25 things that will keep you young
"Staying young is all about being happy with yourself. I don't mean 'ha-ha' happy, but 'content-happy.' Just enjoy every day, whether it's good or bad, because tomorrow will be better." Sophie Barone, 81, Syracuse, NY
Eyes on the prize
Protect your eyes, where skin is thinnest, and likely the first spot to show signs of aging. UV rays and free radicals make it worse. "Moisturizers with a chemical sunscreen may irritate this delicate area," says Missy Hughes, spa director at The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort in Charleston, South Carolina. Instead, opt for a zinc oxide or a titanium-based cream that provides a physical sunblock without the chemicals.
The children are our future
"Look at yourself from a child's perspective. It's about taking things at face value without preconceived notions. It keeps you grounded in reality rather than stuck in your head and your thoughts." Heather Parcells, 34, New York, NY
Sweat it out
Research shows that the most effective form of exercise -- and the type that can help keep you younger longer — may be fast, short, and intense types of anaerobic exercise (as contrasted with low-intensity exercise like steady walking or bowling). "The most powerful body-fat-cutting, muscle-toning, anti-aging substance known in science, growth hormone, is naturally produced by the body with this type of exercise," says Greta Blackburn, CPT, fitness expert and founder of FITCAMPS. Whatever your normal exercise routine, add short intervals to fight off aging.
"Always wear sunblock, and never, ever tan or visit a tanning bed." Jen Joy, via Facebook
Make a lemon pledge
Skin-cell turnover slows as you age, causing your complexion to look dry or washed out. Combat this with a weekly homemade peel: Apply two tablespoons of fresh lemon juice on your face using a cotton ball, avoiding your eye area. Leave on for about 10 minutes, then rinse with tepid water. The acidity of the lemon sloughs off old skin cells to promote new cell growth, says Matthew Dower, manager at Mirbeau Inn & Spa in Skaneateles, NY.
You say tomato, I say tomato
Get on board with this: Pizza and spaghetti may be the latest wrinkle fighters! Though it sounds too good to be true, researchers discovered that participants who added five tablespoons of tomato paste to their daily diet scored 33 percent more protection against sunburn and higher levels of skin-firming procollagen than those who didn't. "The red pigment in tomatoes known as lypocene is a powerful antioxidant that protects cells from DNA damage caused by sun exposure," says lead researcher Mark Birch-Machin. Cooked and processed tomatoes are more easily absorbed by your body, so try adding some canned tomatoes to your chili or thickening store-bought sauce with tomato paste.
Your hair tends to lose its shine as you age, so once a week after shampooing, mix equal amounts of extra virgin olive oil with your normal conditioner and leave in for five to ten minutes before rinsing. Olive oil's antioxidants, vitamin A, and vitamin E help shield hair from sun damage, says Damian Viera, spa director of The Aman Spa at Amangiri in Canyon Point, UT.
D is for disease-free
Pop vitamin D to stay healthy longer. A growing body of research shows that deficiency of the nutrient, which experts believe that most us have, can trigger a slew of health problems. Though current guidelines call for 600 to 800 IU daily, many researchers now believe we may need up to 4,000 IU. The very latest research supports the case that the "sunshine vitamin" is a powerful health-booster. In fact, people who get enough vitamin D have a lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, according to a study published in Diabetes Care. Experts speculate that the nutrient's anti-inflammatory powers might be one way that it offers protection against the disease.