50 Health Tips That Will Make You Feel 20 Years Younger
From superfoods to the best ways to destress, here's what anti-aging experts want you to know.
Some days you just feel old. Your joints are stiff. Your brain is foggy. You can't remember the last time you did something spontaneous. No matter what's slowing you down, you know no anti-aging serum or treatment can magically turn back the clock and make you feel like you did in your 20s. Fortunately, all hope is not lost. In fact, with a few simple updates to your daily routine, you'll be feeling younger in no time. From perfecting your posture to getting more vitamin D, these are the expert-backed tips that will rejuvenate your body and mind and help you look and feel your best, no matter how many trips you've made around the sun. And for more on improving as you age, here are 65 Ways to Be a Better Spouse After 40, According to Experts.
Stop stressing about money.
Worrying about money is the ultimate ager—and you've probably been doing it for a while now. To instantly feel 20 years younger, use the resources and technologies that are right at your fingertips to help you tackle your biggest financial challenge.
"Stress takes years off your life, and Americans stress out more over money than any other topic," says Jannick Malling, CEO of the investing app Public. "It's never too late—or early—to get your financial wellness in order. … It's easier than ever and more achievable than people think." And for more on keeping a hold of your hard-earned cash, here are 15 Easy Ways to Stop Wasting Money.
Stretch it out every morning.
Doing a few stretches after waking up helps you kick off your day with a burst of energy. All you really need to reap the benefits is 10 minutes. "Our bodies become less mobile as we get older, which means we have to take even better care of ourselves," says Rebecca Louise, a celebrity fitness trainer. "Loosening up your body in the morning by stretching will help you feel more agile."
Stay on top of your doctor's appointments.
Don't just assume your doctor will remind you about every test you need to get done and every specialist you need to visit. "Ask your doc which tests you need and when you need them, then get things like mammograms, pap smears, and colonoscopies regularly," says Lakeisha Richardson, MD. That way, no matter what health issues start to emerge, you'll be able to catch them early. And for how to navigate appointments during the pandemic, here are 6 Questions You Need to Ask Before You Go to Your Doctor's Office.
Take a cold shower.
There's no better way to rejuvenate your body than by drenching yourself in cool water, even if it's uncomfortable in the moment. "Taking cold showers has tons of health benefits, including improved circulation, faster muscle recovery, enhanced skin and hair, and increased energy," says Grace Yoon, certified holistic health practitioner and founder and CEO of Qi Alchemy. "Take a cold shower for at least one to two minutes every morning."
Repair your gut.
Your gut health plays a big role in your overall physical and mental health. Find your fountain of youth simply by grabbing a bottle of probiotics. "Most of us have an imbalanced gut microbiome that prevents us from absorbing nutrients from food into our body, leaving us feeling tired, sluggish, and fatigued," says Saman Faramarzi, ND, founder of SAFA Wellness.
"Taking probiotics can help with more than your gastrointestinal health," she says. "By fixing your gut's microbiome balance, you can feel younger and more revitalized. Your body is better able to absorb nutrients, your gut is not producing as many endotoxins that affect things like your hormone levels, and you can function better." And to learn how you're sabotaging your routine, here are 20 Skincare Mistakes That Are Aging Your Skin, According to Experts.
Learn something new.
If you want to feel 20 years younger, pick up a book or enroll in a class. "For optimal brain health, and to feel younger in the process, learn something new," says Krista-Lynn Landolfi, a life coach and self-care specialist. "Thinking we've done it all, or know it all, is the fast track to aging; not only do we get bored or become lackadaisical, but our brain goes on autopilot. Our brain needs to be stimulated to keep all the synapses firing. Like a muscle, you need to work it out."
Eat your fruits and veggies.
It sounds obvious, but how often do you really eat the recommended amount of fruit and veggies every day? If you're not meeting those guidelines (which is two-and-a-half to three cups of veggies and one-and-a-half to two cups of fruit per day, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture), you might want to step it up.
"It sounds so simple, but eating your fruit and veggies can really, truly help you feel younger," says Amy Gorin, MS, RDN, owner of Amy Gorin Nutrition. "Why? For one, fresh produce is made up of a good amount of water. That water can help your body function optimally, and good hydration helps fight feelings of fatigue and sluggishness. Also, veggies and fruit provide so many important vitamins and minerals that can help everything from your immune health to keeping your bones strong."
