STRAIGHT FROM AMERICA’S FITTEST CEO.
Fact: You can be in the best shape of your life at any age. How do I know this? Well, because I am living, breathing proof.
I’m 60 years-old and I’m measurably fitter than I was 10 years ago. Fast-forward 12 months from now, and I intend to be in even better physical and mental condition than I am today. If you believe my fitness buddies, I have a body that ages in reverse. (Judge for yourself: that’s me, above.) I’m 6 feet tall, weigh 160 pounds, and have a body fat level hovering around 8 percent.
No, I’m not a trainer, a physiologist, a nutritionist, or a doctor—and I haven’t spent my whole life running Ironmans or competing on sports teams. In fact, I don’t even consider myself an athlete at all. My name is Strauss Zelnick, and what I am is what you are: a parent, a spouse, a working professional. I’m the CEO of Take-Two Interactive Software—the publisher behind blockbuster video games you might know and play, like Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption—and a partner at Zelnick Media Capital, a private equity firm in Manhattan. Now, I’m not reeling off my résumé just to stoke my own sense of self-satisfaction. I’m just telling you who I am, which is a hard-working, passionate guy who is living a full life by embracing the power of consistency and daily determination in achieving goals—whatever those goals may be.
Recently, I’ve compiled my knowledge—fitness routines for sculpting ageless muscle, diet plans for melting off stubborn fat—into a book, Becoming Ageless: The Four Secrets to Looking and Feeling Younger Than Ever. Herein, you’ll find just a taste of what I’ve learned. So read on, and remember: the best way to change isn’t suddenly. It isn’t about diving into the deep end of the pool. It’s about putting a toe in the water, then a foot, then a knee, and so on. The way to change—and sustain that change—is to take your time. Be gentle on your body, and your body will respond by wanting you to do more.
1 Sleep in the buff
There’s no need for PJs when it comes to anti-aging. On her blog, Natasha Turner, MD, wrote being too warm when you sleep — by wearing too many clothes — can actually prevent your body from cooling down, which disrupts the release of your anti-aging hormones. So sleep in the buff! It feels good and it will help you prevent wrinkles.
2 Stop Sitting So Much
Sitting around feels oh-so-good, but it’s oh-so-bad when it comes to aging. A study published in BMJ Open found sitting less than three hours a day could boost your life expectancy by a whopping two years. Yes, just from getting off your booty whenever possible, whether that’s through a standing desk at work or multiple walking breaks during the day to get your body moving. And Here’s Exactly How Many Calories You’ll Be Burning.
3 Stop Drinking So Much Coffee
Coffee might be the one thing that helps fuel you through long, tiring days. The only issue? When it comes to aging, it’s not doing you any favors.
“Caffeine stimulates your adrenals and puts stress on them,” says Mona Dan, Chinese traditional medicine expert and founder of Vie Healing in Beverly Hills. “Our adrenals hold onto our lifelong essence — it’s what our bodies come into the world with — and as we age, we lose our essence. We start getting shorter and our memory and vision starts getting spotty. To keep the adrenals happy, we must support them by reducing caffeine. This will assist with long-term anti-aging.”
4 Take Regular Naps
If you miss out on crucial sleep hours, taking a regular nap is definitely necessary — yes, even as a full-grown adult. A six-year-long study of 24,000 participants found those who caught some Zs occasionally during the day actually kept their hearts healthier. In fact, those who napped three times a week for 30 minutes had a 37 percent lower coronary mortality than those who didn’t nap at all.
5 Stay Positive
It’s not always easy staying positive, but those who do reap some anti-aging benefits. A 2012 study published in the journal Aging found being optimistic and having a good attitude was linked to living a longer life.
6 Hit Up the Pool
If you’re looking for a reason to buy that fancy gym membership just so you can have access to a pool whenever you want to go for a swim, here you go: A 2008 study published in the International Journal of Aquatic Research and Education found in terms of anti-aging, swimming was a much better form of exercise than running, walking, or being sedentary. In fact, it cut the risk of death by 50 percent, keeping the body in tip-top shape.
7 Joke Around More
People just don’t laugh enough, but there’s an important reason to make sure you’re giggling on the regular: it can make you live longer. A 2012 study published in the journal Aging found the simple act of laughing was an incredibly important aspect in looking and feeling young. Just think: Less stress equals less wrinkles, and getting your laugh on can definitely boost your mood.
8 Eat Prunes to Keep Your Bones Strong
Prunes aren’t just for regular bowel movements, OK? The fruit — which is actually just dried plums, by the way — do more than just help keep your bathroom schedule consistent.
“Though we spend way too much time counting our laugh lines as we age, it might be more important to think about what’s going on inside,” says Bonnie Taub-Dix, RDN, creator of BetterThanDieting.com and author of Read it Before You Eat It. “As we age, our gastrointestinal tracts may become more sluggish and constipation could make you feel old even when you’re young at heart. Prunes can certainly help to ‘move’ you, so to speak, especially when consumed with water or other fluids, but they’ve also been shown to help improve bone strength: The National Osteoporosis Foundation estimates that over half of Americans age 50+ have either osteoporosis or low bone mass.”
9 Stock Up on Sunscreen
Wearing sunscreen every day — even when it’s summer or wintertime! — isn’t just important for protecting yourself from skin cancer. It’s also crucial in keeping your skin from aging more quickly.
“It’s your best friend in preventing aging,” says Dana Stallings, director of spa at La Valencia in La Jolla California. “Whether you’re hiking or headed to the office, generously apply sunscreen daily. And don’t forget those especially vulnerable — and visible — areas like your hands and neck, which are more easily prone to sun damage.
10 Exercise Near the Water
By now, you’ve probably heard some of the physiological benefits of water: It increases joint lubrication and immune system function, and even reduces memory loss and fatigue. But there’s also some anti-aging benefits simply from exercising in, near, and around the water, too, says Cindy Present, director of fitness, outdoor, and lake activities at Lake Austin Spa Resort.
“Science is now showing us that your mind becomes more alert and mental energy increases; cortisol and blood pressure levels decrease and our brain waves become more rhythmic and peaceful by simply seeing, being by, in or hearing the water,” Present says. “Now, instead of just cooling down after a run, I’m intentional with adding water to my workout by doing my recovery yoga practice to the sound of ocean waves and barefoot: no beach, no water, no problem! My brain doesn’t know the difference when my eyes are closed and I’m feeling the ebb as I flow to the sound of water.”
