02/04/2015 02:29 pm ET Updated Apr 06, 2015

Aging Gracefully: 10 Anti-Aging Strategies


Walk with your thumbs pointed forward. Why? To straighten your posture! When you twist your hands, and your thumbs point behind you, you begin to roll your shoulders and curve your back and you appear older than you are. Pointing your thumbs forward protects and preserves your posture, giving you a youthful appearance.

Your body weight also makes a difference in your aging process. Everyone wants to be at their ideal body weight, but not everyone is. There are two things to remember:

  1. If you are too skinny, you will appear older.
  2. If you are too heavy, you will age more quickly.

Living at your ideal body weight is probably the biggest anti-aging strategy for many reasons. Your ideal body weight is an individual decision; speak to a professional to help you determine what size is best for you.

The goal in life is to always add to the number of birthdays, and enjoy each year:

Your eating style is the #1 path to healthy aging, happiness, and your level of success. Always eat food that is enjoyable, will nourish your body, and give you energy and stamina. Learn what food items are essential to your good health, and remember you crave what you are accustomed to having. If you always eat healthier options, that is what you crave. If you are eating unhealthy food, your body might accept it for years, then revolt. That revolt may be illness, injury, or obesity. Eat smart. If you need advice on how to eat smart, ask.

  • Avoid tobacco products

  • Tobacco will age you quickly. It will cause illness and disease to you and those around you. If you smoke, stop. If you haven't started, don't. Never allow yourself to be the victim of second hand smoke.
  • Skin care/protect your skin from the sun

  • Care for the skin all over your body. Have new, growing, or discoloring moles examined at once. Limit your exposure to the sun's rays; it will age your skin and make it wrinkled and leathery early on in your life. But the sun is the best source of vitamin D, so enjoy it in short intervals.
  • Stress Reduction

  • You cannot eliminate stress, but you can change your reaction and/or minimize the importance of events that bring you stress. There are many stress-reducing techniques, and I suggest you find the one that works best for you. Deal with your stress in a constructive manner, not a destructive one. I like to think of stress as a leaky roof. When there is a leak in the roof, often the rain water appears elsewhere, sometimes nowhere near the leak. When there is stress in your life, the effects may not appear until there is a breakdown of systems. Deal with the stress upfront.
  • Regular physicals and age appropriate tests

  • In each decade of your life, there are medical tests that are vital to preserving your health. Don't skip out on them, or on your yearly physicals. It will be easier to survive any illness or disease when detected early.
  • Stay Hydrated

  • The most effective way to care for your skin, and the best face lift you'll receive, is staying hydrated by drinking water. A commonly asked question is whether other beverages have the same benefit. The answer is not an astounding no, rather I prefer to answer, "Drink water, and see the difference yourself." At least, get into the habit of having a cup of water before you drink anything else. Quench your thirst with water and then enjoy the taste of another beverage. Or just drink water.
  • Consistent exercise and sufficient sleep

  • As years progress, you may find you haven't got the time to exercise, and often this will lead to sleep deprivation. If you become an active individual, you will be active throughout your lifetime. Being active is a great sleeping aid, and both are important to the anti-aging process.
  • Your circle of friends

  • You will experience peer pressure at every age, from kindergarten to the nursing home. Be wise about those you choose to spend your time with. You want to be with like-minded individuals, who share your zest for life.
  • Limit alcohol

  • Enjoying an occasional alcoholic beverage is fine but when it becomes excessive there is an issue. Alcohol has many ways of aging you before your time. When used excessively it causes your organs to age prematurely. It can destroy relationships and livelihood, and lead to a premature death.
  • Enjoy an active social live/affection/love/friendship

    Being with those you enjoy, and participating in fun events, will make you a happier, well-rounded person. Experiencing affection, love, and friendship, whether you are the recipient or the giver, is usually not associated with anti-aging, and should be. This does not mean only romantic love -- think about those you love and how you show or receive affection on a daily basis, including your animals.

    Aging is a luxury. One you should embrace and enjoy. Beginning these anti-aging strategies at a young age will yield a greater benefit for you, but it is never too late to start. So... start now!