When you were a kid, there seemed to be nothing you couldn’t do. Whether it was jumping off of the swing or riding your back without using handlebars. It seemed you had no fear of getting hurt because you could recover so quickly. As you age, however, it seems that even the slightest scratch can take forever to heal.
As we get older, our bodies have a tougher time healing our wounds. Everything from superficial scratches to breaking a bone can take a lot of time and energy to fully recover from.
There are a number of reasons this occurs and while it is part of the aging process, there are also all-natural preventative measures you can take to decrease healing time as well as to help your body prevent potential injuries altogether.
Part of the physiological changes that occur in our bodies as we age include a reduction in the elasticity of skin, decreased collagen levels and the onset of potential chronic illnesses such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. All of these are major factors in the contribution of the slowed process of recovery.
Collagen reduction is the leading cause for an onset of more wrinkles in your face and while many fight this sign of aging with plastic surgery and Botox, that will do nothing for your body and healing wounds. Collagen production is linked directly to skin elasticity. Individuals that have high amounts of collagen in the body have tighter skin. When we’re young, we produce more collagen and elastin easily. Naturally boosting your collagen level is an amazing way to recover from an open wound.
Other steps you can take to combat the slowed healing process includes exercising. Incorporating both cardio exercise and strength training on a regular basis as part of your daily routine can help keep skin tighter and give your body a natural boost via your immune system to help you heal. Yoga or stretching is also equally as important as you age in order to keep skin active, tight and flexible.
All it takes is a 30-minute walk every day and doing some light strength training with weights or exercise bands to keep your body toned and your skin tight. This also increases blood circulation that will help to increase blood flow to a wound to heal more quickly.
Additionally, it’s important to eat nutritious and healthy dishes at every meal. Incorporating a healthy diet and opting for lean proteins, vegetables, fruits and plenty of fiber can prevent you from being diagnosed with heart disease or diabetes, which contribute to a slower healing process. These diseases in particular are known to decrease blood flow and/or affect blood flow to a wound, which will, of course, disrupt the healing process.
Not only that, but increasing the amount of Vitamin C consumption into your diet has been linked to an increase in collagen production as well. Take a supplement or try to eat more nutritious foods like kiwis, broccoli, kale, red peppers or grapefruit every day. Do keep in mind, though, that if you’re on any medications ask your doctor if you can consume grapefruit prior to consumption, as it has been known to interact with certain medications long-term and can lead to fatalities especially among blood thinning medications.
Also, since collagen and elastin are made of protein, be sure to consume high protein items that are low in fat. Try supplementing a meat-filled meal with a tofu meal to keep cholesterol low and your protein intake high. Tofu, fish and other items like seeds, low-fat dairy products and nuts are great for enhancing the production of elastin and collagen in the body.
Other ways to protect yourself and help your wounds heal faster include always wearing sunscreen when exposed to sun. Additionally, keep your skin hydrated throughout the year and use a natural exfoliator on your entire body. When exfoliating your body on a daily basis, not only are you sloughing off dead skin, but also you’re invigorating your skin to create collagen and elastin.
Sunscreen should always be worn in the sun and avoiding tanning beds to prevent damaging the cells of your skin, which can lead to slow healing.
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