11 Stop Picking at Your Skin
Let’s be real — picking zits and scabs feels really stinkin’ good. The downfall is messing with your skin not only causes scars and other marks, but also wrinkles due to all the pulling you do trying to pop every last pimple. Let your skin heal on its own — don’t rush it.
12 Get a Humidifier
If your skin continues to be dry no matter how much moisturizer you use, get a humidifier. Since it adds water vapor to the air, it will help perk up your skin, finally allowing it to retain some moisture and smooth our any fine lines that popped up from being so dull and flaky.
13 Meditate on the Daily
Meditation isn’t bogus: The practice has been scientifically proven to help with everything from better sleep to decreased anxiety, and one of the biggest benefits is less stress — something that can age you like crazy if you let it get the best of you.
“I don’t think enough emphasis is placed on our stress levels and how it relates to internal disease as well as skin health,” says dermatologist Hal Weitzbuch, founder of JuveTress. “Both meditation and relaxing exercises like yoga can have enormous effects on your overall well-being. After all, anti-aging isn’t only looking or feeling younger — it also relates to using knowledge acquired with age to keep yourself healthy.”
14 Eat Tomatoes to Prevent Wrinkles
What’s not to love about tomatoes? They’re plump, juicy, taste good in and on everything, and — surprise! — they can even prevent wrinkles.
“The antioxidant lycopene in tomatoes may help prevent wrinkles by helping to protect your skin from UV damage,” says Amy Gorin, MS, RDN, owner of Amy Gorin Nutrition in the New York City area. “I love fresh tomatoes in a salad or as a pairing with your favorite dip. Cooked tomatoes are also fabulous because research shows that the lycopene in cooked tomatoes is better absorbed by the body.”
15 Swap Out Your Pillow.
You know how some people hunch over as they get older? Yeah, you don’t want that. One easy way you can help keep your body alignment in check is simply from changing your pillow.
“Finding a pillow that keeps the head in line with the chest and shoulders is important to maintaining good alignment. Down feather pillows offer the least support, while orthopedics pillows are better from a structural perspective,” says Dr. Adam Lipson of IGEA Brain & Spine. “If the pillow is too high when sleeping sideways or on the back, the neck is bent abnormally forward or to the side, causing muscle strain on the back of the neck and shoulders. Conversely, if the height of the pillow is too low, the neck muscles can be strained.”
16 Always Wear Sunglasses
Sure, sunglasses are a great way to protect your eyes from those seriously harmful rays. Another reason they’re crucial, though, is to prevent you from squinting. It might not seem like a big deal, but that repeated facial expression can cause wrinkles around your eyes over time, all from trying to keep the sun out of your eyes.
17 Up Your B12 Intake
You might take vitamins every morning, but are you taking B12? If you become deficient, it could result in everything from depression to memory loss and incontinence — all things you want to keep in check as you age, says Harvard Medical School. Make sure you’re getting enough in your diet, and if you think you’re low, pop some vitamins and start using nutritional yeast on everything.
18 Eat More Mushrooms
What’s not to love about mushrooms? The veggie is low cal, full of vitamins, and is completely delicious. Oh, and it also has some anti-aging benefits. A 2017 study published in the journal Food Chemistry found they’re the highest dietary source of the antioxidants ergothioneine and glutathione, which protect your body from the harmful effects of oxidative stress from free radicals that can lead to everything from Alzheimer’s to heart failure down the line.
19 Enjoy Your Sweets
People who still smiling in their older years still eat their sweets — guaranteed. They definitely have a place in a healthy diet; you just have to eat them properly.
“Sweets and alcohol can be consumed after you meet all of your other nutritional requirements,” says New York City-based facial plastic surgeon Dr. Michelle Yagoda. “That includes one 8 oz. glass of water before every meal, four ounces of protein at every meal, plenty of veggies and fruits, and complex carbs/whole grains. You’ll crave less after eating healthy.”
20 Do Back Extensions
As you know, people seem to have more and more problems with their backs as they age. Doing back extensions is a great way to combat the issue and protect yourself from all the hunching over that happens all day, every day.
“In today’s world, back extensions are important at any age,” says Amy Cardin, Rhode Island-based Pilates instructor. “As we spend more and more time looking down at computers, phones, tablets, or even just sitting, we as a society are too comfortable in forward flexion. Working the back of the body in extension will keep anyone feeling young.”
And completing the move is easy: “Lay on your stomach with your forehead resting on the floor, legs pulled together behind you, and arms straight by your side with your palms pressing into the side of your thighs,” Cardin says. “Begin lifting your head and chest while sliding the hands down the side of your thighs. Remember to keep your abdominals engaged to support your low back and then slowly lower back down.”
21 Say No to Smoking
By this point, you know smoking is horrible for your body. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cigarettes are the number one risk factor and are to blame for 80 to 90 percent of lung cancer cases. Aside from cancer, they’re also incredibly aging and it won’t take long to see those wrinkles start to pop up.
“Smoking will make you age faster,” says Deisy Suarez, owner of Desuar Spa in San Diego. “The impact of nicotine is first visible on your skin: It will reduce blood flow to the lower living layer of your skin, or dermis, which will result in asphyxiated skin and less oxygen being delivered. The skin becomes flaky, less resilient to external stresses, and will end up deteriorating from the lack of collagen, leading to crow’s feet and saggy skin.”
22 Go Nuts for Almonds
There are so many things to love about almonds. They’re delicious, full of plant-based protein, and they make for the perfect grab-and-go snack. Oh — and then there’s also the fact that they’re super anti-aging.
“Almonds are packed with vitamin E, which fights aging. By eating just 20 almonds a day — or a couple scoops of our delicious almond butter — you can get your daily dose,” says Julie Fox, founder of Julie’s Real. “They also fight inflammation, one of the single greatest contributors to aging.”
23 Hydrate with Herbal Water
Want to give your water a boost? Make it herbal. No matter which tea you go for, it will do your body some good as you get older, giving your skin and heart an anti-aging boost. In fact, as I talk about in Becoming Ageless, this is one of four ways to increase your daily water intake.
