The Anti-Aging Lifestyle: Things You Can Do

woman smiling

SLEEP: We have all been there, looking in the mirror after a bad nights sleep, only to see washed out skin, under eye bags with dark circles starring back. Sleep deprivation has been found to hasten the aging process (Robillard, Prince, Filipini, & Carrier, 2011) increase risk of obesity, reduce immune function, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, injuries, all-cause mortality, depression, irritability, cognitive decline, and reduced well-being (1). Surprisingly, sleep is given little attention as an important component involved in a healthy lifestyle.  According to the National Sleep Foundation adults aged 18 and 65 should get at least 7 to 9 hours and those 65 and older 7-8 hours of sleep per night (Hirshkowitz, Whiton, Albert, et al., 2015). Studies indicate that many Canadians are not getting enough sleep or a good quality of sleep.  There are several factors that can interfere with our ability to sleep, which include psychological problems such as depression, stress, pain, tobacco smoke exposure, exercise in the evening (Altun, Cinar & Dede, 2012), the use of technology (ie., IPhone, IPad) within one hour of bedtime (Gradisar, Wolfson, Harvey, Hale, Rosenberg & Czeisler, 2013), alcohol consumption (Park, Oh, Lee, Kim, Lee,   … Kim, 2015), caffeine consumption (Drake, Roehrs, Shambroom & Roth, 2013) and bladder function (Ancoli-Israel, Bliwise & Nørgaard, 2011).

Ways you can improve your sleep hygiene can be found at this link http://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/healthy/getting/overcoming/tips

Stress Reduction

Chronic stress can lead to chronic inflammation, hormone changes, and lowered immunity which hastens the aging process (Lavretsky & Newhouse, 2012). 

Practical ways of coping with stress include identifying the source of the stressor, finding solutions to reduce or eliminate the stress source or being patient if no immediate solution can be exercised, and identifying and utilizing available resources to reduce stress, 

Our Pandora Star Inlight sessions can help reduce stress. For more information please see our Pandora Star page. 

For more about how you can reduce stress, click on the link https://www.verywellmind.com/types-of-stress-and-stress-relief-techniques-3144482

Stop Smoking

Not only is smoking bad for general health but is linked to premature skin aging. Smoking impairs collagen production, degrades elastin fibers and impairs healing (Ellis, 2018; Morita, 2007). Collagen and elastin are primary components in the dermis which gives the skin its youthful appearance. 

Smoking is highly addictive and hard to quit. However, there are several smoking cessation resources. For more information, please click the PDF file under “Guide to Quit Smoking.”

High Plant-Based Diet

A high plant-based diet, such as the Mediterranean diet has been clinically proven to reduce chronic inflammation -a primary cause of chronic disease 

(Mourouti, Panagiotakos, Kotteas, & Syrigos, 2017); Romagnolo & Selmin,  2017) so much so it is highly recommended for cancer survivors (Mourouti, Panagiotakos, Kotteas & Syrigos, 2017). Furthermore, hormones given to animals processed for human consumption have questionable health implications, which require further non-biased studies (Larrea & Chirinos ,2007).  Lastly, antibiotics (up to 80% of all antibiotics sold in the US) are given to animals processed for human consumption, which has been linked as a cause for the development of bacteria resistance to antibiotics (Aguirre, 2017).

Meat consumption has been studied to cause internal inflammation leading to  chronic disease and even cancer 

(Chai, Morimoto, Cooney, Franke, Shvetsov, Le Marchand, & … Le Marchand, 2017; Schwedhelm, Pischon, Rohrmann,  Himmerich, Linseisen & Nimptsch, 2017). However, these studies were not based on organic or grass-fed animal meat. 

It is important to remember that chronic inflammation is the root of aging and disease.

For easy plant-based recipes go to this link http://myplantbasedfamily.com/recipes/

Exercise

Exercise gets the heart pumping and the blood moving. Regular exercise increases muscle tone and body metabolism. In recent studies, regular exercise has been shown to reduce chronic inflammation thereby reducing risk of chronic disease such as diabetes type 2 and cardiovascular disease while  reducing the speed of aging (Woods, Wilund,  Martin & Kistler, 2012). 

According to the Center for Disease control, 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week is recommended to promote these benefits (2015).

