Breaking bad habits is hard enough, but once you've done it, there are ways to reverse the damage as well. Dr. Oz shares tips for turning back the clock on some of the biggest health mistakes.
- Smoking - We all know that smoking is terrible for your health for many reasons. Lung cancer, emphysema and heart disease are just a few of the known effects. It is possible though to reverse some of that damage. According to Dr. Oz, cigarette smoke paralyzes the tiny hairs in your lungs that keep the lungs clear. When you stop smoking, the hairs begin to recover and the lungs can begin clearing themselves. At around 15 years after quitting, your lungs are nearly those of a non-smoker. 9 months following your last smoke, the skin damage you've caused will be reversed as well, making you look 13 years younger. Quitting smoking can also give you back as many as 8 years to your life.
- Tanning - Sun exposure damages skin causing everything from mild sun spots and wrinkling to melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer which takes the life of one American every hour. If you begin moisturizing and protecting your skin right away, you can bring your skin back to it's plump glow. Dr. Oz says that to reverse damage and add 5 years to your life, you should wear sunscreen when outdoors but make sure to avoid overexposure. To repair skin, try retinols which are powerful exfoliants found in OTC creams and by prescription. Also, cucumbers contain silica in their skin and help improve your skin's connective tissue.
- Overindulgence - If you've been eating a drinking a little more than you should, you're likely seeing the results in your waistline. Drinking too much causes liver damage which can make it difficult for your body to process toxins. The liver does heal though, and fast. After 6 months being drink free, your liver will return to normal. In order to keep things in balance, men shouldn't have more than 2 drinks/day and women shouldn't have more than 1. Try to limit your fat intake to heart healthy fats like mono- and polyunsaturated fats and these should make up no more than 25% of your diet. Making these changes can give you back 7 years.
Living a healthy life may mean sacrificing some of your bad habits, but life isn't about drinking, eating, smoking and spending time in the sun. It's about spending time with the people you love, so make the most of it.