposure, smoking and poor diet.

My top tip is to make sure to exercise your mouth every day and take note of how you may be “over relaxing” with a downward smile. Have a look at your mouth right now as you are reading this article. Turn your smile up and exercise your facial muscles and that way you can limit the downward slippery slope of Marionette lines!

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Last Updated on May 22, 2019

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

1. Cat Camel Stretch

Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

Here’s a video to guide you through:

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2. Go for a Walk or a Run

This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

3. Jumping Jacks

Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

4. Abductor Side Lifts

Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

5. Balancing Table Pose

This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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    6. Leg Squats

    Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

    Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

    The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

    7. Push Ups

    You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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    An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

    Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

    This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

    8. Bicycle Crunches

    There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

    Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

    9. Lunges

    Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

    Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

    This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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    10. Bicep Curls

    You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

    Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

    Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

    Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

    Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

    These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

    You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

    Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

    More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

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