I am taking a little "detour" to get to the health aspect of this post. Emotional and mental wellness is about how we feel about ourselves, and although there is a definite plus to the experience and knowledge gained with aging, most of us don't anticipate looking like we have "aged". I , for one, accept the fact that many years have gone by since I was in my teens and twenties, but that doesn't mean that am willing to accept that my body and skin have to reflect this number of years, if there are ways to help prevent it. I recently came across this article in AFPA -American Fitness Professionals and Associates ,written by Vivian Rivera and thought I would share some of it with you.
The seven most common factors of Premature Aging
1.Aging and Attitude- The mind plays a significant role in how we age, whether it is a process that goes faster or slower than our chronological years us for the most part up to us. Hope, optimism, joy are positive factors. Quite simply, happy people are younger looking people. Perpetual anger and distress shows on your face and ends up causing wrinkles. How your face carries your expression more than 50% of the time can determine how prematurely you form wrinkles, where, and how deeply.
2.Aging-Smoking and Drinking- We all know that smoking and drinking in excess is not good for us and will lead to all kinds of detrimental health issues and deprives our bodies of essential nutrients.
3. Aging- Sun, Cold, and Moisture- We can easily accelerate the aging process by basking in the sunlight.Sun damage is the number one cause of wrinkles.Spending a life time in cold environments can have a similar effect. Rather than creating a tougher skin, the skin appears too thin and wrinkles develop. Moisturizing frequently can help counteract this damaging effect
4.Aging and Diet-One of the most commonly misunderstood aging factors is the effect that food has on the body. There are foods that you can eat that will help you retain a younger body and foods that will help age you faster. Choosing a diet that is high in fats, sugars, processed foods, and low in fresh fruits and vegetables creates an internal environment that is anything but youth friendly. Replacing a sugary diet with fried and fatty foods, even if you are not overweight, with one that is high in natural products can keep the whole body looking tighter and younger.
5.Aging and Weight- Being too thin or too heavy can add to the aging process. Being underweight reduces the natural fats in the facial structure which allows the skin to sag and adds to the appearance of wrinkles. Simply adding five pounds to an underweight body can bring back a softer, wrinkle free face. Too much weight can make us look older by creating poor muscle tone.
6.Aging and Choices - We all make daily choices that either help or hinder the aging process. Regular work outs can help prevent premature aging and keep the entire body in great shape.Turn toward natural interventions when possible instead of chemical alterations for turning back the clock. These are simple choices that work with our bodies’ own natural rhythm and pay us back in dividends beyond belief.
7.Aging and Stress- Chronic high stress lives are a recipe for early aging.A certain amount of stress is actually good for us, although stress that creates physical signs on the body should be handled in a pleasant and relaxing manner.
While we can’t keep those birthdays from rolling around in our direction, we can take affirmative action to keep the aging process from taking over our lives. With less stress, better diet and exercise, and a happier outlook, we can retain our youthful joy and keep our spirits much younger. The youthful joy on the inside will be noticeable on the outside.
I realize that these tips are indeed beneficial, but if we can't integrate all of them into our lives all the time, then perhaps one or two tips once or twice a week. Every little bit helps, and remember not to dwell on what we have NOT done, but instead focus on what we can do.
Further information on this article can be found at http://www.afpafitness.com/articles/articles-and-newletters/research-articles-index/nutrition-wellness/the-seven-most-common-factors-in-premature-aging/