Fitness Changes to Make in Your Fifties

Middle aged couple exercising together

As people age, they tend to slow down a bit and take life a little easier, but this can actually have quite a detrimental effect on your overall health, as it causes a decrease in metabolism and therefore muscle mass. Studies have shown that a significant chunk of the population do little to no exercise after the age of 50, and this is something that really does need to change.

Start with a Physical Activity That You Enjoy
For people who are generally quite sedentary, the best way to begin making positive fitness changes in your life is by introducing a physically activity that you genuinely enjoy. This can be anything from walking the dog to taking a sunset stroll after dinner to going dancing a couple of times a week. Starting off slow will help to gradually increase your fitness levels, which will then make other fitness activities seem far less daunting.

Strength Training
Bone density peaks around the age of 30, and after this begins to slowly drop, which is why strength training is so important, as this will give you the strong bones that you need to keep your body healthy. Strength training basically refers to lifting heavy objects, and should be carried out around two to three times a week in order to really build muscle strength and mass. Lifting weights is the best way to do this, and you should try to begin with dumbbells that weigh between five to eight pounds, increasing this to eight to ten pounds as your body gets stronger.

Middle aged woman doing strength training

Realistic Goals
While you may have been able to build up strong muscles in just a few weeks while you were in your 20’s, you need to be realistic about the fact that this is going to take a bit longer now that you are over the age of 50. Make sure that you allow for this when coming up with your fitness goals, while also taking into account that your body will need more recovery time after intense workouts. Patience and consistency are key here, and while the results may take longer to appear, working out regularly will end up giving you the stronger body that you desire.

Cross Training
Many people believe that activities such as high impact aerobics, which work the same muscles over and over again, is beneficial, but this is actually a sure-fire way to cause an injury to your body. Cross training makes use of several different types of fitness activities in one session, resulting in a far more balanced workout that prevents injuries from occurring.

There are many different types of chronic diseases that commonly affect people who are 50 and over, from heart disease to diabetes to osteoporosis, and your chances of developing one of these increases drastically if you are generally quite inactive. However, keeping fit and exercising on a regular basis is one of the best ways to prevent these diseases from occurring, while keeping your body healthy and strong as it continues to age.

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Five Reasons to Try Vegetarian

While the popularity of vegetarianism is rapidly on the rise, there are some who still feel as though giving up meat would be too big of a sacrifice to make. However, there are so many benefits that come with a vegetarian diet, so here are five reasons to persuade you to give vegetarianism a try.

Vegetarian

Slow Down the Aging Process
A study recently published in the British Medical Journal discovered that vegetarians outlive meat eaters by up to six years, which is hardly surprising considering all of the nutrients that come with a plant-based diet. Not only are these rich in fiber, but they are alo high in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, all of which play individual roles in slowing down the aging process. In addition to this, a plant-based diet can also prevent, as well as reverse, certain chronic diseases, giving vegetarians a longer, and healthier, life.

Prevent the Three Biggest Killers
Heart disease is the number one killer out there, with cancer and strokes being the second and third, but a healthy, well-balanced vegetarian diet is able to protect the body from all three of these. In fact, doctors have even had success in unclogging arteries and reversing heart disease purely by prescribing a vegan diet.

Woman with ferret

Support the Environment
Countless studies have shown, and the United Nations has also confirmed, that eating meat is the reason behind some of the most serious environmental problems that we face today. For example, the meat industry is responsible for 40% more greenhouse gases than all of the cars, trucks and planes in the world combined, and are also linked to everything from land degradation to water pollution to climate change to loss of biodiversity.

Animal Welfare
While you may like to think that your meat has been raised on lush green pastures and happy farmyard homes, the reality is far from this, and if the general public really knew what happened in factory farms today, there would be many more vegetarians in the world. Animals that are commonly eaten, such as chickens and pigs, are actually known to be smarter than animals that are usually kept as pets, such as dogs and cats, so rather than supporting the abhorrent conditions that these creatures are kept in, give vegetarianism a try. It is believed that an individual who gives up meat is able to save around 100 animal lives each year, which is a good enough reason in itself for any true animal lover.

Woman standing on weighing scale

Weight Loss
More than two thirds of the general public are obese, but vegetarians on average tend to have a lower BMI, which is the measure of body fat, than meat eaters. Vegetarians are much less likely to be obese, and are significantly lighter than meat eaters, making vegetarianism the healthiest of weight loss diets.

As you can see, a vegetarian diet brings with it so many incredible benefits. Not only would you be making huge improvements to your own health, but you would also be supporting the world around you, so make 2017 the year in which you give vegetarianism a try.

