Anyone who’s ever read a magazine knows that the fashion scene and wellness industry are full of ‘How to Stay Young’ guides that promise you the secret to ever-lasting youth.

Image courtesy of Unsplash

Image courtesy of Unsplash

The reality, though, is that there are no secrets or tricks; simply common-sense advice that we should all follow to look after ourselves as we age.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at the advice that healthcare experts come up with when asked about having a body that looks younger than your years.


Scientists are still not sure why, but loneliness speeds up the ageing process, contributing to the likes of dementia, depression, and heart disease.

It’s probably down to the fact that human beings are social animals, so we’re designed to suffer when we’re apart from a group for a long period of time.

While it may not be easy if you prefer doing things alone, experts recommend that we socialise every now and then to reap the benefits of being around people, including a release of endorphins and enhanced feelings of safety.

Volunteering is one way to do this and joining meet-up groups for a hobby that you enjoy doing is another.

Take up resistance training

We all know the health benefits of popular activities like running and cycling, but there’s a type of exercise that we often overlook, even though it’s excellent for our health.

Resistance training is a great way to boost strength, increase flexibility and stave off dangerous illnesses. But what is it?

Well, it’s any activity that focuses on improving strength, but it doesn’t have to involve lifting weights. Popular options are tai chi or yoga, activities that are as much about improving balance and functional capacity as they are about making us physically stronger.

Studies show that taking up resistance training reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease or musculoskeletal injury, helping us to preserve our bodies as we age.

Don’t go near cigarettes

There’s a misconception that smoking suppresses hunger, which allows us to stay slim. Not only is this false, it’s also dangerous.

Depriving our body of nutrients in favor of the harmful effects of tobacco accelerates the ageing process and may even help us to put on weight by slowing down our metabolism.

Aside from the obvious physical effects, smoking is detrimental to our mental health, making us more likely to experience other behavioural issues like problem gambling and alcohol dependency.

In short, smoking speeds up the ageing process all over the body, and contributes to cognitive decline, too.

Don’t get hung up on ‘superfoods’

Health and wellness guides love to push us towards those wonderful berries that hold the secret to longevity with their antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties – but we shouldn’t get obsessed with them.

The key is to eat a varied, plant-rich diet which includes ‘superfoods’ but also has plentiful amounts of less fashionable foodstuffs, like lentils and chickpeas.

Superfoods get a good rep because people who eat them tend to have excellent dietary and exercise habits, instead of just eating berries. Instead, we should focus on recognising their benefits, but making sure they don’t dominate what we eat, in case we end up cutting out other vital stuff.

Take steps to manage the menopause

The inevitable arrival of menopause does contribute to the ageing process – but not as much as you may think.

While the body does lose oestrogen and suffers from calcium loss, we can stock up on nutrient-rich food to negate these effects. Think milk, cheese, and fish as foods full of calcium and vitamin D.

It’s also vital to cut down on the saturated fat and salt that contribute to debilitating effects associated with menopause, like osteoporosis and heart disease.

Another option is Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), but this obviously comes down to how you feel after considering the pros and cons. On one hand the treatment is proven to reduce the risk of bone injuries, but it can increase the risk of blood clots and some types of cancer.

If you’re unsure, it’s best to see a specialist who can put you on the right path.

Get your sleep

Sleep is the cure for many ills, but there’s a mistaken belief that we need less of it as we get older. This is untrue, according to studies which recommend that we continue aiming for that optimal level of seven to eight hours.

Not getting enough sleep will, in fact, contribute to cognitive decline, anxiety and depression. So, if anything, we need more of it as we age.

If you’re finding good sleep to be a tough habit to master, try relaxing bedroom routines just before you settle down to put your mind in the best frame of mind for rest.

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