Most of us want to remain young forever. We want to stay healthy and have energy to do everything we want to do. We diet, scour the aisles of Sephora and makeup counters for quick fixes and concealers. We see every blemish. It’s a new year. It’s time to let go a bit, and start fresh. We should rethink beauty and health, and the small things we can do to achieve the selves we envisioned. It’s okay to be imperfect. We just strive to be our most perfect selves, one day at a time. That elusive Fountain of Youth, the mythical spring that restores youth and vitality of those who drink and bathe from it, is within our reach. It starts with a desire to be better, to improve with time, to not give up on ourselves.
Some of the things we can do to achieve a more youthful self are very basic: sleep, hydrate, exercise, eat well, and moisturize and apply sunscreen. Develop great habits and reap the benefits for a lifetime.
The optimal amount of sleep per night is seven to eight hours for adults, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. Sleep enables the body to restore itself. During this time our body and mind can rest and our brains build new pathways. We process things that happened during our waking hours and this leads to learning. Not getting enough sleep leads to mental and physical fatigue. We feel and look lousy. Sleep sounds good about now.
Water is life. Californians have been blessed lately with the recent rain. Everything comes to life. The mountains are lush, lawns are greener. People are happier. Our drought reminds us of the importance of water every day. We can’t forget to hydrate our bodies. The recommendation is eight 8-ounce glasses per day, or two liters. If we are more active, we need to drink more. We need water to maintain healthy cells, organs and tissues. Water helps to regulate bodily temperature and functions. We lose water through breathing and sweating. The more we sweat, the more we need to rehydrate.
Water is the best thing we can drink, but we can rehydrate by drinking other fluids such as juice or sports drinks with electrolytes, and eating fruits and vegetables with high-water content. Fruits with high water content include watermelon, grapefruit, strawberries, cantaloupe, pineapple, oranges, berries, cherries, and grapes. Vegetables with high water content include lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, zucchini, celery, cauliflower, and carrots. Fruits and vegetables have natural sugars, vitamins, amino acids and salts. We can hydrate and eat healthy at the same time. Win, win.
Find something we love to do that’s active and keep doing it. Do it repeatedly and consistent. When we are having fun doing something, it’s not hard work. Discover our passion for sports, dance, walking, jogging, swimming, or hiking. Depending our goals in life, a moderate amount of exercise is all we need to stay healthy, limber, and energetic. The Department of Health and Human Services recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise a week.
We can also choose to train like an athlete. We can choose to push our bodies to the limit and see that amazing things it can accomplish. Success feels great!
Eat well 80% percent of the time and eat whatever we want the rest of the time. When we feed our bodies nutritious, good food, we’ll be rewarded by looking and feeling good. Pay attention to the five food groups and make sure we are consuming enough for our demands. If we are training like an athlete, we need to eat more. Don’t deprive ourselves of our favorite burgers, late night trips to in-n-out, pizza while watching the Super Bowl, and ice cream after dance.
MOISTURIZE AND SUNSCREEN
Apply moisturizer and sunscreen every day. Period.
LESS IS MORE
Less, less, no makeup.
No one else will.
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