Celebrities Who Never Seem to Age

Celebrity

There are some celebrities out there who just never seem to age, and while a part of this is likely due to the media’s airbrushing skills, they do still tend to retain their youthful glow in person too. From Pharrell … Continue reading

Anti-Aging Tips from the French

French woman with beautiful skin

With French women being known for their timeless beauty, it only makes sense to turn to them when seeking out some new anti-aging tips. From learning how they pamper their skin to borrowing some dietary advice, these tips will show you exactly how French women are able to obtain their naturally flawless complexion.

Regular Facials and Massages
Spas are extremely popular in France, and many women swear by regular facials and massages to help in their anti-aging quest. Thalassotherapy, a spa treatment that involves water jets, mud baths, seaweed wraps and sea-fog inhalation, actually originated in France, and is known for being able to tone muscles, including facial muscles, boost circulation, improve quality of sleep, and reduce cellulite.

French woman with beautiful skin

Less is More When it Comes to Makeup
The French have never been one to pile layer upon layer of makeup on their faces, and this goes a long way in keeping skin youthful and healthy. Instead of a heavy foundation, French women tend to go natural, opting for a small amount of blush instead, while those who do use a foundation will always apply it straight after their moisturizer, so that it blends in well with the skin to leave a soft, dewy and natural look.

Regular Exercise
While gyms may not be that popular in France, the French are still managing to maintain a regular amount of physical activity, and they mostly do this by walking. Rather than driving or taking a cab, spending half an hour walking to a destination is culturally preferred, with walking being a huge part of the traditional French lifestyle. While this may not seem like much, this regular physical activity is enough to bring about a wide range of anti-aging benefits.

Woman eating healthy food

Eat in Moderation
With plenty of decadent pastries and hearty, rich meals, French cuisine is not usually considered to be particularly healthy. However, the French are experts when it comes to eating in moderation, and pay close attention to portion size. An emphasis is always placed on maintaining a steady weight, as drastic weight loss or gain is never good for the body. In addition to this, the French diet always makes use of fresh produce whenever possible, and is, in a way, quite similar to the Mediterranean diet in this sense, which is known for being one of the healthiest, and most anti-aging, diets out there.

A Strict Skin Care Ritual
Many cultures around the world often turn to skin care only when there is a problem with their skin, whereas the French recognize the importance of developing a strict skin care ritual from an early age, and sticking to it throughout life. They invest heavily in skin care products, with many bathroom shelves resembling a high end skin care boutique, and take the time to figure out exactly what does, and does not, work for their skin.

Every culture around the world will have their own beauty traditions and rituals, and the French have quite a few that are definitely worth borrowing. From developing an anti-aging skin care routine to pampering your skin with regular spa treatments, these tips will help you to maintain a youthful appearance for many more years to come.

I Dream of Wrinkle-Free Aging

While aging may be an inevitable part of life, this does not necessarily mean that you have to deal with wrinkles and fine lines. By stepping up your anti-aging efforts from now, your dreams of wrinkle-free aging could very likely come true.

antioxidants

EQRoy / Shutterstock.com

Antioxidants
In addition to UV rays, the sun also emits infrared radiation, and studies carried out over recent years point to the way in which IRA is able to penetrate the skin even deeper than UV rays. However, just like with UV rays, IRA creates free radicals within the skin, which damage cells in many different ways. The best way to neutralize these free radicals is through the use of antioxidants, as they provide free radicals with the electron that they are missing, meaning that they no longer have to attack skin cells in order to acquire this electron. Vitamin C is the very best antioxidant for neutralizing free radicals, but try to ensure that the product that you use also contains vitamin E, as this helps to stabilize the vitamin C, keeping it potent for much longer. You should also be incorporating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables into your diet, as these are packed with a whole range of skin-boosting antioxidants.

Woman applying sunscreen

Sun Protection
Studies have shown that UV rays from the sun are responsible for up to 80% of skin aging, meaning that if you want to put a stop to the development of fine lines and wrinkles, you need to put a stop to the amount of sun exposure that your skin receives. There are now many different options out there when it comes to choosing a sunscreen, and you are bound to be able to find one that works for your lifestyle. For those who use skin care products, whether it be lotions or creams, that already contain an SPF, this may be sufficient, but you need to ensure that you apply a thick layer of it onto your skin in order for your skin to be fully protected. Otherwise, your main choices lie between a chemical or a mineral sunscreen. Chemical sunscreens create a chemical reaction, turning UV rays into heat and then emitting this heat from the skin, while mineral sunscreens sit on the surface of the skin, deflecting UV rays away. Each will have their own pros and cons, so look into these carefully before making your decision.

