30 Ways To Slow and Prevent Aging

by | Nov 18, 2009

Darya PinoToday is my 30th birthday and a perfect time to reflect on life, the universe and everything.

Despite being female and thus held to tough and often unrealistic physical standards, hitting the end of my third decade doesn’t cause me anxiety about either my appearance or place in the world.

In my experience, age is not an amount of time but a state of mind. As a child I always wanted to be a grown up, so I acted like one. It freaked my parents out sometimes, but that’s just how I was. In my mind, I still feel pretty much the same in that regard. I love to work hard and I thrive in positions of responsibility. Since both these traits get more important with age, I have actually enjoyed stepping into the adult role I’ve always felt I belonged in.

But that’s only one part of me.

In many other ways I’m as juvenile as ever. If you spend much time with me on Twitter (@summertomato) you’ve probably noticed I have the sense of humor of a 12-year-old boy. I blame my dad for that one. I’m also still shocked every time I hear that friends my age are getting married and having children. In my brain we’re not nearly old enough for that yet! But in reality, it is my friends who are normal and I’m the outlier.

Oh, and did I mention I’m still in school? Up until a couple years ago I carried a backpack with me everywhere, for better or for worse.

Darya's GunsAll these things give me a sense of agelessness, so it is hard to think of this birthday as anything but another day to do things I love. But part of my peace of mind certainly comes from the fact that I’m in pretty good shape physically–probably the best of my life. And at 30 this is definitely something to be proud of.

Summer Tomato readers know I attribute my good health almost entirely to my eating habits. I also spend a good amount of time in the gym, though I don’t workout nearly as much as I used to. But healthstyle extends to more than just diet and exercise.

Here I’ve compiled my favorite 30 habits to slow aging and keep you young in more than just your heart.

