Growing older has its advantages, especially when you take care of your body and your face with sensible self-care routines. While no one can stop the hands of time, exercise slows the ticking by keeping your muscles and skin supple making you look and feel younger than your calendar age. Do a face-to-toes stretch-exercise routine to relieve stress and improve circulation to your skin. Exercise for at least 30 minutes each day -- even in 10-minute increments.
The American Heart Association states that one hour of exercise equals two hours of additional life expectancy. Besides living longer, exercise helps you live better and look younger with increased stamina, strength and agility. The risks of age-related disorders such as high-blood pressure, stroke, poor circulation, weakened muscles, loss of energy, heart disease and poor cholesterol levels are reduced through moderate exercise.
Exercise performed at a moderate to vigorous intensity level leads to perspiration, salty moisture that carries certain soluble toxins out of the body through your skin. Sweating is good, but you need to replenish water lost due to sweat by drinking lots of the liquid during and after exercise to keep your skin supple and your organs hydrated. Increased blood flow to the face along with sweat can exacerbate skin conditions such as acne and rosacea, according to Annet King and Dr. Helen Flamenbaum, writing for "Psychology Today." Don't wear makeup when you exercise, and wash your face immediately afterward to remove oil and toxins.
Stretch all of your major muscles. Lie on your back. Bend your knees and roll back and forth for two to three minutes. Grab your knees with your arms and push your chin into your chest. Release your hold, stretch out and repeat this roll-up exercise for several repetitions. Sit up and extend your legs. Push your sit bones back and lean forward. Stretch your arms as far as you can reach toward your toes, and sit up. Spread your legs wide, lean into your right leg and reach for your toes. Repeat this on your left side. Roll over on your belly. Extend your arms and push your chest up. Press your head backward toward your shoulder blades. Relax. Get up onto your hands and knees, and arch your back. Hold this pose for two to three seconds. Flex your back up and down for several repetitions. Sit back on your heels and fold your body forward, and then rest.
Finish your muscle-stretch routine with facial exercises. Stick out your tongue as far as it will reach. Hold it for 60 seconds. Add surprised eyes to the pose for a lion-face stretch. Relax. Work your eyes by looking far to the left and then to the right. Squinch all the muscles of your face and neck tightly while making fists. Fill your cheeks with air and move the air back and forth from one cheek to the other.
- Harvard Health Publications: Harvard Medical School: Why Your Face Ages and What You Can Do
- Princeton University: University Health Systems: Skin Care
- American Heart Association: Physical Activity Improves Quality of Life
- MayoClinic.com: Exercise Intensity: Why It Matters, How It's Measured
- Psychology Today: Improve Your Skin with Exercise
- University of California: Davis Health System: Facial Exercises
- Time Photos: Facial Yoga
- Completely You: Family Fitness: Stretches Everyone Will Love
- BioSync: Whole Body Stretching
For Judy Kilpatrick, gardening is the best mental health therapy of all. Combining her interests in both of these fields, Kilpatrick is a professional flower grower and a practicing, licensed mental health therapist. A graduate of East Carolina University, Kilpatrick writes for national and regional publications.