What’s your real age?
We may be younger than our actual age. By Wong Yen San
If only. Who wouldn’t want to be younger than our real age? Well, at least I haven’t heard of anyone wanting to look older before. On second thought, I did. When we were in our teens, we hankered after looking mature. The thing is, the concept of “mature” then was a glamorous age of twenty something – where we can wear high heels and body fitting clothes and still look splendid. We failed to see beyond that; for when we reach 20, the number would just add up.
Ageing is not just about wrinkles and facial sagging. The overall condition of your health, body, and mental state also takes a dive. Your body may not be as agile and fit, your memory, not as sharp and the list goes on. For one, running a 10K is not as easy in your 50s as in your 20s for sure. Really? Well, it depends on how well you’ve been treating your body, that is.
You may be 50 years old but your real age is actually 40. Wonderful isn’t it? Well, there are some calculators online that claim to measure your real age. So heave a sigh of relief for there is a possibility you could be younger after all. These calculators derive your real age from measuring lifestyle factors such as diet, exercise, overall health conditions, and mental state like your happiness level. Some also consider your alcohol intake over the week and whether you have high cholesterol. Cases where people clocked in many years older than their actual age are aplenty.
Many times it is not just the physical aspect – our body image – that we’re obsessed with (although it plays a large part) but the mental part as well. To be able to remember things, to be able to think on our feet are just some of the many things we miss about our younger days. It is not too late to want to reverse the clock; we can still slow down the onslaught of ageing by taking care of ourselves now. Little measures do work out in the end.
Sleep no more and no less than required
Sleep less than six hours a day and you’d have set yourself downhill for the rest of the day. You’d find concentration waning before you reach noon. After noon, you practically go downhill. This is the time when I think snooze capsules work like a dream. If only we can sleep, complete with pillow and all, for just 20 minutes to an hour, in the office. Insufficient sleep can cause disruptions to your work, wreaking havoc on your diet – you consume more sugar and caffeine in order to stay high. And you tend to eat and snack unhealthily during this time. Result? Love handles, panda eyes. Ideal sleep hours is 7-8.5 hours. Anything more than that is also counter to your health; research has reported health issues such as heart disease for those who sleep more than 9 hours a night.
Quit tossing in bed
Sleep position is harder to change and control. Though we know that sleeping on your sides add lines to your face, it might be a little hard not to sleep in that position occasionally. That is, if you’re slow to sleep, sleeping stationary in one position – on your back – could be a little strenuous, so to speak. The only times to do that could be when you’re dead tired that you fall asleep almost immediately after hitting the bed –like the guy in the Sealy ad. If you don’t have a Sealy mattress, then try to wear yourself out throughout the day in order to sleep better at night.
Massage away your age
If you want your face and body to look supple, massage daily. Massage by kneading helps to bring blood to the surface, improving circulation and the condition of your skin. The feeling of rejuvenation after every massage can last quite a while; imagine feeling refreshed every day. Start by massaging your face with your finger tips in circles upwards. For your body, wet your hands with a body oil or lotion and knuckle your body in circles throughout. Your face and body will redden; that is blood circulating in your body. When you do that, the lymph system within your body is recharged and moving, and that helps to improve your overall immune system. This in turn, manifests itself in clearer, smoother skin.
Slather up sunscreen
Reported to be one of the main culprits of wrinkles and pigmentation on your skin, UV rays are best tackled head on. Slather sunscreen of ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) grading and reapply every so often especially if you stay out in the sun. Both UVA A and B are causes of premature skin ageing and contribute significantly to skin cancers and eye damage. Apply generously to the face, neck, arms, and practically anywhere that’s exposed to the sun. Wear sunglasses or a wide brimmed UV resistant hat to fight those rays.
Eating a healthy diet as part of our anti-ageing regimen is not new. Yet, we often overlook this fact. Eating fish is one sure way to keep you young. The omega-3 fatty acids in fish helps to reduce inflammations, protect your heart, and lower your risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Fatty fish like salmon and tuna are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids or pop a fish oil capsule instead to be sure.
Work your butt
Not literally but a general workout will do your health and your skin wonders. As little as 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day will help to keep your heart pumping in the right direction. Those who exercise regularly have also reported not just looking and feeling younger but are actually younger too. But do take note to do warm-up exercises first before any activity to reduce risks of sprains and fractures. And go slow especially when you’ve not exercised in quite a bit.
Games like mah-jong are so popular in Japan that clubs are set up for the elderly to play mah-jong regularly. As the elderly play the game, they improve their cognitive ability as well mind and hand dexterity. In addition, the participants have also reported an increase in social participation after games of mah-jong. There’s definitely more to this game but as long as currency is not exchanged. Mah-jong, anyone?