30 Healthstyle Tips To Keep You Young

  1. Be happy The physical damage caused to your body by stress has only recently become appreciated by the scientific community. Fill your life with things you love and get rid of almost everything else. Practice stress relieving activities like meditation and exercise, and learn to appreciate joy when you find it. Happiness does a body good.
  2. Eat vegetables There is good evidence that oxidative damage caused by toxins and metabolism contributes to the aging process at a cellular level. Foods (but not supplements) high in antioxidants seem to protect us from oxidative stress.
  3. Avoid sugar Sugar is a direct cause of aging and significantly reduces lifespan in organisms from yeast to primates. Not by a small amount either.
  4. Moisturize The appearance of your skin is largely dependent upon moisture. Help it out by using moisturizers to keep your skin soft and hydrated. Work with a professional to determine what type is best for you.
  5. Don’t raise your eyebrows Credit my mother for teaching me this one, it has been a lifesaver. As a kid she used to warn me about raising my eyebrows, saying it would give me wrinkles and I’d regret it. I thought she was crazy, but still learned to express myself without much forehead crinkling. As a result I have far fewer forehead lines than some people years younger than me.
  6. Sleep For me the most important determinant of how I look (and feel) on a given day is how much sleep I get. Seven hours is my ideal, but everyone is different.
  7. Eat fish Some evidence suggests that the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish are particularly beneficial to the skin.
  8. Wear sunscreen I love the sun and spend as much time in it as possible, but I never walk out the door without sunscreen on my face. UV radiation from the sun damages your skin and promotes aging.
  9. Don’t smoke Smoking is one of the easiest ways to look older than you really are and shorten your life at the same time. Avoid both primary and secondary smoke like the plague.
  10. Step out of your comfort zone Mental exercise seems to be one of the key elements of quality aging, but this doesn’t mean you should sit around all day doing crossword puzzles. Neuroscientist and cognitive aging specialist Dr. Adam Gazzaley suggests going out of your way to challenge yourself mentally, doing things like traveling and learning new languages even over the age of 60.
  11. Take vitamin D Some research suggests that vitamin D may be particularly important in slowing the aging process. The jury is still out on the value of vitamin D supplements for aging, but they seem to have enough other benefits that it’s worth the investment.
  12. Eat fruit Like vegetables, fruits have an enormous amount of antioxidants and help with hydration. Vitamin C in particular is thought to benefit skin.
  13. No foundation or powder makeup Generally I avoid putting any makeup directly onto my skin. I realize I have a very flexible work environment and this is not possible for every woman, but skipping the makeup does help maintain your skin’s hydration and elasticity. I do wear makeup occasionally, maybe once or twice per week. But in general I find that mascara and lip gloss are enough for most situations.
  14. Hydrate Your skin is very sensitive to water levels. Stay hydrated by sipping water and eating fruits and vegetables throughout the day.
  15. Whiten teeth I know this isn’t something you can find at the farmers market, but when you drink as much coffee and red wine as I do, minor (and admittedly superficial) fixes like teeth whitening can go a long way. If you don’t believe me, try and remember the last time you saw a 20-year-old with yellow teeth….
  16. Wear sunglasses If you’re a happy person (and I know you are), your wrinkles will most likely be caused by smiling and show up predominantly around your eyes. Block out extra sun (and look super cool) by always wearing sunglasses when you go outside.
  17. Eat beans and lentils Legumes are a fabulous source of minerals that can help keep your skin hydrated and looking young.
  18. Tea Afternoon tea time is one of the greatest discoveries I’ve ever made. Not only is tea full of antioxidants and other cancer-fighting compounds, a midday break can be just what the doctor ordered to sip away stress.
  19. Cardio I’m not the biggest believer in cardio exercise for weight loss, but it is still important for vascular health. Not to mention how awesome you feel after a good session. Cardio doesn’t need to kill you, but you should do it regularly.
  20. Strength training Building strong, toned muscles is one of the most effective ways to look younger than your years. Ask anyone who looks fabulous and they’ll swear by strength training. A little goes a long way.
  21. Eat intact whole grains Intact grains (not fake “whole” grains that are ground into flour) are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals and soluble fiber. They are also perfect fuel for those killer workouts.
  22. Olive oil It is hard to think of something more versatile, healthy and delicious than olive oil. It breaks my heart that dietary fat got such a bad rap the past few decades, since the benefits of healthy fats like olive oil are innumerable. Fat isn’t just “not bad” for you, it’s essential.
  23. Kill your television We all have things we enjoy watching (I’m partial to NBA championship teams), but if it takes up a significant amount of your time each week (>5 hrs) it may be time to reevaluate. How many years of your life do you really want to spend on your couch?
  24. Don’t stuff yourself Cutting back on calories is the single most effective way to slow aging and extend life. I don’t advise starving yourself, but it’s a good idea to avoid overeating in any situation.
  25. Eat nuts Nuts are the perfect snack food and are filled with anti-aging fats, vitamins and minerals. They are also great for suppressing appetite–just don’t eat more than a handful.
  26. Avoid dairy Studies of aging skin have shown that milk and milk products are associated with acne, which can lead to scaring and age spots.
  27. Avoid processed meats Processed meats are associated with many different health problems in humans. No need to get too hung up on this, but you may not want to eat deli meat every single day if you want to stay young.
  28. No processed carbohydrates Just like sugar, processed carbohydrates are a direct cause of aging and disease. I eat these things occasionally, but don’t let it happen too often.
  29. Coconut oil Fats come in all different shapes and sizes, and I try to incorporate a good mix of all of them. Medium-chain fatty acids like those found in coconut oil are starting to be recognized as important by researchers, but the evidence is limited. Coconut oil is also a healthy source of saturated fat for vegetarians. I always use coconut oil when cooking Southeast Asian food.
  30. Red wine Red wine has a powerful anti-aging compound in it known as resveratrol. Though it is unlikely that the dosage of resveratrol in red wine is high enough to impact lifespan, drinking alcohol in moderation is also associated with decreased risk of heart disease and other vascular problems. Cheers!

Do you have any anti-aging secrets?

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61 Responses to “30 Ways To Slow and Prevent Aging”

  1. Eleanor says:

    You’ve accumulated a lot of wisdom in 30 years. Thanks for sharing it with us, and happy birthday!

    Sleep is my primary health secret, and the older I get the more possessive I am about it. If you disturb my sleep, it better be for a good reason.

    I love coconut oil! I not only cook with it, I use the same stuff directly on my skin as a moisturizer (combining tips #4 and #29)!