If you're struggling to meet the guidelines, Gorin recommends getting your fix by making smoothies. When mixed with fruit, you won't even be able to taste vegetables like cauliflower, kale, and spinach. And for the easily overlooked symptoms you should be keeping an eye on, check out Over 40? Here Are 40 Health Symptoms You Need to Know About..
Grab some vitamins.
As you age, it can be harder to get all the vitamins and nutrients you need from your diet alone. That's why you'll want to consider adding a daily multivitamin to your routine. "I think of multivitamins as an insurance policy against an imperfect diet," Michael Roizen, MD, told the Cleveland Clinic. Over 50? A multivitamin can help keep your bones strong, your energy levels up, and your overall health in check.
Find a doctor you love.
Make it your mission to find health professionals you want to visit—otherwise, you won't. Because if you want to feel 20 years younger, attending regular appointments is crucial. "Find a medical professional you relate to—someone you can talk to about anything and everything," Richardson says. If you visit someone who's easy to work with, they'll be better able to address your needs and you'll get any help you need. And for where to start, 20 Questions to Ask Your Doctor Once a Year.
Choose positive friends.
If you still have negative people in your life who are only causing problems, give them the boot, stat. While they drain your energy, spending time with people you love will do the opposite—and you'll feel more youthful because of it. "Stress and how we respond to it has a significant influence on the longevity of our cells and on our bodies as a whole," says Keira L. Barr, MD, founder and chief wellness officer of Resilient Health Institute. "Surround yourself with people who support you and your interests. Lose the people who bring you down."
Do some yoga.
This gentle, low-impact exercise has a wide range of benefits, including improving your balance and sharpening your focus, according to the Cleveland Clinic. One of the best benefits of yoga, though, is helping you feel younger from head to toe. "Your body feels younger, more flexible, and stronger when you move it," says Veronica Parker, a wellness mindset coach and yoga instructor. "Studies have shown yoga is a great anti-aging tool that helps you reduce stress and slow down the aging process." And for how this activity can have an impact in your bedroom, here's How Yoga Can Boost Your Sex Life, According to Experts.
Eat spices that boost circulation.
Adding spices to your meals can help give your circulation a boost. "Better circulation is directly connected to feeling less stiff," says Lillian Daniels, a wellness expert and certified yoga instructor. "When you fill your diet with the right foods—including cayenne pepper, turmeric, and cinnamon—they help promote better blood flow throughout your body. As a result, that increased mobility will replace any stiffness that always tends to serve as the same reminder: 'I'm getting old.'"
Get outside of your comfort zone.
Stepping outside of what you're used to is hard. But doing so occasionally can give you an instant feeling of youthfulness. "Get outside of your comfort zone—you've been there long enough," says Avi Greenberg, a certified breathing coach. "Learn a new language or how to play an instrument. Challenging your growth in one area will transfer to others." And for more tips to keep you feeling young, sign up for our daily newsletter.
Check your bones.
As you age, you begin to lose bone mass and density. That's why it's so important to get your status checked. "Get a bone density test to determine bone health and use regular weight-bearing exercises to improve balance and strength," says Richardson. "Calcium and vitamin D3 are great for bone and immune support when a blood or saliva test indicates a supplement is necessary."
Rethink your sedentary lifestyle.
Posting up on the couch after a long day of work tends to be our go-to way to relax. But before you do so, maybe think about moving around a little first. "Large chunks of our time are spent sitting and a sedentary lifestyle is not only aging you—it could be decreasing your lifespan by more than a decade," says Landolfi. "Movement is a key factor in youthfulness. Adding more movement to your day will add years to your life, and quality to each day."
Getting moving is even more difficult amid coronavirus, but Landolfi recommends setting an alarm to get up from your desk hourly—even if it's just to walk to the bathroom or refill your water bottle. Take the stairs whenever you can, park further away from store entrances, and maybe even consider getting a standing desk. "In whichever way you can, moving your body daily and often is the key to maintaining youthfulness. Because the saying is true: 'If you don't use it, you lose it,'" she says.
No more skipping breakfast—at least not if you want to feel younger. Not only will eating something healthy first thing keep your energy levels up throughout the day, but a 2014 study published in Nutrition Journal found it also keeps your cravings in check. That means you'll be eating wholesome foods that keep you ageless, not loading up on salt and sugar that only brings you down.
Drink plenty of water.