“Herbal water — in other words, tea — has beneficial properties to remove excess fat in the blood and drain them,” says Mona Dan, Chinese Traditional Medicine expert and founder of Vie Healing in Beverly Hills. “For example, the reason why green tea is so popular in Asia is because of its bitter nature and ability to hold onto “dampness” — aka fat — in the body, assisting your body in draining it better. Not only is this level of hydration good for your skin, but also calming for the heart.”
24 Remain Curious
How often do you actually learn something new? It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day, but remaining curious and opening up your mind as often as you can is a great way to prevent your brain power from slipping as you age.
“One of the best things we can do for our brains is seek out new information,” says Amy Smith, recreation and events manager at The Beach Club at Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina. “Science shows that when we’re naturally curious about something, it helps improve our memory and opens our minds up to absorb and retain information. You can always find something new to explore in your hometown or go to the library and explore a range of topics that you’ve always been curious about.” And for great book recs, don’t miss the 40 Books That Men and Women Should All Have On Their Shelves.
25 Avoid High-Carb Diets
When it comes to keeping your both as healthy as possible as you get older, a super high-carb diet isn’t the answer. Add healthy choices like brown rice and whole grains into your diet, but going overboard could cause problems down the line.
“High-carb diets raise blood sugar and insulin and have now been convincingly associated with every major degenerative disease, from Alzheimer’s to obesity, cancer, and heart disease,” says board-certified nutritionist specialist Jonny Bowden, Ph.D.
26 Reduce Your Portion Size
If you feel like you overeat often, it might be time to cut down your portions. Eating less won’t just help keep your brain strong as you age; it can also fight off disease.
“Every time you eat, billions of bacterial particles called LPSs are released into you blood stream. These particles are one of the main causes of chronic inflammation that results in memory loss, arthritis, heart disease, even cancer,” says Steven Gundry, MD, leading heart surgeon and author of The Plant Paradox. “Animal studies show eating less over a 24-hour period prolongs not only lifespan, but more importantly, health span.”
27 Practice Your Posture
You know how your mom always told you to stand up straight? There’s a reason for that. As you get older, your posture tends to go downhill. Luckily, correcting it is super anti-aging: According to the Mayo Clinic, proper body alignment can do everything from prevent excess strain on your joints, muscles, and spine to keep you injury-free and boost your mood. When your body is positioned correctly, you’ll feel young and stay young.
28 Cut Back on Sodium
Sodium is in everything. Even though salty foods taste good, the Cleveland Clinic says they also wreak havoc on your skin, sucking out all its moisture. If you want to prevent fine lines and wrinkles from popping up, ditch the salt and instead keep your body hydrated with plenty of water.
29 Skip the Elevator
As tempting as it is to take the elevator every day, skipping it and taking the stairs instead is a super-effective way to anti-age your body. According to a 2008 study from the University of Geneva in Switzerland, climbing the stairs every day can result in better lung capacity, blood pressure, and cholesterol. And on top of that, it also lowers your chances of dying young by 15 percent.
30 Eat Some Tofu
You don’t have to be vegetarian or vegan to enjoy a little tofu every once and while. A 2006 study in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found the soy-based, protein-packed meat substitute actually helps erase wrinkles, improving the skin’s appearance, firmness, and structure.
31 Stop Looking Down All the Time
Whether you always work with your laptop on your lap (guilty!) or are constantly looking down at your phone (even guiltier!), all that time spent with your head down isn’t doing any good for the skin on your neck. Over time, those creases can cause rings to pop up, giving you fine lines and wrinkles just from the placement of your body. Instead, keep your head up — even if you feel silly doing it.
32 Say Goodbye to Alcohol
Even though you might enjoy your after-work happy hours, they’re only going to hurt your body down the line. Keep it to a minimum — or drop them altogether.
“To age gracefully, I always encourage my patients to steer clear of excessive use of toxins like alcohol that increase free radical damage,” says registered dietitian Maya Feller, MS, RD, CDN, CLC of Maya Feller Nutrition. “Make the majority of your diets based on antioxidant-rich foods that supply free radical scavenging phytochemicals, vitamins, and minerals.”
33 Eat Plenty of Fermented Foods
If your fridge isn’t already stocked with gut-friendly fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, kombucha, and tempeh, it’s time to start adding them in.
“Fermented foods aren’t only great for your gut; they’re amazing for your health overall, and when you’re healthy and nourished, you’ll likely feel and look younger,” says gut health expert Robyn Youkilis, author of Go With Your Gut and Thin From Within. “Fermented foods nourish the good bacteria in your gut and help keep things balanced.”
34 Eat Your Water
Obviously drinking water is important: You need enough every day to keep you feeling energized, alert, and to keep your body running properly. What you might not think about, though, is eating it whenever possible to ensure your body stays strong as you age.
“Many doctors say water is absorbed best via water-rich food, like cucumbers, greens, raw veggies, fruits, and water-absorbing chia seeds,” says Michelle Cady, integrative nutrition health coach of FitVista.com. “These hydrating foods not only keep you full with fiber, but hydrate your body. So eat up — sometimes we think we’re hungry when we’re really just thirsty.”
35 Eating Purple Produce for Heart Health
Who knew the color purple could be so powerful? Adding the vibrant hue into your diet can keep your heart healthy and strong over the years.
“There’s some pretty major purple power in produce that can help support your heart health,” says Amy Gorin, MS, RDN, owner of Amy Gorin Nutrition in the New York City area. In particular, research shows drinking 100 percent grape juice made with Concord grapes can benefit heart health by promoting healthy circulation. The polyphenols in the juice have also been linked to helping immune function, mind health, and more. Drink the juice, add it to a smoothie, or use it in a sauce for cooking veggies.”
36 Perfect your bridge pose.
You know yoga is healthy, but you probably don’t know just how much good it can do in the anti-aging department. As you get older, aches and pains can become a norm. Luckily, as I show you how to do in the book, adding poses like bridge post, chair pose, cat/cow pose, and child’s pose into your daily routine can fight it off, keeping your body young.
“Though there’s more studying to be done, it would seem that yoga goes a bit beyond standard exercise when it comes to chronic low back pain — and potentially other aches and pains of the body,” says Dr. Adam Lipson of IGEA Brain & Spine. “It works an array of muscle groups and also helps protect the body from injury and improves circulatory health. With any luck, it will one day become yet another weapon in the pain treatment arsenal for people everywhere.”