    • john says:

      hi! i really enjoyed reading this post. I found that sleep is also the best remedy for me. I also try to stay active with my daily activities and also try doing things that keep me in a good positive mind frame. Also at the same time i try to take good health supplements that will assist my body in staying in good health. A product to try is GenF20.. There site is at http://www.genf20.com/ct/97911.. I’ve been using this product for a while now, and it has really worked well.

  2. Janet says:

    Happy Birthday! You look fabulous!

    I’m turning 30 next year, and love these tips!

  3. SergioM says:

    First of all…Happy Birthday!!! I’m over 28 and I feel fine too! hehe Doing athletics since I was 8, skinny and in good condition hehe

    I agree with all of your basics to “keep young” (mantenerse joven) and I’d remark stress ass a different point of being happy because it is very dangerous to our health, that’s all.

    Three main things to keep in mind: Eat properly, do sport, rest “enough” time.

    Have a nice nice day!

  4. HAPPY BIRTHDAY and thanks for continuing to share your wisdom, insight and experiences with us!

    You look fabulous and definitely a role-model for healthy living, eating, and having an overall healthstyle :)

  5. Henk says:

    Happy Birthday from the Netherlands!!!!

  6. AnneP says:

    Happy bday again Darya! Love, love your 30 list. Funny that you’ve mentioned how you’re in the best shape now because I feel the same way too! Cheers to that and I hope you have a good bday this weekend back in Orange :)

  7. jeff clark says:

    Happy Birthday! I will let you on a little secret. From my experience, those anti aging tips work at 50 just as well as when you are 30. I just wish I had those tips when I was 30.

  8. Happy birthday, Darya! Great rules to live by. :D

  9. xoc says:

    nice post! what product do you recommend for teeth whitening?

  10. Paul says:

    I believe taking care of your skin properly , applying vitamins to your skin in the night and nvr sun bathing will help a lot. And one more things, people with no facial expression have great skin !
    happy bday from UK :D

  11. Ryan Smith says:

    Happy birthday Darya, you have a great site.

  12. SergioM says:

    Hi again!
    And what about living in a place free of polution? In my case, Barcelona is a beautiful city and so on but…

  13. jennifer says:

    Happy Birthday!

    And you totally hit the nail on the head with this one! I just turned 26 a few months ago. All of my friends are married and have kids… and I’m still in school (as well!) and enjoying my life as-is. I got a dog this past summer and that was a HUGE step toward “starting a family” for me. :-)

    I guess it’s all about what is important to us. For me, it’s more important that I first be happy, healthy and stable than it is for me to get married and/or be a mother.

  14. Darya Pino says:

    Thank you guys all so much for the birthday wishes! I had a fantastic birthday!

    xoxox
    darya

  15. Matt Shook says:

    Wow, this is a great list…I agree with virtually all of these (can’t really comment on foundation or makeup)! I strongly believe in getting plenty of sleep, laughing a lot, embracing a type-B personality, and routine exercise (sports, commute, etc.)…along with the super eating habits of course.

    Question…I think you covered this, but is there a major difference in “aging” between processed and naturally-occurring sugars (such as fruits & dates)?

    I’ve noticed that my teeth have been been naturally whiter the past few years and I believe it may be attributed to the amount of strawberries and apple cider vinegar in my diet, but I can’t be sure…

    And lastly…¡Feliz cumpleaños a ti!

    • Darya Pino says:

      Aging is tied directly to insulin signaling, so processed sugars that aren’t locked up in fiber and digest more quickly are likely to be worse. But I don’t know this for sure. Processed sugars are also more inflammatory.

      Strawberries and apple cider vinegar for white teeth?! Interesting hypothesis!!

      xoxox
      dp

  16. A late happy birthday to you – I don’t know how I missed this!

    Great list, by the way, and if you are an indication of the effectiveness of the list, it is spot on. You look great!

  17. Matthew says:

    I second that Steve!

  18. Melaniemeep says:

    Aye, coconut oil is great for your skin and hair. I use it in a solid form in my hair as a treatment if it is in any way dried out. Apply on to dry hair and leave for a few minutes, hours or even over night and then wash and style your hair as normal. It also works as a serum when your hair is styled. Be aware: A little goes a long way with coconut oil!

