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Anti-Aging Strategies

Vishnu Rumalla Nov 10, 2013

Tarrant Plastic Surgery Surgeon answers the question how to preserve your youthful appearance?

As a busy plastic surgeon, I am often asked by my patients what measures they can take to protect, preserve, and restore their youth.  I usually respond by first telling them that health and fitness are simply more important than chronological age.  Next, I convey that our level of health and fitness is a compilation of our genes, diet, exercise, and a catch phrase term I call “investing in healthy living” –a term I will further elucidate. We cannot control the genes we are given, however we all can invest in healthy living.  One of the first steps to protect our wellness is to try to maintain a healthy weight.  The effect of obesity on our overall health is well chronicled and represents one of the largest medical challenges facing our society today.  Next, I tell patients to perform regular aerobic exercise designed to increase their heart rates for greater than 30 minutes three times a week adding to their cardiovascular health. As always check with your primary care doctor before starting an exercise regimen. 

So what did I mean by “investing in healthy living”?  The effects of the sun, gravity, stress, and time take a toll on our bodies and minds.  A disciplined regimen to counter these effects will serve as a keystone to our youth.  A simple measure often overlooked is respecting the sun and elements.  I find that patient’s that regularly wear sunscreen, moisturize their face, keep hydrated, and wear sunglasses maintain more youthful skin with less fine lines, wrinkles and age spots.  Remember the sun’s effects are all day long and all year round such that even during our morning commute in the middle of the winter we are exposed to ultraviolet radiation.  Finally, when outdoors or if you are in the water you should frequently re-apply sunscreen.

 In terms of strategies for healthy eating to preserve our youth, I recommend consuming a balanced nutritional diet and I am a proponent of a daily multivitamin.  I tell patients to keep their alcohol consumption in moderation. Research has shown that diets rich in foods high in anti-oxidants like certain fruits, vegetables, and nuts not only promote healthy bodies but minds as well.  Many online resources are available to find more comprehensive lists of such foods. Finally, very few things advance the signs of aging quicker than nicotine-which she be avoided.

One of the most overlooked secrets to youth is rest.  We live in a fast pace, high demand society. I know living here in North Texas I like many of you find myself over committed and always on the go.  Finding time to get adequate sleep however is extremely important.  I tell patients to try to develop a consistent sleep schedule and if they suffer insomnia or feel tired despite regular sleep –to please seek the attention of their medical doctor as they may be signs of more serious medical conditions. 

In terms of stress, saying you will reduce your stress is a hundred times easier than doing it! But in all seriousness, stress promotes hormones and chemicals in our body which accelerate the signs of aging and diminish our health.  Solutions to reducing our level of stress can include regular exercise, hobbies, spending quality time with friends and family, and sometimes just slowing things down.

In summary, it is never too early or too late to commit to your health and wellness.  Through this commitment, you will be investing in your maintaining your youth.

 

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