37 Sneak Extra Nutrients Into Your Food
It’s hard to meet all of your nutritional needs every day — especially when you’re trying to juggle a career and a family. That’s exactly why it might be a good idea to invest in an extra healthy, anti-aging boost in the form of a powder.
“If you’re too busy to prepare home-cooked, balanced meals, or if you — like 33 percent of adults — have a medical condition that leads to decreased absorption of nutrients even from a healthy diet, consider supplements,” says New York City-based facial plastic surgeon Dr. Michelle Yagoda. “Powder supplements are the most bioavailable. I use BeautyScoop, a clinically-proven nutritional beauty supplement that helps deliver younger-looking skin, lustrous hair, and longer, stronger nails thanks to being packed with peptides, collagen, lipids, biotin, antioxidants, hyaluronic acid, and minerals.”
38 Stock Up on Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is one of those things that works just as well in your dinner as it does on your face. Because of that, it offers up plenty of anti-aging benefits, from keeping your health in check to making your skin silky-smooth.
“I use coconut oil on everything. As a deep conditioner for my hair, make-up remover for my eyes, moisturizer for my cuticles, and yes — in the kitchen,” says Michelle Cady, integrative nutrition health coach of FitVista.com. “It’s the closest product I’ve found that makes me look younger every time I use it.”
39Have More Fun in the Bedroom
You don’t need to hear this advice twice. In a 10-year-long study of 3,500 people from 18 to 102 years old, researchers at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital in Scotland found couples in a healthy relationship who have sex at least three times a week look an average of 10 years younger. You’re welcome.
40 Eat Rosemary Regularly
There are so many things you can do with rosemary. One of the most beneficial for anti-aging, though? Eating the herb whenever possible. “Add rosemary to everything you eat or take rosemary capsules,” says Steven Gundry, MD, leading heart surgeon and author of The Plant Paradox. “Rosemary contains rosemarinic and carnosic acid, which studies of the ultra-long-lived Italians in Acciaroli, Italy, appears to be their secret. Moreover, these compounds in rosemary keep your brain healthy and alert as you age.”
41 Exercise Your Lines Away
As I talk about in the book, one of the best anti-aging secrets you can possibly do is simply exercise regularly and moving your body throughout the day.
“Walk everywhere you can. Take the stairs when possible. Walk briskly with friends or pets. Lift weights and stretch regularly,” says New York City-based facial plastic surgeon Dr. Michelle Yagoda .”Do something for a total of 30 minutes per day. Not only does exercise give you a healthy glow, but it also builds collagen and elastin to minimize the effects of aging.”
42 Practice Your Roll-Ups
Another way Pilates can help you age more gracefully is by strengthening your pelvic floor, which helps prevent incontinence and other issues that pop up as the years go by. That’s why roll-ups are so great; you just need 5 to 10 a day.
“Roll-ups engage the abdominals and the pelvic floor, which are both often problem areas as we age,” says Amy Cardin, Rhode Island-based Pilates instructor. “Lay on your back with your arms overhead and legs straight off the floor with your inner thighs pulling together. As you inhale, lift your arms, head, and chest. Round the upper spine as much as possible, and roll-up to a seated position as your exhale. Try to keep your legs in contact with the floor. At the top, take an inhale to prepare, and as you exhale, roll back down feeling each vertebrae of your spine reach towards the floor. Finish by extending your arms overhead.”
43 Ditch the Daunting Diet
How much of your life have you spent worrying about the food you’re putting your body? It’s probably a lot. And when it comes to aging gracefully, a strict diet isn’t going to help you.
“Stop thinking about what you shouldn’t eat and focus on what you need to eat to be healthy. Try three main meals and three small snacks — like fruit, nuts, or cottage cheese — every day so that you eat something every three hours,” says New York City-based facial plastic surgeon Dr. Michelle Yagoda. “This will regulate acid levels, keep your bowels moving, and rev up your metabolism.”
44 Take Biotin Supplements
If you prefer keeping your hair healthy with something as simple as a supplement, meet your perfect match. For youthful looking hair, all you need is to add some biotin to your morning vitamin roundup.
“I stress taking a biotin supplement year-round,” says Lucy Garcia Plank, New York City-based hairstylist at Bergdorf Goodman. “It’s a natural supplement that many people don’t get enough of and that could be a contributing factor to dry, brittle hair — especially in the winter months. You can really tell a difference when taking it.”
45 Finally Set a Bedtime for Yourself
As much fun as it is staying up into the wee hours of the morning, it’s not exactly wrinkle-friendly. As you get older, an actual bedtime is crucial for your body to revitalize itself and keep you looking as young as possible.
“Pay attention to your body’s signals so that you don’t miss your sleep cycle,” says New York City-based facial plastic surgeon Dr. Michelle Yagoda. “Go to bed earlier and you’ll have a longer and deeper sleep, which will give your body ample time to repair and restore.”
46 Use Silk Pillowcases
No more sleeping on scratchy, cheap pillowcases. Silk pillowcases might seem a little extra, but they can make a huge impact on how you age.
“Invest in a silk pillowcase to prevent wrinkles while you sleep; your skin will thank you,” says Dana Stallings, director of spa at La Valencia in La Jolla California. “If you’re getting the recommended amount of sleep, that’s 6 to 8 hours of potential wrinkle-producing damage to your face. Silk pillowcases assist your skin in retaining its natural moisture and will greatly reduce the appearance of facial wrinkles while you get your beauty sleep.”
47 Stay Social
It doesn’t matter if you join a club based on one of your favorite hobbies or volunteer: Those who spend time around others tend to live longer — even if that means not being able to binge-watch Netflix every night.
“Studies of ultra-long-lived people show that belonging to a group like a church, a social club like a bridge or card group, a mutual interest group, or even close friendships are one of the key factors to long health,” says Steven Gundry, MD, leading heart surgeon and author of The Plant Paradox.
48 Practice Gratitude
While meditation is incredibly important in keeping your mind and body young, so is practicing gratitude — AKA taking the time to write down things you’re thankful for. It can do everything from help you sleep better to boost your immune system.
“I find that gratitude can put everything in perspective and add years to your life,” says Tal Rabinowitz, founder of The DEN Meditation in Los Angeles. “Taking even just five minutes to meditate and connect with yourself will help you and relax and tap in to gratitude and happiness.” If that’s not convincing enough, try reading the 5 Ways Being Thankful Can Change Your Life.
