How to look young, stay healthy and be happy
Written by Aaron A. Lim
Are our best days truly gone? For some us wiser ones, we tend to look back at our younger days through rose-tinted glasses, remembering the energy and enthusiasm we once held in our hands. For those with our best years ahead of us, we want to ensure we stay strong and healthy for any opportunity that comes our way. But whatever our age, all of us aim to lead happy, healthy and fulfilling lives. The elixir of youth may not exist, but is there a way to obtain its effects and maintain it throughout our lives?
You have to move it, move it
This one is a no-brainer for many. The best way to feel healthy, energetic, and active is to ensure you fit an hour of daily exercise into your schedule. Physical activity releases endorphins in your brain, relaxing our mind and muscles, while simultaneously burning glucose in our bodies for that burst of energy. Often, you’ll emerge from a workout thinking clearer and feeling more energetic. And that workout doesn’t have to be strenuous: even a simple, one hour walk is sufficient to ensure that spark of youth remains within us.
In our modern world, we’re continuously exposed to potentially harmful substances, whether it’s in the food that we eat, or the air that we breathe. This builds up toxins within our bodies, which would cause us to feel sluggish or fatigued at best – or horribly sick at worst. There will come a time when you just have to ‘flush everything out’, that is, to help your body to wash itself of harmful compounds through simple detoxification methods.
Don’t let the word scare you, detoxification isn’t complicated or difficult. A simple way of detoxing is to consume more foods with fibre, such as fresh fruits or vegetables, avoiding overly-fried or baked dishes. Another simple, and admittedly relaxing, way is through herbal teas or detoxifying drinks – the anti-oxidative properties of teas wash away toxins effectively, while detoxifying drinks tend to mix a range of herbs, teas and natural foods together, for even more effective detoxification. And lastly, hydrate yourself! Water remains the primary – and best – method for your body to flush out toxins, keeping you fresh and perked up.
Ensure you get enough rest
Scientifically, we should be getting at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night. Some will argue against this – we’re already so busy, and there’s just so little time to accomplish things! And so many of us skim over rest, often without understanding the effects of our actions over our bodies. When sleeping, our body repairs itself, releasing chemicals like cytokines that aid your immune system in fighting certain diseases. In short, your body needs enough time to undo the damage our daily lives inflict upon it – and the less time it has to do that, the worse you will feel in the morning.
Understandably, rest or sleep can be a luxury, especially for those working multiple jobs just to get by, or are chasing tight deadlines. In that case, try to take multiple naps throughout the day, allowing your body to rest and recharge, even for a little while. That allows you to maintain good energy levels, refreshes your attention and allows you to concentrate better for a little while. Without sufficient rest, however, you become more easily irritated, more prone to lethargy, and more vulnerable to sickness. But above all else, you become less effective and focused at everything you do – which could make you unhappy and unsatisfied with your life!
Allow yourself to be pampered
Do you know someone that looks youthful and is filled with passion, joy and thankfulness in life? Observe how that person lives, and chances are, you’d notice that devote time, energy and resources on themselves. While this may seem selfish, the adage goes like this: care for yourself, before caring for others. It can seem disingenuous or a guilt-trip for many of us – particularly the ambitious or high-achievers – but you just have to relax, kick back and spoil yourself once in a while!
This could simply be an afternoon you spend all by yourself, or a long holiday away with friends or loved ones. More practically, it could be getting things – not necessarily material objects – that give you pleasure, such as food or experiences. It could even be spoiling yourself with an evening at the spa, or a good soaking bath using invigorating or ‘feel good’ products like natural soaps or aromatic oils – making you feel like a million dollars after a hard day’s work. Mileage will vary according to the individual, so find something that allows you to let loose, rest and feel happy once again.
As they say, age is just a number – no matter how old you are, you can feel like you’re in your prime with just a few, practical considerations. The key takeaway here is to take good care of yourself, because how you feel inside will influence how you feel – and look – on the outside. If you want to feel young, energetic and happy, then you should do things that help you feel young, energetic and joyful. That, in essence, is what makes a good life.