Posts for tag: lifestyle
There is no way to turn back time. There is no way to stop time. Time is both our friend and our enemy. The collective fear of aging is one that has created a continual growth in the anti-aging product and procedure market. It seems every year there are new studies and conclusions made about how to reverse and slow down the wear of time on our skin. To age gracefully, it is valuable to understand what causes our skin to lose its elasticity, smoothness, and dewy glow.
Some factors are intrinsic while others are extrinsic. The more you understand the aging process, the better suited you will be to make decisions that are best for you and your skin. Intrinsic factors that affect our individual aging process are the factors that are out of our control; mainly genetics. Extrinsic factors, as you can probably guess, are external factors that affect the health and appearance of our skin.
As we age, our skin will naturally lose dermal collagen, melanin, hair follicles, and sebaceous glands. The decrease in these four components cause your skin to sag, wrinkle, and dry out. Fortunately, there are you amazing products out there to help combat these noticeable symptoms of aging skin. Products that contain retinol are particularly effective at combating wrinkles, fine lines and hyperpigmentation and stimulating collagen production. Oils and creams that contain moringa oil, argan oil, rosehip oil, shea butter, vitamin C and E are also powerful natural ingredients to help revive and revitalize your skin.
The beauty of extrinsic factors is that for the most part, you have control over them. These factors include unprotected exposure to harmful UVA and UVB rays from the sun, smoking, dehydration, chronic stress, insufficient sleep, and an unhealthy diet. Our skin is the largest organ in our body and our internal body’s shield. It is essential to take care of your skin the way you would take care of your heart, brain, or mouth. Stop smoking, drink more water, eat more real, unprocessed food, manage your stress levels, and treat yourself to eight hours of rest every night. This is the unkept secret to a long and healthy life and for vibrant and healthy skin.
The world is changing. The effects of our collective behaviors have reached a level where they are now very noticeable. The planet is heating up, species of plants and animals are disappearing at an alarming rate, natural disasters are on the rise, single-use plastic waste has become an epidemic, and certain resources are dwindling. However, there are individuals and organizations that are doing extraordinary things in the way of saving our planet.
What’s truly inspiring though, is that each and every one of us has the power to affect the planet in a positive way. Little changes in the way we shop, commute, consume, take care of ourselves, and live can make monumental differences in the future of our world. As we are living in an age where health and wellness consciousness is at the forefront, integrating a wellness routine into our lives that is also environmentally-friendly is a trend that only seems to be gaining more momentum.
What’s good for the planet is good for you.
The beauty of creating a wellness-based lifestyle that is also environmentally-friendly is that it is easy! To get started, start by
Eliminating the use of single-use plastics
Did you know that 8 million tons of plastic finds its way into our oceans every year? A lot of that plastic is from items that we only use once and sometimes only for a few minutes. Plastic bags, bottles, coffee lids and stirrers, and straws are among the most commonly disposed plastic items.
Making the switch to re-useable water bottles, to-go coffee cups, grocery bags, and straws is a simple switch that can make a significant difference in the future of our seas.
Giving up red meat
The amount of water, land, and resources that is required to maintain livestock is mind-blowing. Did you know it takes around 2,400 gallons of water to “create” a single pound of beef? Did you know that it takes 10 pounds of grain to “create” a single pound of beef?
And did you know that cow farts and burps are responsible for 14-18% of the harmful greenhouse gas methane that is released into our atmosphere every year? There are over a billion and a half cows on the planet and every day each cow is very regularly releasing methane, which is greatly contributing to the warming of our planet.
In addition to all the run-off from the antibiotics, hormones, pesticides, and other chemicals that go hand-and-hand with the large-scale beef industry, regular red meat consumption has been linked to heart disease among other health conditions.
Not only is spending time in the great outdoors good for your physical and mental health, it is also good for the environment. By running, walking, biking, practicing yoga, or other forms of exercise outdoors you are eliminating the use of electricity from your exercise routine.
Eating seasonally, locally, and more plant-based
The further food has to travel the more of a negative impact it has on the environment. Today, we can pretty much get any type of food from anywhere around the world at any time of the year. However, opting to eat what is in season and what is grown or thriving close to your home-base will significantly reduce the carbon-footprint of the food that you are eating.
Plus, the fresher the food the better it is going to taste!
The ignorance card is not valid when it comes to making choices that are not only good for our health and wellness, but that are good for the planet. It is truly impressive that amount of information that can be found on the packaging and label of an item.
Look for items with labels like “Cruelty-Free,” “Non-GMO Certified Project,” “Eco-Friendly,” “Rainforest Alliance Certified,” “Animal Welfare Approved,” “Fair Trade Certified,” and “Good Housekeeping Green.”
