Asian women tend to look younger and also tend to age more slowly. Gong Li, Michelle Yeoh, Lucy Liu, Tia Carrere and Kelly Hu are all visible examples of women over the age of 35 – some of whom have already hit the age of forty – who look absolutely fabulous. We all age, but how can we take control of this ageing process to ensure that we not only look as young as we can, but also continue to feel young and be filled with vibrant energy? Renewed confidence, vital energy and happiness go beyond your outward appearance and stems from the core of your being. These qualities cannot simply be achieved through a purchase made over the cosmetic counter; they must be achieved through careful practice. The good news is we can take years off our bodies just by taking better care of ourselves in areas that affect our lives every day. The following is a checklist of what we are able to control in our lives to improve the way we age.
HOW WE EAT.
Food is what nourishes the mind and body. Choose your foods wisely. Low energy levels, mood swings, fatigue and weight change are just a few signs that your eating is unbalanced.
Eat clean foods.
Make choices that are natural, organic and provide your body with the best nutrients. Superfoods are foods concentrated with nutrients, higher in vitamin and minerals, that tend to have fewer calories, and contain many disease-fighting antioxidants. Some examples include green foods like broccoli, spinach and kale, blueberries, pomegranates, avocados, and almonds. Including them in your eating will not only enhance your health but will sure to add to a younger you. If you eat meats, avoid meats that contain hormones and antibiotics. These chemicals are harmful to the body. Choose meats that are labeled free range, organic, grass fed, hormone and antibiotic free. They are more natural. Processed meats such as packaged cold cuts are definitely to be avoided.
Sound sleep is crucial to properly rest and rejuvenate the body. During the hours of 10 pm and 2 am. our body clock is scheduled to revitalize our internal organs which help us burn fat and function better mentally and physically.
Chew your food completely.
Chewing mechanically breaks down food molecules into smaller particles for good digestion. By thus eating slower, food is in contact with saliva longer which is important because saliva contains enzymes that contribute to the chemical process of digestion. With more focus and concentration given to the process and act of eating, you will better enjoy your foods for their abundance and tastes. You will even become more aware of the nutitional value of the foods you eat.
Eat every 3-4 hours. This will stabilize your blood sugar levels and stop you from bingeing which is a compulsive behavior to eat more. Too much time apart from each meal or snack will likely trigger you to overeat. So eat regularly and feed the body of its needs. This will lessen the chance of your eating to go out of control.
Eat 80 percent full.
Hara hachibunme is a Japanese term for this rule; a common practice by the people who live in Okinawa, and has been noted as one of the possible reasons why Okinawa has the most longevity of any place in the world. Not only does this discipline prevent overeating, but it helps to keep your energy levels up and not have them drained to digest your food.
Control your portions.
Eating more food than your body expends will likely lead you to weight gain because the excess food will get stored as fat. Knowing your portion sizes will help you make better decisions in your eating to stay on the right track. Many factors such as age, gender, activity level, and appetite affect how much food you should be eating at one sitting. By controlling your portions, eating clean foods, and following the rule of eating only 80 percent full, you’re more than prepared to achieve the results of a younger looking and healthier you.
Here are several examples of 1 serving size:
1 cup of milk, soy milk, or yogurt,
1/2 cup cottage cheese,
1 piece of toast,
1/2 cup cooked oatmeal,
1 cup cooked brown rice,
3-4 ounces of meat, poultry, or fish
1/2 cup fruit,
1/2 cup juice,
1/2 cup cooked vegetables,
1 cup raw vegetables,
1 large egg or 2 egg whites,
2 tbsp peanut butter,
2 tbsp sunflower seeds,
12 raw almonds
HOW WE DRINK.
Water provides the body with many benefits. Without proper hydration, your metabolism can slow down by as much as 3 percent and you are even more likely to experience fatigue. Water flushes out toxins in the body and keeps the body hydrated. It also helps you to feel full and shut down those hunger pangs. To get the most out of this resource, drink at least eight glasses of water per day. Try drinking water with lemon; this helps to alkalize the body to better balance the body’s pH levels while also providing the pleasure of a little taste.
Get your heart rate up, firm up your muscles and sweat! Exercising 30 quick minutes a day for most days of the week helps to strengthen the mind, body and soul. This reduces stress and increases the quality of sleep. Sweating helps to cleanse the body of toxins and waste and gives your body that healthy glow. Take up running, weight-training or bootcamp classes. These are great ways to rev up your engine and build your body beautiful!
BREATHE IN FRESH CLEAN AIR.
Inhale oxygen, exhale toxins. Some people stay in enclosed spaces for most of the day, which deprives them of getting any quality air. As a result, they breathe in air that is recycled and/or contaminated with cleaning chemicals and dust. Your body needs fresh air to provide nutrients to your cells and muscles which gives you energy. Breathing rejuvenates the body and can be very healing. Take advantage of it, the best part is that it is free! Going for a walk on work breaks, biking to and from work, or even simply opening the windows in your space are ways you can guarantee fresh air into your everyday.
Sometimes we cannot control our surroundings but what we can control is our reaction to our surroundings. Stress is poison to the body. To live with a healthier mindset and ensure our energy is up for a zestful life, we must take steps to control our reactions to situations so that they don’t have such a negative affect on our lives. Determine why you are emotionally attached to the problem, find ways to lessen this attachment and focus on the positive to set yourself free. Often times we become stressed about things that are beyond our control. We need to take the time to discern what we can do to make our situations better and make a plan of attack to change what we can. However, we have to find the courage to accept the things we cannot change and let go of the things which drain us. Once we realize that depression and stress is often a matter of choice, then we can begin to focus on actively pursuing happiness.
Do nothing or do something that takes you away from the focus of the demands in your life like work, finances, etc. and take time to relax; let your mind wander to places it naturally wants to go. Being close to the natural elements wherever you can find them: beach, mountain, lake, park, etc, helps us relax because we are more in touch with life, nature, and something vibrant and often times larger than our lives. Stillness is soothing to the soul. How about a spa treatment? Try a massage. Find ways to be good to your body and it shall be good to you in return.
Sound sleep is crucial to properly rest and rejuvenate the body. During the hours of 10 pm and 2 am. our body clock is scheduled to revitalize our internal organs which help us burn fat and function better mentally and physically. Sleeping through this period and deep sleep is important: To all the workholics and partygoers out there, if you want to look and feel young, you must make time for sleep!
Find your passion in life. Incorporate what you enjoy into your personal and professional life. The feeling of happiness can take years and excess weight off the body. If you are unsure of what it is that you really enjoy or feel that something is lacking in your life, it is your duty to dig deep within and keep asking yourself questions until you find your true desires. Know what you want for your life because this universe does have a way making things happen. Believe and it shall be.
Every month Anna Wong, personal fitness trainer to the stars, will be writing a column for Asiance Magazine. This column is dedicated to your questions and concerns in health and fitness. Your suggestions and requests are welcome. This column is for you so your feedback is important. To contact Anna, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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