How much water are you actually guzzling every day? The Mayo Clinic recommends 3.7 liters for men and 2.7 liters for women, and sticking to that could seriously help out in the anti-aging department. "Dehydration can affect everything from the way your body functions to the appearance of your skin," Louise says. "Plus, when you're dehydrated, your skin can look dry and dull, making you look older than you are."
Give yourself an adrenaline rush.
You might feel like you're too old to do something that amps up your adrenaline, but that's not true. Doing something that thrills you will instantly give you a jolt of energy that makes you feel half your age, whether you're finally checking skydiving off your bucket list or watching a horror movie. It doesn't need to be extreme—any adrenaline fix will make you feel younger.
Get your fiber.
Eating fiber doesn't just help you feel full and satisfied between meals. It can also help with the aging process. "Fiber helps you to maintain healthy digestion, and it also helps keep your cholesterol levels healthy," Gorin says. "You may not even realize it, but feeling constipated and backed up can seriously impact how awesome you feel each and every day. Make it a habit to include fiber-boasting foods in all of your meals, including whole grains like brown rice, plant proteins such as beans and edamame, and vegetables like spinach and asparagus."
Fresh air does wonders—especially when it comes to staying youthful. According to Harvard Medical School, getting outside dramatically alters your mental health for the better, and less stress means feeling more youthful. "Breathe in the fresh air and connect with nature," says Barr. "By changing your scenery, you can change your perspective and banish pent-up stress." What's more, socializing outside is much safer than socializing inside during coronavirus.
Be more spontaneous.
As you age, it's easy to lose a little bit of the spontaneity you had in your youth. You're no longer able to just jump in the car and do something on a whim—you have a long list of responsibilities to take care of first. But it's worth trying to add some of that fun back into your life. Whether it's deciding to go on a last-minute camping trip or ordering out an elaborate, fancy dinner on a weeknight, keeping that excitement in your life will undoubtedly make you feel more youthful.
Up your vitamin D.
If there's one vitamin that's going to make you feel half your age, it's vitamin D. And all you need to do to get your fix is enjoy a healthy amount of sunshine. "Enjoying 15 minutes of exposure to natural sunlight daily is important for nutrition and essential for mental health, bone density, vitamin D production, and other health benefits," Richardson says. "Ask your doctor to check your vitamin D level and take a vitamin D3 supplement if it's too low."
Get your Beyoncé on.
You might feel silly, but unleashing your inner pop star and belting out some music while practicing your moves can make you feel years younger. "Simple acts like singing and dancing to your favorite music can keep you young," Yoon says. "I listen and dance to a wide range of music, from '70s music to pop. Singing strengthens muscles in the airway, which improves lung function and mental alertness by delivering more oxygen to the brain. Plus, it's just so fun." For some playlist inspiration, here are 20 Hit Songs You Won't Believe Are Turning 20 This Year.
Be true to yourself.
So much of your life is spent trying to please others, never focusing on what makes you happy. By being true to yourself, you'll feel more energized, alive, and youthful. "What brings you joy? Focus on that," Barr says. "By adding in things that align with your true passions, they'll naturally crowd out the relationships and obligations that no longer serve your health or happiness."
You have two choices: You can go through life with a positive attitude and feel more youthful because of it, or you can go through life sulking, which will constantly make you feel drained. "Even if it requires some digging, find 20 things you're grateful for each day," says Landolfi. "Nothing will make you feel younger than to feel truly blessed to be alive and soaking up every second of it."
Get a furry friend.
To instantly feel like a kid again, adopt or foster a pet. There are countless rescue animals that need temporary or forever homes, and you'll get as much from them as you give. "In addition to being great company, having a pet can benefit our mental and physical health, especially as we get older," Joseph Mosquera, MD, told Pet MD.
Relieve adrenal fatigue.
Adrenal fatigue can affect many aspects of your life, and relieving it through adaptogens—like the herb ashwagandha—can make you feel like a new person. "A lot of people who are over-stressed, constantly fatigued, and experiencing problems like insulin resistance, difficulty losing weight, and hormonal imbalance experience adrenal fatigue," says Faramarzi. "That's when your adrenal glands are working too hard due to chronic periods of elevated and imbalanced cortisol levels. That constant inflammation ages your body."
"I recommend my patients take an adaptogen like ashwagandha every day, which helps your body better respond to stress and helps restore your adrenal functions," she says. "Simply add it into your morning latte or tea, or take it as a capsule."
Exhale your stress.