Apply Sunscreen

Sun exposure accounts for up to 90% of our skins aging. In a randomized controlled trial, daily sunscreen application halted aging of the skin where the sunscreen was applied. These results were studied over the course of 4.5 years (Hughes, Williams, Baker & Green, 2013). An SPF of 50 is only 2% more effective as a sun blocker than an SPF 30. We recommend a broad spectrum SPF such as ZO Oclipse SPF 30 primer. You have to LOVE your sunscreen. Otherwise you won’t use it!

For more information about sunscreens please click the link from the Canadian Dermatology Association https://dermatology.ca/public-patients/sun-protection/sunscreen-faq/

References

Aguirre, E. (2017). Contagion Without Relief: Democratic Experimentalism and Regulating the Use of Antibiotics in Food-Producing Animals. UCLA Law Review64(3), 550-601.

Altun, I., Cınar, N., & Dede, C. (2012). The contributing factors to poor sleep experiences in according to the university students: A cross-sectional study. Journal of Research in Medical Sciences : The Official Journal of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences17(6), 557–561.

Ancoli-Israel, S., Bliwise, D. L., & Nørgaard, J. P. (2011). The effect of nocturia on sleep. Sleep Medicine Reviews15(2), 91–97. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.smrv.2010.03.002

Chai, W., Morimoto, Y., Cooney, R. V., Franke, A. A., Shvetsov, Y. B., Le Marchand, L., & … Le Marchand, L. (2017). Dietary Red and Processed Meat Intake and Markers of Adiposity and Inflammation: The Multiethnic Cohort Study. Journal Of The American College Of Nutrition36(5), 378-385. doi:10.1080/07315724.2017.1318317

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Dolezal, B. A., Neufeld, E. V., Boland, D. M., Martin, J. L., & Cooper, C. B. (2017). Interrelationship between Sleep and Exercise: A Systematic Review. Advances in Preventive Medicine2017, 1364387. http://doi.org/10.1155/2017/1364387

Drake, C., Roehrs, T., Shambroom, J., & Roth, T. (2013). Caffeine Effects on Sleep Taken 0, 3, or 6 Hours before Going to Bed. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine : JCSM : Official Publication of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine9(11), 1195–1200. http://doi.org/10.5664/jcsm.3170

Ellis, P. (2018). The impact of smoking on wound healing: the role of the nurse. British Journal Of Nursing27(6), S10-S14. doi:10.12968/bjon.2018.27.6.S10

Hughes, M. B., Williams, G. M., Baker, P., & Green, A. C. (2013). Sunscreen and prevention of skin aging: a randomized trial. Annals Of Internal Medicine158(11), 781-790. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-158-11-201306040-00002


Institute of Medicine Committee on Sleep Medicine and Research. Colten HR, Altevogt BM, eds. Sleep Disorders and Sleep Deprivation: An Unmet Public Health Problem. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press, 2006.

Gradisar, M., Wolfson, A. R., Harvey, A. G., Hale, L., Rosenberg, R., & Czeisler, C. A. (2013). The Sleep and Technology Use of Americans: Findings from the National Sleep Foundation’s 2011 Sleep in America Poll. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine : JCSM : Official Publication of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine9(12), 1291–1299. http://doi.org/10.5664/jcsm.3272


Hirshkowitz M, Whiton K, Albert SM, et al. National Sleep Foundation’s updated sleep duration recommendations: Final report. Sleep Health 2015; 1: 233-43.

Larrea, F., & Chirinos, M. (2007). [Impact on human health of hormonal additives used in animal production]. Revista De Investigacion Clinica; Organo Del Hospital De Enfermedades De La Nutricion59(3), 206-211.

Lavretsky, H., & Newhouse, P. A. (2012). Stress, Inflammation and Aging. The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry : Official Journal of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry20(9), 729–733. http://doi.org/10.1097/JGP.0b013e31826573cf


Park, S.-Y., Oh, M.-K., Lee, B.-S., Kim, H.-G., Lee, W.-J., Lee, J.-H., … Kim, J.-Y. (2015). The Effects of Alcohol on Quality of Sleep. Korean Journal of Family Medicine36(6), 294–299. http://doi.org/10.4082/kjfm.2015.36.6.294

Mourouti, N., Panagiotakos, D. B., Kotteas, E. A., & Syrigos, K. N. (2017). Review article: Optimizing diet and nutrition for cancer survivors: A review. Maturitas105(Health and wellbeing after cancer), 33-36. doi:10.1016/j.maturitas.2017.05.012

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