Some tips to slow down the aging process
As hard as it may be for some to accept, everyone is aging. It begins on the day you’re born and ends when you take your last breath. Although the hands of time cannot be stopped, there are several things you can do to minimize the effects of age on your body.
Cigarette smoke contains at least 4,000 potential toxins, some of which are responsible for conditions like pulmonary fibrosis and hardening of the arteries. It can also ruin the appearance of skin, hair, teeth and nails, making them duller and less vibrant. Wrinkles may appear years earlier than expected, due to restricted blood flow to the skin. This prevents vitamins and oxygen from getting to critical areas. Smoking also damages elastin and collagen, which are proteins your skin needs to maintain its strength and elasticity. This can lead to bags under the eyes and a tired, older appearance. Although quitting cannot turn the clock around, it can slow it down considerably. This will give your body a chance to heal and regain some of its youthful appearance.
Although more research is needed, studies show that chronic stress leads to various age-related conditions like decreased immunity, neural degeneration and cardiovascular disease. One popular way to reduce the effects of stress is through meditation. It’s a great way to reduce feelings of anxiety, anger and depression, while enjoying a relaxed sense of well-being. Another way to de-stress is to exercise frequently. Any type of exercise will do, but running is often associated with a specific state of euphoria that can help battle the effects of stress.
The type of food you put into your body also has a lot to do with the aging process. Your body requires certain nutrients in order to operate properly including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients and healthy fats. Stick to green, leafy vegetables, wild-caught fish (like Alaskan Salmon), berries, herbs, lean meats (like chicken and turkey) and antioxidant-rich teas (like green, white, black and oolong teas). Avoid processed foods, refined sugar, artificial sweeteners, trans fats, hydrogenated oils and alcohol.
Make sure you’re getting plenty of regular exercise. For me this is also a huge stress reliever! Physical activity helps lubricate your joints, build lean muscle mass, detoxify your body and maintain your cardiovascular health. Even if you lack the time for a conventional exercise program, there are other creative ways to keep your body moving. There are all sorts of stretches and isometric exercises you can do at your desk, as well as opportunities to walk more frequently. You can also exercise while watching television and take the stairs whenever possible, instead of the elevator.
Get Enough Sleep
Studies have shown that sleep deprivation can also cause your skin to age faster. I know that all of us are super busy and it may be difficult to get as much sleep as we would like, but it is important to try. One study conducted by University Hospitals (UH) Case Medical Center showed that sleep deprived women often suffered from premature skin aging, as well as a decreased ability to recover from sun damage and exposure to environmental toxins. The women in the study who were deprived of sleep had more problems with fine lines, uneven pigmentation and reduced elasticity than those who slept well. Although individual sleep needs may vary, most experts recommend getting 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night, ideally in a cool, dark room.
Protect Your Skin
Research has shown that most of the effects of aging are caused by external factors. One of the biggest culprits is sun exposure. I know I keep repeating this but it is so important! Even if you don’t spend long periods of time in the sun, it’s possible to get burned in less than 15 minutes, depending on the UV Index. Long-term exposure can cause your skin to age prematurely, resulting in lots of wrinkles. If you are outdoors, seek out shade if there’s no other option. Remember to also use a sunscreen or sunblock lotion that offers protection from both UVA and UVB rays.
While there may not be an actual fountain of youth, there are things you can do to stay feeling refreshed and young. Don’t get discouraged if you can’t follow these tips all the time. Even if you just do little steps or try most of the time to follow these tips, it is still helpful. Did I remind you to protect your skin from the sun LOL?