We all know those people who seem to stay eternally youthful, even as years or decades go by. For people with a certain joie de vivre, it’s as though they’re virtually lit from within, with their infectious energy making it seem as though they’ve discovered the fountain of youth.
Unless they’re Pharrell, it’s unlikely that they’ve actually discovered how to ward off the ravages of time forever, but their habits and attitude likely play a major role in how young they look, act, and feel. The good news? You can be one of them by making our list of 50 ways to feel younger part of your regular routine. And when you’re ready to turn back the clock, the 50 Ways to Age in Reverse can have you looking and feeling younger in no time.
Feeling younger starts the second you smile. Research conducted at the University of Michigan found that smiling, regardless of your actual emotional state, can make you feel happier, one of the many aspects of achieving that joyful, youthful feeling.
Get Some Exercise
Getting some exercise is one of the easiest ways to feel younger in an instant. Research published in Preventive Medicine reveals that adults who exercised regularly actually had younger cells than those who were sedentary. So how much time does all that exercise shave off your cells? A whopping 9 years.
Read a Book
Spending some time with a good book does more than make you interesting to talk to at dinner parties, it’s also an easy way to feel younger in no time. Researchers in the UK found that those who regularly engaged in mentally-stimulating activities, like reading, later in life reduced their rate of cognitive decline by 32 percent.
Spend Time Outdoors
A little fresh air could be just the ticket to uncovering a more youthful you. Not only is getting some fresh air a great way to get energized, research published in Psychological Science reveals that city-dwellers who had easy access to outdoor green spaces had higher rates of well-being than those who saw just the concrete jungle day in and day out.
Wake up, Sleeping Beauty! Those naps aren’t actually a great way to feel more refreshed, after all. If you want to feel youthful and energized all day long, cutting out that nap is a great place to start. Napping can disrupt your circadian rhythm, making it harder to fall asleep at night and wake up in the morning. Instead, if you need some time to decompress, try stretching or meditating; both activities can energize you without throwing off your schedule.
Drink Plenty of Water
A little water goes a long way when it comes to feeling younger. Even minor dehydration can significantly diminish your cognitive capacity, and chronic dehydration can wreak havoc on your skin, making it look ashen and dry. Luckily, getting properly hydrated is as easy as it is delicious with the 50 Best Detox Waters For Fat Burning and Weight Loss.
Cut Out Toxic Relationships
One key to staying eternally young: making the most of your precious time by spending it with people you enjoy. Researchers in the UK found that individuals with unhappy relationships, whether romantic or platonic, were more likely to gain significant weight than those satisfied with them, and happiness goes a long way when it comes to feeling young.
Add Some Strength Training to Your Routine
Avoiding the weight room because you’re afraid of bulking up could mean you’re missing out on a major opportunity to feel and look younger. Not only does weight training help you lose weight and make your body look slimmer, lifting weights creates tiny tears in the muscle that your body creates new tissue to heal. That’s right: you’re literally getting younger as you get fitter, too.
Taking some time out of your day to meditate can have you feeling younger in an instant. Meditation is not only a great way to destress and carve some much needed “me time” out of your day, it’s also an effective means of influencing your energy levels and brain size, too. One study reveals that regular meditators had greater brain volume and more gray matter than those who didn’t engage in mindfulness exercises. Even better, research published in Biological Psychiatry reveals that individuals who meditated three days in a row had fewer indications of stress in their brains.
Get Plenty of Sleep
Pulling those all-nighters may have worked in your 20s, but as you get older, they could be wreaking havoc on your health. Research conducted at Penn State found that getting inadequate sleep, even just for a single night, can mentally impair a person nearly as much as having one too many alcoholic drinks, and that next-day hangover isn’t known to make anyone feel energized. Luckily, a good night’s sleep can help give your body adequate time to repair and refresh, giving you a burst of youthful energy that shines from the inside out. Start enjoying better sleep tonight by discovering the 30 Best and Worst Foods to Eat Before Sleep.
Try Seeing the Glass Half Full
Looking for the good in life might just keep you young. Researchers at the University of Toronto, University of Pittsburgh, and the University of California, Berkeley found that optimistic individuals had lower levels of inflammation than their pessimistic counterparts. This can potentially lead to lower rates of chronic disease, as well as healthier, more youthful-looking skin.
