6 Weeks to a Younger You

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Week 2

BODY

Wear sunscreen.

"We usually think about skin-cancer prevention when we talk about sunscreen, but it's also the best anti-aging cream there is," says Steven Wang, MD, director of dermatology at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in Basking Ridge, New Jersey. Making daily sunscreen a habit is an investment in your skin that can save you thousands of dollars down the road, whether it's to smooth wrinkles or remove a skin cancer, says Ellen Marmur, MD, author of Simple Skin Beauty.

How to start:

Apply a moisturizer with broad-spectrum protection and an SPF 30 after your shower every morning. If you're in the sunlight, reapply every two hours.

DIET

Check your D.

One downside of avoiding the sun? You may not be getting enough vitamin D. You need it to absorb calcium for strong bones. And it may help prevent certain cancers and even heart disease, although so far the evidence is promising but inconclusive, says JoAnn E. Manson, MD, of Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital, who is leading a major study to test the role of vitamin D in the prevention of cancer and cardiovascular disease. Until we know more, she says, the Institute of Medicine recommends 600 IUs of vitamin D a day for anyone age 1 to 70.

How to start:

It's not easy to get enough D from food (although fortified OJ and yogurt are two good sources), so you may need a daily D3 supplement.

BRAIN

Control the pressure.

You know that reducing high blood pressure helps your heart, but it can also help your head. "Healthy blood pressure is the most important contributor to memory and brain health," says Majid Fotuhi, MD, assistant professor of neurology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and author of The Memory Cure. Losing weight, cutting back on salt, and calming down your stress can all lower your BP. While guidelines say aim for 120/80, many experts believe 115/75 is even better.

How to start:

Get your daily sodium down to less than 1,500 mg by avoiding the drive-through, checking labels, and cooking more whole foods. For stress, see the tip below.

SPIRIT

Learn to meditate.

Done regularly, meditation reduces stress, increases attention span, improves your memory, and boosts your immune system.

How to start:

Mao Shing Ni, PhD, author of Secrets of Longevity, describes how he teaches even the meditation-challenged. "Start by sitting for five minutes and using this simple imagery. As you inhale and exhale, visualize your scalp relaxing and think the word 'calm.' From the top down, focus on relaxing each body part. Imagine negative emotions being discharged as black smoke." Add a few minutes each day; your goal is 20 minutes.

Continued on page 3:  Week 3

 

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