Eating too much sugar certainly isn't wise for your waistline, but did you know that overindulging in dessert can add years to your face? And even if you do strenuous cardio workouts each week, you'll be missing out on potential anti-aging body benefits if your schedule doesn't include yoga, weight training, and rest.
"Good nutrition is a fundamental building block of healthy skin," explains Dr. Leslie Baumann, a Miami Beach dermatologist. The natural ingredients in whole foods such as romaine lettuce and strawberries help increase cell turnover, and boost production of collagen fibers to help keep skin smooth and firm. Conversely, foods with little-to-no nutritional benefits, like sugar-packed doughnuts, can actually damage the collagen and elastin that keep skin firm and youthful. These aging effects start at about age 35 and increase rapidly after that, according to a study published in the British Journal of Dermatology.
Even if your diet is wholesome, you could be making exercise mistakes that age you as well. For example, if you only do cardio at the expense of other types of exercise, like yoga and strength-training, you could be missing out on skin-protective benefits.
Find out if you're making one of these 5 common aging diet and exercise mistakes, and get smart prevention strategies that can keep you slim and youthful for years to come.
|You Overdo Dessert|
The breakdown of sugars, called glycation, damages the collagen that keeps skin smooth and firm. To prevent this natural process from careening out of control, Naila Malik, MD, a derm in Southlake, TX, sticks to low-glycemic carbs like whole grains; they're naturally low in sugar, and the body processes them slowly to limit the loss of collagen. If you want to sweeten up your tea or oatmeal without making your skin look older, try all-natural stevia. It's an easily digested herbal sweetener that doesn't trigger glycation, according to board-certified dermatologist Nicholas Perricone, MD, an adjunct professor of medicine at Michigan State University's College of Human Medicine.
|You Spin Away Stress|
Taking your work angst out on the bike or treadmill might make you feel better for a little while, but incorporating yoga into your fitness routine regularly may help you look younger and prevent breakouts while whittling away stress. Sounds like a winning workout to us! "Yoga moves like Child's Pose, Downward-Facing Dog, and Sun Salutations improve circulation—the boost of oxygen is what gives skin that lovely yoga glow," says Dr. Hema Sundaram, a Washington, DC–area dermatologist. New research finds regular yoga practice may reduce the inflammation and stress that speed skin aging.
If you need another reason to om away your stress: High levels of tension can spike hormone production that leads to breakouts or aggravates conditions like psoriasis. "Controlling stress keeps your skin calm," says Dr. Annie Chiu, a derm in LA.
|You Always Choose Coffee Over Tea|
Research suggests that green and black tea contain protective compounds—like EGCG and theaflavins—that help prevent skin cancers and the breakdown of collagen, the cause of wrinkles.
|You Walk Past the Weights|
Following a regular strength-training routine that creates better, more supportive muscle tone will help you firm sagging skin from the neck down.
"I am religious about strength-training, and I always tell patients to do it more as they get older," says Dr. Patricia Farris, a dermatologist in Metairie, L.A. "It's like adding volume to the face with fillers, except on your body," says Dr. Farris.
|Your Meat and Dairy Aren't Organic|
"Hormones in traditionally produced dairy, poultry, and meat may contribute to acne," says Dr. Katie Rodan, a dermatologist in the San Francisco Bay area. She says that her patients who eat those less frequently—or at least choose grain-fed beef and poultry and organic dairy—often notice their skin looks better.
For 3 more tips on how your health mistakes are aging you check out the complete story at Prevention.com.
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