49 Eat Real Food
Enough of the processed stuff. If you want to age gracefully, fill your body with foods that will fuel you — not weigh you down.
“I’m talking food your grandmother would have recognized as food,” says board-certified nutritionist specialist Jonny Bowden, Ph.D. “Avoid GMO foods as much as possible — which is almost all soy and corn — eat organic when you can, concentrate on grass-fed beef and wild fish, and eat just about every nut and berry and low-sugar fruit, like grapefruit, that’s in the supermarket. Also, eat fat! It’s the ultimate energy and performance food.”
50 Take Probiotics
In addition to eating fermented foods, probiotics also play a big role in keeping your gut bacteria happy and balanced. Which, as I talk at length about in Becoming Ageless, is an important part in the quest to age gracefully.
“When your gut bacteria is balanced, you’re better able to absorb the nutrients from your food, which means your cells are getting what they need in order to perform optimally. And when you’re deeply nourished on a cellular level you have more energy, you sleep better and you’re able to fight off any infection or sickness much more easily,” says gut health expert Robyn Youkilis, author of Go With Your Gut and Thin From Within. “I love including New Chapter supplements in my daily routine because their supplements go through a two-step fermentation process, making them easier to digest and a quality source of those good-for-your gut probiotics.”
51 Get Some R&R in the Bath
Give your skin and mental health some lovin’ at the same time by taking indulgent baths on a regular basis. They’ll help lower your cortisol levels, getting rid of your stress and helping keep pesky fine lines and wrinkles from forming.
“Turn off electronic devices an hour before bedtime and jump into a lavender-infused bath in a dimly-lit bathroom beforehand for the ultimate in relaxation,” says New York City-based facial plastic surgeon Dr. Michelle Yagoda.
52 Don’t Let the Negatives Get You Down
It’s easy to let any negatives completely take over your life, making you feel super down. Keep your head up, though: Seeing life with a glass-half-full mentality is what’s going to help you live longer.
“When bad things happen, long-lived people have the ability to shrug their shoulders and move on,” says Steven Gundry, MD, leading heart surgeon and author of The Plant Paradox. “This ability to ‘roll with the punches’ has been found in almost all super-old people. So, the old saying of ‘when the going gets tough, the tough get going’ is one of my favorite to live by — literally and figuratively.”
53 Thicken Your Hair with Hyaluronic Acid
Hyaluronic acid seems to be popping up more and more in the beauty world. It’s known for being added into skincare products to help fight off dryness, but it also helps pump up fine hair in shampoo-form.
“Hyaluronic acid will prevent a dry scalp and can also thicken thinner hair; it not only grows the hair length-wise, but also the thickness of it,” says Lucy Garcia Plank, New York City-based hairstylist at Bergdorf Goodman. “Make sure you’re choosing a shampoo that’s right for your hair: You only really need to shampoo at the scalp to keep it hydrated, and don’t scrub your hair too hard because friction can damage the cuticle.”
54 Become BFFs with Zinc
There are plenty of different types of sunscreens to choose from. When you’re looking for the perfect anti-aging fit, you’ve gotta go with zinc.
“My top anti-aging tip is no secret: zinc-based sunscreen,” says dermatologist Hal Weitzbuch, founder of JuveTress. “Zinc is the best skin defender of ultraviolet radiation, and long-term use should not only reduce skin cancers, but also keep the skin looking young and healthy.”
55 Take the Time to Breathe for 5 Minutes
Breathing is something we do 24/7, but its importance is so overlooked. Even taking deep breaths throughout the day is a great way to reduce stress, giving your body a reset and helping you channel your energy where you need it most.
“Stress releases cortisol, which contributes to heart attacks. It kills brain cells and literally causes your brain to shrink,” says board-certified nutritionist specialist Jonny Bowden, Ph.D.. “Even five minutes a day of deep breathing will get you started. The reason they tell you to put your own oxygen mask on first is that you can’t help anyone else if you don’t take care of yourself.”
56 Hydrate Your Hair with Coconut Oil
If your hair starts losing its luster as you age, coconut oil is an easy — and cheap! — way to put some shine back into dull strands.
“Coconut oil not only combats split ends. It also helps grow hair faster and keeps it hydrated, shiny, and silky,” says Lucy Garcia Plank, New York City-based hairstylist at Bergdorf Goodman. “Just use about a teaspoon. Starting at the ends and work up to the root, and leave in for about an hour before shampooing.”
57 Cut Out the Toxic People in Your Life
Having toxic people in your life — whether it’s an overbearing boss, a two-faced friend, or an unloving family member — only adds unneeded stress to your life. And guess what? All that stress is going to make you look much older than you actually are.
“Nurture your good friendships and positive relationships and release those that drain you or instill negative energy,” says New York City-based facial plastic surgeon Dr. Michelle Yagoda. “Stress releases cortisol and causes premature aging.”
58 Try Facial Acupuncture
The thought of doing a treatment that involves sticking tiny needles in your face might sound absolutely terrifying. The good news is according to Mona Dan, Chinese Traditional Medicine expert and founder of Vie Healing in Beverly Hills, it can help increase the production of collagen, getting rid of fine lines and wrinkles: “The tiny micro needles stimulate the skin from within,” she says.
59 Try Botox
Whether it’s preventative or fixing already-visible skin issues, Botox injections can be used to temporarily reduce any fine lines and wrinkles that start popping up. Just don’t go overboard: Even a little can help freshen up your look.
“I’m sure you’ve heard of neuromodulators for facial wrinkles, like Botox,” says dermatologist Hal Weitzbuch, founder of JuveTress. “These are no secret, but while they’re well-known to reduce lines that form from movement, they have also been shown to have wide-ranging benefits on skin health to promote anti-aging and keeping the skin healthy for decades to come with long-term repeated use.”
60 Rethink Your Sleeping Position.
Obviously sleep is important, but how about the way you sleep? If you want to get the proper amount of hours to look just as young as you feel, rethink the way you’re positioning your body while you’re catching zzzs.