Drink Some Coffee
Trying to turn back the clock and improve your memory? Try drinking some coffee. Research published in Nature Neuroscience reveals that people who drank coffee after studying improved memory retention, keeping their brains young in the process.
Instead of always worrying about what’s going to happen next, thinking about positive memories from your past could make you happier and have you feeling younger in the long run. Researchers at Open University in the UK discovered that looking at old family photos boosted study participants’ moods more than watching TV, listening to music drinking alcohol, or eating chocolate. In fact, looking at photos improved subjects’ mood by 11 percent, as compared to a 1 percent change from having a snack, drink, or engaging in other entertainment.
Make Sure You’re Eating Enough
Being hungry all the time can make anyone feel unwell, and it can definitely make you feel older, too. While research suggests that maintaining a moderate calorie deficit may extend your life, cutting those calories too low can make you tired, deplete fat stores that make you look youthful, and may even expedite the aging process. To stay energized and maintain your youthful look, make sure you’re not only eating enough calories, but eating regularly enough to keep your energy up.
Don’t Ditch Dessert
If you’re ditching dessert in an effort to stay forever young, you might be making a mistake. Not only can having the occasional indulgence boost your mood significantly, chocolate in particular might just help you hit upon the fountain of youth. Chocolate is packed with energizing, memory-boosting caffeine, inflammation-reducing, belly fat-fighting resveratrol, and flavonols, which have been linked to lower rates of cognitive decline. Satisfy your sweet tooth the healthy way with the 20 Healthy Desserts For Weight Loss!
Snack on Some Berries
Trade in your sugary afternoon snack for some berries and you could be getting younger by the bite. Not only are most berries loaded with antioxidants, including brain health-boosting, fat-fighting resveratrol, they may help you improve your memory over time, too.
Researchers at the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry Found that study participants who added blueberries to their diet significantly increased their available memory over a 12-week study period.
Crank Up the Tunes
Listening to some feel-good music might just make you feel younger, too. Researchers at the Knox College Department of Psychology found that people instructed to try to get happier while listening to music actually found themselves feeling better after just 12 minutes of listening, and that boost in mood can make anyone feel like they’ve turned back the clock.
Take a Quick Walk
You don’t need expensive supplements or treatments to regain that energy you enjoyed when you were younger; a little physical activity can get you there in no time. Research published in Personality and Social Psychology suggests that taking just a 10-minute stroll can boost your energy for at least two hours, and there’s no denying that getting your body moving is a great way to boost circulation and burn calories, too.
Ditch the Trans Fats
Cutting out trans fats might just be the easiest way to slow down the aging process.
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego have linked trans fat consumption to memory lapses, while other research has linked it to lower metabolic rates and worse moods.
Limit the Excess Sugar in Your Diet
Adults consume an average of 2.5 pounds of sugar per week, and all that sweet stuff isn’t doing us any favors when it comes to our energy or mental health. If you’re looking to achieve a healthier, more youthful body, there’s no time like the present to cut back on your sugar intake; researchers at the University of Wisconsin have linked excess sugar as a potential cause of cognitive decline later in life, and the post-sugar crash many people experience can exhaust you in an instant. Cut back on your sugar intake with the 30 Ways to Stop Eating So Much Sugar!
Enjoy a Glass of Wine
Having the occasional glass of wine can help keep you mentally young as the years go by. Researchers at Imperial College, London have found that moderate alcohol intake is associated with a decreased risk of dementia in later life, and the resveratrol found in red wine can help you fight other signs of aging, like excess belly fat and a parched complexion, too. Just make sure to stick to dry wines, like cabernet sauvignon and Italian pinot grigio, or you could be in for a sugar shock.
But Stick to a Single Drink
Just because one glass of wine can make you feel younger doesn’t mean that a whole bottle will improve upon that effect. In fact, many people find that their ability to tolerate alcohol decreases with age, causing worse hangovers and making your brain feel fuzzy even days later. Alcohol can also dehydrate you, turning your usually youthful face into one that appears sunken and sallow.
While texting has undeniably usurped talking as our communication method of choice, spending more time talking with your loved ones may actually make you feel younger in the long run. Research from the University of Michigan reveals that just 10 minutes of talk time significantly improved test performance and memory, and connecting with people we enjoy is an undeniable mood-booster.
Get Some Sun
Getting a little sunshine could just be the key to feeling younger now. Not only does vitamin D boost metabolism and fend off symptoms of depression, a review of research published in Environmental Health Perspectives shows that sunlight can significantly improve mood and energy, too.
