by Kathy Ashley
November 23, 2016
I think we all want to look and feel our absolute best, no matter our age.
As lifestyle plays a huge role in the aging or anti-aging process, taking good care of ourselves is the most important thing. Also, remember that some bodily symptoms or signs of aging that appear on the skin could indicate more serious problems beneath the surface, so we must remain vigilant of anything our bodies are trying to communicate.
As people, especially women, living in a fast-paced world where we are overwhelmed with demands, it's easy to neglect our needs or perform very slim self-care efforts. You're important too, and this is your body we're talking about. Self-care and skin preservation should be an enjoyable ritual that has intention and meaning.
These lifestyle factors may be a bit lesser known to some, or at least not very deeply considered. Make sure you aren't falling prey to any of them.
Lack of Sleep
The body uses sleep as a time to repair and rejuvenate itself, while storing energy for the next day. Getting enough sleep every night is important for maintaining good health and managing stress. Aside from sluggishness and a general health imbalance, a lack of sleep compromises the immune system’s ability to fight disease. It also raises blood pressure, increases the risk of heart disease and stroke, and is a cause of psychological disturbances.
Improper Diet & Lack of Exercise
Foundational to youth and vitality, eating the right foods and getting a moderate amount of exercise are of utmost importance. Certain foods like plenty of fruits, vegetables and plant based proteins support a healthy body and life. Foods such as meat, dairy, unhealthy fats and refined sugar are highly destructive to the body and cause a myriad of illness and disease. The cells of the body are constantly renewing themselves. If we feed our bodies the right kind of fuel, unhealthy cells can be replaced with stronger, healthier cells, which in turn will build a stronger, healthier body and more youthful appearance.
Ongoing negative thoughts and emotions are a heavy weight to carry around. Like poison to the body, negativity causes a person to look generally unwell and unhappy. They affect not only physical looks, but also have detrimental effects on metabolism, hormone release and immune function. In turn, cortisol levels and inflammation increase, which could lead to serious illness and disease.
A healthy colon is necessary to effectively remove dangerous toxins from the body, as well as promote healthier skin and hair. Over time, along with a modern diet full of white bread, animal products, unhealthy fats and sugars means a colon that is likely compromised with accumulated waste build-up and a breeding ground for many illnesses and disease. In the short term, this results in dull and lifeless skin and hair, fatigue, low energy, muscle weakness, restless sleep, unexplained weight gain and inability to lose weight. Eventually a toxic colon can prevent metabolization of food, fat, and absorption of nutrients.
Clogged Lymphatic System
The lymphatic system is a major detoxification system of the body whose job is to move disease-causing waste out of the body. If it is clogged or sluggish, it can contribute to health issues such as weight gain, dry and flaky skin, body odor, depression, cancer, and joint stiffness. Cleansing herbs, like red clover, echinacea and dandelion can speed up a sluggish lymphatic system, as well as dry skin brushing, lymphatic massage and rebounding.
Ongoing stress affects not only our outward appearance, but is also reported to be the direct cause of 70% of illness and disease. All body functions and organs are affected. Digestion slows or stops, fats and sugars are released from stores in the body, cholesterol levels rise, and the composition of the blood changes slightly, making it more prone to clotting. This in turn increases the risk of stroke or heart attack. Obvious stressors, like difficulties at work, problems with loved ones, financial issues, etc. would be hard to handle for many people, but are not the only kinds of stress to watch for. All of the above lifestyle factors bring added stress on the body.
There are so many additional lifestyle factors that accelerate the signs of aging; at the same time you can be proactive in taking the very best care of yourself to minimize those effects. You want to be the best, healthiest version of you for your whole life long, no matter what your age.
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