Monthly Archives: May 2014

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Defy Aging: The Secret To Looking Up To 40 Years Younger

The Secret to Looking Up To 40 Years Younger
Did I get your attention?  I know what you’re thinking.  This must be too good to be true.  As crazy as it sounds, research is saying this is possible.  We all know the importance of regular exercise to keep the body healthy but recently researchers at McMaster University in Ontario did a study to show how exercise can actually reverse aging in the skin.  Could this be the fountain of youth?  

The Study
Researchers first conducted this study on mice.  After seeing the positive results exercise did with on the mice, it was rolled out to a small group of 29 men and women aged 20 to 84.  The skin that was tested was on the buttock as the researchers wanted to test a patch of skin that is not regularly exposed to the sun.  As we age, the outer layer of skin becomes thicker and the inner layer or dermis, becomes thinner.  Young skin, on the other hand, has a thinner outer layer and thicker dermis.  Participants were split up into two groups – one that did moderate to vigorous exercise for a minimum of 3 hours per week and one that remained sedentary.  Skin was biopsied before and after and in the active group, researchers found the skin to have altered back to a more youthful composition. Their outer layer became thinner and healthier while the dermis became thicker.

How exercise makes the skin look younger
The exciting part of this study is that is shows that it’s never too late to start an exercise regime.  This is where the 40 years younger part comes in.  A second part of the study showed that even in older participants, just two 30 minute sessions of exercise per week yielded significant improvements to the skin.  After 3 months of sticking to this exercise program, the skin on participants over 65 years old was closer in composition to that of a 20 – 40 year old.  The only change that these people made was adding exercise.

The domino effect
Adding regular exercise will cause a positive domino effect.  The simple act of exercising will force you to drink more water and that is always a good thing for the skin.  So, on top of getting the benefits of the exercise, you top it off by flushing the system with water which makes your skin very, very happy.  Heart pumping activity gets the blood moving  and perspiration helps the body eliminate toxins.  Plus, endorphins make you feel great after a workout.  So, the more you exercise, the more you will want to exercise.  I love the quote below because it is so true.  The only workout you will ever regret is the one you miss.

I really regret that workout said no one ever

And if you haven’t been on a regular exercise routine, you will be amazed at how quickly you will start to see results in your body and your skin.  Which leads to the next bonus – eating healthier.  Once you start seeing some positive results in your body, you are going to think twice before hitting the vending machine for your 3 pm fix.  Eating cleaner and getting rid of processed food is another great way to ensure a healthy body and healthy skin.

It may seem that this is all a lot to take on at once.  My recommendation is not to do it all at once.  Do one thing at a time.  And given that the research has shown that exercise is king, why not start there?  Don’t try too much.  Start small and when in doubt consult a professional, your doctor or a personal trainer.  But start and be on your way to a younger looking you.

Happy Mother’s Day

Wishing all Mom’s out there a wonderful Mother’s Day.

Happy

Melanoma Monday: Create Good Sun Habits Early

When I was a child, my Mom had a skin cancer scare. It was a spot on her back that the dermatologist found among the thousands of freckles she had. Thankfully, it turned out to be nothing but from that point on, my Mom went crazy protecting me and my brothers from the sun. In a way, I’m kind of glad as the situation made our entire family aware about skin cancer. And since childhood, I have developed good habits when I’m outside. Habits I hope to pass on to my own children (I must be doing something right as my children as usually the palest ones at the pool!). Research has shown that it only takes a few bad burns, usually early in life, to cause damage. In honor of Melanoma Monday, I hope you will take a few minutes to read up on skin cancer. Skin cancer is scary just by the mere fact that it is the most common cancer. At the same time, skin cancer is one of the most preventable cancers.

Here are some recommendations to help you and your family protect your largest organ.

  • Wear sunscreen every day. Even when it’s a cloudy day, you are still getting sun exposure.
  • Remember sun exposure affects your entire body. Don’t forget to protect your ears, nose, back of neck, hands and feet.
  • Apply liberally. Use 1 ounce (a shot glass full) of sunscreen to cover the body and apply every 2 hours at a minimum.
  • Avoid direct sunlight between 10 am – 2 pm. If you have to be outside, stay in the shade, wear a hat and sunscreen.
  • Start young. Teach your children good habits by applying sunscreen before they play outside. Sunscreen should not be applied on infants younger than 6 months so it’s best to keep them out of the sun altogether.

To learn more and find a free skin cancer screening near you, check out the American Academy of Dermatology.

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