When it comes to feeling youthful, there's never been a more true statement than "Age is just a state of mind." Whether you want to whittle your middle, improve your memory, or safeguard your vision, we've rounded up 11 easy and natural remedies for instantly feeling younger. Read on to turn back the clock!
Get Out There and Be Social
Sharing a laugh over eggs Benedict, taking a “paint and sip” class, catching a rom-com … social activities shared with good friends are always sure to cheer you up. But scientists at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, have found another perk to mingling with your loved ones: It lengthens your life! Researchers explained that having folks who support you enables you to better handle life’s stressors, reducing your blood pressure and tamping down damaging cellular inflammation.
Take a Stroll in the Sun
Grab a friend for a laid-back picnic in the park or stroll through an outdoor farmers market on a cheery Saturday morning. Spending as little as 10 minutes a day soaking up the sun significantly lowers your risk of heart disease, according to research published in the Journal of Internal Medicine. That’s because unfiltered UV rays deliver a healthy dose of heart-protective vitamin D. A little sun also triggers the production of a compound called nitric oxide, which relaxes blood vessels.
Sip Extra Water
Drinking a few more glasses of H2O daily (aim for two glasses every three waking hours) reduces your risk of heart disease by as much as 40 percent. That’s the word from research published in Health Nutrition, who theorize that extra fluids thin blood to prevent harmful clots.
Play Video Games
Finding it more difficult to see in dim light? The remedy for better sight is a fun one! University of Rochester scientists say that regularly playing fast-paced video games can train your brain to process what you’re seeing more efficiently and spot more details, improving your night vision by up to 58 percent within nine weeks.
An easy way to remember to pick up kitty litter on your way home from work? Sketch a picture of it. Canadian researchers let us in on the fact that drawing something rather than simply writing it down can improve your recall by as much as 42 percent regardless of your skillset. The reason? The visual cue paired with the physical act of drawing lights up more regions of the brain responsible for locking in new information.
Bust a Gut
Tickle your funny bone with 20 minutes of King of Queens reruns, and you’ll find it 43 percent easier to remember names and dates, say scientists at Loma Linda University in California. Apparently, laughter triggers memory-enhancing gamma brain waves. Who knew?
Eat an Orange
Eating just one piece of this fruit daily can reduce your risk of macular degeneration by 60 percent, Australian scientists say. Flavonoids in oranges actually work to protect the eye from oxidative stress, keeping your peepers primed for optimal health.
Enjoy a Glass of Wine
Turns out, savoring a little vino with dinner can protect your bones for years to come. Oregon State University researchers found that sipping 6 ounces of red or white wine daily reduces your risk of osteoporosis by 45 percent and begins to slow bone thinning in as little as 24 hours. Wine is brimming with phenolic compounds, or antioxidants that mimic bone-strengthening estrogen when they latch on to tissues.
Log Those Zzzs
Multiple studies show that women who spend more time snoozing (seven to eight hours per night) have denser bones, and it's no wonder — a lack of sleep can trigger inflammation that hampers bone cell growth.
The next time your phone rings, take the call standing up instead of seated at your desk. Simply standing for one minute every hour can help you melt as much as 1.6 inches off your waist, according to a study in the European Heart Journal. Researchers explain that regularly activating your muscles prods your body to keep burning fat for fuel instead of storing it around the mid-section. Yes, please!
Plan Your Meals
Instead of having pasta for lunch, save carb-heavy meals for dinner! A study in the journal Obesity found that dieters who did so lost more inches from their waistlines. The reason: Evening carbs increase daytime production of satiety hormones.
This story originally appeared in our print magazine.