James Bond looks fucking awesome. And he’s old. A lot of older men want to look great at any age, but don’t know how. Well, you don’t need gladiator workouts, ridiculous diets, or plastic surgery to slow the aging process. You can look and feel your best at any age by making a few simple tweaks to your lifestyle.
This is an excerpt from an I article I wrote in Urban Male Magazine:
Here are a few tricks that help James Bond look like a million bucks. Except the no smoking point. He would never give up smoking. Actually, I doubt James Bond would do any of this. But you should.
The way you age is determined by more than just genetics. Research shows that exercise can help delay and even reverse the signs of aging. The four cornerstones to the ultimate age fighting workout are weight training, cardio, intense intervals, and flexibility.
- Weight Training: Aside from getting you ripped, regular weight training will raise your metabolic rate, increase bone strength, burn fat, and even tighten your skin. “In your 20s, you have the wonderful ability to executive intense, heavy, and frequent exercise,” says Alexander Koch, Ph.D., and professor at Truman State University. “A man’s HGH (human growth hormone, also called the anti-aging hormone) levels drop from 6 nanograms per milliliter when he’s 20 to only 3 ng/ml when he’s 40, so your 20s represent the best time to build muscular power.”
- Cardio: A healthy heart is fundamental to aging gracefully. Boston University’s Framingham Heart Study analyzed 5,000 men and women, and discovered that those who did regular aerobic exercise lived nearly 4 years longer than those who did not. Do 30 minutes of aerobic activity a day at least five times a week to help sidestep heart disease, lower your blood pressure, and keep your arteries clear.
- Intense Intervals: A study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that after two weeks of interval training, six of the eight university aged men doubled their endurance. Bursts of hard exercise are amazing for your overall fitness and it also increases the amount of blood and oxygen sent up to the brain. The hippocampus is the part of the brain where memory resides, and is surprisingly susceptible to damage from low blood flow and lack of oxygen. A couple 30-minute high intensity interval sessions a week will help keep your body and brain in good working order as you get older.
- Flexibility: Guys hate stretching because it’s all about subtlety. No it won’t give you bulging biceps, but it will help with injury prevention, improve your posture, strengthen your back and core, and tailor your body for optimal maneuverability (and sex). As you get older, it’s natural to suffer from joint pain, stiffness, and a lack of overall mobility. Develop a habit of stretching every day and you’ll be bending like a pretzel for years to come.
It’s not just a cliché – you are what you eat. A healthy diet will help you look and feel your best for years to come. Consuming high nutrient foods on a regular basis is vital for repairing damaged skin cells and makes a huge difference in how your body ages.
- Nuts: They’re packed with healthy fats that keep your skin looking tight by feeding the elastin and collagen in your epidermis. Researchers at Tufts University found that walnuts in particular can reverse multiple parameters of brain aging, as well as age related motor and cognitive deficits.
- Fish: The body doesn’t produce omega-3 fatty acids, so we need to get them through the foods we consume. Eat plenty of salmon, trout, herring, canned light tuna, and oysters. They have powerful anti-inflammatory properties and keep your brain functioning at a high level so you don’t lose your memory by the time you’re 50.
- Vegetables: How many times have you been told to eat your veggies? David L. Katz, M.D., and public health professor at Yale University agrees, “Eat 10 servings of vegetables daily. You need the antioxidant protection, and it’s a proven way to stay lean.” He also suggests eating a wide range of colourful vegetables to protect you from heart disease and cancer.
- Fruits: Make friends with fruits that are rich in vitamin C, like oranges, kiwis, papayas, and strawberries. Vitamin C is important for the development and maintenance of scar tissue, wound repair, healthy blood vessels, cartilage, and all types of tissue maintenance.
- Garlic: It seems garlic is on every “must eat” diet list, and for good reason, it’s a powerhouse in the superfood category. Garlic will protect you from cardiovascular disease, reduce your cholesterol, help with weight loss, raise your immune system, and lower your blood pressure. Experts also suspect it aids in keeping your skin tight, and breath smelling bad.
Hydration is the quickest way to keep your body, hair, and skin healthy over the years. Every system of your body relies on water. It also naturally moisturizes your skin and helps keep your hair shiny and smooth. A recent study at John Hopkins University found that Americans were taking in 21 percent of their daily calories from sugary drinks. Replace soft drinks with 4-6 glasses of water and you will immediately feel the difference.
The surgeon general isn’t lying to you. According to the National Cancer Institute, “Smoking harms nearly every organ of the body and significantly diminishes a person’s overall health.” Not only will smoking kill you, it will also make your skin look like an old catchers mitt. Tobacco consumption attacks two essential proteins, collagen and elastin, both of which give your skin its strength and elasticity. Also, the wrinkles that form when puckering your lips to take a drag will eventually turn into lifelong companions.
Cut The Stress
High levels of stress can be linked to everything from depression, headaches, weight gain, and even hair loss. Scientists believe that chronic stress can hasten the corrosion of genes inside cells, which shortens their life span and speeds the body’s deterioration. Do whatever it takes to melt the stress out of your life, get a new job, book that vacation you’ve been dreaming of, or buy a hammock. Your body will thank you.
Get Some Sleep
There’s a reason they call it “beauty sleep.” A consistent lack of sleep stimulates the effects of aging by altering hormones and destroying your metabolism, not to mention the puffy eyes.
The production of natural HGH (human growth hormone) relies on a good nights sleep. HGH plays a critical role in your body’s metabolic processes, and a deficit will result in excess body fat, brittle bones, and wrinkly skin.
Avoid The Sun
Over time ultraviolet radiation (UV) will destroy your skins natural ability to repair itself. Even if it’s not sunny out, the UV index could be strong enough to cause significant damage. Pick a high SPF sunscreen and use it as much as possible.
Also, have you ever noticed you squint more when you’re not wearing sunglasses? Those little wrinkles and lines around your eyes will build up over time and become permanent fixtures, so get yourself a pair of high-quality shades.
Learn To Shave
Scraping your face with razor blades every day takes its toll and adds unwanted years to your mug. To limit the damage, avoid strong soaps that strip healthy oils from your skin. Always use a cream or lotion before shaving, use a sharp razor, and shave in the direction the hair grows. Finish off with a good quality moisturizer and you’ll be on your way to keeping that baby face as long as possible.