Youthfulness and its relevance to successful ageing
For me, the biggest outward indicator of youthfulness comes from someone’s mindset, rather than their physical condition or the way they dress (but these can probably help too, see below). The ‘young at heart’ seem to have a more youthful, vibrant outlook and this seems to give them energy. This energy shows itself in different ways – it could be physical energy from following a healthy lifestyle and diet, or it could come from holding a sense of purpose and a zest for life. Youthfulness may also come from a positive attitude and by interacting with other youthful people, and keeping up with news and trends. Or maybe they’ve just not yet been troubled with loss, sickness or pain that sometimes comes with age.
Of course, maintaining a youthful physical appearance is very important for some, with motivation coming from inside the individual or from the culture in which they live. They may have always had an interest in their looks but this isn’t necessarily the case: some people just want to preserve or maintain what they have got for as long as they can. I don’t think this an unreasonable goal. If people feel good about themselves, it can also help their wellbeing.
This can be done in a number of ways. Our bodies can start to show visible signs of ageing from early middle-age onwards: with wrinkling skin, weight gain, restricted movement and poor posture all being tell-tale signs. The good news is that many of these changes can be pushed back (with some effort) through exercise and a good diet. Bellies seem to be the most troublesome area for men! For women, specific body parts are faces, necks, chests, arms, hands, and feet, which can all betray us. Luckily there are ways to slow down each of these changes, including taking supplements, using creams, other beauty treatments, exercise, surgery etc. Wearing certain types or styles of clothes can also help to disguise age and the same fashions are marketed to all age-groups. Many of these warrant their own separate articles!
There is also a lot that can be done with hair in terms of colouring and styles. Times have changed; many people now dye their hair from an earlier age to maintain something like their natural hair colour. Men experience hair issues too, by either greying or receding. Whilst some choose to dye or ‘comb-over’, I think it’s much more acceptable to embrace it, either by greying gracefully, adopting the ‘silver fox’ look, or by biting the bullet and shaving it all off. Implants, supplements, wigs and accessories are also all options for more drastic action.
Props and Aids
There are also a number of props, tips and techniques available today to help maintain a youthful appearance for longer, such as diet and exercises focusing on specific anti-ageing needs and age-specific target areas. One good example is facial yoga. Vitamins, supplements and nutrients can also be tailored to your special needs. All of this comes before the hugely lucrative area of anti-ageing creams and cosmetics.
Finally, I wonder if doing things that make us feel ‘childish’ can impact our youthfulness. For me personally, activities such as rollerblading or scooting with my kids ignites a childishness in me which lays dormant for most of my sensible adult life. I find myself grinning inanely, but feeling amazing and alive all the same. Maybe each one of you also has something that brings out that childish feeling in you too. I’d love to hear them if you’re willing to share.
Thank you for reading. For more interesting articles, visit my blog at www.agelifebalance.com to learn more.