Updated 10 April 2014

Guys, why look your age?

You want to look young, but you don't want to go to extremes. Here's what to do.


There’s nothing wrong with a few wrinkles, but nobody wants to look old before their time. Here are a few things all guys can do to stay looking good, and dignified. You’ll be pleased to know that none of them involve liposuction or hair implants.

Don’t smoke. You know this, but it’s a reminder. Stay away from passive smoke as well. Few things wrinkle the skin so profoundly as prolonged smoking. Do whatever it takes to stop. If you feel you need a bit of help, visit Health24's Stop Smoking Section.

Get your circulation going. Exercise, as you know, bumps up your heart rate and gets oxygenated blood pumping around your body. But you can help the circulation in your skin by rubbing down with a towel or brushing yourself down. This gets rid of old skin cells and stimulated capillary flow. Don’t overdo the hot showers, or your skin stretch and dry out.

Do porridge. This doesn't mean going to jail, but getting plenty of oat bran, which helps keep your colon healthy and reduces blood pressure. Or simply srpinkle oat bran over yoghurt or whatever you're eating in the morning. It's soluble and doesn't really have a specific taste.

Moisturise. If you shave most days, you’re already ridding your face of an extra layer of skin cells, exposing the new ones underneath. But if you haven’t already done so, get yourself some decent skin care products. Exfoliating once a week and slapping on some moisturiser is just the start. Get yourself a facial every couple months. Wear sunblock when you go outside and top it with a decent hat. Overexposure to the sun is right up there with smoking when it comes to the causes of skin wrinkling.

Mind those peepers. Think cataracts are just an old-people thing? Yes and no. As you know, they occur when the lenses of your eyes lose their clarity and thicken. And yes, they usually occur after the age of 60. But the foundation for cataracts is laid long before, like this holiday, at the beach or in your garden. Firstly, wear some decent sunglasses to save your eyes from glare. And when you’re mowing the lawn, playing squash or chopping wood for a braai, wear some protective glasses. Any damage to the eyes can accelerate the onset of cataracts years from now.

Sleep. Driving home at 4am, you roll down the window and savour the cool air with Bon Jovi’s “Sleep when I’m dead” on the radio. And yes, party animal, your body will cope. But even youngsters need six hours a night. Don’t wear yourself out. Try and get to bed most evenings at more or less the same time. You can't ever really catch up sleep that you've missed out on.

Take supplements. A good multivitamin that contains the recommended daily amounts of vitimin B6 and E helps your stay strong when you’re busy. If you’re partying, extra vitamin C is essential. What your body doesn’t need it eliminates, so there’s now chance of overdosing. Still, if you pee bright orange or develop diarrhoea, you’re probably taking too much.

Skip the drugs. Thousands of your peers get off their collective face each Saturday night. Want to look like Keith Richards? You will if you don't skip the drugs. Not to speak of what it could do to your finances or your criminal record.

Easy on the booze. You know this as well. One or two drinks a day at the most. Your body ages with every hangover you have. It doesn't just feel that way.

Flush the steroids. The only people who think that really huge, overdeveloped bodybuilders look hot are other huge, overdeveloped bodybuilders. The ideal look? Toned and defined, with some bulk and a V-shaped torso, and to get that you need discipline and effort, not stuff that gives you acne and makes you beat up strangers.

Stretch. Start your morning with some decent stretches and crunches. Then go for a walk, a swim or a run. Sex is also recommended. Very therapeutic. Stretching also helps to shield your joints against another supposedly old-folk disease – arthritis.

Stay hydrated. Carrying bottles of water around isn’t just for supermodels. You need to chug about six glasses a day. Better get started now. Watch your plate. your already know this, but if you eat lots of refined carbohydrates and fats, and if you consume more calories than you burn off you’re going to get fat. Fatty fish is good for you, though. Watch the size of your helpings. Most blokes eat around 30 percent more than they need to. – (William Smook, updated June 2011)


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