Agelessness in Asia

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You may have heard the street talk that “Asians don’t age”. Or you may have noticed it first-hand, in jealously that during the last 30 years, between the ages of eighteen to forty eight, your female friend didn’t look any different. Perhaps just by one or two wrinkles. Tanning is a specifically Western hobby. Venturing around Europe, America and Australia, you may observe that there is a common desire to “get a tan”, and methods to do so have ranged from setting up chairs in the backyard to driving all the way to crowded beaches. In Australia, disregard for protective sunscreen has arrived at a point where almost 1.2 million prioritise smartphones over it. The wisdom of this decision will come with time, any it may soon be realised that the urge to flaunt a ‘sun-ripened’ body on social media is an extremely short-term pleasure.

What is the sacrifice? Tanning may look healthy. It certainly is portrayed by common conversation and the media to be. Pale, white skin is often associated with too much time spent indoors and a life devoid of healthy social activity. Playing sport, running around the beach with family, hosting barbeques in the glorious rays of the sun instead develops radiant, ‘tanned’ skin. But as the Australasian College of Dermatologists state, sun exposure is the main cause of aging in the skin. Wrinkles, irregular pigments may show up as people age, and are mainly due to sun damage. The process of tanning itself, is actually a sign that the cells are in trauma and are trying to fix themselves.

And if you think sunscreen is the solution, think again. Whilst many people think that applying it is the cover-all solution, they neglect that it needs to be applied prior to sun exposure, and often, re-applied every two hours. Despite what labels on products may say, their sunscreen was tested in lab conditions and application is different once exposed to the routines of running around, sweating, swimming in mineral water and towelling it off.

It is a strange paradox that Westerners often enjoy maintaining the glow of their tan whilst worrying about the appearance of wrinkles over time. In solution, they purchase vida glow as a remedy to keep the skin supple and healthy. Little do they know, that the secret behind perennial Asian agelessness lies in a diet rich in collagen and a lifestyle not valuing excessive exposure to the sun as a socially beneficial priority.

Walking around the streets of Beijing’s ‘hutongs’, you will notice countless unusual foods being sold. One particularly popular item is donkey hide. Young women are drawn to this, as they believe it maintains their beauty. In China, health revolves around the diet, which often contains collagen rich foods. The practice of eating donkey skin, tucked inside flaky buns and spiked with flavoursome garlic, stretches back to the first century BCE. Pig trotters, Bird’s Nest, the uterine tubes of female frogs and sheep placenta are part of the weird and wonderful array of Chinese food eaten to keep your skin young and healthy.

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Staying Healthy in a Sedentary Time

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Although many people have careers that grant freedom of movement, like construction workers or trade professionals, many more are consigned to offices everywhere. It can be extremely difficult to stay healthy when such behaviour is encouraged on a daily basis. Fortunately, there are several ways that even the most immobile professionals can stay healthy.

Supplementary items like Vitamin C tablets, fish oil or Morlife greens powder can all contribute to an increased standard of health. Given the proper application as recommended by a medical professional or consultant, they can improve quality of life substantially. However, without such a recommendation you could inadvertently be exposing yourself to needless expense. The Sydney Morning Herald published a piece in 2016 interviewing a variety of doctors and health scientists warning of their improper application. “You need vitamins to live,” began Dr Paul Offit from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, “ the question is, do you get enough in food? And I think the answer to that question is yes.” Dr David Seres from the American Council on Science and Health came to a similar conclusion in 2014, taking the notion to a greater extent. In the case of supplements with a toxicity component, high dosages can lead to net health detriments. Vitamin A, for instance, can cause liver failure in high doses. So, although these things can be helpful, it pays to remember and fully understand exactly what it is you’re consuming with the aid of a medical professional or consultant.

Another way to keep healthy is something that seems obvious, but illusive all the same: healthy snacks. Office buildings and even the western world at large is rife with unhealthy dietary temptations full of nutritionally deficient foods. Something as simple as an apple late morning is full of Vitamin C and won’t leave you feeling hungry or feel the need to snack further. There’s a reason that old adage about fending off doctors with apples exists.

Walking is an activity that’s easy to discount as legitimate exercise. In an era where gyms, treadmills and jogs are the socially accepted norms of exercise, just simple walking is still fantastic for your health. Just 30 minutes each day can increase cardiovascular fitness, lead to stronger bones and improved balance. With this in mind, you can practically get those 30 minutes in anywhere if you’re mindful about taking stairs, walking to and from work or even just to social events on the weekends. The thing is, this can all be done in addition to a more extensive workout at some other point in the day. Our species has been running and walking for two million years, ranging back to our shared ancestors on the plains of Africa. It’s incredible that such a simple thing to us can have such extensive benefits for us all. No matter who you are, you’ll certainly be able to benefit from a bit more walking in your life. Combined with the other pieces of advice previously mentioned, you’ll be well on your way to improved health and well-being, even in a sedentary occupation.

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