Every woman deserves to feel beautiful. Of course, as we get older, our quest for beauty may take a bit more work. But in some ways, that’s good news. If we acknowledge that beauty comes from health, we can motivate ourselves to be our healthiest. That starts with the basics.
Get enough sleep. Women are natural caretakers, and we often put others needs before our own. This approach can backfire. Many women sacrifice rest to get everything done, but no woman looks or feels her best when she’s tired. Let it go, savor your sleep time, and don’t apologize.
Exercise. Exercise makes you beautiful inside and out. It fights gravity and improves your mood, protects your bones and makes your skin glow. Move daily and make it fun. Exercise should be the highlight of your day, not a chore! Find something you can’t wait to do every day, something you can do with other women. Running, tennis, kickboxing, Zumba, belly dancing, it’s all good. Remember to consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program.
Pay attention to nutrition. You are what you eat hits home when you pass 50. Metabolism slows with age, so controlling calories becomes even more important. Eat more whole, raw foods and add greater variety to your diet. Get plenty of omega-3 fatty acids from foods like salmon and flaxseed or from fish-oil supplements; omega-3s are a secret weapon for supple skin, a healthy cardiovascular system and a sharper mind.
Aging beautifully also requires the right mindset. Our brains contain mirror neurons, which fire in response to what we see others doing. In other words, emotions are contagious. If you think you are beautiful and act accordingly, others will believe it, too. If you think you aren’t beautiful, others will likely agree with you. Beauty at any age comes from thinking beautifully.
Some women exercise to feel beautiful, while others go to the salon or buy new clothes. Others find beauty in their environment. But in the end, growing older beautifully means investing in the healthiest lifestyle possible in body and in mind. Self-confidence makes some women more beautiful with each passing year, like roses slowly opening. Be one of them.
How much sleep do I need?
According to the National Sleep Foundation, most adults need at least seven hours of sleep to function at their best. But every person is a bit different. Determine what works for you by paying attention to your mood and energy after different amounts of sleep. The foundation recommends establishing regular sleep times that you follow even on weekends and creating soothing bedtime rituals to prepare yourself for sleep.
Eva Ritvo, M.D., is a psychiatrist practicing in Miami Beach, Fla., and an associate professor, voluntary faculty, in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. She is the co-author of The Beauty Prescription.