Fiona Phillips shares top tips for making your whole body look 10 years younger

By | January 7, 2019

Yesterday TV presenter and columnist Fiona Phillips shared the secrets to feeling and looking years younger in your 50s and beyond.

Here in part two of her guide, the 58-year-old screen favourite looks at some of the most effective ways to drop a decade from every body part – from your head to your toes…

Fiona says: “The world of TV is famously looks-obsessed but I’m proud to say I have never been on a diet – I threw my scales away when I was 18 and have never looked back. And as for a daily gym workout, forget it, who has time for that?

“Instead I make sure I eat healthily, but don’t deprive myself of things I enjoy, and I walk EVERYWHERE! I firmly believe it’s the single best thing we can all do to make sure we feel fantastic.

“That’s not to say you can’t do lots of other things though – try these and you could soon see a whole new youthful you.”

Fiona Phillips

 

 

TUMMY

Thanks to our naturally falling hormone levels and the resulting drop in metabolism, the average adult gains a pound a year after the age of 40 – much of this fat ends up on our tummy.

DROP A DECADE

  • Overhaul your diet – After 50, research shows a diet higher in protein and lower in refined carbs – such as white bread and pasta – is the most effective for keeping weight off.
  • Slash your stress – Relaxation techniques such as yoga or meditation could help shift weight around the belly – even without a diet change. They appear to work by reducing our production of the stress hormone cortisol.

Overhaul your diet and your tummy will thank you

 

LEGS

As we age, the skin on our body also thins and loses elasticity, causing sagging and making cellulite more obvious. After 50, we also begin to lose leg muscle strength more rapidly, leaving us more prone to falls.

DROP A DECADE

  • Brush up – Dry brushing boosts the circulation of blood and lymphatic fluid, improving cellulite and skin tone while also helping slough off dry skin cells. Using a soft-bristle brush, start by brushing the soles of your feet and working slowly in circular motions upwards toward the heart. Repeat every morning and follow with a rich anti-ageing body lotion.
  • Boost your balance – Stand on one foot for a minute each day (both sides) – building up from 10 seconds initially if you find it hard.

KNEES

Sore knees in middle age affect two-thirds of us by 50. “Fortunately, the knees are by far the easiest joint to keep young and in good working order,” says Professor David Reid, consultant rheumatologist.

Painful knees are common in middle age

DROP A DECADE

  • Strengthen the quads – These large thigh muscles support our knees so keeping them stronger is the key to youthful joints. Do this daily for 10-15 minutes: Sit on a seat with your feet touching the floor and then straighten your legs, lifting up your feet until they are in line with your thighs. Hold the position for as long as you can. Relax for a moment, then repeat.

FEET

Ageing takes as much toll on the feet as the rest of the body. Toenails get thicker and more brittle, making them difficult to cut and more prone to becoming ingrown.

Another common problem is ‘adult acquired flat foot’ – caused by ligaments in the arches overstretching and eventually collapsing, resulting in foot and ankle pain.

Aging takes its toll on the feet too

 

DROP A DECADE

  • Cut toenails weekly – If you find this tricky, book a trip to a podiatrist.
  • Sort your shoes – Combat flat foot painby buying shoes with proper arch support.
  • Try a toe workout – Rolling a tennis ball under each foot for a few minutes daily can help exercise the ligaments and ease pain. Also, simply going up and down carefully and slowly on tiptoes five times a day will help strengthen your feet.

TEETH

Teeth become yellower with age – a natural process worsened by stains caused by smoking and certain foods and drinks. Plus, the expression ‘long in the tooth’ comes from the fact older gums shrink, making teeth appear longer!

Keep those teeth as white as possible

 

DROP A DECADE

  • Drink through a straw – And rinse your mouth with water after drinking coffee, red wine or eating dark foods such as berries.
  • Investigate new treatments – “As well as always brushing and flossing twice daily for two minutes, talk to your dentist about some of the newer cosmetic techniques such as teeth whitening and gum contouring which can have a dramatic anti-ageing effect and take years off your smile,” advises London Smiling dentist Dr Uchenna Okoye.

HAIR

As we get older the diameter of individual hairs naturally starts to decrease, and by 50 most people have finer hair. Lack of vitamin D, iron, zinc and protein along with changes in hormone levels as we age can also contribute, making hair more brittle or sparse.

