Society has a natural tendency towards vanity. Not that it’s a bad thing, it’s something that’s quite possibly hardwired in our DNA, just as birds of paradise flaunt their feathers, humans have a desire to stay young and fit until the end of their days.

There may be an element of ego that has us obsess about staying young, or it may be because we want to be able to enjoy the rest of our lives, feeling fantastic, healthy and fit. Whether it’s A or B, we know there’s more to feeling youthful than just spending money on treatments and fancy products to ‘delay’ the ageing processes.

If we were to let go of the piece of us that considers soft and smooth skin, free of wrinkles and grey hair to be what staying youthful is all about, maybe it’d become more clear as to why we have this need and deep rooted desire to remain young. After all, what’s the point in looking like you haven’t aged, if deep down inside it’s all you feel.

Keeping your mind, body and skin youthful and healthy, without the introduction of harmful chemicals or going under the surgeon’s knife is something that can definitely be done, and mastered.

Check out our top tips for staying young, naturally:

EXERCISE

We all know just how beneficial exercise is. Short-term, it can help reduce your stress levels by releasing feel good chemicals in the brain, and boosts your circulation by allowing the blood to flow freely through your veins. Exercise also helps regulate your hormones, assist with sleep and relaxation, and helps you maintain a healthy weight. All of which will help you to feel younger and more alert.

Long term, and accompanied by a healthy diet, exercise may be able to assist with the prevention of heart conditions, obesity and lower your risks of high blood pressure and cholesterol. Exercises like yoga will also help you to stay flexible, while boosting your energy levels and aiding your digestion.

Our best tips to find the right exercise for yourself:

Start small and then build it up. You don’t need to start with a hardcore workout regime. Often times we push ourselves too hard when we’re starting to get back into shape, and we fail to meet our expectations. It causes guilt and a lack of desire to head back to that routine, and we end up dreading our work-out. You can start by doing light to moderate exercise 3x a week for 30 minutes, and as your body builds more stamina you can increase the duration and frequency of your routine.

Find something you love. Don’t get stuck in a routine for the sake of exercising. The two of us aren’t fans of very intense workouts, so we don’t do them! Instead we do light to moderate strength training, and yoga classes that vary from restorative to intense. We’ve found a routine that works for us and our bodies, and because it’s something we actually like to do, we can stick to it.

STRESS LESS

Stress, from time to time, is a natural thing. Our bodies were designed with adrenal glands that release the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline when our bodies find something to be stressful. The only issue with the way our bodies were designed is that our stressors have evolved, but we haven’t. In the past, when the stressor disappeared, the hypothalmus told your body to get the ball rolling again and go back to normal. But in today’s age, once a stressor fades another one pops up. Our bodies don’t have time to regulate these stress hormones, and a lot of us live our lives chronically and constantly stressed out.

This can cause physical changes that not only speed up the ageing process but can cause symptoms such as:

  • irritability
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • headaches
  • insomnia

When your stress hormone cortisol is constantly unregulated, it can cause other hormones in the body to be affected (as all hormones work synergistically) . It can cause an increase in blood pressure, and can affect your respiratory system. This can take a huge toll on your body and mind over time. The best ways to reduce your stress levels are relaxing, taking time off when you need it, and seeing a doctor if you feel like you need more help. Yoga and meditation can also help.

Our best tips for regulating your stress response:

Don’t push yourself. When you start to feel like you’re burning out, or if you notice that you’re constantly on edge and irritable, take a step back and find something that makes you feel happy and relieves your stress. Whether it’s a good book, a Netflix binge session, a warm bath, a massage, just take a break for a minute and check out.

Supplement with vitamins and adaptogenic herbs. Adaptogenic herbs and specific supplements have helped us regulate our stress response throughout the years. What these supplements do is help your adrenal glands regulate your stress hormones more efficiently so your systems have more support to work the way they’re supposed to. Our favourite supplements are Can-Prev Adrenal ProFlora Holy Basil and AOR Zen Theanine.

Minimize sugar intake and processed foods. Sugar and processed food can also affect your hormones and can contribute to unhealthy gut bacteria, which can exacerbate the symptoms of stress. Minimize both of these in your diet, and emphasize the intake of nutrient dense whole foods to help manage stress levels.

