Our faces put up with a lot of abuse. From the sun, to late nights, to normal weather and pollution. But, have you ever seen them? The “ageless” men and women who always seem to have a perfect complexion? How do they do it?
Have they found the fountain of youth, or is it just another scam? No, it’s real. Here’s how they do it:
They Take Care Of Their Teeth
It might not seem obvious, but good oral health can help keep you looking younger. Most people who do not take care of their teeth end up needing a complete upper denture. This is more than just a cosmetic problem.
Bacteria, which live in your mouth, can enter your bloodstream when you have gingivitis. This is the condition, by the way, that leads to the tooth loss in the first place. Anyway, when you experience enough inflammation of your gums, and your teeth become loose, it means that bacteria have made their way deep into your gums. And, they can then enter your bloodstream.
And, when they do, they can migrate to different parts of your body, like your heart, and cause anything from heart disease (in the heart) to a stroke (in the brain) to a variety of other health problems, like diabetes.
And, if you lose your teeth, it naturally ages you, makes you look older than you really are — even if you get dentures.
But, it doesn’t have to be this way. You can preserve your smile, and protect your teeth, by brushing and flossing daily, visiting your dentist every six months, and taking the time to watch what you eat and brushing 30 minutes after you eat anything that’s acidic or that could stain your teeth.
Most people don’t take oral health very seriously, according to Samuel Low, DDS, MS, president of the American Academy of Periodontology and professor emeritus of periodontology at the University of Florida.
It’s not that people want to get old, but according to Low, “…people don’t think about their gums. Brushing takes time, and flossing is one of the most difficult habits. Only 25% of people floss and I don’t think people see the benefits.”
It takes between 2 and 3 minutes to floss properly, but most people won’t take the time because they’re pressed for time. If you factor in that brushing takes an additional 2 to 3 minutes, you’re talking 5 to 6 minutes a day for brushing and flossing. And, if you do this twice a day, that’s 10 minutes.
For most people, it’s too much. But, if you want to stay young and healthy, 10 minutes isn’t really all that much.
They Don’t Smoke And They Drink Only Moderately, If At All
Smoking and drinking can accelerate the aging process because they generate free radicals. Free radicals damage cells, and can cause irreversible damage to your body. While you can counteract some of the effects with a healthy diet, and lots of antioxidants, you cannot completely neutralize the effects of heavy drinking and smoking.
The only solution is to stop, completely.
They Eat A Good Diet And Exercise
This is probably one of the most “common sense” things that you can do. If you’re willing to eat right and get exercise every day, you’ll dramatically reduce and even reverse the aging process. Whole foods, like fruits and veggies, lean meats, fatty organ meats, eggs, nuts, seeds, and legumes, are all important parts of a healthy and balanced diet.
Avoid sugar and processed foods (easier said than done).
And, exercise. Go for a walk every day. And, get in the weight room. New research shows that weight lifting a few times a week can slow and reverse the aging process because weightlifting increases the number of mitochondria in cells. Mitochondria are the “powerhouses” of cells, and they’re responsible for producing cellular energy.
So, not only will you feel better, you’ll end up looking younger, too.
They Get A Good Night’s Sleep
This is probably the most important factor in the anti-aging process. If you’re not getting at least 8 hours of sleep per night, you are prematurely aging. Your body needs time to “reset” itself and balance out your hormones. Sleep is how this is done.
Almost every study on sleep shows the same thing: People who do not get enough sleep are unhealthy compared to those who get enough sleep every night.
There’s simply no reason not to get some shut eye for 8 to 10 hours every single night.
Jessica Giles is a fitness instructor. She loves helping people stay healthy by sharing her experiences. You can read her articles on many health and beauty sites.