People Age at Vastly Different Rates
Last year, researchers determined that aging in adults occurs at vastly different rates. Despite the fact that the test subjects in this study were all the same “chronological” age, their “biological” ages differed by as much as 30 years. The study highlights various factors that contribute to the aging process, which can be very helpful to those interested in maintaining their youthful appearance and vitality for as long as possible.
The Aging Process
The study, which appeared in an issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science last year, tracked nearly 1,000 38-year-old subjects to determine how fast they aged and what factors played into that process. Researchers determined that the choices we make when we are young can greatly influence how fast we will age in the future.
While genetics account for around 20 percent of our aging process, lifestyle and environmental factors account for a much larger portion. The good news is that lifestyle and environment factors are often those we can change to set the stage for long-lasting youth and vibrancy.
Extrinsic factors are those things that impact the aging process that we actually have some control over. Those factors include:
– UV rays from the sun can sap skin of essential collagen, leading to skin laxity and the appearance of facial wrinkles. Too much sun can also give skin an aged, leathery appearance over time.
Smoking and Drinking Alcohol
– Cigarettes reduce the amount of oxygen the skin receives by as much as 30 percent, which can result in all kinds of consequences on the appearance. Skin begins to look tired and dull, with extensive skin laxity and facial lines. Lines may be particularly prominent around the mouth, due to the repeated puckering motion.
– Diets with too much white flour and refined sugar can strip skin of its healthy glow. On the other hand, foods rich in important antioxidants and other nutrients actually protect the skin from environmental damage, warding off signs of aging for much longer.
Lack of Exercise
– Exercise encourages a healthy vascular system, which ensures the skin and underlying tissue get all the oxygen and nutrients necessary to look and feel their best. Exercise also helps our mood, which might in turn keep the body and skin at a healthier level.
– Air pollution is another environmental free radical that can break down cells and accelerate the aging process. While we cannot avoid all types of air pollution, we can lower our exposure to other types of free radicals like UV rays and cigarette smoke to keep those elements from causing additional aging.
Sleep and Stress
– Getting sufficient shut-eye and learning to manage stress effectively will also go far in protecting your skin and keeping signs of aging at bay. Shoot for a minimum of seven hours of sleep each night and get involved with a stress-busting habit like yoga, painting or simply spending time with friends.
Despite our best efforts to ward off those telltale signs of aging, it is likely that a few wrinkles and other aging symptoms can still catch up with us over time. If you would like to actually turn back the clock instead of simply stopping it, the staff at Houston Center for Plastic Surgery can help. Contact our office at (713) 790-4500 to find out what anti-aging treatments are available for you.