EAT MORE FAT

Yes, you’ve been told to cut down on fat to maintain a healthy weight, but guess what?

Not all fats are bad, as a matter of fact Omega-3 fatty acids are incredibly good for you. They can help to improve your mood, reduce inflammation (which can keep your skin from prematurely ageing), keep your hormones balanced, give you a healthy glow, help keep your mind young and help your body to pull the fat out of storage and use it as energy. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in salmon, nuts, seeds, walnuts and yes even eggs.

Most fats in moderation are great for you. The problem that arises from fat is where it’s sourced and how it’s used. Using improper oils for cooking, such as polyunsaturated fats (vegetable oils) can cause rancidity due to the low smoke point that these oils possess (they oxidize when exposed to high temperatures). Also, keep in mind the kind and quantity of saturated fats that you’re consuming. It’s best to minimize animal fat and protein, and increase plant-based sources of fats in whole, or cold-pressed form (for oils).

Our best tips for adding more healthy fats in your diet:

Add nuts & seeds to your meals. A handful of nuts in your salad, a sprinkle of hemp seeds with your morning yogurt or a spoon of almond butter in your salad dressings. Those are simple ways to not only add a more satisfying flavor and texture to your meals but to keep you feeling more full, and less likely to reach out for sugary snacks.

Keep Omega 3:6:9 balance in mind. Omega 3 and 6 are two essential fatty acids that our body can’t produce, so we need to get them from our diet in a balanced ratio of 1:3. Many of us consume a ratio closer to 1:20 or higher, because of the heavy use of vegetable oils that are high in omega 6 but low in omega 3s. This speeds up the inflammatory response in our body and causes us to age faster. So, as with everything else we need them in balance. Foods high in omega 3s that most of us need are salmon, sardines, mackerel, chia/ flax seeds, hemp seeds and algae.

Omega 9 can be produced in our body, but studies have shown the benefits from populations that tend to consume more Omega 9. Think Mediterranean diet; olives, olive oil, avocado oil, avocados, chia seeds, macadamia and hazelnuts.

CHALLENGE YOUR MIND

We can’t tell you how many times we’ve forgotten our keys, or walked into the kitchen not remembering why we even went there. Those small memory lapses are usually normal and you most likely don’t have anything to worry about. But as we age, and memory issues become more of a problem, emphasis should be put on keeping that brain sharp, so these ‘brain lapse’ moments aren’t as frequent.

The best way to keep your mind young is to keep it engaged with new, fun and challenging activities every day. Use as much of it as you can, as often as possible.

Our best tips for keeping your mind sharp:

Sleep at least 7-8 hours every night. While sleep may not be the first thing that comes to mind, it has a big impact not only on your everyday tasks and processing, but on your long-term brain health. During sleep, your glymphatic system is activated and it’s literally your brains waste disposal system. Getting enough sleep will also ensure you wake up feeling energized, more likely to exercise and less likely to reach out for sugary foods and drinks.

Have fun and learn something new. Do this by reading books, challenging yourself with puzzles and brain games such as Lumosity, by using your opposite hand, learning a new language or picking up a new hobby.

Note: Healthy fats are key to brain health.

GET YOUR DAILY DOSE OF VITAMINS & MINERALS

Having a whole food based diet is generally a good step to ensure you get all your essential vitamins and minerals and you’re nourished from within. And, while some vitamins and minerals are known for certain roles, like B vitamins for energy and metabolism and Vitamin D for hormones and skin, we know that they all work in synergy in the body.

To stay feeling youthful, make sure that most of what you eat is whole, fresh and colorful. Most of the nutrients you need can be found in your diet, and depending on your lifestyle, genetics, or conditions – sometimes you may need a little boost with supplements.

And certain vitamin derivatives such as retinol can also be applied topically. This website explains how retinol (when used correctly and with caution) can give your skin an extra boost. Various forms of vitamin C or some natural vitamin c rich oils like rosehip seed oil are also used for a brighter and more youthful complexion.

Check out our Simple Ways to Add More Veggies Into Your Daily Diet  for our best tips for making your diet more colorful.

And, remember, we all get older. It’s a natural and beautiful part of life. By all means look after yourself and stay healthy, but try not to become so obsessed with youth that you fail to enjoy the little moments that life has in store for you.

 

*This is a collaborative post.

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