  19. Santosh says:

    mega-dosing on fish oil (12-15 grams/day) did wonders for my skin. But you bleed a lot more easily.

  20. Leviev says:

    these are some great tips to try and stay looking young.

  21. Grok says:

    Marry me.

  22. Chris says:

    Great tips, I would add “Smile” ingredient with the above list and meditation. If they do research they will certainly find smile keeps the face healthy and young.

  23. Dab says:

    Happy Birthday! Not to make it any more depressing but you are technically entering your fourth decade :-).

  24. Molly Maloof says:

    One would think when you put links in your articles they would take the reader to pubmed or another evidence based resource… I like your point of view, but please don’t dumb down your well-written articles by leaving out proper citations, Ms. Scientist.

    Also, to whiten your teeth quickly and CHEAPLY, gargle with 1 part water, 1 part hydrogen peroxide and 2 drops of peppermint oil, once every 2 weeks. White strips are a waste of money. This works.

  25. Catherine says:

    Don’t want you to think your older than you realised, but you’ve completed your third decade and have entered your fourth (just as I am in my seventh). Keep up the good work.

  26. Cheryl says:

    You have another birthday coming up soon. Yours is the same day as my dance teacher! : ) I just turned 55 mid October. My anti-aging tips–first of all, wish I had started them in my 20’s, but have still managed to keep time at bay. Here they are…

    Always wear sunscreen or driving gloves on ones hands. Those spots you get later in life start in your teens & 20’s. A woman’s hands will give her age away pretty fast if they are not well cared for. I love how my hands look today. Protect the delicate skin on your hands as you do your face. No exposures to harsh chemicals–wear those gloves.

    Your complexion does not stop at your chin. Treat your neck, chest and breasts with the same loving care you do your face. At 55 I do not have crepey, wrinkly skin on my face, neck, chest or breasts. Your skin is thin and delicate in these areas, too. Exercise the muscles of your face and neck as well as the rest of your body. Carol Maggio has a great book on how to do this. Start while you are young. I started in my 30’s. Glad I did. Invest in a humdifier for at least your bedroom to battle that dry indoor air and protect your skin. And, yes, diet is very important–lots of fresh fruits & vegetables and healthy fats.

  27. me says:

    your list really should include only the following:
    exercise
    don’t over eat
    sleep
    moisturize
    be happy

    The majority of your food related advice (with the exception of wine)can be chopped up to findings found in studies that incorrectly labeled the food or food type as the cause for the outcome instead of realizing that each section resulted in a caloric restricted lifestyle(which btw don’t over eat and do exercise gives you)

    I am very happy that you don’t blame fat as the root of all problems like most people try to do.

  28. Amir Abbas says:

    Happy Birthday…………
    May all of your birthday wishes come true!

    All the best..

  29. Nichole says:

    Hi Darya, i just read your list to prevent aging and i have a question; I wash my hands a lot, a lot. My hands get really sweaty and that just bothers me so i feel obliged to wash them every minute or so. Do you think that will make my hands age faster than the rest of me since i dry them out?

    • Darya Pino says:

      Dryness could be a problem, but I think if you keep moisturized it should be fine. I don’t know if there’s any real data on this though.

    • Grok says:

      Do you use soap every time? If so, is that really necessary with just a bit of sweat on them? Quick little rinse and a dab dry should do the trick and also satisfy the OCD no?

  30. charisma enam says:

    Hi Darya,
    I am having some acne issues and considering detox tea. Do you have any suggestion on this?
    C

  31. Echo says:

    @Molly Maloof….God you are such a bitch. Just because you have a medical degree doesn’t make you the smartest woman on the planet. In fact I KNOW how pathetically niave and stupid you really are. I know though, oh i know! How many other childrens’ lives have you wrecked with your amazingly acute intelligence? Just mine?

  32. Robbo says:

    Had to laugh at this article – talking about preventing ageing at 30 years old? Oh come on!! Be bit more credible if you were twice your age and still looked good…………………….

  33. Nirmala says:

    Hi Darya
    Thanks for your wonderful tips. I am in the my thirties and tips are very useful. I follow the same. Your eyebrow raising could cause aging is a useful and new one to me. continue your good work

  34. helen says:

    This is very basic common sense. Whilst you are very beautiful so was I at 30 & 40 but by 55 it is starting to wane slightly oh poo!