Sniff Some Rosemary
Regaining that youthful energy could be as simple as smelling the right scents. If you’re cooking, go ahead and give those fresh herbs a little sniff; research published in Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology suggests that smelling rosemary can improve mood and boost concentration. Start making every meal more flavorful with the 15 Cheap and Fresh Herbs to Make Your Meals Healthier.
Want to feel younger in an instant? Enjoy a good laugh. Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine found that individuals exposed to funny material had increased activity in the brain’s reward centers. For those who are eager to turn back the clock on their appearance, laughing can yield major results, too: researchers at Berlin’s Max Planck Institute for Human Development have found that study participants underestimated other people’s ages by approximately two years when shown photos of them smiling.
Your clothes don’t define you, but they can have a major impact on how you feel. For those seeking the fountain of youth, red clothing might just deliver. Not only does red clothing make you look more vibrant and youthful, research conducted at the University of Rochester found that just looking at something red can actually increase your energy level.
Spend Time With Animals
Want to find the fountain of youth? Just follow Fido. Researchers at Miami University of Ohio found that pet owners were more social, had higher self-esteem, and were even more physically fit than their pet-free counterparts, all of which can help you maintain that youthful spirit.
A little spontaneity can make anyone feel younger in no time. Whether you’re planning a spur-of-the-moment trip or trying a new food, being a bit adventurous can yield seriously positive results. In fact, a diverse body of research suggests that being a bit more spontaneous can improve your mood, focus, and overall affect, as well.
Make Sex a Priority
Making time for regular sex can make you look even younger than you feel. Research conducted at Royal Edinburgh Hospital found that women who had regular sex were perceived as being up to 7 years younger than those who skipped the rolls in the hay, so don’t hesitate to factor sex into your healthy living plan. Kick your sex life into overdrive by adding the 50 Best Foods For Your Penis to your menu!
Practicing gratitude can make you feel younger while improving your overall health. Research published in Personality and Individual Differences found that individuals who practiced gratitude were healthier than those who didn’t, and a study conducted at the University of Kentucky reveals that people who are grateful are more empathetic and less reactive when confronted with criticism.
Get Your Anxiety Under Control
Switching off your anxiety may not be easy, but it can make a major difference in your overall health. Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital have found that anxiety reduced the length of chromosomal telomeres, thus speeding up the aging process. The reduction in telomere length can also increase your risk of heart disease and dementia, both of which can significantly shorten your life span.
Ditch Any Unnecessary Medications
While there’s no denying that certain medications can be lifesavers, if you can’t remember why you’re taking a medication or aren’t finding yourself benefitting from its effects any longer, it might be time to give it up. Long-term use of certain prescriptions, like sleeping pills and certain anti-anxiety medications, can not only create dependency, it also has the potential to reduce your memory retention and focus.
Chew Some Gum
Chewing a stick of gum while you’re trying to learn can help keep your brain healthy and young, no matter your age. Research published in the British Journal of Psychology reveals that people who chewed gum during a memory exercise had improved recall when compared to those who didn’t. Just make sure you’re opting for sugar-free gum or you could be loading your diet with as much as 10 grams of sugar per pack.
Spend Money on Experiences, Not Things
Instead of cluttering your home with things, try spending your cash on experiences — you might just feel younger for it. Not only does research published in Cell Press reveal that novelty, like tackling a new experience, boosts blood flow to the brain while sparking creativity, researchers at Empire State College found that people who shelled out cash for a show or other experience were happier than those who spent their money on things.
Cut Out Caffeine After Lunch
Want to wake up every day feeling younger, healthier, and happier? Start by reducing the amount of caffeine you drink later in the day. Having caffeine within a few hours of when you go to bed can make it harder to get a good night’s sleep, aging you and depleting your energy in the process. Make it a goal to stop drinking caffeine at least 8 hours before you head off to bed and you’ll be more refreshed and energized by AM. When you're ready to cut back on caffeine, you can still fight fatigue in no time with the 30 Best Foods For All-Day Energy!
While constantly checking social media may make you feel more connected to your inner circle, unplugging might actually help keep you young. Research published in BMC Psychiatry reveals that heavy use of electronic devices was linked to both depression and sleep disturbances, the combination of which can make anyone feel years older than their chronological age.
