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Coming of age: 40 of the most surprising and inspiring tips

by Kristina Grish

06. Stop multitasking
Cramming a lot of to-dos into a limited amount of time gives us the false impression that we're uber-efficient But studies show chronic multitaskers have elevated cortisol levels, more incidences of depression and weaker immune systems--all of which can diminish cognitive prowess as we age. To reduce multitasking but still bang through your to-dos, jot down your tasks--but focus on three that have the biggest impact on your day or involve strategic thinking
07. Choose antioxidant oils over creams
Heavy night creams that contain paraffin or mineral oil can congest your skin and cause puffiness in the morning. "Instead, opt for an antioxidant oil, which protects skin from free radicals and repairs damage done by stress, pollution, aging and illness," says Margo Marrone, homeopath and founder of London-based The Organic Pharmacy. Not only will your skin look supple, but studies show skin care with vitamins A, C, E and B3 reverse signs of aging, particularly those caused by the sun.
08. Eat your antioxidants
These free radical foragers help delay aging and reduce vulnerability to cancer, heart disease and diabetes, so don't just put them on your face. Keri Glassman, R.D., author of The O2 Diet (Rodale), calls these edible antioxidants "beauty foods": dark chocolate (it contains cocoa flavanols that increase blood flow to the skin), salmon (its omega-3s prevent collagen breakdown and reduce skin-damaging inflammation) and green tea (it's loaded with polyphenols that boost cell turnover to improve skin tone).
09. Give for giving's sake
"There's nothing more health-giving than feeling useful and knowing you've helped someone else," says Christiane Northrup, M.D., and author of the newly revised Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom (Bantam). "But far too many people give in order to get, and don't know it. Giving out of a sense of obligation or because you feel as though it will earn you love or respect can be a health risk." So, go ahead and do something nice for someone--without expectations of anything in return. And don't forget to notice how great it feels.
10. Pump some iron
The typical American gains a pound of fat and loses a half pound of muscle yearly from the age of 30 to 60, says Desmond Ebanks, M.D., former assistant clinical professor of medicine at New York Medical College. "Loss of muscular strength is a major reason that elderly people lose mobility and independence," he says. Ebanks suggests an interval-style resistance program for the most muscle-building benefits; brief but intense bouts of strength training, lasting 12 to 20 minutes, have also been shown to preserve telomeres.