Our environment is saturated with convenience. Due to our fast paced, high stress, high demand lifestyle, we live in the fast lane, and this has made it a necessity for us to reach out and turn to products and foods that are cost-effective and efficient. While this may spare us a few minutes in our busy schedule, helping us get on to the the next thing swiftly, do we stop to think how our dependence on these things could expose us to potential health risks and pre-mature aging?
The Aging Process
Aging is scary. Developing a chronic illness is scary. Going to the doctor and being diagnosed with cancer is scary. All of these health issues are intimidating and can leave anyone a little worried about the choices they make on a daily basis regarding nutrition and lifestyle choices. These concerns can cause a person to develop a desire to try and find ways to decrease their risk of developing age related issues and chronic disease.
Having a basic understanding of what happens as the body ages, can lead to better decision making regarding how we care for our bodies. Learning how to implement healthy lifestyle changes that support well-being and preventative aging tactics are a great way to decrease the risk of some of the common issues I mentioned above. I remember when I turned 30 how everyone told me that everything was going to change. I thought they were crazy and didn’t pay attention I felt great and was having the time of my life, but come to find out a lot of what they were saying held some truth. When we reach our 30’s our bodies begin to enter into the aging process; hormones begin to change causing hormonal fluctuations that can lead to adult acne. Muscle mass begins to slowly decrease and changes in metabolism and energy demand makes it difficult to maintain a healthy weight and increases fat storage in the body, especially around the abdomen, hips and thighs. Sleep patterns and circadian rhythms also change making obtaining quality sleep each night difficult. Many people develop insomnia and have issues falling asleep, whereas others may be able to fall asleep but find it difficult to stay asleep and waking up earlier becomes normal.
These changes begin to affect our daily lives and routines decreasing the quality of life and increasing unhealthy lifestyle and nutrition habits tend to increase these effects can accelerate the aging process. This leaves us vulnerable to the possibility of developing chronic disease and illness; such as heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and thyroid issues, as well as the risk of developing certain types of cancer.
Defying the Aging Process
There are 3 easy steps to overcome the common issues associated with aging and disease prevention, and although these are not quick and easy solutions they are the most natural, safe, manageable and cost effective in the long run.
Everyone talks about the importance of eating healthy nutritious meals and decreasing the amount of processed foods and fast foods that are consumed on a daily basis. Many believe that placing a high, almost obsessive, importance on organic foods or following a particular “diet” plan is the answer. I belive that the best approach to nutrition involves being able to consistently eat meals that satisfy hunger while nourishing the body and enabling you to have a healthy approach towards food, while staying away from excessive restrictions. Yes, it’s important to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables to ensure you are getting all of your essential vitamins and minerals, it’s also important to get enough protein, fat, and carbs in your diet as well. When including these various types of nutrients in a balanced diet your body is able to manage weight more effectively, help to create stable constant energy, maintain healthy hormonal balance, assist with proper digestion, ensure proper functioning of all organs in the body, and provide immunity aganist illness and disease. These are just a few of the things that our body needs and works to obtain from the foods we eat. It’s also okay to every now and then enjoy a piece of cake, have a cookie, enjoy the different tastes at the local fair or have a nice dinner with a loved one, but when we focus primarily on eating high calorie, high fat, high sugar foods in excess and decrease the nutritious foods that we consume this is where the body becomes imbalanced and out of whack.
Rock Solid Wellness Regimen
Focusing on your well-being internally and externally is important to the aging process since there are many external forces in our environment that cause aging and there are many internal processes that contribute to aging as well. It’s good to know that there are many things that we can do to control the rate at which we age. Utilizing self care techniques and practicing good stress management activities are helpful.
Self Care Techniques
Unfortunately there are many women that view skin care and skin maintenace as a luxury and do not like to invest in the proper care of their skin until it’s too late. The earlier you start a solid anti-aging skin care regimen the better. Using quality products with a high concerntration of active ingredients can prevent and minimize the apperance of wrinkles, dark spots, uneven skin tone, and loose saggy skin. Becoming conscientous of products that we put on our face and learning how to properly address skin care issues is a sound investment. D.I.Y fads, and grocery store skin care brands might seem like a good idea and save you money in the short term but your skin needs more than what can be purchsed at your local grocery store espcially when trying to combat aging and promote healthy skin. There are many high performing skin care product lines that are available on the market that utilize high performance ingredients that are effective and non toxic and these skin care lines can fit various budgets. Don’t take your skin for granted invest the time, money and patience to have a healthy glowing complexion that doesn’t tell your age.
We never take the time to shut down and allow ourselves to breathe, we are constantly connected and plugged in. This makes it harder to allow the body to unwind and relax naturally. For most stress management involves turning to comfort foods, drinking excessively, or even smoking to calm nerves. Letting the body calm down naturally is, practicing activities such as yoga, reading, hiking, walking a dog, taking a bubble bath, journaling, or lying in a candlelit bedroom is a lovely way to destress and allow the natural processes of the body return you to a relaxed state. Relying on outside things to destress and unwind can potentially lead to other imbalances, be harmful to our health and may accelerate the aging process.
Maintain an Active Fitness Routine
Staying physically fit and active has more benefits other than just helping us to look nice. Making a habit of exercising regularly helps with weight management, flexibility, muscle retention and balance. Lifting weights 2-3 times per week can help with decreasing muscle mass which keeps the skin looking tone and helping to maintain balance, and increasing metabolic activity. Cardio activities that are performed on a regular basis helps to burn excess calories while working the heart and lungs to increase overall fitness in the body, increasing endurance and creating a strong heart and lungs. Yoga or stretching exercises helps to increase our range of motion, as well as working on challanging our balance and stability all things that begin to decline as we become and increases the risks of falling and having issues maintaing balance during daily activities.
Consistency is Key
Start including these wellness techniques as part of your regular anti-aging regimen and build a healthy, proactive approach to aging. You’ll realize that aging doesn’t have to be something that is feared but when you practice putting your health and wellness first, everything in your life and within your body gradually improves and you can defy aging and live a long and happy life!