Other simple ways to lead a more eco-wellness lifestyle include…
Supporting brands and companies that are environmentally-conscious
Giving up fish oil supplements (check out a plant-based Omega Blend)
Switching out cotton for more environmentally-friendly products like bamboo or hemp
Using eco-friendly house products (cleaning supplies, laundry detergents, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, etc.)
Every decision that you make not only affects you but the world around you. Everything and everyone is interconnected. If we start collectively making better decisions, we will come into a future where we are not only healthier, but our planet is healthier too.
Heart disease is a cold faced killer. It is the leading cause of death among both men and women in the United States. The good news is though, it is a killer that can be stopped. The catch however is that you are the only one who can stop this mass murderer. In honor of Heart Health Month, we are going to tell you exactly how you can take control of your heart health and protect yourself from such a grave fate.
Life is all about choices. Each and every one of us was blessed with free will, which means that we are free to make our very own choices in every matter of our personal lives. Sometimes we don’t always make the best choices though and sometimes those bad choices can have detrimental consequences. This is often the case with heart-healthy verses heart-harming choices.
The following questions will help you determine if you are at a heightened risk of a major life changing or potentially life ending cardiac event. These are the factors that affect your heart health and as you can see many of them involve choices.
- Do you engage in at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day?
- Do you smoke?
- Are you regularly stressed out?
- Are you overweight?
- Do you eat a lot of high saturated fat foods, such as processed meat, marbled cuts of beef, packaged cookies and desserts?
- Do you eat a rainbow-colored assortment of fruits and vegetables every day?
- Do you have high blood pressure? If yes, is it managed?
- Do you have high cholesterol? If yes, is it managed?
- Do you have a family history of heart disease?
While there are certain factors that are out of your control, such as family history, there is quite a lot that is completely under your control. Let’s further examine one of the simplest heart health factors, physical activity.
Thirty minutes a day of physical activity doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to go to a gym or even do it all at once. It can be as simple as taking a 30-minute bike ride around your neighborhood, two 15-minute walks with your dog, or three different 10-minute activities, such as a 10-minute morning yoga practice, a 10-minute post-lunch walk, and a 10-minute outside play session with your kids after work. The more you move the better you will feel physically and emotionally. And the endorphins that are released during physical activity also act as a natural stress buster, so you’re tackling two heart healthy factors at once. Make this easy change today.
Interesting fact: According to a Harvard Study, watching two hours of television a day increases your chances of developing heart disease by 15%.
Incorporating more movement into your daily life will result in a healthier, happier, and less stressful life, which in turn will greatly reduce your risk of developing heart disease.
Next week, we will further examine the importance of diet and what heart healthy foods you should be eating every day.
As we continue on with discussing lifestyle choices as they relate to aging, and in particular external signs of aging, it is important to look at an issue that all human beings deal with throughout the duration of his or her lifetime. This issue is stress. Stress is a natural part of life. It is your neurological reaction to environmental factors. Your body releases stress hormones as a coping mechanism when difficult or dangerous situations arise. In a short term sense, this is a positive reaction that allows us to focus our energy on the situation at hand. However, chronic stress can set you off balance and induce more serious health issues.
Stress can be caused by a infinite list of catalysts. Every individual is different as in what causes stress and how one deals with different types of stress. The key words here are "how one deals." Chronic stress can cause high blood pressure, heart attack, depression, insomnia, decreased immunity function, among so many other harmful maladies. Stress can also cause premature aging. Prolonged high levels of stress can make you more susceptible to fine lines due to repeated facial expression, dry flaky skin due to dehydration, dark circles and bags under your eyes due to sleep deprivation, and acne due to hormone fluctuations and increased oil production. It is completely normal to have moments of stress, however, it is important to learn how to eliminate unnecessary stress.
The first step to managing your stress levels is figuring out what exactly is stressing you out. The most common causes of stress are issues related to money, work, health, relationships, and major life changes. Everyone will experience in one way or another stress related to one or all of these causes at some point in his or his life. These five categories are just part of life. When something is "broken," instead of completely stressing out about it, try looking for ways to fix it. This can definitely be easier said than done sometimes, but as a species we have the innate skill sets necessary to problem solve. By realizing that the natural reaction of stress is designed to help us problem solve, we can actually harnass that energy to our benefit instead of our demise. The mind is even more powerful than some of us might realize.
There are also little adjustments to our daily lives that can be helpful in reducing the effects of stress, and in the long term help us achieve a more natural balance of physiological and psychological health. Leading a physically active life is vital. It is even better if you can find physical activities that you actually enjoy; maybe that's yoga, surfing, golfing, swimming, or walking. When you exercise, even for 10 minutes, your body releases endorphins. Endorphins act as a natural painkiller and produce feelings of overall wellness. Endorphins can also help you sleep, which is very important for stress management. Exercising also promotes alertness, mental stability, self-esteem, and reduces fatigue, tension, and anxiety.
