“Some days it seems everyone I meet is afraid of getting old”, wrote Jane Brody in the New York Times on Monday. “I see women who have had so many face lifts that they can barely move their lips when they talk”. I do know what she means, but I feel I should invite her to join the Truth In Aging community, where, I believe, we accept aging – providing it is on our terms and we can embrace as many options as possible to feel and look good.
One thing that Jane Brody did mention that I agree with wholeheartedly is the importance of muscle-strengthening exercise. A little muscle padding will actually help you look younger. I once admired a friend’s décolleté, which was looking smooth and clear and, much to my initial surprise, she put it down to going to the gym.
Muscle tissue declines with age, but you can actually reverse that trend and, with a bit of work, build more muscle than when you were young and indolent. Any resistance exercises will help and can even be fun when incorporated into a muscle toning program such as The Bar Method (this is bar as in ballet barre and not, as my gynecologist assumed, a place to go get a drink).
I don’t know if I look younger as a result of exercise, but I sure feel younger. Exercise puts in a spring my step and, what I like most of all, is a sense that I am maintaining strength. There’s nothing worse than getting older and living in fear of tripping or, god forbid, being unable to turn a corkscrew in a bottle of Chardonnay. That’s why I recently joined Pure Power Boot Camp and found that the challenge of really pushing myself has changed my life as well as my body.
Evidence that exercise may keep us young is becoming more compelling as science gains more understanding of telomeres. These are complex things, but in a nutshell, telomeres shorten every time a cell divides. When they become very short, they trigger cell crisis and cell death. As we know, cells can only replicate a limited number of times - a phenomena called the Hayflick Limit.
Research has shown that lifestyle changes such as exercise increased telomere length by an average of 10%. And you’ll be pleased to know that there is an anti-aging cosmetic ingredient that promises, at least, to stabilize the telomeres. It is called teprenone, or Renovage. There's also a natural version found in astragalus and it can be found in these excellent anti-aging serums:
- Medik8 Red Alert Solution ($60 in the shop)
- Your Best Face Correct eye serum ($150 in the shop)
- Prana Reishi Shield ($42 in the shop)
- Medik8 Red Alert for Body ($75 in the shop)