Stress has many negative effects on your physical and mental health, from headaches and chest pain to anxiety, according to the Cleveland Clinic. All of those things can make you feel much older than you are. To rewind time, start with some deep breaths. "When in doubt, just breathe. Slowly. Deeply. Simple, yet so powerful," Barr says. "Add in quality sleep and movement, and you'll feel that stress melt away."
Try to relax more.
Relaxing is easier said than done, right? Unfortunately, if you don't try and get some R&R every day, your health could suffer. Practicing self-care, on the other hand, could make you feel years younger. "We all can become super-stressed, no matter what stage of life," Richardson says. "Being stressed can often make you feel tired, worried, depressed, or anxious. Be sure to get a good night's sleep, breathe, and take time for yourself."
Be more present.
One solution to help you be more mindful—and feel more ageless in the process—is to choose something new to focus on regularly throughout the day. "Gary Douglas, the founder of Access Consciousness, encourages people to make a new choice every 10 seconds," says Parker.
Every 10 seconds might seem like a lot, but it's an eye-opener: You have the ability to make a new choice anytime you want, even if that's letting go of negative emotions and deciding you're going to spend the rest of the day being positive instead.
Perfect your posture.
Having good posture matters more than you think. As you age, you might notice yourself slumping more and more. But by working on improving things through simple back and core exercises, you'll be able to get more out of your workouts, have fewer injuries, and improve your confidence, according to the Harvard Medical School—all things that can make you feel much younger than you are.
Get that "wow factor" back.
If you can't remember the last time you were in awe of something, it's time to get that youthful magic back into your life. "As kids, our eyes are wide open to the wonders of the world. Then we grow up, and all too often—burdened by our responsibilities and dulled by a sense of 'been there, done that'—we forget how magical life can be," Landolfi says. "Feeling young is to feel alive—more than just the breathing-and-moving-through-your-day kind of alive. Life can wow you daily if your eyes are open to seeing the wonders of the world."
Find your purpose.
It's never too early or too late to find your purpose. A 2017 study published in JAMA Psychiatry found that people who have a purpose in life maintain their function and independence as they age better than those who don't. Once you find your purpose, you could feel younger and more alive than ever before. "We all love our families, and career is important, but what do you want your obituary to say about you beyond that?" says Greenberg.
Cut down on sugar.
Sugar tastes awesome. No one's going to argue with that. The problem? The more you eat, the greater it affects how old you look and feel. According to the Cleveland Clinic, eating too much sugar not only disrupts your metabolism—leading to obesity, diabetes, and heart disease—but it also prevents you from feeling healthy and youthful. Satisfy your sweet tooth by sticking to healthy sources of natural sugar instead, such as fresh fruit.
Amp up your sex life.
If your sex life has been a bit stale lately, don't worry—it happens. But one way to feel younger than you are is getting that fire back. "Put your sex life on the front burner again; it's vital for health, happiness, and maintaining an engaged relationship," Richardson says. If your sex life is waning, ask your doctor about what can help.
Unplug to recharge.
As hard as it is to admit it, your life is probably ruled by technology. Whether you're scrolling through your phone or working on your laptop, you're staring at a screen most of your day. Not only do those blue lights damage your eyesight and cause insomnia, but they also severely drain your energy levels, according to Harvard University. To feel younger and more revitalized, take the time you need to unplug.
"The benefits of electronic devices cannot be denied, yet they can be equally as detrimental to our health. If you want to feel younger, unplug," Landolfi says. "To start, pick up the phone and call someone instead of texting."
Anti-age your diet.
You are what you eat—especially in terms of aging. If you eat healthy, wholesome meals, you'll feel healthy for years to come. "Eating properly can really prevent and slow down aging if you know what you put on your plate," says Antonella Ricco, a board-certified holistic coach and culinary nutrition expert.
"Countering the effects of free radicals is our real challenge," she says. "Many foods have a powerful antioxidant effect, and the right combination of some of that, the proper cooking method, and the intake quantity could be a really good anti-aging strategy."
Ricco's anti-aging menu includes plenty of dark leafy greens, whole grains (like brown rice), red and colorful veggies, acid fruits, olive oil, garlic, onion, spices, herbs, oats, green tea, and dark chocolate.
"It doesn't have to be an intense workout, although those do feel great. Just move your body," says Barr. "Turn on some music, have your own personal dance party, or go for a walk. All of your focus is on your movement. It's an amazing mind cleanser."
Head to the salon.
