Maybe you’ve had an eeeeeeekk! moment or two yourself lately and can identify with this. I was at an event recently – actually one of those fairly “Portlandia” style ones – called “Paint Nite” where the participants come together to get their “art” on by imbibing lots of palliative liquids while producing a painting as they follow the instructions of the local artist who’s leading the show.
Sounds like fun, right? I was there at the invitation of a friend of mine, and since it had been a long time since I painted anything, I thought it could be good for me. Besides, I would have a chance to listen in on what was on women’s minds.
Sure enough, the woman across from me – as soon as she heard what I was up to these days – confided that she had one of those eeeeekk! moments recently when her little dog was in her lap and she decided to take a photo. She turned the camera to focus on the two of them and was suddenly aghast – whose neck was that?!
She then went into a spin considering her options, which in her mind were plastic surgery here (too expensive and the downtime would be ugly) and plastic surgery in Thailand (which would be cheaper and she’d be away from everybody during the recovery). She also regaled me with stories of peels she had, which took her out of commission for a week or so at a time.
I’d like to propose another option. How about becoming aware of the habits and choices we make that contribute to unhealthy aging and old-before-your-time skin and then choosing differently?
These are the most common hijackers of healthy radiance:
• An unhealthy diet
• Lack of appropriate exercise
• Prescriptions meds
• Exposure to toxins and pollutants
• Nutrient deficiencies
Want to get the most bang for your buck beauty-wise? Make sure you engage in regular – let me repeat – regular exercise! I just read a somewhat shocking figure in the current AARP magazine (April/May 2014) that JAMA Internal Medicine reported that only 35 percent of boomers exercise regularly and more than half have no routine at all.
That’s sad because exercise is one of the best ways to manage cortisol levels and to tone, not just our muscles, but also our skin. Exercise triggers the production of one of the most important antioxidants in the body – glutathione – which slows down the aging process and helps ward off wrinkles and sagging. Exercise boosts the natural production of collagen, which improves skin thickness. Resistance training in particular helps build up muscles to create lifted, taut-looking skin.
Here’s something to be cautious of: not all exercise is created equal. Excessive cardio is not recommended! Too much spinning or aerobics causes an overproduction of cortisol – your stress hormone – which is exactly what you don’t want for your skin or your waistline.