There's nothing less attractive than someone desperately clinging to the last remnants of their youth. We think it's far sexier to be comfortable in your own skin.
Even the biggest post-50 heartthrob George Clooney has spoken about the importance of embracing each extra candle on your birthday cake. "I'm a big believer in the idea that you can't try to look younger. You just have to try to look the best you can at the age you are," he said in a recent interview. And he has the salt-and-pepper hair to prove it.
Taking a leaf from Clooney's book, here are some of the little things that people aging gracefully all have in common.
1. They work out to get strong, not skinny.
Cardio is good but strength training is a must, especially as you age. As early as in our 30s, we start to lose muscle mass, up to 5 percent per decade, if we don't work to maintain and build it. In fact, according to Ken Kim, an internal medicine specialist, after age 45 we lose 1 percent every year. That can add up.
Strength and resistance training to build muscle not only counters that, it can help you stay strong and independent as you age so you can keep up with your day-to-day activities.
2. They stress less.
Numerous studies have shown that stress, whether it's from work or family, can cause aging on a cellular level -- maybe even causing you to age a decade faster. On the outside, stress can cause sleepless nights (dark circles), skin dehydration and even hair loss in extreme cases. So take a moment and breathe. Your golden years are to be enjoyed.
3. They've let go of regrets and grudges.
You can't move on to the future when you're stuck looking back at the past. Learn from your mistakes rather than replaying them in your head. As the Zen proverb says, "Let go or be dragged."
Consider meditating. Try this morning meditation routine and start your morning with a cup of coffee and a little mindfulness to help you live in the moment.
4. They learn something new every day.
Yes, you can teach an old dog new tricks. Stay curious. Try something different. All of these things help break you out of your monotonous routine and can help you get out of a rut. Plus, learning something new can give you confidence. One study showed that older adults who took up a new activity for three months showed considerable improvements in memory compared with those who only engaged in familiar activities.
5. They don't overdo it with the makeup.
We're all for dressing up and putting on a bit of makeup. But don't be tempted to overdo it. The key is to enhance what you've got rather than piling on layers of foundation to cover up what you don't like.
Too much makeup will end up looking mask-like and unnatural, sapping your natural glow and eventually settling in to and accentuating fine lines and wrinkles. Here are some of our best makeup tips for older women.
6. They stay positive.
Complaining about old age won't make you any younger. Instead, choosing positive thoughts can bring a number of benefits including better coping skills, a better immune system and even a longer life. Yes, that's right. A study of nearly 100,000 women over 50 found that optimists had a 14 percent lower risk of death in the study follow-up and were 30 percent less likely to die from coronary heart disease than their pessimistic peers. Another study found that even in people with heart disease, those who stayed positive were 58 percent more likely to survive an additional five years. Now start seeing that glass as half full.
7. They get enough sleep.
It may be harder to fall asleep and stay asleep with age. But aim to make sleep a priority anyway. Mireille Guiliano, author of "French Women Don't Get Facelifts," counts sleep as one of the essentials of aging gracefully. "Don’t underestimate the power of sleep on your skin, hair, energy, balance, and mood," she tells Parade, adding that eight hours and no less should be the goal. "Make sure your bedroom is not a place for work or television a half hour before you should be asleep, and that it is well ventilated. At night it must be dark and quiet. Investing in a good mattress and pillows also matters. The French average nine hours of sleep a night -- and that makes me smile." Oui.
8. They eat and drink to their health.
The idea that you are what you eat is definitely true, especially as you age. Earlier this year Huff/Post50 spoke with dermatologist Patricia Farris to learn what changes we need to take with our diets as we age. Farris stressed the importance of getting vitamins from foods we eat rather than just supplements. She said it's never too late to beef up your diet with enriching foods to ward off further aging. Make sure you're eating a rainbow of foods, rich especially in Vitamins A, C, E, D and K.
9. They embrace their changing looks.
George Clooney has said he won't be dyeing his hair anytime soon. He even added that going to such measures can sometimes make you look worse. We're all for ditching the dye if you're comfortable with it. Instead of covering up your grays, here's a simple idea. Draw attention to your hairstyle rather than color with a new cut.