Friday, November 22, 2013

On slumber, smoke & "happy hormones"

Blowing your budget isn’t a prerequisite to enhancing your looks. Here are simple things you can start doing right now to boost your beauty without spending anything.

How many times have you heard someone explain the pretty looks or the radiant quality of women by saying that such women have the money to maintain their presumably pricey regimen? “Magastos magpaganda” or “May pera siya eh,” you yourself may have uttered at some point to dismiss fresh-looking ladies who seem beautifully put-together.

The good news is, while money can buy things that offer solutions (not necessarily the right ones) to your beauty woes, many of the things you need so as to bring out your natural radiance are a matter of lifestyle. And by making a few simple changes in your lifestyle, you’ll see positive results in your appearance and in your well-being, too.

If your body could talk, it will certainly tell you these three simple things:

“Give me enough sleep.”
Movies and fashion features may turn to zombies for inspiration, but aiming for a “night of the living dead” look in real life is not advisable. Is your shut-eye limited to 4 or 5 hours almost every night? If it is, it’s bound to show up on your face – and in your disposition – over time.

“Lack of sleep causes slackness in the skin, tension in the face, and frown lines, and makes the skin look lifeless,” says dermatologist Gail Dacudao, M.D. of Violets Salon & Skin Clinic in Las Pinas, adding that cells reproduce most actively between midnight and 4 a.m.  A good night’s sleep, therefore, is nature’s rejuvenating treatment for the skin.

Plus, when you lack sleep, you’re bound to be cranky the following morning. Listen to your body and give it adequate rest; this way it’ll be easier for your sparkling personality to come out (or at least more smiles than scowls will show up).

Here’s a tip: Find out what’s causing you to clock in too little time for sleeping, then make adjustments. Is Facebook keeping you up till late? Taking home work too often? Take determined steps to address the problem and you’ll feel the difference when your mind and body get the restorative benefits of enough peaceful slumber.  

“Go smoke-free!”

Let’s not go into the details of lung cancer and emphysema as potential consequences of smoking because you probably know that already. Let’s just underscore the fact that cigarettes can end up making you look ugly. Why? Because “haggard” is not among the adjectives that normally describe women who exemplify beauty. “Lovely” and “charming” will not come to mind when gazing at your parched skin, possibly hollow cheeks and overall gaunt appearance – which smoking, unfortunately, eventually leads to several years down the road. Authentic beauty goes beyond skin-deep, but in this case, your body must be pleading with you to at least think about your skin.

“Studies have estimated that people who smoke appear to be as much as 10 or 20 years older than their actual non-smoking counterparts by the time they reach mid-life,” Dacudao points out.

“Smoking causes accelerated production of an enzyme called matrix metalloproteinase-1 that breaks down collagen in the skin,” the doctor explains. Collagen, by the way, is a protein – found in the skin – which gives the skin its suppleness. “This means that you lose youthful plumpness of your skin far more quickly than you would if you don’t smoke.”

Besides, nicotine has been shown to have a diuretic effect, the dermatologist adds, thereby depleting the moisture in your skin and giving it a parched appearance. Now you wouldn’t want that for your skin, which happens to be the largest organ (not all body organs are internal like the heart or the brain), would you? So, the way to go is smoke-free!

“Make friends with endorphins!”

Simply put, your body releases hormones called endorphins whenever you exercise.  And these endorphins act somewhat as a “natural analgesic” by reducing your perception of pain. In addition, endorphins trigger a feeling of euphoria and a general state of well-being – a natural high, if you will.

Just think: if exercise is part of your routine, then you’ll be giving yourself a regular boost of “happy hormones.” But first, banish the thought that by “exercise” we automatically mean working out at the gym, 10-k runs, hours of zumba, or racket sports. Those are choices and many people do enjoy regularly engaging in such activities, but the key is to be physically active. Walking, if done on a regular basis, is considered exercise already.

So, when you get your heart rate up by brisk walking, running around campus or dancing, you stimulate blood circulation and thereby help your body maintain its health. And when your body is healthy, illness is kept at bay, you feel great, and this in turn influences your disposition and appearance. The natural high, too, from the release of endorphins is all you need to achieve that youthful glow which won’t cost you anything!

Woman Today magazine
September 2013

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...