A Man’s Guide to Looking and Feeling Younger
By Beth W. Orenstein | Medically reviewed by Pat F. Bass III, MD, MPH
Sleep, diet, exercise, and good skin care can trim years off your appearance. Follow these simple anti-aging tips for a young looking, healthier you.
Everyone wants to look and feel younger. Currently, the anti-aging industry in the United States is an $80 billion business — and research suggests it’s only going to get bigger. By 2015, it could amount to as much as $114 billion. This growth, experts say, is due largely to the population of aging baby boomers, but also to an increasing interest from men looking for ways to hold on to their youth.
Start With Skin Care
The first thing people notice is your skin. According to one recent study published in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, men’s attractiveness and youth are judged largely on the tone and evenness of their complexion. Take years off your face by following these anti-aging skin-care rules:
- Stay out of the sun. “The sun just beats the daylights out of your skin,” says Francis Salerno, MD, of the Center for Healthy Aging in Allentown, Pa. If you are going to be in the sun, wear sunscreen, Dr. Salerno adds. Over-exposure to the sun can cause wrinkles and age spots that surely will make you look older.
- Moisturize. Using moisturizer and a gentle cleanser every day will help you look younger. Dryness exaggerates signs of aging in the face and the body. Moisturizer will help.
- Drink lots of water. Six to eight cups of water a day will help keep your skin hydrated, giving skin better tone and a more youthful looking appearance.
Maintaining your overall health can make you look and feel younger. These lifestyle choices promote wellness:
- Sleep well. Most adults need seven to nine hours of sleep every night. “Getting appropriate sleep is very important for how you look,” Salerno says. Not enough sleep can result in bags under your eyes and other health consequences that may make you appear older. One study from the psychiatry department at Penn State College of Medicine found that sleep deprivation affected men’s mental acuity more than women’s. And another study from the University of California, San Diego, found that more men needed naps to reinforce learning. Men also wake up more often and have less slow-wave sleep, which is crucial for memory formation.
- Stop smoking. Smoking can make you look old by creating wrinkles and lines around your mouth and eyes, dulling your skin, and staining your teeth. It also can cause a host of health problems that will age you quickly, Salerno says.
- Eat healthy. “Eating appropriate amounts of a Mediterranean-type diet — chicken, fish, fruits, and vegetables with a moderate amount of carbs — will keep you healthy as well as looking young and fit,” Salerno says.
- Exercise. Exercise will help you to maintain your tone and your flexibility; aerobic exercises are good for your heart and, Salerno says, “whatever you do for your heart is also good for your brain.” Men who are fit and trim will look younger and feel younger than those who are fat and flabby. It’s amazing how putting on those extra pounds can age someone greatly.
Dress Your Age
Age is about appearance. You can take years off your appearance if you follow this simple anti- aging dress code:
- Avoid clothing trends. When dressing, go with updated classics. If you are middle-aged and go with a trend that is for 18-year-olds, it will not look right. And don’t dwell on trends from your past. If you wore the look before, don’t do it again. For example, bell-bottom trousers from the ’60s will make you look dated — or like you never left that era.
- “Raze” an eyebrow. As men age, their eyebrows often get long and unruly. “You don’t get character — you look crazy. When you get your haircut, have your stylist trim your eyebrows at the same time; keep a regular schedule of haircuts: As a man grows older, he should keep his hair on the short side rather than in a ponytail.
- Trim unwanted body hair. As men age they tend to get hair in unwanted places, such as the ears and nose. Keep this growth trimmed and you’ll look younger — and if you look younger, you’ll feel younger. Also, if your body hair is turning gray, the shorter you keep it, the less noticeable the gray will be, Shipman says. That’s true of beards and chest hair.
- Grow a beard. If you have a sagging neckline, sometimes a close-cropped beard can be a great way of concealing it.
Following this anti-aging advice can make you look younger and feel younger, no matter what the calendar says. Staying fit and trim also will help prevent illnesses and chronic conditions that can age you prematurely as well.
The YMCA is here to help and is the perfect place for men to begin, re-commit, or continue an exercise routine to strengthen spirit, mind and body. We’re friendly, smart, caring, and excited to work with you on your health goals. Our certified personal trainers, group exercise instructors, and wellness center instructors can design a program for you, and suggest classes that best suit your wellness needs. And all YMCA staffs are CPR and first aid certified.
Here at the Y we have classes and programs that burn calories and get your pulse racing. Our expert wellness center instructors and personal trainers can design a personalized cardio and/or strength training program just for you. If you like shooting hoops or enjoy adult sports we have that too. And we offer a long list of choice classes like Tabata (interval training), Power Cut, SandBell, Body Pump, Group Cycling, RIPPED, Yoga, Turbo Kick, Water Fitness and many more on land or in the water* (*at selected locations) so you can find the classes that suit you best — high-intensity & high impact to low-intensity & low impact — we have classes for all fitness levels. We even have nutrition consultations at some locations.
The YMCA suggests you check with your doctor to make sure you are healthy enough to begin your exercise plan.
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