One of the best gifts you can give yourself is helping your body look and feel younger. How so? Well, research has actually proven that older individuals who feel three to four years younger have a decreased mortality rate when compared to people who actually feel their age or older. So, we’ve come up with the most effective full-body workout that will help you to look and feel younger, which we’ll get into below. (You can thank us later!)
Researchers at University College London reviewed answers to the question, “How old do you feel you are?” The 6,500 or so men and women who responded were 52 years of age and above, averaging 65 years of age. The results? 70% of the participants felt three years younger than their age or less; 25% of them felt pretty close to their age; 5% felt over a year older than their real age. After an eight-year period, the study determined which participants were still living, which resulted in 75% of the individuals who felt older than they actually were; 82% of individuals who felt like their real age; and 85% felt younger than they actually were.
Although there was no correlation between how the participants perceived their youthfulness and dying from cancer, the researchers found that the link between how they perceived their age and cardiovascular death was distinct. The conclusion? Feeling younger may result in healthier habits. “Feeling younger or older itself seems to have an effect on our health,” explains Dr. Ronald D. Siegel, assistant professor of psychology, Harvard Medical School. Interesting information, don’t you agree?
To pursue this point, we reached out to Stefania Xytakis, a personal trainer on Fyt, the largest personal training service in the nation that makes certified fitness expert-guided training, whether in-person or virtual, accessible for everyone. We asked Xytakis how to achieve youthfulness with exercise, and she explains, “The best total-body workout that’ll help individuals look and feel younger is one you can implement on a regular basis. In order to implement a consistent routine, you must value the way you’re working out, enjoy what you’re doing, and have it align with reaching your vision of your greatest self.”
There really are a ton of different workouts that can help you to look and feel younger. But as Xytakis points out, “The best one for you will be a workout that fits into your lifestyle.” It’s important to customize your routine to your personal lifestyle. This is how you can feel happy and accomplished. For instance, if your goal is to gain strength while torching excess fat, Xytakis would suggest HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workouts, telling us, “It’s a great program to maintain if you don’t have a lot of free time in order to minimize time and maximize efforts.”
Try this HIIT workout example that’ll help you look and feel younger. Include 3 to 4 rounds with 30 seconds on and 30 seconds rest, performing the exercises listed below.
Begin this first move in a plank position. Bring your right knee up towards your left elbow. Then, bring your right leg back to the starting plank position. Repeat on the opposite side. Be sure to keep your core engaged the whole time.6254a4d1642c605c54bf1cab17d50f1e
For Kettlebell Swings, you’ll first want to perform the movement without a kettlebell to ensure you’re comfortable with the form. To begin, position your legs a bit wider than hip-width distance, and activate your core. While holding your hands together, hinge your hips back. Position your hands a bit past your glutes, and then start to straighten out your legs as you assume the starting position. As you come back up, raise your arms until they’re parallel to your shoulders.
Now, it’s time to add in a light kettlebell! Once the lighter kettlebell feels easy, try doing this exercise with heavier kettlebells. When you’re working with the added weight, “try to focus on the momentum to come from your glutes,” Xytakis says.
Get ready for Plank Shoulder Taps. For this exercise, assume a plank position, and bring your right hand over to your left shoulder. Repeat this movement on the other side, all while making sure your core stays tight. This is important to ensure you have the correct form.
High Knees start off with you standing hip-width distance apart and raising your right leg up toward your navel. Lower your foot back to the floor. Repeat the movement on the other side. The goal is to go as fast as possible for the best results. One tip? “Keep your hands towards the midsection of your core and aim for your knee to reach your hand,” Xytakis says.
This is a great general HIIT workout, and Xytakis suggests personalizing your exercises for your specific goals. “The trick to looking and feeling younger is performing activities that help reach your individual goal while genuinely enjoying them. Committing to a healthy lifestyle isn’t going to last long if you are unhappy with your workout routine. In order for it to stick, it should be something you are sincerely interested in.” She also points out, “The importance of sticking to a routine like this as you grow older is vast. It helps with everything from being able to support those you love, to doing activities you enjoy, and keeping your independence as you age. It’s much easier to live a balanced and healthy life than it is to manage chronic conditions and reverse the damage. Also, try to switch up your routine every once in a while if the routine begins to feel stagnant, even if it’s just changing the order of your exercises.”
Alexa is the Mind + Body Deputy Editor of Eat This, Not That!, overseeing the M+B channel and delivering compelling fitness, wellness, and self-care topics to readers. Read more