Sometimes, all that's needed to take years off your age is a trip to the salon. If you haven't gotten a quality haircut in a while, make it part of your regular routine. Changing up your look can instantly boost your confidence and people will definitely notice. Just make sure you make an appointment and wear your mask!
Incorporate strength training.
Strength training comes with many benefits. According to the Cleveland Clinic, lifting weights can increase your strength, energy levels, and bone density and decrease your risk of injury. On top of that, it'll also keep your body young. "As we get older, we lose muscle mass, which is why it's so important to continue to work out—particularly with weights," says Louise. "Strength training will keep you toned, strong, and give you a younger-looking body."
Instead of constantly being in a go-go-go mindset, take some time to wind down and breathe through a little meditation. "Stress throws your body functions and hormones off balance and physically ages you. There's so much research on the mind-body connection proving that when you care for your mental wellness, your body feels better," Faramarzi says. "Meditation is one of the best ways to calm your mind and body. It helps reduce stress, improves brain function, and rejuvenates your whole being so you feel younger.
Say goodbye to bad habits.
Bad habits like smoking and excessive drinking can do serious damage to your health and wellbeing, making you look and feel much older than you actually are. By finally dropping your vices, you'll feel a wave of youthfulness come over your body from no longer being tied down by the things that make you feel lousy every single day.
Sure, it's important to take your career seriously, pay the bills on time, and keep up with your to-do list. But finding time to play a little can have a big impact on how young you feel. "If you want to feel younger, stop being so serious. Life is often mundane with our days little more than a series of routines and seemingly endless errands. Play is the antidote to the stress caused by life's struggles," says Landolfi.
"It can be as simple as jumping the waves in the ocean, bike riding, or having a game night with your family or friends," she adds. "Play fuels us, helping us lighten up and get through tough times—not to mention [it] gives us something to look forward to.
Get to smooching.
Regular kisses can play a huge role in making you feel 20 years younger. "Kissing conveys meaning without words. It's loving, sensual, and fun—plus it creates some amazing health benefits, emotional and physical," Barr says. "It decreases the stress hormone cortisol and increases serotonin levels in the brain, lowers anxiety and has similar benefits to meditation, releases oxytocin (your body's natural calming chemical to help you feel at ease), keeps your heart healthy, and impacts immunity."
Find a way to treat yourself.
Sometimes you've just gotta spoil yourself a little bit. Taking time for yourself and finally booking that pedicure or taking a whole afternoon off from tidying to read a book can help get rid of all that pent-up stress you've been lugging around, making you feel more alive, vibrant, and youthful. You'll end up glowing from the inside out, and that spark of energy will last for days.
Get a full night's rest.
A good night's sleep plays a big role in your day-to-day, helping you get through work without wanting to pass out at your desk and allowing you to check everything off your to-do list. And it's especially crucial to make sleep a priority as you age. "Not getting enough sleep can affect the way you look and feel, especially when you're older," Louise says. "That's why it's so important to give your body the right amount of rest to recover."
Exercise doesn't just make you look and feel good. It can also make your body younger from the inside out. "Regular, moderate-to-vigorous exercise can help prevent or delay the onset of heart disease, hypertension, obesity, and osteoporosis," says Richardson. "Over time, regular exercising can also help increase motion in joints, reduce weight, and improve self-esteem."
Do volunteer work.
When you help others, you're also helping yourself rewind time. In a 2013 meta-analysis published in the journal Psychology and Aging, researchers found adults ages 55 and older who volunteered regularly were 24 percent less likely than others to die. Through doing some good, your body could produce more of the feel-good hormones oxytocin and progesterone, helping you feel young and stay young.
Take a mindfulness walk.
"If there's one action I encourage you to take daily that can dramatically improve your life, it's to commit to taking a 30-minute mindfulness walk," Landolfi says. "To be mindful means to be present and aware, so go outside and take in your surroundings: the sights, smells and sounds, and the feel of the sun on your skin and wind in your hair. … A simple walk around your neighborhood is transformed into an adventure, and a day spent outside at the park becomes a vacation."
Stay in control.
One of the biggest keys to feeling younger might just be managing your days. In a 2019 study published in the Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, researchers found those who felt more in control of their lives felt younger than those who didn't. And the reason? When you feel in control, your mental health gets a boost and you feel like what you do matters. That leads to making healthier choices that, in turn, help you feel younger than you are. And for some life-changing advice from other seniors, here are 50 Regrets All Too Common Among People Over 50.