LIVING FOR BEAUTY
One major perks of living for beauty from the inside out? Your overall health gets a boost as well. Certainly the lifestyle modifications that support beauty– a nutrient-dense diet, beauty sleep, working out, staying hydrated— keep your body healthy and fit. And if you’re seeing early signs of aging in the mirror, it could be signal that your lifestyle needs a tune up. “Studies show skin damage often reflects a person’s health and vitality,” says Alan Logan, ND, coauthor of Your Skin, Younger (Cumberland House, 2010). Consider recent studies of twins, which found the younger-looking twin had healthier habits, less stress, and fewer medical problems—and ultimately lived longer.
Fall to get a restful night of sleep and you miss out on more than sweet dreams… those skipped hours of snoozing are a prime anti- aging period.
“That old adage—gets your beauty sleep—is real,” says Amy Wechsler, MD, author of The Mind-Beauty Connection (Free Press, 2008).
During sleep, your body produces human growth hormone (HGH, aka the anti-aging hormone), which rebuilds and rejuvenates skin cells. But when you’re anxious and losing sleep, the levels of the stress hormone cortisol skyrocket, disturbing the hormonal balance needed for a healthy complexion. Excess cortisol can also attack collagen, causing inflammation-related issues, from joint pain to acne. You can get back on track in a matter of days if you aim for eight hours of quality sleep nightly, says Wechsler. And if you can’t fit in eight hours, aim for an extra half hour per week or take 20-minute naps. Don’t be surprised if you are Living for Beauty you notice radiant, and more resilient, skin as a result.
FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH
Water: Is it the untapped the fountain of youth? “There are hundreds of theories on aging and disease. But I believe that the one thing that transcends all of these, the final common pathway, is intracellular water,” says Howard Murad, MD, author of The Water Secret (Wiley, 2010). While staying hydrated can support your cells, the solution isn’t necessarily drinking the traditional eight glasses of water a day, a recommendation based on research from 1945, according to Murad. “You can utilize foods for water,” he said, getting H2O in its “structured” form in beans, fruits and vegetables, which also harbor the nutrients that will help boost intracellular water and collagen production. His program and products has also pinpointed the most promising skin-protective, collagen-boosting nutrients: glucosamine, Vitamins B and C, lipids and amino acids. After all, the water that protects your cells may be his key to healthy aging, but “water is just water unless we add nutrients to it.”
FIT AND GORGEOUS
If you want to live longer and better, break out those jogging shorts. A recent study determined that people who exercised had longer leukocyte telomeres- the parts of white blood cells that shorten with age and eventually lead to cell death. Regular exercise improves circulation (giving you a gorgeous glow), reduces inflammation, and releases endorphins, stress fighting neurotransmitters. Another reason why exercise may stave off aging is because it naturally increases hormone levels. “As you age, your hormone levels drop, and that changes your body composition, your energy levels, and your quality of life, “ says Vincent Giampapa, MD. “Exercise is the easiest, least expensive way to balance your hormones. Twenty minutes of aerobics followed by 40 minutes of weight training or yoga actually changes your testosterone level, your DHEA level, your cortisol level your thyroid hormone level, as well as a number of other hormones”, But as you get older, you’ll need to do it more and more to see benefits, he says. So if you’re in your 30’s, aim for exercise three times a week; in your forties, four times a week; and so on.