How to be 40 and fabulous

Published On: Jan 28 2013 11:44:21 AM HST
Hammock on beach with setting sun


By Koren, Pure Matters

Remember when you were little and 40 sounded SO old? Today is my 40th birthday and suddenly 40 doesn’t seem old at all.  It seems, well, fabulous. Here are a few things (okay, more than a few, but it is my birthday, so please indulge me) I’ve learned along this 40-year journey:

Invest In a Good Haircut – You wear your hair every, single day.  If you can drop $100 for some killer heels you only wear occasionally, you can splurge on your hair.

Wash Your Hair Every 3 Days (at most) – As we age, our hair gets drier, so washing it daily just dries it out more.  Wash it a few times per week and if your scalp gets oily in between washes, just dab it with a little rubbing alcohol.  If you have lighter hair like I do, dash some baby powder on the roots for a quick fresher upper.

Choose Soft Over Hard – Dr. Phil says to be a “soft place to land” which is my goal when dealing with my friends and family.  Be accepting, warm and inclusive.  This same rule applies to your physical self -- softer is better as you age.  Those few extra pounds fill out the wrinkles (stole this one from my mom).  Have you ever noticed how really skinny women look older?  A few extra pounds is actually a good thing and makes us more feminine.

Wear Sunscreen and Get Spray Tans – Oh I wish I had known this during my trip to Hawaii where I wore suntan oil (no SPF) while snorkeling.  My backside hurts just thinking about it.  And sure, a tan looks great, but being a wrinkled prune 20 years later doesn’t.  That being said, everyone looks better with a tan, so get a spray tan, preferably by someone who knows what they are doing.

Baby Your Skin – Unfortunately, breakouts aren’t reserved for the young.  Just because you’re out of your teens doesn’t mean your skin miraculously clears up.  I still get pimples, often.  Yes, pimples and wrinkles at the same time, which I don’t think should be allowed by nature.  And don’t pick at your face -- if you pick, it will scar.  And yes, those scars are with you for life.  Lastly, spend more to get quality skincare products.  I learned this relatively recently and boy, does it make a difference.

Sleep Matters – In my twenties, I could get by on a few hours of sleep and it wouldn’t bother me.  Now, if I get under 7 hours, I’m groggy and have bags under my eyes.  I used to be able to sleep anywhere, with any amount of noise.  Now, if my dog breathes too loudly, I wake up.  And nap any time you get a chance.  I cannot believe I ever fought nap time.

Establish Healthy Habits – Floss nightly.  Workout daily.  Take your vitamins and fish oil.  Stop being an irresponsible procrastinator and just do it.

Get and Stay Strong – After age 45, we lose 1 percent of our muscle mass per year.  Why is this an issue?  Because muscle burns calories and I want to be able to eat as many calories as possible and still maintain a healthy weight.  By lifting weights, you can help maintain muscle, while boosting bone strength (bonus!).

Keep Moving – A body in motion stays in motion.  It is so much easier to maintain a level of fitness from youth into adulthood than to try to get it back after 20 years on the couch.  Stay active, take yoga, walk whenever possible, take the stairs, play with your kids, break a sweat and occasionally push yourself to where you are uncomfortable.

Warm Up and Stretch – Older folks are just more injury prone and when they do get injured it takes longer to heal, so take those extra few minutes to warm up and cool down.  You’ll be thankful you did.

Try Something Again – Just because you couldn’t or wouldn’t do something when you were younger, doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t do it now.  Growing up, I couldn’t do a cartwheel to save my life.  Now, I can (thank you core strength training!).

Flaws Make You Memorable – I hated my nose and overbite growing up.  Now I love my smile and am thrilled that it isn’t a perfectly porcelain veneered celebrity smile.  Mom always said those flawless teeth looked liked Chicklets anyway.

Smile — Speaking of smiles…smile even if you don’t feel like it.  A smile always makes you look better.

Breathe – Deep, belly breaths have a calming effect and can even reduce your blood pressure.  When stressed, take five deep breaths and recenter yourself.  Calm is sexy.

Savor Good Moments And Good Food – Life truly is too short to pass on birthday cake and chocolate chip cookies.  That being said, life isn’t about eating everything put in front of you.  Be selective…and when you choose something because you love it, savor it.

Accept Yourself Today – I thought I was fat in my twenties and now I look at those pictures and think, darn I looked pretty good.  If only I had known it then.  I also thought I was fat in my thirties…you get where I’m going with this?  At 40, I finally have accepted myself, even my nose.  And I know that at 50, I won’t be looking back wishing I had appreciated my 40-year old self.

This is just a partial list. I’m sure there are so many things I still need to learn. My ultimate goal is to never feel my age or let my age be a limiting factor in any decision I make. So far, so good. So far…fabulous!



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