Friday, February 17, 2012

Lack of Sleep May Get You Fatter

Sleep is one of the most important activities that our body needs. Sleepless nights don’t just mess up your mood during the next day but it also has effect of your body. Sleep deficiency can cause many people to pack extra pounds. There are several reasons why lack of sleep can lead to weight gain, says Michael Breus a sleep disorder specialist. He said that when we get too little shut-eye, our metabolism slows down to conserve energy. That slowdown will trigger the release of the hormone called cortisol which is responsible for the increase in appetite. Our mind thinks that we need more energy that is why it asks for more food. When we are lack of sleep it also causes our body to release more ghrelin, another kind of hormone that signals hunger and less leptin, the hormone that tells the stomach that it’s full. When that’s happen, the body wants more food and lacks the sensitivity to know when to stop eating. Another contributing factor for weight gain is that the body burns the most calories during REM sleep, the restful phase of sleep, therefore when we have less time in sleep it means less time in REM.
Therefore, we should try to get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night. If you have trouble sleeping, you follow the following steps: Stick to a nightly routine, exercise during the day, banish worries, and keep pre-bedtime activities relaxing.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Minimizing the Signs of Skin Aging

As we grow older, our body also changes which is commonly called as aging. For humans aging refers to the multidimensional process of physical, psychological and social change. That is why science keeps on discovering products to delay the process of aging. But we know that there’s nothing we can do to stop aging, as we get older, simultaneously the signs of wear and tear will also appear on your skin which usually start at the age of 30. Though we know that we’ll eventually grow old doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t take care of ourselves. We can still look younger than our age by knowing the causes and signs of aging and how to prevent these to happen.
Below are some of the signs of aging and some suggestions on how to minimize their occurrence.
1.      Sagging skin on your chin, jawline and neck. You probably notice that as you age you’ll notice that everything in your body seems to be sagging. Your chins become jowls, jawlines become loose and the corners of your mouth become tired out or it can be cause by a drastic weight loss over a short period of time. But these problems can be minimized by eating a balanced diet. One of the things that break down elastin and collagen in the skin are the free radicals. Therefore reach for food high in antioxidants like mangoes, green and leafy vegetables.
2.      Crows feet. These are the lines that come from the muscle when we close our eyes. Those lines causes lateral folds in the corner of the eyes to appear which eventually become permanent as we age because our skin loses its elasticity. So to prevent this to happen always apply sunscreen with an SPF of no lower than 15 or wear a good pair of sunglasses that keeps off UV rays.
3.      Fine lines and wrinkles. These can be caused by internal factors such as the breaking down of elastin and collagen in our body by free radicals, and can also be caused by external factors such as constant sun exposure, pollution etc. what we can do to prevent this to happen is to apply sunblock everyday or use moisturizer with SPF even on rainy or cloudy outside. Most important avoid going out in the sun between 11:00 am to 1:00 in the afternoon.
4.      Dry, dull skin. As we aged our estrogen level also drop, which causes the skin to become more delicate. Another thing also is that we lose sweat and oil glands which is responsible in producing natural moisturizers for the skin. That is why we notice that we have dry skin in our lower legs, elbows and forearms which dry out first. Says Dr. Yu. In order to keep our skin to a minimum level we should use soap bar with moisturizer. Keep a bottle of hand lotion on your bag, so you can moisturize right after washing your hands. Also avoid taking hot baths because hot water can seriously dry out the skin. The best time to hydrate your skin is after bathing.
5.      Spider Veins. These are veins that seem to be creeping along the surface of the skin usually at the back of our knees. It has valves that act as a one way flap t prevent the backward motion of the blood as the blood goes toward the heart. And when the valves become weak, it causes the back-flow and pooling of blood in the veins. So to prevent this to happen, avoid standing or sitting for a long period of time, since this causes your veins to work harder in pumping blood towards your heart. Another way is to elevate your legs for a few minutes everyday to help the blood flow back to your heart.