Woman cleansing her skin

Keep It Clean
Your skin comes into contact with so many pollutants on a daily basis, and it does not take long for these to cause your skin to begin prematurely aging, bringing about deep wrinkles far sooner than you expected. From air pollutants to the bacteria that surrounds you every day, each of these can degrade the skin’s collagen supplies, as well as blocking future collagen production, and, without this protein, the skin is not able to maintain its firm and tight appearance. The best way to prevent this is by ensuring that your face is always kept clean. This means regularly cleansing it every evening, as well as doing a deeper cleanse, whether this may be professionally or at home with a facial mask, on a weekly basis. You should also be exfoliating a couple of times a week, and taking steps to minimize the number of unclean surfaces that your skin comes into contact with.

Wrinkles are a part of aging that everybody dreads, but these are not inevitable. By using effective products and keeping your skin protected from the sun from as early on as possible, you really will be able to enjoy wrinkle-free aging in the future.

Can a Daily Cocktail Slow Aging?

While the consumption of excess amounts of alcohol can drastically speed up the aging process, there are certain concoctions that can actually do your body some good. From the age-defying antioxidants of a sangria, to the UV-protecting qualities of a bloody mary, these cocktails could quite possibly help to slow down the rate at which you age.

Bloody mary

Bloody Mary
The Bloody Mary is a truly classic cocktail, with tomato juice and carrot juice giving it its distinct flavor. Tomatoes are known for containing an antioxidant called lycopene, which has fantastic UV-protecting properties. In addition to this, carrots are packed with beta-carotene, which is not only incredibly effective at repairing damaged skin, but is also able to transform the vitamin A in your body into a form that is more easily accessible. By mixing in some freshly cracked black pepper, which is considered to be one of the healthiest foods in the world, you will also be enjoying an extra dose of iron, manganese, potassium, vitamin C and vitamin K.

Green Tea Martini
Green tea is known for having some incredible anti-aging properties, and can be used to make a number of different cocktails. A green tea martini is a refreshing drink, and only contains a few ingredients, making it easy to whip up at short notice. Rather than using a standard vodka, opt for Shochu instead, which is a Japanese vodka that is much lighter than western varieties. Mix this with your brewed green tea, adding a touch of Manuka honey for some sweetness, as well as for the many health-boosting properties that this wonder food brings.

Walnut Chocolatini
A walnut chocolatini is ideal for satisfying any sweet tooth out there, and brings with it some fantastic anti-aging benefits. Walnuts are known to be able to dramatically halt the aging process, fighting free radicals while keeping the body looking and feeling young. To make this cocktail, spread out your crushed walnuts and wet your martini glass, turning it upside down so that the crushed walnuts stick to the rim. Pour in a well-mixed concoction of Irish cream liqueur, dark chocolate liqueur, and vodka, before sprinkling some high-quality dark chocolate shavings on top, to enjoy the health benefits that dark chocolate is known to bring.

Sangria

Sangria
A classic Spanish summer beverage, sangria is primarily made from red wine and fruits, but there are many different versions out there that you can experiment with. When it comes to creating an anti-aging sangria cocktail, be sure to pack in a wide variety of different fruits. A strawberry and peach sangria will ensure that you are consuming your daily allowance of vitamin C, which does wonders for slowing down the aging process, while the peaches will also provide you with plenty of vitamin A. Berries contain a whole host of age-defying antioxidants, so try to use as many as you can. When choosing which wine to use, opt for a high-quality red wine, as this will contain several antioxidants, including resveratrol and quercetin, that have been proven to help fight cancer and heart disease.

 

While the majority of cocktails will only accelerate your aging process, there are most definitely some that will play a helping hand when it comes to anti-aging. Whether you choose to make a fruity sangria or a creamy walnut chocolatini, be sure to strictly regulate the amount of alcohol that you include, and pack your drink with more of the health-boosting ingredients instead.

Reducing the Appearance of Cellulite and Sagging Skin

Cellulite and loose skin often go hand-in-hand with aging, mostly due to the way in which the skin begins to lose elasticity, especially after the age of 50. Fortunately, there are a number of ways in which you can reduce the appearance of these skin issues, from eating foods that boost elasticity to using products that will help to tighten your skin.

