If you only do one thing this week… Get a younger looking you

Getting a toned, fit and younger looking body is something that we would all like to achieve. With so much information out there it’s sometime nice to get a quick low down on how to do just this without it having too much effect on you or your day. So we have scoured the articles, chatted to the experts and athletes and read the books to bring you your quick guide to a younger you.

Build Lean Muscle: it is said that we lose half a pound of lean muscle every year from the age of 30. This in turn impacts on our weight as the less muscle you have the fewer calories you burn causing you to put on weight more easily. However, you’ll be please to hear that with a little exercise you needn’t worry about this. The best type of exercise for this is resistance training – which means you need to go to that part of the gym many of us don’t dare venture over too for all the muscle hanging out there – the weights area. If you use light weights you won’t bulk up and you’ll still achieve the effects you need. So make sure you ask one of the trainers at the gym for help when working out what weight to use.

Hydration is key: we can’t stress enough how much importance is placed on moisture and water when trying to stay young, both inside and out. A recent study in The Journal of Dermatology revealed that healthy hydrated skin aged just 22% over an eight year period, compared with a staggering 55% over the same period for dehydrated skin. Hydrated skin not only requires topical hydrating creams (for which we love oil based moisturiser Bio Retinoid Anti-Aging Concentrate from REN or Eve Lom’s TLC cream) but it also means that you need to drink lots and lots of water – around 2.5 litres a day. How many times have you heard gorgeous super models and actresses claim that their young skin is down to their water consumption? Too many times I’m sure, but its true.

You are what you eat: as you get older you often need less calories (unless you are an athlete or enthusiastic gym goer). Pauline Hili, founder of Nourish Skin Range, recently told me about a Japanese anti-ageing method that  comes from the Okinawan population who practice Hara haci bu, which involves eating until you are 80% full, as it puts less stress on the body and the digestive system, and is though to be one of the reasons that so many Japanese live to be very old. But there are other diet tricks that are perhaps more fun, such as introducing yummy antioxidant foods into your daily meals. These include cooked tomatoes which contain lycopene – a powerful skin antioxidant, and avocados, which are rich in essential fatty acids and vitamin E, and salmon which is one of the best sources of omega oils that help our skin to stay supple.

And some things to ditch…

Ditch sugar – it is one of the worst agers

Ditch stress – we all know about the effects of the stress hormone cortisol on our bodies

Ditch salt – anything that goes against your hydration can’t be good

Ditch sunbathing – you must, must, must wear a high SPF factor when in the sun. I have not yet met one expert that would tell you that staying in the sun won’t age you

Ditch short skirts – mutton dressed as lamb. Need I say more…