MANILA, Philippines – One of the things my husband loves to tease me about is my taste in books. He calls me a “young adult,” like the genre of fiction I prefer. Since the height of the popularity of Anne Rice’s The Vampire Chronicles in the 90s, I’ve been in love – OK, semi-obsessed with vampire characters. The Twilight series kept me up all night reading and fantasizing about Edward Cullen, to the point that my real life boyfriend at that time began to pale in comparison.
What’s so attractive about vampires? The real question, if you ask many women, is what’s not attractive about them? Let’s see… they’re immortal. I actually own a t-shirt that says “Only vampires can love you forever.” Yes, I’m that cheesy. They’re passionate and dangerously sexy, think Antonio Banderas in the movie Interview With A Vampire. But I think the real draw for me is the whole idea that they never age.
As I embark on my birthday month this February, I cannot help but reflect on my age and what that number actually means to me physically. Last year I found my first white hair. Panic! But as I inspected myself closely — my skin, muscle tone and considered my daily energy levels, I was quite pleased to note that I look and feel quite a bit younger than my true age.
I do not have any nightly skincare ritual and in fact, I’m pretty sure my skin has suffered significant sun damage because I love tanning at the beach.
So what are my secrets for staying young – other than that I was lucky to inherit my father Hajji Alejandro’s genes and youthful looks? Here are my tips for looking fresh:
1. Be like Peter Pan. Ageing is mostly in the mind. The trick to not getting old is to be like a kid. I don’t mean be immature and not face up to problems or responsibilities – but whenever possible, always choose what will be most fun. When you’re enjoying what you do, you don’t feel your age and lose track of time.
2. Be good to your body, be kind to yourself. People often take for granted that getting enough rest is important to health. When I was younger, I would work or party all night, sleep a few hours, get up and hit the gym. Like a good soldier, I’d power through my work-outs even if I had a hangover. That takes its toll on the body eventually, so I don’t do it anymore.
Also, I prefer to invest in comfort – in the way I travel and in the places I choose to rest my head. I know lots of people who wouldn’t think twice about buying a designer bag but would scrimp on a comfortable seat on the plane. I never got that but then again, to each his own.
3. Go to the salon often. The confidence boost you get from getting a good haircut or color is priceless. Get a massage, manicure and pedicure regularly. When you pamper yourself and are properly groomed, you feel more put together and ready to face the tasks at hand. And voila, you look well-rested and not harassed!
4. Avoid monotony. There is a very good reason why showbiz folk like myself tend to look younger than other people our age, but it’s not that we have it easier or that we have the budget to get regular facials or plastic surgery. When you’re a singer or an actor, every day you are doing something different. But even if you go to the same office everyday, you can change up your routine. Engage in interesting conversations, learn new skills, check out different places to eat, etc. Whatever you do, don’t let yourself get stuck in a rut.
5. Do exercises regularly. It’s the only way to maintain a nice, supple and toned body that is resistant to the pull of gravity.
6. Laugh a lot. I love to watch comedy be it on TV or the movies. They say laughter is the best medicine but for me, laughter is the best anti-ageing serum! When you surround yourself with funny people, you can’t help but have a great time. I just had dinner the other night with some buddies who share my sense of humor. At the end of the evening, all my worries had vanished. I felt alive and full of vigor.
Age is just a number, I keep telling myself as I turn a year older this month. I will celebrate as I always do but I will not even acknowledge that I am turning … ahem… I’m not telling.
Rachel Alejandro is a singer-actress and entrepreneur. She co-owns the health food delivery company The Sexy Chef, OBC 5Star Inc. She has co-authored a healthy lifestyle and recipe book with her sister called The Sexy Chef Cookbook which is available now at National Bookstore outlets as well for order at www.thesexychef.ph. Follow her on Twitter @SexyChefRachelA.
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- Rachel Alejandro cooks up a dream
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