Get to a Healthy Weight
Just because you’re bigger doesn’t mean your brain is. Researchers at UCLA have found that obese individuals had brains that were as much as 8 percent smaller than those of their average-weight counterparts. Their brains also appeared as much as 16 years older than their biological age, so if you want to stay mentally fit as you age, it’s time to get physically fit now.
Inject some youthful energy into your life by sharing a smooch with someone special. Researchers in the Netherlands have found a link between swapping spit and improved immune health, and the act of kissing itself can boost dopamine production, keeping you feeling as healthy and happy as you were when you were a teenager.
Cut Out the Artificial Sweeteners
A younger, healthier body starts to appear the second you put down those artificial sweeteners. Not only has the consumption of artificial sweeteners been linked to increased waist circumference and a greater risk of obesity, research published in Stroke reveals that artificial sweeteners can make you more likely to have a stroke or develop dementia.
Hang Out With Your Friends
Hanging out with your healthier friends might just be the key to living a long, healthy life. Research has linked having strong friendships to reduced risks of heart disease, stroke, and premature death, and a study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reveals that strong friendships were linked to lower cholesterol, blood pressure, and lower rates of obesity.
Say Some Affirmations
Adding some daily affirmations to your routine can turn up that youthful energy to 11. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have found that affirmations can improve mood and increase focus, making you healthier, happier, and more productive in no time.
Ditch the Soda
Want a younger body and brain? Then there’s no time like the present to ditch the soda in your diet. Not only is soda consumption significantly linked to increased rates of diabetes and obesity, research conducted at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine reveals that soda drinkers were 61 percent more likely to have a stroke than those who abstained from the sweet stuff. For more incentive to ditch soda, discover the 70 Most Popular Sodas Ranked by How Toxic They Are.
Doing some good for your community can do a lot of good for you, too, making you feel happier and more youthful along the way. Fortunately for those with busy schedules, it doesn’t even take much involvement to yield results: researchers at the National University of Singapore and Duke University found that volunteering just once a month increased participants’ feelings that they had a sense of purpose and gave them a deeper connection to other members of their community.
Keep Challenging Yourself
When you stop learning, your brain stops growing —literally. Research conducted on German medical students reveals that in a period before a big exam when students were studying, there were distinct changes in the activity in the hippocampus and other parts of the brain, whereas after the exam, those parts of the brain were no longer lighting up. If you’re looking to keep your mind fit and youthful as you age, sign up for a class, read, or even just try out a new exercise at the gym.
Adding a little yoga to your routine can make you look and feel younger both inside and out. Yoga can help relieve tension, improve your muscle tone, and give you the endorphin rush that comes along with a good workout. Even better, research published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health have found that just 20 minutes of yoga improved both speed and accuracy on cognitive tests. Eager to shed pounds without a trip to the gym? Try the 35 Fun Activities That Don’t Feel Like Exercise on for size.
Travel Somewhere New
Whether you’re going to a different town or a different country, a little excitement can bring back that youthful joie de vivre; it may even spark your creativity, too. Research published in Academy Management Journal reveals that creative directors at fashion houses who traveled to other countries produced more creative products than those who stuck close to home and those new experiences may just keep you cognitively fit as you age.
Stick to a Consistent Schedule
It’s no surprise that our energy stores can deplete as we age, but sticking to a consistent schedule can keep you feeling young for longer. Listening to your body’s cues about when to go to bed and wake up can improve your energy, and may even help slow the rate of cognitive decline in later life. Research suggests that individuals with dementia had improvements in their symptoms when given a consistent routine to stick to, and multiple studies have linked having a regular routine to improvements in depression and anxiety symptoms.
Tackle Your Work-Life Balance Issues
You may be passionate about your work, but that enthusiasm shouldn’t come at the expense of your health. Developing a better work-life balance now can help you perform better, feel happier, and even increase your energy level. Research suggests that a good work-life balance can even increase productivity; in fact, one study conducted in 2000 found that companies that allowed employees to work remotely found a 20 percent jump in productivity and an improvement in employee morale, too.
Take Yourself Less Seriously
Lighten up! It might just help you live longer and enjoy your time on this planet more. Taking yourself less seriously can improve your affect, reduce your risk of certain chronic diseases, and may even help you live longer. A little positivity can go a long way when it comes to feeling young, so boost your mood and improve your health today by ditching the 40 Bad Habits That Lead to a Fat Belly!