We all know that killing, stealing and lying aren’t going to get you on the big guy’s good side. And save for a few incomplete truths, you’re probably running a pretty clean record. But what about sins against yourself? Surely there should be rules for keeping your own body and mind in tip-top condition. And that’s precisely why we decided to devise our own set of commandments for turning back the hands of time.
1.Thou shalt know stress-killing tools
Stress can sacrifice more than a single night’s sleep. It has also been linked to an increased risk of everything from eczema to heart disease to depression. So what’s the big secret to keeping your cool? Develop a routine, be flexible when things don’t go your way and take time out before you reach a breaking point. No matter how tightly wound you are, 20 minutes with a book, a brief walk or even some deep breathing can all help release excess tension.
2. Thou shalt eat anti-aging foods
Turns out the old saying is true: You really are what you eat. So why not dine on age-defying foods? Lycopene found in fresh tomatoes and lutein in leafy greens help protect the skin from sun damage. Beta-carotene in yams and vitamin C in citrus likewise keep your skin smooth and supple. Oh, and while a nice piece of pink salmon packed with omega-3 fatty acids will also keep your skin glowing, it also promotes healthy hair, strong nails and a sharp mind.
3. Thou shalt whiten teeth
Coffee and cola are probably putting the dimmer on your teeth. While professional bleaching is all the rage (not to mention more affordable than ever), over-the-counter remedies have come a long way over last few years. You’ll be surprised how fast those strips can clean away stains and boost brightness.
4. Thou shalt exercise regularly
It’s on everyone’s long list of resolutions, but few actually follow through. Those that do know the benefits of running, lifting weights, and sweat-soaked sessions of Bikram. Just 30 minutes three times a week can lower blood pressure, keep cholesterol in check, stave off certain types of cancer, and boost testosterone production. Hopefully, we don’t have to tell you what that means.
5. Thou shalt get a full night's sleep
We know it can be tough to pencil in enough bedtime despite the old eight-hour rule. And though everyone is different, experts agree that not getting enough sleep isn’t just bad news for operating heavy machinery: It also hastens the aging process by prompting the breakdown of precious skin-firming collagen. Hit the sack early and often.
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6. Thou shalt remove excess hair
Even if you’re losing hair where it belongs, don’t let it sprout up where it has no business being. Strays on the brow, a lonely tendril hanging from the nose, a patch on the ear or a rug on the back — they’re all prime candidates for a date with scissors and a professional wax technician.
7. Thou shalt use anti-aging grooming products
When it comes to your regular routine, picking the right products is what counts the most. Start by circling your efforts around your weekly battle with the blade. Reach for a razor that won’t rip up your face. Typically, one from the five-blade manual variety works best. Then, select a supporting cast: a skin-softening pre-shave oil, shaving gel and moisturizing balm. Finally, finish things off with an SPF-fortified lip balm and wrinkle-preventing eye cream.
8. Thou shalt dress your age
Nothing ages you faster in the style department than shopping in your kid’s closet. And dipping into grandpa’s stash of sweaters doesn’t fare much better. The basic idea: focus on fit, invest in quality and take risks from time to time. At the very least, you’ll end up in the right decade, and if you’re lucky, win back a few years from Father Time.
9. Thou shalt not smoke
Next to sun exposure, nothing else speeds up the aging process faster than smoking. Aside from a whole host of cancers, yellow teeth, and a nasty smell, the nicotine in cigarettes causes blood vessels to constrict. This, in turn, damages collagen and starves the skin of vital oxygen and nutrients. The result: premature wrinkling, particularly on the face.
10. Thou shalt wear sunscreen
It’s the single most important thing you can do for your skin. Too much sun exposure causes fine lines, wrinkles, discoloration, and worst of all, cancer. Use moisturizer with SPF 15 already built in for everyday play, and slather on the special stuff with SPF 30 when you’re outside for the long haul.