Meanwhile, premature greying has been linked to a lack of the B Vitamins: biotin, B5, B12 and folic acid

DROP A DECADE

  • Try a hair supplement – Choose one containing all the important nutrients for healthy, youthful hair listed above, such as Hairburst (£24.99, hollandandbarrett.com) which is specially formulated to fight the negative impact of ageing.
  • Use a volumising shampoo – They’re designed to cleanse and restore moisture to brittle hair without adding heavy residue to your locks. Try: Nexxus Youth Renewal Shampoo for Fine Hair (£6.66, Boots).

These tips will make you feel much younger

 

FACE

From the age of 30, our rate of skin renewal slows more with each passing decade. As a result, skin becomes thinner and more prone to sun damage while, in the deeper layers, collagen and elastin fibres break down, causing wrinkles and sagging.

DROP A DECADE

  • Slather on sunscreen – The single biggest cause of premature skin ageing is repeated, long-term exposure to ultraviolet rays. Wear at least SPF25 daily – even in winter.
  • Cut down alcohol – Drinking too much increases the signs of ageing by accelerating collagen breakdown.
  • Buy products with proven benefits – Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peel is Space NK’s best-selling anti-ager and relatively budget-friendly at £16.50. Meanwhile, Boots No7 Protect & Perfect Intense Advanced Serum, £26, is one of the few moisturisers scientifically proven to reduce wrinkles.
  • Try Tixel – “It’s one of the newest and most effective non-surgical treatments around, using deep penetrating heat to tighten skin and smooth away fine lines,” explains Dr Tracy Mountford, founder of The Cosmetic Skin Clinic. It’s £550, but still a fraction of the cost of more invasive procedures.

Don’t be daunted by aging

 

EYES

The skin around our eyes is thinner and more delicate, hence the dreaded crows feet, dark circles and sagging.

When it comes to sight problems, the main cause of vision loss in people after 50 is age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which damages the retina’s ability to focus. Studies show smoking, excessive exposure to UV light and diets low in the antioxidants found in fruit and veg all increase your risk.

You can struggle to focus as you get older

 

DROP A DECADE

  • Use eye cream with retinol – It’s the only ingredient research shows can reduce lines. Try L’Oreal Revitalift Pro Retinol Anti-Wrinkle Eye Cream (£12.99, Boots).
  • Always wear sunglasses in bright light – even in winter.
  • Eat five portions of brightly-coloured fruit and veg daily – it will provide plenty of vitamin A, C and E, lutein, zeaxanthin and zinc – the nutrients proven to protect against AMD-related vision loss.

EARS

A lifetime of loud noise and general wear and tear can damage the nerves that send sound messages from the inner ear to the brain. As a result, 20% of adults report some hearing loss by 60.

DROP A DECADE

  • Protect your ears – Wear earplugs when you’re in a loud place and gradually turn your TV and radio down a bit each day for a week.
  • Limit headphone use to an hour a day – And choose noise-cancelling ones, which drown out outside sounds so you can have the volume lower.

Protect your ears

 

BRAIN

Starting in your late 20s, your hippocampus – the part of your brain responsible for recall – shrinks an average of 1% a year. Thankfully, some of the damage is reversible.

Berries are rich in anti-oxidants

DROP A DECADE

  • Eat right – Research shows that eating certain foods regularly can increase blood flow to the brain and improve mental performance. Brain protecting superfoods include antioxidant rich berries, plus oily fish such as salmon which contains Omega-3 fats.
  • Puzzle it out – Research suggests that exercising your memory cells with challenges such as crossword or Sudoku can help ward off mental decline.

HEART & LUNGS

Once past our mid-thirties, the heart muscles and arteries start to lose some of their elasticity and become less efficient at pumping blood. At the same time our lung capacity drops, reducing the oxygen we draw into the body. This means poorer fitness levels and a greater risk of heart disease.

DROP A DECADE

  • Get moving – Working the heart and lungs is the best way to slow respiratory ageing, ensuring you maintain a good lung capacity and stronger heart muscles and effectively reducing your heart attack risk.
  • Find 20 minutes each day for exercise – The best way to hit the recommended 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity exercise is a short daily session. Any activity
    that raises your heart and breathing rate counts – brisk walking, dancing, gardening, even cleaning!

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