By Patricia Danflous
WITH AN ESTIMATED 77.3 MILLION BABY BOOMERS LIVING IN THE UNITED STATES, ANTI-AGING IS A VERY POPULAR TOPIC AMONG MATURING INDIVIDUALS. DESPITE HOLLYWOOD’S TAKE ON THE MATTER, MATURATION CAN BE A BEAUTIFUL THING, ESPECIALLY IF YOU PRACTICE THE WHOLE APPROACH THAT YIELDS FANTASTIC RESULTS.
Aging is now being classified as a disease, and every human is a carrier. Despite this undeniable fact, there is much that can be done to avoid pre-mature aging. Experts agree that lifestyle factors indubitably have an enormous impact on the aging process. In fact, our chronological age and our real age (as it is being called), are two completely different things. So what are some factors that can cause an individual to age prematurely? Some factors include smoking, excessive sun exposure, environmental pollution, poor diet, lack of sleep and lack of exercise. Cigarette smoking, may be among the worst aging accelerators; it is directly associated with wrinkle formation because it constricts blood flow in the capillaries, reducing the flow of moisture and nutrition to the cells. Not only is aging something that takes place externally for the eye to see, but the mind and body age internally. This means what we put into our bodies via food or topical skin products can essentially affect how we age. Since aging takes place over many years, the reversal of such cannot be remedied with a jar of synthetic, fix-all beauty cream. The real solution goes much deeper than that; it considers the whole person.
5 Keys To Growing Young
1. PROPER HYDRATION
The human body is composed of nearly 70% water, making proper hydration an essential part of a healthy body. What happens to a plant that has not been watered? It shrivels up, becomes limp and eventually dies from lack of water—a life giving source. The same can be true for humans. We are living things that depend on water for survival. Despite this fact, studies estimate that nearly 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. This statistic is bearing on the fact that most prefer caffeinated, sugar-laden drinks that actually incur dehydration, over pure, unadulterated water. Dehydration results in many ill effects, all affecting the real age of our bodies. Aim to stay hydrated with pure spring water. Drink throughout the day, even before you become thirsty. While some suggest 8 glasses of water as the minimum, it really depends on your weight, and activity level. If you sweat often, you will need to replenish your water stores more often than the average person.
2. PROPER NUTRITION
What we put into our bodies absolutely has a bearing on our health status. Eating life-giving foods that are bursting with nutrients can help maintain vitality and health. Whole, natural foods contain vitamins and minerals that can protect against cancer and other diseases, improve the immune system and increase energy levels. Adversely, processed foods are laden with exorbitant amounts of chemical ingredients that, overtime, can promote disease, compromise the immune system and induce pre-mature aging. Choose to eat a youthful diet of colorful, bright foods found in nature and avoid pre-packaged foods that are heavily processed and harsh on the body.
3. BEAUTY REST
No doubt, missing adequate sleep can have a negative impact on our appearance. In fact, one of the fastest ways to dull, droopy and puffy skin is an unrested body. If you have ever missed a good night’s rest, you know the awful feeling that follows the next morning. Not only do you feel terrible when you miss sleep, but under-eye dark circles and puffy eyes tell all. Our bodies are complex machines that engage in an intelligently designed repair system while we are asleep. The organs (liver and kidneys) undergo a cleansing period during the wee hours of the morning, so sleep is pertinent for internal rejuvenation to be accomplished. In fact, nearly all cells renew themselves while we are at rest, including our skin cells. Since skin is the largest organ of the body, beauty rest is essential for a youthful appearance. For optimal beauty and a rested body, aim for 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night.
4. STRESS MANAGEMENT
Prolonged stress can be so intense that it affects health; it can even make a person appear older than they really are. When tension builds, it can cause the whole body to become tense, possibly inducing wrinkle formation and a distorted posture. An ongoing study by University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) suggests that chronic stress appears to hasten the shriveling of the tips of the bundles of genes inside cells, which shortens their life span and speeds the body’s deterioration. The inability to relax causes a constant state of tension; the mind and body cannot enjoy true health and rebuild itself under such circumstances. Consciously try to reduce stress in your life by practicing positive coping methods. Exercise, meditation and breathing, proper diet and planned recreation can help reduce stress.
The benefits of exercise are enormous, and anti-aging is one of the top perks. Individuals that do not exercise regularly increase their risk for heart disease, cancer, arthritis, stiffness and weight-gain. As we age, a lack of exercise can lead to poor balance and coordination, loss of strength, loss of muscle tissue and loss of endurance. If we continue to exercise as we age, we can maintain a strong body and youthful vigor. Exercise is essential to all age groups and it is never too late to start feeling younger.