Your body will be around a lot longer than that expensive handbag. Invest in yourself.

Growing older certainly, beats the alternative. However, the mantra these days is, “Never say old.” As the forties become the new twenties and sixties is the new forties, there is an ever-growing emphasis on staying and looking younger. The easier route for the youth aspirants is to spend thousands on facelifts, fillers and Botox injections. However, these cosmetic procedures create a facade of youth. You can feel the age in your bones and in the diminished energy.

It is health that is a real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Therefore, if you desire an ageless body your work starts right from the early years. You have to invest in your health. The dichotomy is that for most of us investing in health ends at buying a health insurance, a protection plan against future ailments.  A health insurance prepares you against the expenditure incurred during serious ailments it cannot guarantee a healthy body and the mind. For this, you have to do the hard work (eat a wholesome diet) and workout hard enough.

Also, a wild lifestyle in your 20s and 3os will come back to haunt you once you become a parent. Parenting starts before conception and your health in your younger days will decide the status of your baby’s health – years before she is conceived. There is an overwhelming evidence that drinking, smoking or poor eating habits in your 20s and 30s can be recorded in a father’s sperm or mother’s egg. Babies born to such parents are more likely to have health problems, such as diabetes, heart disease, and immune disorders.

How to invest in your health?

If you desire an ageless body, the work starts right from the early years. You have to invest in your health just the way you make investments in a house, mutual funds, retirement schemes and pension funds. Investing in your health right from the 20s is going to give you a heads-up in the 40s and you will reap rich dividends in the 60s.

  1. Eat healthy

The five essential elements of a healthy diet are carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins & minerals, good fats, and water. Protein is primarily important as it constitutes every cell in your body including bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood.  The good sources of protein include lentils, eggs, yogurt, and chicken.

Carbohydrates are of two types: complex and simple. You should include complex carbohydrates in your meals like oats, brown rice, whole wheat flour, maize, and fruits. Try to pair carbs with protein in each meal.   Complex carbs and proteins also deliver vitamins and minerals. Try eating nuts and seeds to get a wholesome dose of good fats and you can’t go wrong with eight glasses of water in a day.

  1. Reduce your intake of sugar

Sugar has empty calories and it has harmful effects on metabolism. Repeatedly eating large amounts of sugar can lead to a fatty liver and insulin resistance. Foods loaded with sugar reacts with proteins creating advanced glycation end-products (AGEs). These substances wrinkle your skin and harden your cell structures.

  1. Sleep for 7-8 hours in a day

The benefits of a good night’s sleep are improved memory, concentration and reduced risk of heart attack and stroke. When you are rested your mood improves and you feel more productive during the day. Also, a sound sleep makes you look youthful. Consistently getting less sleep can cause weight gain and steal the glow and youthful look of your face.

  1.  Along with cardio build some muscle

Cardiovascular exercises are known as cardio and they get your heart rate up to improve oxygen consumption by the body. They are an essential part of any fitness program and help lose or maintain weight. However, cardio is incomplete without strength training. As you age you lose muscle mass. Weight training helps build the strength of the muscles, reduces your risk of injury and builds bones. With age, thinning of bones or osteoporosis is a common concern and weight lifting builds denser and stronger bones. Building muscles also improve blood sugar control.

  1.  Buy a standing desk

Sitting is the new smoking.  Sitting for 10-12 hours is killing us and is the main reason for low back pain, headaches. Buy a standing desk and work while standing. Initially, stand for 15 minutes and sit for 30 minutes. Gradually you can increase the duration.

  1. Reduce drinking and stop smoking

Like James Bond, a cigarette has the license to kill.  Tobacco products are highly addictive. Quitting is not simply a matter of choice for several tobacco users. Instead, it involves a struggle to overcome an addiction. Tobacco can cause lung cancer, cardiovascular disease, COPD, and stroke. Smokers look older than non-smokers. While a glass of wine may help you unwind after a stressful day, drinking too much alcohol on a single occasion or over a longer period can take a serious toll on your health. It can damage your pancreas, liver and affect the functioning of the brain.

A healthy lifestyle does not spring out of a vacuum. It is a conscious decision and needs to be followed right from your 20s or earlier. The knowledge of your dosha and the corrective action required to bring harmony in it will let you be more at ease with your body. As you grow comfortable in your skin and choose a healthy lifestyle in accordance with Ayurveda, a science of Rasayana or eternal youth and age will be just a number for you.