Countless books have been written on how to turn back time-health wise and looks wise. Looking at 46 year old Halle Berry who could easily pass for 25, it’s hard not to feel a little envious. The magical fountain of youth can be attributed to good genes, a healthy diet and minimal stress. The extremists swear by all sorts of things, such as eating your own placenta or bathing in sheep’s milk. To each his own and all, but there are several habits we can all adopt into our lifestyle that may not turn back the hands of time, but make it an easier, more attractive process:
1. Prioritize Your Health
Get checked. Pap smear. Mammogram. Prostate Exam. How high is your blood sugar and cholesterol? Do you have a genetic predisposition to certain types of cancer, heart ailments or diabetes? Something as simple as dental hygiene can cause you grief if unchecked. Get vaccinated for Hepatitis, and have routine check ups. Prevention is the best cure, and any persistent symptom, whether a simple cough or rash, needs to be checked. Do not ignore the warning signs.
2. Eat well
Dr. William Sears, nutritionist and contributor to Oprah’s O magazine, has the rule of twos: Eat twice as often, half as much and chew twice as long. Grazing throughout the day on frequent mini meals rather than gorging on a few big meals improves nutrient absorption, lessens heartburn and helps weight. A balanced diet is rich in whole grains, fibre, fresh fruit and vegetables and white meat. As we grow older, vitamin supplements, such as Omega 3 and calcium help boost our immune systems and combat conditions such as osteoporosis. Consult a nutritionist to create a meal plan consistent with your body type and health condition, and a doctor to prescribe supplements to make sure your body lacks nothing as you grow older. Don’t forget to hydrate as well: Eight glasses of water a day help keep the wrinkles at bay.
Dance. Jog. Run. Make love. Do yoga; it doesn’t matter, just make sure you get at least 3o minutes of activity every day. Without fail. Exercise lowers blood pressure and blood cholesterol, natural enemies as we grow older. Not to mention the endorphins released during exercise make us feel good and are great for the skin as well. Make sure you choose an activity you enjoy; you are more likely to stick to it if you are having fun doing it. Take an afternoon bike ride. Leave you car at home and walk to work-keep changing it up and your body will keep thanking you in the years to come.
4. Cut out the drugs
Coffee. Alcohol. Cigarettes. All big no-no’s. Switch up the java with a tea (green tea is especially beneficial) and when it comes to alcohol, moderation is key. And moderation is a glass (maximum two) of wine a day. Keep away from the hard liquors such as vodka, gin and rum-their consumption increases the risk of over twelve different cancers (of the throat, liver, and stomach being the leading ones) and stick instead to red wine which boosts heart health. As for cigarettes, no good will ever come from them-quit now, it’s not too late to save your organs!
5. Slap on the sunscreen
Even if you’re of African descent with darker skin, the sun can still cause damage. From, dry, wrinkly to skin to melanoma, the sun can be our enemy if we’re not careful. Then there are liver spots, also known as age spots, that start appearing on our skin as we grow older, caused by exposure to the sun’s UV rays. Consult a doctor to know what SPF factor you need and get the necessary sunscreen, and avoid exposure to the direct sun for long periods. Wear a wide brim hat and seek the shade as much as you can.