Aging gracefully is something to strive for. While the wrinkles and white hairs that come with age are nothing to be ashamed of, they’re not exactly something that you want to cause before their time either. Sadly, there are a lot of things that women (and men) do to sabotage their health and make themselves feel and appear older than they actually are. Here are seven very common anti-aging mistakes:
Everyone has heard that yo-yo dieting (also known as weight cycling) is bad, but not everyone knows exactly why it is. Yo-yo dieting has been shown to increase the risk for health problems such as gallbladder disease, elevated blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol and cancer. It can also make it harder to lose weight in the future and lead to diminished skin elasticity.
While it may be tempting to try to lose a ton of weight at once with a new-fangled restrictive diet that promises to end all your weight woes, it is often a better idea to lose the weight slowly, over a period of time. Although it takes patience, it is better for your health (and your skin) in the end.
In today’s world, many women have more things to do than there is time to do them. When that happens, sleep is one of the first things to go. Although it’s easy to justify sacrificing sleep for the sake of the to-do list, poor sleep not only will affect your appearance, but also your health. Make sleep one of your priorities. Your skin, and your health, will thank you.
A lot of women don’t lift weights because they don’t want to get “bulky.” In reality, there are many ways to exercise with weights that will simply keep you looking toned and trim. Additionally, as you age, doing weights work can help to support sagging skin. Dr. Patricia Farris recommends that her patients engage in strength training, especially as they age: “It’s like adding volume to the face with fillers, except on your body.”
Yoga is great for a lot of reasons. It builds strength, it reduces stress, and now we know that it can even help you to look younger. Dr. Hema Sundaram claims that yoga moves improve circulation and that the resulting “boost of oxygen is what gives skin that lovely yoga glow.”
Focusing on What You Put on Your Body, Not in It
Many women are used to thinking of skin-care in terms of what they rub on their skin. It’s true though for your skin just as it is for the rest of your body: you are what you eat. Diane C. Madfes, spokesperson for the American Academy of Dermatology, recommends getting plenty of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, taking a vitamin D supplement, limiting processed foods, and drinking plenty of water.
Making Skin Care Too Complicated
Taking care of yourself and taking care of your skin is important, but sometimes people make it overly complex. If you make your skin care routine something that takes an hour and a half and involves twenty dollars’ worth of product, chances are you’ll give up on it. Instead, choose something simple you know you can follow through with. Then your self-care can be something that you keep with you throughout your whole life.
This same approach doesn’t only apply to skin care, though. It can apply to exercise and to other goals you have for yourself. Sometimes when we are too insistent on perfection, we end up disappointing ourselves and giving up entirely. It’s a better idea to recognize that you’re human and have limitations, to set goals that are reasonable for you, and to actually follow through on them.
Stressing Too Much
Stress is just plain bad for your body. Routine stress has been linked to problems like heart disease, diabetes, depression, anxiety disorder, and high blood pressure. It also will put lines on your face and make you feel older. Luckily, there are things that you can do to cope with and diminish the stress in your life. Getting exercise has been shown to help improve your mood and reduce your stress. Meditation and activities that pair breathing and motion, such as yoga and tai chi, can also be very helpful. Getting enough sleep is an important way to help reduce your stress load. Remembering to laugh, spending time with family and friends, forgiving yourself, going outside, petting a friendly dog, and hugging someone close to you are all things that can help you feel calmer and happier.
Sunscreen is the ultimate anti-aging tool. Sun’s UV rays
shine year round and are a major culprit to skin damage, spotting, wrinkling
and loss of elasticity caused by sun exposure. However, this can be majorly avoided
by making a broad-spectrum sunscreen (SPF 15 to 30) part of your daily routine
all year round.