31 July 2015

5 Secrets to living longer and staying youthful

£17 billion. That is what the UK beauty industry is worth, making it one of the most lucrative industries in the country*. 

*Source: http://www.beautyresource.org.uk/

Looking good is something we all want to achieve. Many women (and men) spend hours in the morning grooming and polishing themselves. Indeed, many won't even step outside the front door unless they have put their 'face' on first. Personally, I don't wear make-up, so it doesn't take long for me to get ready and dressed! 

Get this; throughout a woman's life, she will spend on average a whopping £100,000 on beauty products, whilst a man of around 30 years old will spend roughly £100 per month on grooming and preening himself. 

What does that tell us? Well, we love to look beautiful of course! But what does beauty mean and do we really need to spend six figures? If we added up the amount we spent on beauty products, I can almost guarantee hardly any of it would include food or supplements.

You have heard the quotes "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" and "beauty is only skin deep" but there is more to the concept of beauty than that, but I don't really want to get into the history here. The aim here is to look at it from another angle. Its less about the make up, but based on the premise that beauty starts from within.

As we know, we need to feed our bodies in order to live our day-to-day lives. We need to food for energy, restoration and building. We also know that when we feed our bodies C.R.A.P food - food unrecognizable to our body, we increase acidity. In other words, the body becomes unbalanced. More 'free radicals' are created and as a result, that causes rapid aging (as well as other health issues). The aging process is also advanced through the use of medication, pesticides, preservatives, smoking, alcohol, sugar, car fumes and toxins in our everyday environment.

There is not a lot we can do about the vehicles on the road belting out black fumes or factories, throwing out toxic wastes in our water, but there is much we can do decrease our exposure and increase longevity and youthful looks.

Of course, do stick to your normal beauty regime (like you would have stopped!), but you may find that if you also look after your insides as well, you might just find you are being complemented before make-up even goes anywhere near your face! I'm not boasting here but I get called young lady often. Example: I was passing a stall in Brixton, South London one summer when someone called out from behind the table and asked if I wanted to sign the petition on pension reforms...he quickly said, "I know you are young but it will affect you eventually". I had to smile because unbeknown to him, I'm closer to pension age than he thought! :)

You see, looking after yourself from within, you slow down the rate at which you age resulting in a youthful glow. Its also important to have a child like, playful outlook on life and not think about age. We all grow old, that's inevitable, but there is a lot we can do to stay 'young'. 

1) Stay Active - I cannot emphasize how important it is to keep active. According to a recent 12 year study, people who kept fit or active for at least 60 - 140 minutes per week reduced their risk of death by 30%. This means you don't have to workout hard. Something gentle works too! Just get moving!

2) Eat for Beauty - This is MY fave subject and I could go on about it all day. We all know it but I'll say it until I'm blue in the face (not possible but hey you never know...), a diet rich in fruit and vegetables, quality fats and fish can help expand your lifespan by years! Your body is so forgiving, which means its never to late to turn things around but you must start now. Nutrition is the golden key. I would rather spend £600 on a brand new shiny kitchen appliance than a pair of designer shoes. Shoes will hurt my feet, where a juicer will add years to my life - massive difference. Alkalizing wholefoods will help your body clear out the crap and give you a natural energy high.

3) Get some Sleep - If you are a chronic insomniac, I sympathize.  I used to be like that but not anymore. In fact, I found my secret to quality sleep back in November 2014. Not getting enough sleep is linked to excessive ageing according to a US study. The study showed females who lacked quality sleep had an increase of fine lines and wrinkles*. We are supposed to sleep around 8 hours each night but we are all different - some of us need all those hours and more, whilst others (such as myself) are good on less than that. The key here is to work out the amount of sleep that's good for you. If you can't sleep and you have tried everything, I can guarantee, there is something you still have not tried!

*Its likely this study was conducted on ladies of 'European' origin. Black and African skin doesn't tend to show fine lines and wrinkles. 

4) Don't get Stressed - Easier said than done. We all go through stressful periods but sometimes the stress can hang around far too long to the point where it causes digestive issues such as IBS. Do not under estimate how stressed you are, even if you think you are not. Walking round with constant stress is aging you and can lead to heart disease, stroke or anxiety. 
Deal with stress through relaxation. Yoga (my favorite way of de-stressing) or you can meditate or go swimming...as long as you relax. Also what ever is causing the stress, deal with it!

5) Supplement - Good quality supplements based on wholefoods are beneficial even if you are eating a good diet. In a concentrated form, they deliver much needed phyotnutrients and anti-oxidants direct to the blood stream (once digested of course) so even the worst digestive systems, will benefit. Anti-oxidants and other nutrients leads to young, radiant skin! Look for a supplement that contains food and avoid isolated vitamins and minerals, especially if they are cheap!