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Aging Backwards Shortcuts


is better than counting sheep. Melatonin is a hormone that your brain makes to control your sleep and wake cycles. As we age, all of our body’s hormone levels change. WebMD.com reports that, “Natural melatonin levels slowly drop with age. Some older adults make very small amounts of it or none at all.

Some scientists believe that supplementing with melatonin could even slow down the aging process. As with all supplements, be sure to talk to your doctor about taking melatonin, which is generally considered safe in low doses for short-term and long-term use.

Exercise is the fountain of youth

Well, that’s my personal opinion and some scientists apparently agree. A 2008 study of 2,400 British twins found that exercise slows the aging process – even the cells of the physically active people look younger on a molecular level. “These data suggest that the act of exercising may actually protect the body against the aging process,” said Tim D. Spector, a professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College in London who led the study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Laughter really is the best medicine

Dr. Lee S. Berk and his colleagues have studied laughter extensively and have found that, “Repetitious ‘mirthful laughter’ (Laughercise), like physical exercise (PE), decreases stress hormones (cortisol & catecholamines), enhances immune activity and lowers cholesterol & systolic blood pressure.”

Don’t let your hands show your age

It’s common knowledge that hands can reveal a woman’s true age, but these under-ten-minute shortcuts could help you fool just about everyone. A study a few years back revealed that hands with nail polish and jewelry looked younger to the study participants than plain hands. So, keep those nails polished (stay away from blues and red-blue shades if you have prominent veins) and add a cute ring. Prominent blue veins in the hands could make them look older. Try one of the new SPF BB creams (tinted “anti-aging” creams available almost everywhere these days) on the tops of your hands to cover the veins and protect the skin.

Avoid overexposure to the sun

Doctors and scientists have scared us into looking like we’ve seen a ghost – literally. With the constant warnings about hiding from the sun and slathering with sunscreen, not only are we a paler society, but also a vitamin D deficient society with three-quarters of U.S. teens and adults deficient in vitamin D, according to an article published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. The best way to get vitamin D is from direct sun, but that doesn’t mean baking in it for hours on end. Doctors now say 15 minutes of direct sun a few days a week on 75 percent of the body is sufficient for optimum vitamin D levels. Nowhere in the medical books does it say I have to have my face, neck, chest and hands in the sun. I keep those covered and slathered.

Incorporating these easy shortcuts into your daily routine could be just what you need to shave a few years off your look and add a few years to your lifespan.