“We look at spinal alignment from the perspective of the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine. The goal is to keep all three portions of the spine in a straight line,” says Dr. Adam Lipson of IGEA Brain & Spine. “The best sleep position is on your back, and the next best is on your side, with a thin pillow between the legs. Belly sleepers have the worst alignment. With heavier bodyweight, people have increased risk of unbalancing their spine at night. Firm mattresses have less deflection on spinopelvic parameters for heavier patients, or those with lumbar discogenic back pain. There is a fine balance however as stiffer mattresses distribute loads to the shoulder and hip, which can affect sleep quality.”
61 Use LED Lights
You might have already heard about some of the many benefits of LED lights for anti-aging. The special red and blue hues help anti-age your skin and your body overall. And, it’s easy to reap the benefits: You can get a special spa treatment or buy a light to have at home, like this one from LightStim.
“The Blue LED we use in our Time Capsule facial is soothing, calming, anti-inflammatory, and is stimulating the brain to increase the serotonin production,” says Maya Daskalova, spa manager at YeloSpa in New York City. “Red light, on the other hand, energizes and tightens the skin, fades pigmentation, and delays the aging process.”
62 Massage It Out—On Your Face
Body massage? Check. Now how about giving your face some love, too? Just like when you’re getting a treatment on all your muscles, adding a regular facial into your routine can also keep you looking young and perky.
“Facials include some massage, which assists with blood circulation and lymphatic drainage, improving the texture and elasticity of the skin,” says Deisy Suarez, owner of Desuar Spa in San Diego. “The facial massage can also slow the appearance of wrinkles and puffiness on the face.”
63 Up Your Vitamin C Intake
One easy way to keep your body feeling young? Eat more vitamin C, which can do wonders for your joints and bone health. “As a mountain climber, combating bone and joint deterioration that naturally come with aging in a big focus of mine,” says Bradford “Chip” Malt, co-founder of Made In. “Diets high in vitamin C are great for joint health as they promote the function and preservation of cartilage, which cushions major joints.”
To reap the benefits, cook up plenty of green leafy veggies: “Sautéed kale, spinach, or collard greens are high in vitamin C, while also containing calcium and selenium, each which further aid bone and joint health,” Malt says. “As a bonus, use a small amount of olive oil while you sauté the leafy greens. It’s high in monounsaturated fatty acids and, in moderation, can add a heart-healthy addition to this bone-protecting meal.”
64 Get a Pet Dog
It’s never too late to add a furry friend into your life, whether that’s adopting a cat or a pup. By saving their lives, you could also save your own. A 2017 study published in the journal Scientific Reports found owning a dog in particular is associated with a 33 percent decreased risk of death and 36 percent reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. All those long walks through the park will keep you just as heathy and strong as your pet. This is just one of the reasons we think President Trump Needs a Dog.
65 Be Weary of Your Facial Expressions
If you want to prevent wrinkles and fine lines from popping up, your fancy skincare products are only going to do so much good. Another thing to watch out for are the facial expressions you make, whether you’re squinting or frowning 24/7. According to the Mayo Clinic, repeated movements can cause grooves to form beneath the skin’s surface, and those grooves eventually become wrinkles due to your skin losing its flexibility.
66 Whip Up an Avocado Mask
Surprise! Avocados aren’t just part of a healthy diet — they’re also pretty kickass for your hair. To make sure your strands are aging just as gracefully as the rest of you, make this expert-approved paste on the regular.
“Avocado contains fatty acids that make hair soft. It’s great to make a paste with avocado and coconut oil,” says Lucy Garcia Plank, New York City-based hairstylist at Bergdorf Goodman. “Put in two teaspoons of mashed or blended avocado and one tsp of coconut oil. Blend the two together for a few seconds, or until smooth. You can even warm up the paste a little bit and leave it in your hair for approximately 30 to 60 minutes. Start at the top of your roots and work your way down.”
67 Use a Facial Cleansing Brush
You use a brush on your hair, so why not use one on your face, too? There are plenty of facial cleansing brushes that allow you to take your face-washing up a notch, giving your skin an even better clean to make your complexion smooth and radiant. There are even devices in particular that can help anti-aging your skin: The Foreo Luna 2, for instance, has one side of the brush that uses lower-frequency pulsations to reduce forehead wrinkles, fine lines around the eyes and mouth, and firm and lift the skin.
68 Tap On Cold Eye Cream
You can use all the anti-aging creams in the world but they’re not going to do much good if you’re pulling and tugging at your extra-fragile skin in the process.
“I keep my eye cream in the refrigerator to keep it cool and apply with my fingertips by tapping along the occipital bone in circles, staying below my eyebrow,” says Maggy Dunphy, director of spa and wellness at Loma de Vida Spa at La Cantera Resort & Spa. “I also use my eye gel on my lips and do the same tapping on the fine lines around my mouth. The cool cream helps reduce inflammation and the tapping increases circulation and helps plump fine lines.”
69 Add Serum to Your Skincare Regimen
Serum is a must-use for plenty of reasons: It deeply soaks into your skin, keeping everything moisturized and targets any signs of aging.
“Whatever your skin type, consider a serum to boost your skincare regimen,” says Dana Stallings, director of spa at La Valencia in La Jolla California. “They treat an array of skin conditions from hyperpigmentation to dehydration. Layer this powerful potion underneath your favorite moisturizer an hour before you go to bed to allow ample time for it to penetrate the skin and work its magic.”
70 Eat Less Meat
Sorry, meat lovers, but if you want to take advantage of one of the best anti-aging secrets, you’re going to have to cut animal protein out of your diet. According to a 2013 study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, vegetarians have a 12 percent lower risk of dying than those who eat meat on the regular. Luckily, there are plenty of great alternatives: Give the super-realistic Beyond Burger or Impossible Burger a try and you’ll never look back.
71 Spend Some Time Volunteering
Volunteering isn’t just a great way to give back — it’s also one of the best anti-aging methods you can use. A 2013 study published in the journal Psychology and Aging found spending some time helping others — whether that’s building homes, spending time at a food bank, or cleaning cages at the animal shelter — lowered participants’ blood pressure, resulting in a longer lifespan. Not only will you be around longer, but you’ll also look better by getting your body moving, relieving some stress, and doing a whole lot of smiling.
72 Skip Out on Foundation
You might think you need foundation to give yourself a flawless complexion, but it might be doing more harm than good when it comes to aging you. Because the liquid easily settles into fine lines and wrinkles, they stand out more, making you look older. Plus, it doesn’t allow your skin to breathe. Instead, wear concealer when you need it and enjoy your natural skin, no makeup needed.
