Factors That Speed Up Aging
Aging is tough.
On the one hand, you have a sense of gratitude for getting as far as you have. But at the end of the day, gratitude doesn’t smooth out the wrinkles or make you look any younger.
Still, it seems that some move into aging more gracefully than others. And there are definitely factors that speed up aging.
So while there’s no way to escape the ravages of aging completely, there are ways to steer around some of those factors.
What Are Factors That Speed Up Aging?
One of the best ways to slow the aging process and maybe ward off some of the severity of it is by living a healthy lifestyle. In doing so, you’ll be able to lessen the following three different “invisible” factors that could be contributing to your aging faster.
- Free Radicals from Oxidation
What are free radicals?
Here’s the breakdown. Every atom is surrounded by electrons that circle it in layers known as shells. Each one of those shells must be filled by a set number of electrons. Once a shell reaches capacity, electrons begin to fill the next shell.
When an atom has an outer shell that is not filled all the way, it may bond with another atom and use its electrons to fill it. The atoms that do this are known as free radicals.
Because they lack the stability that comes with a full outer shell, free radicals are unstable. In their attempt to compensate for the number of electrons in their outer shell, they tend to react quickly with other substances.
In the case of oxygen molecules, when they split into single atoms with unpaired electrons, they turn into unstable free radicals desperately seeking other atoms or molecules. The continuation of this process is known as oxidative stress.
Free radicals produced from oxidative stress can overwhelm the repair processes of the body and cause wrinkles and grey hair. As the repair processes are further compromised, it can result in arthritis, poor eyesight, and even cancer.
One of the best ways to reduce oxidative stress is to avoid exposure to things such as sugar, toxins, and pesticides that promote it. So stick with whole and organic foods whenever possible and choose a diet rich in anti-oxidants to counteract those free radicals.
Reducing overall stress also helps – which brings us to our next point.
- Psychological Stress
As we age, our connective tissues break down. This is just a fact.
The connective tissues of the skin are collagen and elastin. And when they begin to break down, wrinkles form. But what makes one 50-year-old person appear closer to 40, while another looks more like 60?
Obviously, smoking, sunlight exposure, and good old genetics are at play. But psychological stress can also harm the proteins in skin tissue and cause wrinkles.
When you’re in the throes of chronic stress, the body produces high amounts of the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol is a key player in the breakdown of skin’s collagen and elastin. Furthermore, stress causes inflammation which impairs the body’s ability to repair itself.
Thus, finding ways to alleviate stress is essential. You might engage in mindfulness practices like yoga and meditation. And try carving out time each day to do something you enjoy.
When you experience acute inflammation in your body, it can be painful and unpleasant. What you may not consider though is that inflammation is actually a defense mechanism. It’s the body’s natural way of protecting itself against infection and injury. It comes on quickly and typically lasts a few days before the body normalizes.
Chronic inflammation, on the other hand, does not subside and is on a continuous loop. In this case, whatever stimulated the inflammation lingers and sets off a continuous loop of inflammation that can go largely undetected.
Unhealthy lifestyle choices as well as environmental stressors such as pollution, chemicals, artificial fragrances, and even weather changes are largely responsible for chronic inflammation.
Along with all of the other organs in the body, the skin takes a beating from chronic stress. When it’s stuck in an endless state of even low-grade inflammation, it damages the cells that allow for recovery.
The best way to combat inflammation is by eating a diet rich in healthy fats and organic produce, staying hydrated, and using skin care products that help to cleanse and purify.
Take Care of the Whole You
Unfortunately, none of us can turn back time. But by having awareness of the factors that speed up aging and caring for yourself, you can slow the process to some degree.
And in the meantime, turn to us to smooth out some of those wrinkles or address other aging issues that have already occurred. Contact us today for a free consultation.
After all, looking younger is one of the best paths towards feeling younger.