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How should I exercise to stay young-looking?

Maintaining your muscle mass through the ages has an aesthetic appeal. You will automatically look better because you will be toned and shapely with less sagging-and-floppy arms, and less fat.

Ideally, a well-rounded and comprehensive exercise program includes cardio work, strength training, and stretching. Each of these activities affords you unique benefits that your body needs to achieve and maintain peak performance. Cardio work, which gets your heart rate up for an extended period of time, will burn calories, lower body fat, and strengthen both your heart and lungs; strength training (use of weights or elastic bands, or even your own body weight as resistance in some cases) will keep your bones strong and prevent the loss of lean muscle mass that naturally occurs with age; and stretching will keep you flexible and less susceptible to joint pain. All three of these forms of exercise will keep your body moving and also help you to maintain good posture, which will instantly make you look younger. The type of activity you do is not nearly as important as how often you do it, and how long you do it. Because exercise lowers stress for up to twenty-four hours, it’s important to avoid being a weekend warrior and make it a goal of keeping a semi-daily routine.

Don’t forget that the benefits of exercise are cumulative. Another fact science has proven is that you don’t have to sweat it out on a treadmill for a full sixty minutes. You can do ten minutes here, twenty minutes there. (Like calories, it all adds up!) Sprinkle pockets of workout times into your day -- at lunch, after dinner, or in the fifteen minutes right after you get up and the house is still quiet.

No matter which form or type of exercise you choose to do, its positive impact on your skin and overall looks cannot be underestimated. I don't know anybody who is fit and who looks older than she should, do you?

From The Mind-Beauty Connection: 9 Days to Less Stress, Gorgeous Skin, and a Whole New You by Amy Wechsler.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.