Woman  eating healthy food

Diet and Nutrition
The foods that you eat have a huge impact on your skin, and if you are trying to reduce the appearance of cellulite and sagging skin, it only makes sense to eat more of the foods that are able to help you on this quest. Foods that are low in calories but high in protein will help to strengthen your skin’s connective tissues, while fruits and vegetables will contain plenty of beneficial vitamins and nutrients. Another easy way to boost your skin’s elasticity is by ensuring that you stay hydrated, as dehydration will only exacerbate any cellulite or sagging skin. If you have a difficult time keeping your diet on track, it may be worth investing in some vitamins and supplements to ensure that your skin is receiving all of the nutrients that it needs.

Creams
There are so many different cellulite creams out there, and if this is a route that you want to take, it is important to remember that, chances are, the results that you will see are only going to be temporary. Products that contain caffeine are great for temporarily tightening the skin, while those containing vitamin A will help to thicken the outer layer of skin, therefore making any bumps much less visible.

Woman brushing legs

Dry Brushing
Dry brushing is a technique that has been practiced around the world for centuries, but only became popular in the US in the 1960’s. Dry brushes are easily available, and while this may seem like a method that is slightly too simple to help with the seemingly impossible task of banishing cellulite, it is actually extremely efficient. Dry brushing works by softening the hard fat cells that gather under the skin, thereby helping to distribute them more evenly around your body, while also clearing away the toxins that cause damage to the skin’s connective tissues.

Self-Tanner
Using a self-tanner is another temporary method to reduce the appearance of cellulite, and to make your skin appear much tighter overall. The darker your skin color is, the less obvious your cellulite will seem, but it is important to only use a sunless tanner, as UV rays will only break down your natural collagen even more. There are many different self-tanning products out there, from lotions to sprays, making this method ideal if you need a quick and easy fix, as well as a boost in confidence, for a day at the beach.

Cellulite and sagging skin are both extremely common, and while women all over the world may spend millions each year on anti-cellulite treatments, it is always worth seeking out the more gentle and natural solutions first. From adding collagen-boosting foods to your diet, to dry brushing your cellulite away, these methods are all worth trying if you are looking for skin that is smooth, firm and tight.

Skin After 40

Woman applying eye cream

Once you reach the age of 40, your body will be undergoing some rapid changes, and these all have an effect on your skin. From cutting back on the amount that you cleanse to increasing the amount of antioxidants that you use, these tips will help you to take the best possible care of your skin once you have passed the age of 40.

Skip the Morning Cleanser
Cleansing twice a day is not something that is recommended for certain skin types out there, and the same applies to those with more mature skin. Assuming that you have cleansed your face at night before going to bed, skip the cleanser in the morning, and simply rinse your face instead. Cleansers, even if they are gentle, strip your skin of sebum, and since sebum production will start to decline at this age, using a cleanser too often is something that you now need to avoid.

Woman applying moisturizer

Antioxidants
Investing in quality skin care products at this stage is absolutely vital if you want to preserve your youthful complexion for as long as possible, and this means using products that are rich in antioxidants and will truly nourish your skin. Vitamin E is one of the most popular antioxidants out there, as it protects cell membranes from damage and works beautifully with vitamin C, which is important for treating wrinkles, dark spots and dullness. Retinol is another antioxidant that is extremely effective, as it has been proven to increase the skin’s production of collagen, even after it has begun to decline with age. Retinol also enhances your skin’s natural barrier, which therefore leads to firmer and plumper skin. To protect your collagen even more, look for products containing green tea, and always keep in mind that these antioxidants work even better when they are combined with each other, rather than being used individually.

Stimulate Cell Turnover
Cell turnover is the process at which dead skin cells are shed from the body and new, healthy skin cells are created. However, this process naturally slows down with age, leading to a rough and dull complexion, but, fortunately, there are ways in which you can stimulate cell turnover to avoid these issues. Removing makeup and cleansing before bed is essential, as this allows the pores and skin cells to breathe, while a toner that contains glycolic acid will help to remove any dead skin cells, speeding up the rate at which new ones are created. Exfoliation should also be a key component to your skin care routine, and you should be doing this two or three times a week without fail, but only using exfoliants that are gentle enough so as not to cause any damage.

When it comes to taking care of your skin after the age of 40, there are many different methods and techniques that you can try, but the most important aspect to remember is to continue protecting your skin from the sun. Since the skin thins with age, it is much more susceptible to damage, and unless you are providing it with constant sun protection, you will not be able to stave off the effects of aging for much longer.

Results of Sleeping with Makeup On

Woman sleeping

Everyone has made the mistake of falling asleep and forgetting to remove their makeup, and while this may not seem as though it has caused much harm the next morning, doing this repeatedly leads to a world of damage. From premature aging to a dull complexion, this will all quickly begin to happen if you make the mistake of sleeping with your makeup on one too many times.

