According to the American Psychological Association, “lifestyle changes are a process that takes time and requires support.” The desire to make a change is commendable, but the tricky part is committing and following through.
How to Make Lasting Positive Lifestyle Changes
Plan. Be specific in making your plan. Set realistic goals with you. Build flexibility into your plan. Post your idea where you’ll most often see it as a reminder.
Start small. After you have made your short-term and long-term goals, break them into small manageable goals. If your long-term goal is to lose 20 pounds within the next five months, your weekly goal would be to lose half a kilogram per week. If your goal is to eat healthier, then your weekly goal should be replacing dessert with a healthier option like a fruit or yogurt.
Change one behavior at a time. Unhealthy behaviors develop over the course of time, so replace unhealthy habits with the healthy ones. You may face problems when you try to change too much too fast. To improve your chances of success, choose one goal at a time and work on it. As new healthy behavior becomes your habit, try to include another goal that will improve your health.
Involve a buddy. Be it a family friend or coworker another person will increase your motivation. It may be someone who will go to the gym with you or someone who is trying to stop smoking. Having someone to share your joys and struggles makes the work easier and the mission less intimidating.
Seek support. If you’re overwhelmed and unable to meet the goals on your own consider seeking help from a psychologist. Asking for help from a doctor doesn’t mean a lifetime of therapy even a few sessions will help you to set attainable goals or address emotional issues that may be getting in your way.
Persevere. Remember no one is perfect. You will have occasional lapses, but be kind to yourself. When you skip the gym or eat a brownie,don’t feel discouraged and give up. Small missteps on the road to your goals are okay and normal. Resolve to recover and get back on track.
Lifestyle Changes for Better Skin Health
Stress less. No one escapes stress in their lives. Board-certified dermatologist Richard D. Granstein, MD, FAAD, says neuropeptides and neurotransmitters regulate immune cells and endothelial cells, these are the chemicals released by skin’s nerve endings.
Stress causes these nerve endings to release an increased level of neuropeptides and neurotransmitters. When this occurs, it affects how and what level your body responds to many essential functions such as control of blood flow and sensation that contribute to the symptoms of stress that you feel. The release of these chemicals increases the inflammation of your skin.
Stress can lead to undereye bags, dry, flaky skin, rashes and hives, acne, flushed face, fine lines, tired eyes, graying and thin hair and deep grooves in your nails.
How to Reduce Stress:
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by a stressful situation take a break and listen to some soulful music. Good rapport with friends and loved ones are important for a healthy lifestyle. So when you’re stressed talk to someone, whom you can trust. If this is not possible talk calmly to yourself, tell yourself that everything will be okay.
Healthy food fights off stress so when you’re stressed gaugeon nutritious food. Try to see the humor in a stressful situation and laugh it off. Laughter releases endorphins which improve your mood and decrease stress causing hormones, cortisol, and adrenaline.
Include mindfulness as one of your lifestyle practices. Yoga, Tai-chi, meditation and Pilates include physical and mental exercises that prevent stress from becoming a problem. Try joining a meditation class.
Cleanse regularly. Figure out your skin type whether it’s oily, dry, sensitive, normal or combination skin. Then choose your skin products accordingly. Wash your face twice daily because it removes, dust, germs, dirt and excess oil from your skin. Picking your cleanser should base on how often you wear makeup and how often you work out. If you have oily skin, you’ll need a cleanser with a low pH level. If you have sensitive skin chemical cleaners are a big no-no for you.
Always use a gentle cleanser and rinse your face with warm or cold water. You need to wash your face after exercising to get rid of sweat, dirt, and oils that might clog your pores.
After washing your face, pat it with aclean,dry towel. Otherwise, you might be transferring bacteria to your skin. Applying toner after cleansing will be helpful if you have oily skin. Dermatologistsadvise against using an alcohol based toner because it is too drying even for oily skin.
Avoid touching your face often because it can cause your pores to become inflamed. Don’t lean your face on items that collect sebum and skin residue such as your phone. Make sure you aren’t using any old makeup. Change your makeup products every year. Have a facial at least once in every 3 months.You can either visit a beautician or try one of the many home facials.
Exfoliation can benefit every skin type. It deepcleanses your skin by dislodging buildup in the pores and revealsa new layer of cells. It helps to break up whiteheads, soothes and refines your skin texture giving it a soft, supple look. It enhances blood flow to your face giving the appearance of a fresh glow. Exfoliation improves your skin’s ability to absorb acne medicine and anti-aging serum. It helps your makeup to look better.
Moisturize. Moisturizing is the cornerstone of good skin care. All skin types need moisturizing because it forms a barrier between the skin and environmental conditions, helping to form an excellentprotective layer that enables the skin to retain the moisture it requires. Moisturizing your face will help you to feel and look younger.
Look foracream that moisturizes your skin.Hydration starts with ingredients known ashumectants. They are important for long lasting moisturizing. Humectants include propyleneglycol, glycerin, and hyaluronic acid.
Select a moisturizer suitable for your skin type which contains SPF 15 or higher. Moisturize your skin at the same time of day to make it a habit,such as after a shower or after a shave.These are the ideal times to use a moisturizer as your skin will be wet. This moisture will make your skin absorb the moisturizer easily. Apply the moisture gently using gentle upward strokes.
Organic and natural skincare. Using natural skincare not only improves the health of your skin but contributes to a safer environment. When you choose organic skincare, you want products whose ingredients work with the sophisticated natural systems of your skin. Given the right nutrients, your skin can take care of and mend itself.
