Recently, I became acquainted with the lovely and intelligent Jackie Silver, the Founder and President of Aging Backwards, a lifestyle program dedicated to making you look and feel younger. What pleasantly surprised me, though, was that unlike other “age-reversal” gurus, Jackie is refreshingly realistic, advising her clients to simply “take up one or two tips at a time” and to “start slow…the small habits add up over time.” Her realism, patience, and confidence really influenced me, and I wanted to share some of her positive insights with my readers.
FutureDerm: What made you start Aging Backwards?
Jackie Silver: I started Aging Backwards in 2006. Prior to that time I had been a voice-over artist, and I just woke up one day feeling as though I wasn’t being fulfilled. I felt as though I was lying, being paid for words I didn’t necessarily agree with. So I started meditating, asking for answers within, and I woke up in the middle of the night with the words “Aging Backwards” in my head. That’s when I knew I was onto something.
FutureDerm: What do you feel are the keys to aging well?
Jackie Silver: A lot of people will say, “Oh, that’s so basic and everyone knows it,” but I am still going to give you the basic ‘everyone knows it’ answer to that, because there is so much more to it. What I will tell you is that exercise is the fountain of youth. A lot of people don’t want to hear that because they don’t want to exercise, but you can change your mind about exercise, and so then you can change your body. The scientists who study exercise have found that you can exercise just ten minutes a day and have a really great result if you do the right kind of exercise. [for more on this, see below]
The second most important aspect is getting enough sleep, 7 to 8 hours. It’s just the way our body works. If you deprive yourself of sleep, you deprive yourself and your body of that “tune-up” time.
If i had to pick a third important aspect, it would be to lower your stress level.
FutureDerm: Wait! You can exercise just 10 minutes a day if you “do it effectively”? Explain how to “do it effectively”!
Jackie Silver: What I can do is tell you is that one of the gurus I have consulted for my own book is Dr. Al Sears, M.D., and he has a program [that enables you to exercise effectively in 10 minutes per day] called Pace. He explains it all in his program. Rather than me try to explain it, I’d rather your readers get the explanation straight from him.
FutureDerm: That sounds intriguing! What can you tell us about how to relieve stress?
Jackie Silver: Exercise is a way to relieve stress. Also, taking time out during the day…we’re all so rushed and crazy and busy all of the time. It’s so easy to forget that if you just take 5 minutes to lay down, breathe deeply, and meditate, it can make all the difference in the world.
Another secret is I never go anywhere without taking earplugs with me. They are inexpensive, block out chaos (well, except while driving!) – but anywhere there is a lot of stress, when you put the earplugs in, it magnifies the sound of breathing. People will say, “Oh, well I have my iPod,” but that’s different than just focusing on your breathing. Listening to your breathing is a proven meditation technique, listening to most types of music is not.
FutureDerm: In terms of your career, what do you feel as been your greatest success?
Jackie Silver: I have been blessed with much success and I am so grateful! Perhaps my greatest success so far involves my friend Sandi McKenna, who is also on Twitter (@mcmedia) – we have known each other for many many years, even before I started my company. When my book, Aging Backwards: Secrets to Staying Young came out, she got a copy, read it cover-to-cover, and started applying the tips. She really made many fantastic changes in her life. We were written up in Woman’s World magazine in July .
FutureDerm: That’s fantastic! So exactly what does it mean when you say someone is “aging backwards”?
Jackie Silver: For me it means getting younger everyday. Everybody else can assign their own meaning. For someone else it may mean taking off that extra 30 pounds, or getting out of a stressful situation, or starting volunteer work (it has been demonstrated that those who volunteer are healthiest and typically live the longest). [...] I’d say that aging backwards is all about habits, little habits that add up to big results. Really, it’s about making small changes over time that turn into habits for life.
FutureDerm: That’s an optimistic-yet-realistic approach! How long have you been living by the tips in the plan?
Jackie Silver: I would like to say “for my entire life,” but I learn new tips and secrets every day, so it’s an ongoing process. I happen to know a lot of people in the anti-aging business. I have always been cognizant of looking and feeling young. Perhaps paying more attention because I was obese as a child before childhood obesity was invented. I became a lifelong member of Weight Watchers at age 13.
FutureDerm: How did you finally get the weight off?
Jackie Silver: I went through yo-yo dieting throughout my childhood, teens, and early 20′s…but around age 25 I started to get a handle on it. I’ve really exercised consistently since 17 years old, but at 25 I started eating well, eating smaller portions and really just taking control instead of letting go.
FutureDerm: Let’s talk about skin care and dermatology. You look great! How often do you see a dermatologist? Do you swear by any skin care products?
Jackie Silver: Oh yes, I think dermatologists are so important. I go about once a year, and make sure that they don’t find anything going on for me to worry about (of course, I never worry, that’s part of the stress reduction, *laughs*). I am really healthy all the time. I want to make sure to tell the young women and men out there to make good choices while they’re young, no tanning beds or lamps or anything like that.
I’m always testing skin care products, so I don’t really stick with anything in particular. I do take a wonderful supplement – I don’t like to take a lot of pills, but I swear by Astavita Skin Defense Complex. They don’t pay me, but I am always talking about them – this is one of my “secret pills.” After a few weeks it really made a difference in my skin – I swear by it.
FutureDerm: What is your take on Botox? On plastic surgery?
Jackie Silver: I’m not against anything that helps people look and feel better, but i always say that I like to try the most natural method first. I have had plastic surgery in the past, which you can read about in my book. But what I have recently discovered is that Cynthia Rowland’s facial exercises (Facial Magic) are the best method for me.
FutureDerm: What do you feel is the greatest myth about aging well?
Jackie Silver: The greatest myth is that it’s impossible and just too much work. If you slowly add in good habits, it’s not impossible, and can actually be done seamlessly. You can get your best results by adding in little habits, so it’s not overwhelming when you do it slowly.
FutureDerm: What else would you like to tell my readers?
Jackie Silver: It may seem like common sense…but it helps to be motivated and inspired as often as possible to do the things we all know that we should be doing. I always say that I provide information, inspiration, motivation and perspiration.
It has also just been announced that the first Aging Backwards Cruise (on the Royal Caribbean line) will be April 8, 2010 for four days. The cruise is going to Cozumel from Tampa, Florida for just $640.09 for the entire four-day trip. We’re going to combine all of the things we talked about – special programs with attendees on the Royal Caribbean line and so many special events, all optional. But one is that we’re going to volunteer work when we dock. Our motto is, “take four days and lose 10 years!” For booking information, please tell you readers to call 877-484-7245, and ask to speak with Norie.
FutureDerm: Thank you so much!
Jackie Silver: Thank you.
- For more information on Aging Backwards, please click here.
- To buy Jackie Silver’s Aging Backwards book, http://budurl.com/kdzv
- Add Jackie on Twitter: @agingbackwardsPlease note that FutureDerm.com has not been remunerated for the above interview. Jackie also emphasized several times during the interview that she has not been paid to endorse any of the mentioned products or services, as these are just her recommendations.