A Dull Complexion
Every night while you sleep, your skin renews itself, shedding any dead skin cells to reveal the fresh skin beneath. However, by sleeping with your makeup on, you prevent this natural turnover from occurring, because the makeup, oil and dirt that has built up on your face throughout the day remains on your outermost layer of skin, blocking the shedding of dead skin cells. This results in a dull and rough complexion, likely leading to even more makeup the next morning in order to brighten up the face.

Premature Aging
As mentioned earlier, sleeping with your makeup on traps all of the dirt and impurities into your skin, and this will soon begin to cause oxidative damage to your skin cells, breaking down their protective barrier. Without this, the rate of aging is drastically accelerated, resulting in wrinkles and fine lines that will be difficult to eradicate. After a while of sleeping with makeup on, you will notice that your skin will start to lose its firmness and tightness, and this is because the makeup will have caused your collagen levels to deplete, leading to sagging skin that nobody wants.

Woman having acne issues

Pimples and Acne
Leaving makeup on your skin while you sleep will clog your pores, which, in turn, can lead to chronic inflammation, resulting in pimples. Those who suffer from acne will notice an increase in breakouts after sleeping with makeup on, as thorough cleansing is especially important for those who suffer from such skin conditions.

Infections
Since sleeping with your makeup on compromises your skin’s protective barrier, your skin will be much more prone to infections. This is especially the case when it comes to mascara, as leaving this on overnight creates the perfect breeding ground for bacteria, and, if the bacteria is allowed to build up, this can soon lead to conjunctivitis. To top it all off, sleeping with mascara on will also cause eyelashes to become much more brittle and susceptible to breakages. Sleeping with other forms of eye makeup on can also lead to infections, as they clog the hair follicles and oil glands, once again creating the ideal environment in which bacteria can thrive.

All of the above issues usually arise after a more prolonged period of sleeping with your makeup on, whether this be a week or a month. While forgetting to remove your makeup for just one night may not cause any visible long-lasting damage, you should still be sure to cleanse your face thoroughly in the morning, before assessing your skin and examining its condition. A face mask is a great way to counter this mistake, as it will give your skin a deep cleanse, nourishing it from within, helping it to recover from the degradation that a night of makeup would have caused.

Healthy Mind and Body

When it comes to enjoying a long and happy life, having a healthy mind and body is key. There is no longer a debate about the connection between the mind and the body, and, in order to truly enjoy your life, it is essential to keep both of these healthy.

Woman meditating

Daily Meditation
Meditation is a tool that can significantly boost both the mind as well as the body, and at the same time too. Studies have shown that just eight weeks of regular meditation not only helps people to feel calmer overall, but also results in changes in certain parts of the brain, including a growth in the areas that are responsible for empathy, stress regulation and memory. When it comes to the more physical aspects of the body, meditation has been linked to a decrease in a number of issues, from hypertension to depression to heart disease to addiction. If meditation is something new to you, do not feel intimidated by it. There are plenty of well-written guides online that explain the different meditation techniques that are best suited for beginners, so take a look and set aside some time today for your first meditation session.

Woman resting after exercise

Daily Exercise
Exercise is something else that benefits both the body and mind at the same time, and there have been plenty of studies throughout history that document the many benefits of daily exercise. Not only does physical activity help to slow down the aging of the body, but it also increases the brain’s ability to learn and adapt, while reducing stress and helping to eliminate depression. The daily exercise that you do can be chosen based on your interests. If you want something quick that you can do at home, take a look at aerobic exercises. However, if you like to be outdoors, and this in itself has its own additional benefits, then there are plenty of outdoor activities that will be able to get your heart racing.

Women laughing

Laughter
When it comes to the connection between the mind and the body, laughter has managed to baffle researchers for many years, as it affects both in a unique way. A hearty belly laugh not only slows down the production of stress hormones within the body, but it also gives the immune system a good boost.

Woman sleeping

A Deep Sleep
When it comes to good health, the quality of your sleep is important to consider, as this affects both your body and your mind. A lack of quality sleep causes the body to fall out of balance, leading to a weaker immune system, weight gain, faster aging, and depression. A healthy sleep is achieved without the use of pharmaceuticals or alcohol, and, when you wake up in the morning, the vibrant feeling you experience will let you know that you have had some quality rest.

A healthy mind will lead to a healthy body, and vice versa, but there is nothing quite like tackling both at the same time. From meditation to laughter, these tips will ensure that your life is filled with health and happiness.