Do you want to know the secret to Youth? Let me tell you the things to avoid, if you want to stay looking younger longer.

  • Poor Diet

    What you eat affects your health more than anything else you do. When you eat a poor diet of fatty, processed, or fried foods and simple sugars--the aging process speeds up. Stay away from additives and trans-fats, which rob you of your health and deprive your body of essential nutrients. On the other hand, when you eat foods that are close to mother nature--as in fresh, preferably organic and vital--you will have all the vitality and strength you need.

    You also want to have many different colors in your diet. Now with summer in full bloom, so to speak, there’s no excuse. The gardens, farmer’s markets, and grocery stores are filled with rich, luscious fruits and vegetables. Those juicy cherries, those unbelievable tomatoes, fresh figs, sweet sugar snaps peas, crisp and tasty carrots--mmm...yummy! The skins of fruits and vegetables are loaded with powerful antioxidants, which help you look and feel young.

    Why risk your health and beauty with unhealthy food?

  • The Power of Your Thoughts

    Your mind and your thoughts are powerful antidotes to aging. Negative thinking, depression, or anger can pull down your mind and body; whereas, happy and joyful thoughts can uplift your spirit and maybe your face. How you act, behave, or react to situations can ultimately determine your longevity. Isn’t it great to know you have the power to control your aging--a little scary I’m sure when you really think about it--to actually have a choice about how you react today and that choice affecting your future.

    The late Norman Cousins did some amazing research on how the mind can influence the body. He discovered the immune system could improve with 30 minutes of deep belly laughter every day. Laughter also increases the release of “feel good” endorphins. Yes, joyful people live longer and healthier lives. I’m not surprised that Laughing Yoga” is starting to get more recognition in this country. Personally, I love to watch a good comedy any chance I get.

  • Lack of Exercise

    If you want to be healthy and live a long life, you need to be physically active. Inactivity is a huge culprit in becoming overweight and accelerating the aging process. It’s important to alternate aerobic exercise with weight resistance exercise. You will gain a youthful glow as your regular exercise increases blood flow and oxygen to all your cells. Keeping muscles and joints limber is also a big plus. Don't forget to do a proper warm up and cool down to avoid injury as well.

  • Stress

    Stress takes a tremendous toll on your body and your health in general. 'When you are experiencing stress, your body is programmed to go into fight-or-flight mode causing additional wear and tear. You release adrenaline when in this state. Even if a lion is not chasing you--your body is reacting as if it is. The thing about being chased by a lion, well it’s a very short term event you either get away or not, and then it’s over. However, for us, it’s never over. We are constantly in this heightened state, unfortunately, putting added stress on every system in our body.

    Always remember to breathe deeply during the day to help manage your stress. I think of that 60’s song “Cry if you want to, Cry if you want to.” Replace “Cry” for “Sigh” and that’s my formula. Give yourself a break! You are human, not a machine. Try taking a 15-minute mediation break during your lunch. Just closing your eyes will release a lot of tension. If you cannot meditate, take a walk in the park, or sit on a bench in nature for 10 or 15 minutes. These actions alone will reduce any tension you may feel in your body.

  • Lack of Sleep

    There's no way around it: the average adult needs 7-8 hours of quality sleep every night to maintain health. Without sufficient "recovery time" each night, you will run your body and mind down and wear out your life force.

    So try to get to sleep at a regular time every night. Ideally, try to get to bed before 10:00 p.m. and up by 6:00 a.m. Based on ancient healing systems, it is said these are the best times for deeper, restful, rejuvenation and regeneration. Don’t worry if it’s not those exact times, just remember you need your 7-8 hours. Also, have your bedroom uncluttered, preferably without a TV, as both can be very stimulating to the mind instead of soothing and restful. If you would like, you can always have a cup of relaxing tea with valerian root or chamomile.

Sleep, eat, and exercise well until next time.

(c) Monika Klein, B.S., C.N.

Author's Bio: 

Monika Klein, BS, CN. is an award winning clinical nutritionist and weight loss expert. Monika is the "Compassionate and Practical Nutrition and Lifestyle Coach." Her company, Coaching For Health, offers life transforming weight loss and wellness programs, classes and products throughout the world. To learn more about Monika’s services and programs, visit