Over40.it, our new e-zine dedicated to you, a splendid over forty-years-old woman who looks at life as the best part is here and now.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Do This One Thing and You'll Be Prettier

Call it the ultimate makeover: Small changes in the way you live will improve your looks.

Being beautiful isn't all about makeup, hair dye, and the right clothes. It's also about good health. The healthier you are, the better you will look. Change your lifestyle and you'll be prettier.

Here are some tried and true tips for looking your best:

  • Smoking ruins your skin and hair.

  • The primary reason to not smoke--or stop if you do--is to prevent potentially fatal diseases, including cancer and stroke. Here's another reason that may be more relevant to younger people: Smoking damages the microcirculation to the skin and hair, reports the BBC News Online. When this happens, both are dull, gray, and lifeless. Smoking also leads to early wrinkles, especially around the mouth.
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  • Booze packs on the pounds.

  • What you drink and how much you drink affect the size of your waistline. The type of alcohol that's consumed seems to contribute differently to the accumulation of abdominal fat, HealthCentral reports of research from epidemiologists at the University at Buffalo. Wine drinkers have the least abdominal fat, while liquor drinkers have the highest. Beer isn't associated with central adiposity. Men and women who binge drink--that is, drink infrequently but heavily--have more abdominal fat than people who drink small amounts of alcohol on a regular basis--even though the total amount of alcohol consumed over a set period of time may be the same for both groups. The takeaway: Binge drinking packs on the pounds.

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  • Vitamins make your skin glow.

  • If you want a complexion that glows, take your vitamins. Sometimes that means popping a vitamin pill and other times it means eating the right food. A healthy diet can be a fountain of youth for our skin. Eat well and your skin will be moist, clear, and glowing. Eat poorly and it will be dry, pale, scaly, or oily. Here's a grocery list:
    Strawberries will build collagen to give your skin strength and elasticity.
    Wheat germ will keep your skin from becoming dry and flaky.
    Green and orange vegetables will help prevent premature wrinkling.

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  • Work up a sweat.

  • Exercising regularly will not only keep you in shape, but also give you poise and make your skin glow. If you walk briskly for 30 minutes a day, you may never gain another pound, according to researchers from Duke University.

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  • Be sun smart.

  • Cover up--with clothing or sun screen. The sun's ultraviolet rays break down the skin's collagen, which makes the skin thinner and allows wrinkles to form.

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  • Nighty night.

  • Sleep is not a luxury. It's necessary for body repairs. So make sure you get enough, which is at least seven to eight hours a night. If you don't get enough shut-eye, you could also have problems with memory and concentration, according to researchers at Stanford University.

  • Get over it. Deal.

  • Stress can show on your face and in your posture. Learn how to deal with the big and little stresses you face in your life. But do know this: You are not alone. Stress is the most common health problem reported by women.

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  • Smile and say cheese.

  • Take care of your teeth. Brush, floss, and see the dentist every six months for a check-up. If your teeth aren't pearly white, you only have yourself to blame. An unhealthy adult lifestyle, especially smoking, is largely responsible for bad teeth. The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry offers this advice to keep your teeth white: Avoid drinking too much coffee or red wine and use toothpaste that has hydrogen peroxide or baking soda.


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