The synthetic chemicals present in skincare products are downright scary. They can cause asphyxiation of the skin (cutting off oxygen to the skin), premature aging and increased risk of sunspots. Moreover, these chemicals are skin irritants, skin penetrators, endocrine disruptors and are carcinogenic.
Natural skin care is a logical and relatively simple approach that holistically nurtures your skin’s natural ability to maintain good health. The primary goals in organic skincare are to encourage the naturalshedding off and turnover of skin cells and tokeep your skin’s natural acid mantle. These goals help to rebuild damaged collagen and elastin, to maintain skin strength, elasticity, and resiliency.
Drink more water. Water staves off dehydration; water removes toxins and waste products from your body thereby cleansing it. Water is essential to maintain optimum skin moisture. It replenishes your skin tissue and improves its elasticity which gives you a youthful appearance and wards off the formation of wrinkles and fine lines.
Proper hydration enhances your complexion. Drinking enough water fights skin disorders like psoriasis, wrinkles, and eczema. Cold water bath eliminates skin redness and sets the palate for better makeup application.
Cold water rinse constricts your hair cuticle and makes it shinier and smoother. Ocean water contains marine botanicals such as red algae and sea lettuce which cleanses, strengthens and adds extra shine to your hair.
Ways to Include More Water in Diet:
Adding some natural fruit juice and eating spicy foods will increase your water intake.Always carry a water bottle with you wherever you go. Eat plenty of water-rich foods. Replace your vitamin tablets with vitamin water drops. Slowly build up the amount of water you can drink and increase it until you hit the target. Freeze little bits of lemon or your favorite fruit, and use these as ice cubes in water for a refreshing summer treat. When you drink lemon water first thing in the morning, it gives a hydration boost to your skin.
Eat the rainbow. Fruits and vegetables contain potent antioxidants that help to protect your skin from cellular damage caused by free radicals. Eat a rainbow of veggies and fresh fruit and aim for atleast five portions a day. Betacarotene found in pumpkin, carrots, and sweet potatoes and lutein found in papaya, kale,and spinach are potent antioxidants essential for normal skin development and healthy skin tone.
You need vitamin C for healthy immune system, radiant skin, and healing of blemishes. Back currents, blueberries, broccoli, and strawberries are best sources. Selenium is a powerful antioxidant. Research studies show that a selenium-rich diet helps you to protect against age spots,skin cancer, and sun damage.
Include vitamin E, healthy fats such as avocados, fish, nuts and seeds, phytoestrogens found in thefiber of whole grains, fruits, vegetables and flax seeds as part of balanced diet. Opt for omega 3 and omega 6 fats, low GI carbs, and zinc.
Wear sunscreen. There’s no getting around the fact that UV radiation is tough on your skin.But the real culprit is a combination of age and sun that dermatologists call photoaging. The highly penetrating UVA wavelengths may create highly reactive oxygen molecules that are capable of damaging skin cell membranes and the DNA inside. The short UVB wavelengths that because sunburn damages your DNA and suppress your skin’s immune system.
Sun damaged skin shows symptoms such as dry skin, sunburn, Actinic keratosis (small bumps that feel like sand paper)long-term changes of collagen such as fine lines, thickenedskin, and deeper wrinkles.
Apply a water-resistant SPF 30 or above sunscreen with a broad protection of spectrum against UV-A and UV-B rays. Wear a sunblock on your lips. Wear long pants, a hat with broad brim and a shirt with long sleeves. Limit your time outdoors when the sun is at its peak from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Get enough sleep. “Poor sleep can lead to increased stress hormones in the body that increase the severity of inflammatory skin conditions such as acne or psoriasis,” explains Jessica Krant, MD, MPH, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in her interview to Everyday Health.
When you’re not sleeping properly, it increases your inflammatory response which results in acne breakouts, allergic contact dermatitis, increased skin sensitivity and irritant dermatitis.
Poor sleep breaks down your collagen and hyaluronic acid the molecules that give the skin its glow, bounce, and translucency. While you’re relaxing your body’s hydration rebalances, so poor sleeping habits result in puffy undereye bags, under eye circles, poor water balance, dryness, and wrinkles.
Natural detoxification. Your skin regularly meets pollutants and dirt from the environment so detoxifying your skin can brighten it, reduce acne and improve the look and feel of your skin. Start a daily dry brushing routine, clean the skin with a detoxifying cleanser, take a detoxifying bath 2-3 times per week, and apply a detoxifying clay mask 1-2 times per week.
Dermatologists advise you to wear serums that contain chelators underneath your moisturizer. Chelators are a class of compounds that detoxify the pollutant buildup on your skin and protect your skin from new damage.
Cut back on sugar.Including grain-fed beef and poultry, and organic dairy products are the smart protein choices for detoxifying your skin. For a detoxifying diet ingest healthy fats, eat lots of alkaline fruits and vegetables and drink lots of water.
Revive your hair by exfoliating your scalp, removing residue and preventing mineral buildup. Freshen up your smile by munching on strawberries; the malic acid acts as an astringent to remove surface discoloration. Eat the right kinds of foods such as celery, apples, and carrots for a great smile.
Having a healthy and radiant skin boosts your self-confidence. There may not be a fountain of youth, but the food we eat and how we treat ourselves can prevent or even reverse aging. If you put into practice the tips that we have discussed, it will slow down the process of skin aging and revitalize the appearance of mature skin.So why not try these significant lifestyle changes?