  35. Mackenzie says:

    I’m a 13 year old girl, and like every teenager, I’m addicted to sugar.. And I mean I do exercise naturally just by being a teenager and to me quite frankly, it seems like most of what you’re suggesting we not eat or don’t do is an essential to life. Is it ok to eat a little sugar once in a while?with school and a social life to balance, it’s hard for me to catch much sleep. And normally since I get home so late, I’m not able to really eat a balanced diet so I normally have a bagel or something along those lines. Do you have any suggestions of a quick and tasty meal with vegetables (I’m normally flexible with most) that a teenager would enjoy? Thanks so much

    • Darya Pino says:

      Hi Mackenzie,

      Of course you have to decide what you value and do your best to balance health and enjoyment. This will change as you get older, and as a teenager you can likely tolerate many worse things than us older people can. It’s OK to eat sugar every now and then, just be aware that it isn’t really good for you and you shouldn’t eat more than you need to feel happy.

      Most of the recipes here are very easy and tasty. Try starting with the cauliflower recipe, since everyone loves it. You can just make a big batch and save it to eat during the week.

  36. David says:

    Thank ya! I eat heathy too and I’m also 29 about to turn 30 but I look alotyounger and you seem very pretty and balanced

  37. David says:

    As do you:) anyway these helped

  38. Theresa says:

    I love this.i have a dry skin,pls what can i use.i have used different types of cream but it did not work.

  39. Alysha says:

    Hi Darya!
    I love everything you mentioned in your article. I am very much against aging as I feel most of us are. ;-) But I do have a question about sugar. I LOVE sugar, a little too much if I might add, and I want to cut it out but I am having a hard time doing so. I have decided I am addicted to it. When I consume it, I know it’s bad for me but I can talk myself out of having it. I was raised to have, “just a little something,” after each meal. With that being said, I don’t know how to stop. What can I do?? I am 27 and want to live a long healthy life. HELP!!
    I hope you have a wonderful summer and wear that sunscreen! :-)

  40. joseph says:

    can sex and masturbation affect aging?

  41. aud uk says:

    Im 41 probably look younger than all of you im male and look alot younger than say jonny depp or tom cruise did at the same age With out hollywoodcsecrets or cash

    Got gfeat white teeth too and 20/10 vision eyes like a hark im trully blessed but I do worry sometimes young lookers seem prone to genetic disorderd my mum looked like a child but died of motor noro micheal j fox the enternal boy has parkingsons etc etc iv noticed this

    Iv smoked canabis for 20 years I look 25 have white healthy teeth and great skin I also work in heavy dirty engineering yet I look like peter pan

    I use vitamin moisterizers I soak in the bath I eat healyish and take vitamins

    I also have always had a lot of sex and masterbate like a schoolboy I honestly think all the sex and masterbation is ghr secret many studies show people who nock one out every day look 10 years younger than those who dont

    Im sure theres truth to this my personal aim is to match or beat jonny depp at 50 with out pladtic setgery or injections just good exercise good sex and lots of sleep and mosterize

    Im 41 now and 19 yr old girls fall at my feet im also getting more hansome with age like a cloony type

    Im 2 years older than robby williams yet he loks old enough to be my dad I Aint kidding

  42. sayreville,nj says:

    nice article..never thought of aging much…but reality is time goes by fast…34 already ..and indeed there is a time for everything under the sun..have a passion for life..enjoy it like how kids do..that i think will put all ur energies and knowledge to work to make u younger…

  43. Lilly says:

    These are great tips! I follow most of this advice, and at age 23, I’m often mistaken for a high school student. One thing I wanted to point out is that many 20 year olds have yellow teeth. My adult teeth came in yellow, actually. I was taunted endlessly in school. Natural tooth color varies. It isn’t always coffee stains! Great article, though.

  44. Pat says:

    Well I’m 50 and look like 37.Those are great advice and smoking is probably my big weakness but in moderation.
    A bit of Cannabis time to time works for me.

  45. Vinod says:

    #26,Avoid dairy. Does it applicable to whey protein also?

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