Stuart Miles: 10 things men should avoid to stay looking young

The former Blue Presenter is on a mission to help men look well, whatever their age.

You’ll probably recognise Stuart Miles from Blue Peter back in the 90s or be familiar with his voice from various radio shows.

[Read more: What you should be eating in your midlife - and why]

Presenting aside, Stuart’s other passion in life is to inspire men to take control of the ageing process – and to help them to look their best through his website, MilesYounger.com.

“In my early thirties, I started to spot the first real signs of ageing,” says the 48-year-old.

“Like most of my friends I was stressed, trying to do too much and lacked the motivation to look after myself. I felt sleep-deprived and was probably drinking more than I should. I knew that if I wanted to stay looking younger I’d better make some changes. And fast!

“I wanted to find something that met my needs, not something that meant hours at the gym or in front of the mirror. I didn’t want to spend hundreds of pounds on cosmetic facial treatments that might only last three months. I wanted to find a lifestyle regime that anyone can adopt with a busy life and one which is sustainable.

“I started to research the area and uncovered some surprising and simple truths when it comes to how we age. Along the way I discovered the latest research in anti-ageing skin care, hair care and cosmetics that along with a healthy diet and supplements, can help us to stay looking younger. I have implemented these things, realised they worked and discovered that lots of us are missing out.”

“When I talk to my clients about slowing down the ageing process, I understand that we all live in the real world and life is for living. During life’s hectic times, armed with these 10 things you will know more about how to help yourself to stay looking that bit younger.”

Here, Stuart shares his advice on the 10 things you should do to age well.

Never forget the effect of the sun on your skin

“Always wear a hat and sun protection in the summer months. UVA rays, the major cause of skin ageing, can even penetrate your car windscreen. Even on a sunny winter's day with the sun low in the sky, put on a pair of shades when driving to protect the delicate skin around the eyes.”

Beware of biscuits that contain hydrogenated fats

“It doesn’t take long to check the ingredients on a packet of biscuits to find that they may contain ‘partially hydrogenated fats’. These are dangerous because they contain trans-fats which raise our bad cholesterol levels and have other harmful effects on our system.”

Avoid energy drinks that are packed with sugar

“Consuming a sugary drink on the go, with no protein or fibre to slow down absorption into your system, can do the most harm. Your body will be under the most strain to process it. In the short term, it has an immediate effect on the collagen and elastin within your skin.”

[Read more: How to make your hands look younger on the cheap]

Don’t dress all in black

“Black does wonders for slimming a figure but as we become older our skin tends to become paler. Wearing black can create a harsh contrast that emphasizes wrinkles and shows up the dark shadows under our eyes. Add a bright accessory like a scarf or tie - any splash of colour will lessen the washed-out effect.”

Cut down on cured meats

“It’s simple - look out for an ingredient called sodium nitrite which is used in the curing process. This is the chemical you may have read about which can cause harmful carcinogenic substances within the body. These can cause damage to our cells. If you really need your bacon fix, then consuming it with Vitamin C seems to help protect you from some of the harmful effects of cured meats.”

Quit coffee at least six hours before bedtime

It will disrupt your deep sleep cycle, says Stuart. “Our bodies repair and restore most intensely during the deep sleep cycle - that’s the part where you don’t dream and your system is truly at rest. The deep sleep cycle, it turns out, is the one that has the most restorative and anti-ageing benefits.”

Skip endurance exercise and try HIIT instead

“It’s been proven that too much endurance training, like long distance running causes, increased levels of free radicals, stress hormones and inflammation, which all add to the ageing process," explains Stuart.

"Interval training is less taxing on the system and the joints because it is done in considerably less time. Interval training can also burn more fat in less time.”

Stop trying to do too much in one day

“Stress is one of the major causes in the ageing of the skin. One of our bodies reactions to the stress hormone is to increase blood sugar levels in order to deal with the flight or fight response. High blood sugar levels are proven to damage the skins collagen. It will have to wait one more day - don’t pressure yourself with undue deadlines.”

Avoid binge drinking

“I can’t pretend that giving up the booze full time won’t help but we all live in the real world. Most of us enjoy a drink or two but try cutting down and give your system a break. Try and see if you can avoid alcohol during the week and drink only at the weekends, it really works! Avoid sugary mixers too.”

Microwave meals are a no-go

“These are packed with sodium and sugar and often deplete of nutrients due to their manufacturing process. A simple meal of scrambled egg on toast with some fresh spinach can be 100 times better for you and only takes a few more minutes longer to prepare.”

Stuart Miles is the founder of MilesYounger.com

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