73 Invest in a Facial Roller
Facial rollers are becoming more popular by the day because of their anti-aging benefits. By getting a jade roller — which is created from real jade stone — and rolling a facial oil into your face, you can increase blood circulation, skin elasticity, and even get rid of under-eye bags and wrinkles. Plus, it feels amazing.
74 Try a Microcurrent Facial
If you’re wondering how Jennifer Aniston keeps her skin looking just as young and fresh as her days on Friends, she has a little secret: microcurrent facials. The technique uses tiny electrical currents to restore your facial muscles, making them look more firm and toned: “[It’s] a little workout for your face. It’s a great refresher, and there’s very little downtime,” she told InStyle.
75 Give Intense Pulsed Light a Try
There’s no reason to go under the knife to look younger when there are so many other non-invasive treatment options. One of those is Intense Pulsed Light (IPL), a quick technique that uses wavelengths of light to help reverse the signs of aging.
“An IPL treatment can help treat a variety of skin issues, including age spots, sun damage, and capillaries of the face,” says plastic surgeon Stephen Greenberg, M.D., of Greenberg Cosmetic Surgery. “These treatments are perfect for patients of all ages and can truly help refresh a patient’s skin by getting rid of these tell-tale signs of aging. Plus, the treatment can be performed on a lunch break from work.”
76 Hit Up the Sauna
As if you needed an excuse to spend more time in a relaxing sauna, right? A 2017 study published in the American Journal of Hypertension found it helps lower your blood pressure, keeping your body in great shape. In addition, the heat in saunas also stimulate collagen production, helping get rid of pesky wrinkles and fine lines — and giving your complexion a nice healthy glow in the process.
77 Spray Some CBD on Your Face
CBD — aka a component of cannabis that gives you all the benefits without the high — is popping up in everything from beverages to skincare products. One in particular is becoming a quick favorite of the beauty-obsessed for its anti-aging perks.
“One of my best kept secrets is a CBD oil-based topical mist,” says Maggy Dunphy, director of spa and wellness at Loma de Vida Spa at La Cantera Resort & Spa. “I replaced my toner with Burn-Out Spray from Mary’s Nutritionals, which is formulated with pure CBD distillate combined with aloe vera, lavender, German blue chamomile, and melaleuca. It leaves my skin feeling soft and looking dewy and hydrated.” And for more on marijuana, here are the 20 Ways Weed Affects Your Health.
78 Stop Drinking Soda
Soda might taste great and give you a nice caffeine buzz. The only issue? It’s horrible for your body and can result in a shorter lifespan. A 2014 study published in the American Journal of Public Health found those who regularly drink soda could influence the accelerated cellular aging of their tissues by up to five years due to all the sugar. (Yes, that means being careful with the “sugar-free” stuff, too, which is basically just sugar in a different form.)
79 Never Sleep in Your Makeup
Some nights it’s so tempting to skin your skincare routine and instead hit the hay with a full face of makeup on. Unfortunately, it’s pretty horrible for your skin — that’s why Salma Hayek’s top anti-aging secrets involves making sure she takes it off every night so her skin stays looking young and fresh. “I’ve never gone to bed without washing my face. Never in my life. Even if I’m sick, tired — heck, even if I was drunk! I might forget to take off the dress, the shoes, and the jewelry, but not the makeup. It’s second nature,” she told InStyle.
80 Don’t Eat So Much Takeout
Cooking dinner every night — especially when you’re completely exhausted! — isn’t easy. You might want to start meal-prepping for those tired nights, though, because a 2012 study found ordering takeout up to five nights a week could wreak serious havoc on your body, making you 47 percent less likely to be alive 10 years down the road. Eek.
81 Stop Watching So Much TV
It’s tempting to come home every night after work and immediately turn on the TV for a night of binge-watching, but you can keep your body younger for longer if you choose another activity instead. According to a study published in BMJ Open, watching the television for less than two hours a day could add an extra 1.4 years to your life.
82 Ditch Sugar from Your Diet
You know excess sugar is horrible for your body: It not only causes weight gain, but also puts you at risk for diabetes and other conditions down the line that could prevent you from living a happy, long life. According to the Mayo Clinic, all sugars are culprits — especially the sneaky ones like high-fructose corn syrup that are added to everything from soda to supposedly-healthy “fruit drinks.”
83 Never Go to Bed Angry
Fights tend to happen easily after work hours when your stress levels are high and you’re feeling pretty cranky, and that means it’s far too easy to go to bed angry. According to a 2016 study in the journal Nature Communications, going to bed angry makes bad memories stick longer, which can lead to more stress and more wrinkles. Instead, resolve any issues before you hit the sack so you wake up happy and at peace.
84 Exfoliate Twice a Week
Exfoliating — or gently rubbing an exfoliating paste into your skin in gentle, circular motions to get rid of dead skin — doesn’t just give you a silky-smooth complexion. It also keeps those fine lines and wrinkles at bay.
“As we age, the process of cell regeneration slows down; that’s why it’s very important to exfoliate twice a week,” says Deisy Suarez, owner of Desuar Spa in San Diego. “Exfoliating can assist in the cell turnover process and it sloughs away dead skin cells. The process also sends a message to the brain telling it to produce more collagen. Finally, exfoliating opens the pores to absorb anti-aging products better and allows them to penetrate more deeply for more effective application.”
85 Add Tretinoin to Your Skincare Routine
Tretinoin — a derivative of vitamin A — speeds up the turnover of skin cells, reducing everything from brown spots to wrinkles over time. AKA something you’ll definitely want to add to your skincare lineup.
“Tretinoin, commonly used in the branded formulation Retin-A, is a potent Vitamin A derivative that has amazing benefits with long-term use,” says dermatologist Hal Weitzbuch, founder of JuveTress. “It has been scientifically shown to reduce the amount of wrinkles and fine lines with chronic use.”
86 Step Up Your Facial Game
If you’re a facial connoisseur, there’s a good chance you choose the same thing every time: Once you find your go-to treatment, it’s hard to stray away. When it comes to getting rid of wrinkles and fine lines, though, it never hurts to step up your facial game.
