At PAW, we believe in health from the inside out, in that order. If inside you feel like you’re a hundred years old, and outside you look it, it’s time to take a proactive approach. First educate yourself as to what stress does to your body and skin and then find out what to do about it. If you can’t do anything in the near future about removing the stressors in your life, then try our suggestions below, including yoga, to lengthen your life and help you look and feel younger.
Free Radicals, Antioxidants and Oxidation
Words like free radicals and antioxidants are part of our common language. Most people think that free radicals float about freely in pollution, cigarette smoke or chemical laden food. Antioxidants, in popular opinion, are in the healthy foods that we eat, like blueberries or acai or in higher quality skin care products. We absorb them into our bodies to kill the free radicals that we exposed ourselves to, making us less likely to get cancer. This is not true, or we could simultaneously smoke a cigarette and eat a pomegranate and basically break even. Free radicals aren’t even free, really. We make them inside our bodies by a cellular process called oxidation.
Oxidation is the process your cells undergo to use up bad air or food and try to make something good, like energy, or when your body is fighting a virus. Anytime your cells undergo oxidation, it’s hard work. When the work is done, you are left with free radicals, or leftover bad molecules in your body. This isn’t a terrible thing, necessarily—because usually your body can quickly repair any damage the free radicals do and heal itself, thereby getting stronger—unless you have a build up of too many free radicals and they start to wreak havoc, like tornadoes ripping through a Kansas prairie. This is called oxidative stress.
Oxidative Stress + Life Stress = Rapid Aging
Your lifestyle might literally be killing you. Recent studies show that constant stress shortens your life by ten years! When you stress out, the first place it shows is in your face. Loss of sleep, too much caffeine, alcohol and sugar and constantly furrowing of your worried eyebrows can add years to your face overnight in the form of sallow skin, acne breakouts, fine lines and wrinkles.
Oxidative stress, according to a study done in 2010, might not be solely to blame for aging in the human body, but might determine if you age in a healthy way, or an unhealthy way, in other words, your quality of life. Given that it’s a normal cellular process, you really have no cause for alarm, unless you add regular, chronic, life stress into the mix. Then you start to feel and look about one hundred years old.
Signs of Oxidative Stress + Stress
How do you know that all of this turmoil is going on inside of you? Look in the mirror and ask yourself, “Self, how do you feel?” If a wrinkled face with gray hair answers back, “I’m glad you asked, whoever you are. I’m exhausted, my body hurts, my head hurts and my eyes hurt,” then you are really oxidative-stressed out. At this point you should try out our suggestion below.
Why Yoga and not Just Exercise in General?
Yes, yoga is relaxing and relieves stress. Exercise is good for stress, too. A study done in 2005 addressed how psychological stress increases oxidative stress. The volunteer test subjects were put through a lovely-sounding, ten-day yoga program and the results found that yoga, by decreasing psychological stress, reduced oxidative stress as well. But does yoga or exercise do anything for oxidative stress?
In a 2014 study done on the Effect of Yoga on Oxidative Stress, researchers found that yoga, when practiced by elderly males, significantly reduced hypertension (caused by oxidative stress) when practiced for three months, as compared to no significant decrease in a group that walked instead.
In a clinical trial done on a large group of adults with type 2 diabetes in India, researchers concluded that a three months yoga regime reduced their oxidative stress levels significantly by lowering their blood glucose levels.
Yoga is exercise that reduces life stress and oxidative stress, so you get more out of your time by not only lengthening your life, but improving the quality of your life as well. You can combine a yoga program with a healthy, sugar and chemical free diet and skin care products containing vitamin C and other antioxidants, like our Vivier ™Anti-Aging Kit.
At PAW, we believe in whole life and body health. Start from the inside and work your way out. Nothing is better for a more youthful appearance than a healthy lifestyle and less stress! If you’re stressing out, whether from life or are in oxidative stress, then look in the mirror, have that conversation and go to yoga!
Kansas City Yoga Studios
The following links are for yoga studios in our area that you might want to check out! Plaza Aesthetics & Wellness isn’t affiliated with any of them, but some of our patients attend classes at these studios.