On top of engaging in a proper exercise regiment and receiving sufficient hours of sleep, we can't forget about our spiritual side. This is not referring to any religion or individual beliefs, this is remembering to take care of our deeper minds. To lead a peaceful and happy life, we all need to have things that make us feel that way. Some find this through meditation, reading and drinking tea in a comfy chair, cooking amazing meals for family and friends, traveling to new places, writing, creating art, surrounding yourself with nature, listening to music...the list is truly endless, but the point is we need to find time just for ourselves. We need to do the things that we love. A life with too much of just one thing is not a balanced life, and when that thing or things is causing chronic stress, you run the risk of continuing your life with physical or emotional pain.
When you feel great on the inside, your outside will tend to reflect those feelings. Little changes, adjustments, or additions to your lifestyle can make a world of a difference as to how the rest of your life is going to play out. You have the power to make all of those positive choices! Eliminating smoking, drinking in moderation, if any, protecting your skin from the sun, catching sufficient z's, staying hydrated, exercising, and allowing yourself the time to do some of the things that you love and that make you happy, can take years off of your internal health and external appearance. This is your life, live it well; you deserve it!
Thank you for sharing a smile!
The process of aging is an intrinsic part of life. Everyone will age differently depending on a combination of genetics and lifestyle choices. While you are born with certain genes and predispositions, you do have a great deal of control over how your current and future health situation will play out. Our bodies will age with the hand of time from the inside and on theoutside. It is absolutely important that we take care of our internal bodies, but the outside, or in other words, our skin, is what is most noticeable to ourselves and others. Our outside appearance is a big part of our personal identity. Through the acts of simple lifestyle choices, we can take care of our skin, slow down the inevitable effects of time, and face each day from here until the end with grace and confidence.
The obvious signs of aging skin are, but not limited to, dryness, coarseness, dullness, hyper-pigmentation, enlarged pores, fine lines, deep set wrinkles, and loss of elasticity. While these signs might naturally appear at some point in your life, there are certain lifestyle choices that can rapidly accelerate the visible aging process. The most common factors that are responsible for premature aging are sun exposure, smoking, dehydration, excessive alcohol consumption, lack of exercise, sleep deprivation, and stress.
The sun is your skin's worst enemy! The UVA and UVB rays are ever present and constantly attacking your skin. This free radical enemy cannot be avoided entirely (unless you never ever go outside or near a window), but there are quick and easy measures that can be taken to lessen the harmful effects of those beautiful sunny rays. Aside from limiting your sun exposure between 10am and 2pm when the sun is at its strongest, it is crucial that you protect your skin with sunscreen. Now, there are so many great products that contain sunscreen and can easily be incorporated into your daily routine. Make sure that you are applying at least 15 SPF to your face and other exposed areas anytime you are planning on leaving your home. Being conscious of this will save your skin and reduce your risk of skin cancer.
If you don't smoke, this part doesn't apply to you. If you do smoke it is time to quit! There is nothing beneficial about smoking. Everything about smoking is detrimental to your health and the health of those around you. Smoking regularly and for a prolonged period of time can greatly contribute to the premature aging of your skin. Smoking cigarettes constricts blood flow and in turn causes your body to become oxygen starved. It also causes the collagen in your skin to start to breakdown, which will lead to sagging skin. Smokers also participate in repetitive facial movements, especially around the mouth, and over time wrinkles and fine lines will set from those habitual movements. The list could go on and on as to why smoking is a terrible habit, but for the purpose of this article, we will stop here.
Another habit, that especially when done in excess, which can contribute to age acceleration is alcohol consumption. Alcohol is a substance that is widely accepted and regularly indulged in our society. It should be noted however that alcohol can cause irreparable damage internally and externally. When alcohol is introduced into the body, your kidneys automatically start the process of trying to excrete it. This is not an easy task, and with a considerable amount of alcohol your body will be required to work overtime. The processes that are necessary to filter out the alcohol from your body require a lot of water and your body will take that water wherever it can get it from. This is one of the reasons why you probably wake up after a night of drinking feeling severely dehydrated. When you are dehydrated on a regular basis, your skin is more susceptible to wrinkles and a lackluster appearance. Also, when your body is working overtime while you are sleeping, other necessary bodily functions that take place during the deep sleep stage, such as cell damage repair, might not effectively take place. The result of depriving your body of those critical hours can cause you to appear tired and worn down.
The sun, tobacco, and alcohol are enemies to your skin. It is important to educate yourself and take the necessary precautions to limit this damage, if you want to prevent premature aging. Your skin is a window into your internal health. These three aging factors, in particular, do more than just speed up the hands of the clock; they can cause a long list of health problems, including several types of cancer.
You have one body; treat it like the temple that is it. This is your life, live it well.
Stay tuned later in the week for part 2 of "The Choices You Make Affect Your Face," as we continue by talking about the effects of stress on your skin and some simple ways to manage stress.
Thanks for sharing a smile with us!