“Facials can totally rejuvenate your skin and offer plenty of anti-aging benefits,” says Lisa Guidi, owner of Erase Spa in New York City. “Don’t be afraid to try something new: Our facials are as gentle as our signature Silk Peel, which exfoliates and infuses the skin with corrective solutions, or as powerful as our Jet Peel, which deep cleans your pores and hydrates your skin.” And for more ways to get heavenly skin, check out The 30 Best Ways to Have Your Best Skin.
87 Take Advantage of Adaptogens
Adaptogen supplements are becoming super buzzy, whether it’s Asian ginseng for enhanced brain power or ashwagandha for stress relief. As you age, they’ll keep you strong both mentally and physically so you can take on the clock with grace.
“Keeping the blood moving well and nourished keeps everything flowing well,” says Mona Dan, Chinese traditional medicine expert and founder of Vie Healing in Beverly Hills. “When the blood is deficient, we immediately can see it in our skin, hair, and nails. The same way vitamins nourish blood streams, adaptogens do, too. Not only do they benefit the external self, but they will also keep your nervous system more relaxed, helping you keep a youthful glow.” And for more up-to-the-minute health advice, see here to learn What It’s Like to Be Allergic to Sounds—And What to Do About It.
88 Rinse Your Hair with Cold Water
When your hair looks dry, frizzy, and damaged, it immediately makes you look much older than you are. Unfortunately, the weather plays a big role in that, but there’s a trick you can use to make sure your hair is looking young, healthy, and smooth: an ice-cold rinse.
“The hot air we heat our homes with combined with the freezing-cold weather makes your hair super dry, completely zapping it of moisture,” says Lucy Garcia Plank, New York City-based hairstylist at Bergdorf Goodman. “After shampooing, use a cold water rinse which closes up the cuticle and keeps your hair shiny. This may be hard for some people in the winter, but the cold water really helps keep your hair healthy during dry months.”
89 Become BFFs with Your Co-Workers
A lot of people want to keep their personal lives and work lives totally separate and make sure they don’t become too close with people in the office for that reason alone. When it comes to keeping your body young, you might want to rethink that decision. A 2011 study published in the journal Health Psychology found those who have the most support from people at work live the longest and those who didn’t get close with anyone were 2.4 times more likely to die.
90 Take Care of Your Teeth
There are so many factors to staying youth and healthy over the years and even your teeth plays a role in your life expectancy. According to a 2016 study published in the journal Periodontology 2000, tooth loss is a predictor of a shorter lifespan, so take care of your chompers by going to the dentist regularly and brushing and flossing often.
91 Quit Skipping Your Doctor’s Appointments
Speaking of hitting up the professionals, the dentist isn’t the only regular checkup you should be getting. A 2007 study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Public Health found those who head to the doctor often to get proper testing and health checks are better able to prevent issues like heart disease, strokes, high blood pressure, and more, increasing their lifespan greatly compared to those who don’t.
92 Put Down the Face Powder
So many women do whatever they can to prevent their face from looking shiny and dewy, but it’s healthy — and it’s one of Halle Berry’s tricks to keeping your skin young and wrinkle-free.
“No matter what age you are, you always look a little better when your skin is a little dewy, not too powdery. I went through phases where all I wanted to do was be matte and powdered up, but then I found it wasn’t the best look for me,” she told InStyle. “Before I do my makeup, I spray my face with rosewater and let that sink in. It keeps my makeup looking very dewy, and I feel like it just makes me look more youthful, alive, and fresh.”
93 Load Up on Cocoa
If you’re not already a fan of cocoa powder, feel free to add it into everything. According to a 2006 study published in the Journal of Nutrition Science, tossing some powder in your smoothie or eating some dark chocolate as a treat can increase blood flow in the skin, keeping everything smooth and wrinkle-free and making your skin look and feel healthier in general.
94 Think Less Is More with Your Skincare
It’s fun to open up your cabinet and see a countless number of fancy skincare products staring back at you, but sometimes the best thing for your skin is using the bare minimum. Find a super-gentle cleanser you love and a simple, fragrance-free facial lotion to keep your skin healthy, smooth, and youthful instead of packing on tons of different ingredients and formulas that could cause your complexion to freak out.
95 Skip the Straw
Sipping your iced coffee out of a straw might be one of your favorite ways to start the day. The only issue? Just like repeating any facial expression, puckering up your lips to use a straw can also cause wrinkles around your mouth. It stinks going straw-free, but you’ll thank yourself later — promise.
96 Put in Your Contacts the Right Way
If you’ve had contacts for a long time, you probably don’t even think twice about how you put them in your eyes. Next time you’re standing in front of the mirror, see if you’re tugging at the skin around your eyes: That simple movement on a daily basis can make your fragile eye area more prone to wrinkles later on.
97 Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize
When it comes to your skin, you can never over-moisturize. It’s far too easy for skin to completely dry out, which makes you instantly look older. To keep wrinkles and fine lines from popping up, make sure you’re slathering on moisturizer both when you wake up and before you go to bed.
98 Try a Facial Cupping Treatment
You’ve probably seen people doing cupping therapy on their backs — the form of alternative medicine that involves using special suction cups on the skin. You can also do the treatment on your face, too, to reap some anti-aging benefits.
“The tiny silicone cups plump the skin by stimulating blood flow and collagen to fill fine lines from within,” says Mona Dan, Chinese Traditional Medicine expert and founder of Vie Healing in Beverly Hills.
99 Try Microneedling
Microneedling — which involves using fine needles to create teeny tiny punctures in the skin — might look terrifying, but it’s totally painless and beneficial in getting rid of signs of aging.
“Microneedling provides the ultimate results for those trying to correct acne scarring or promote collagen within the skin,” says Lisa Guidi, owner of Erase Spa in New York City. “It’s a small puncture in the skin created by a powerful micro pen, which creates collagen and cell turnover. It’s about 3 to 5 days of downtime and results are amazing for minimizing pore size, scars, acne, and hyper-pigmentation.”
100 Limit Your Swimsuit Time
Go ahead and show off that figure of yours! Just make sure you’re also keeping your body as covered-up as possible when you’re out in the sun. If you want to prevent wrinkles, you have to go all out when it comes to sun protection: Aside from wearing sunscreen, get a nice floppy hat, a beach umbrella, and a trustworthy cover-up.
Author: Strauss Zelnick
Source: Best Life Online: 100 Anti-Aging Secrets for Looking and Feeling Younger Than Ever