Health and beauty go hand in hand

We’ve always heard that beauty is only skin deep. But, it isn’t completely true.

There is a clear correlation between feeling good and looking good. The research is clear. When you don’t feel comfortable in your own skin, whether it’s how you look or how you feel, life can be stressful. The ideas work in tandem. People tend to feel good when they look good. They also tend to look good when they feel good. It inevitably works both ways. You just have to realize that looking good isn’t the only way to feel good, but feeling good helps you look good.

Dermatologists and psychologists have known this for some time within their own specialties. Family medicine has always known as well, but there has been a more recent trend for general practitioners to be mindful of the benefits of a holistic approach to care. A healthy lifestyle, nutritional diet and exercise is an excellent foundation.

The idea is looking good on the outside starts with the inside.

Family practitioners are now more often prescribing diet and exercise in addition to medication in efforts to prevent disease before it occurs. Nutritionists and counselors are incorporated into family care. Aesthetic medicine is now a part of many family medical practices, with services once exclusive to cosmetic specialists and med spas. All with comprehensive care in mind to address this correlation between how we look and how we feel. It’s no longer just a matter of body. It’s a matter of mind, body and spirit.

Simply be good to yourself. This includes positive self-talk rather than letting negative thoughts dominate thinking. Junk thoughts are as bad as junk food. The body is nurtured by words. Studies show that there are many benefits to daily positive thoughts and self-affirmations. A healthy diet of positivity is as important as a healthy diet of nutritional food.

There are many things people can do on their own to improve their overall care to help achieve this level of comprehensive wellness. The first is to engage in some type of physical activity. The activity doesn’t even have to rise to the level of daily gym visits. In fact, the less physically active a person has been, the more benefit the person will get from a little bit of effort in the beginning. The more fit a person becomes; the more exercise is required for the same benefit. Exercise also improves mood, adding emotional benefits as well.

A healthy diet is another obvious activity for comprehensive health. More specifically, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that most Americans consume 50% more salt in their diets than the daily recommended amount. Over time this takes a toll on the body, particularly the kidneys that must clear it out. This causes blood pressure to rise. Diets rich in fiber with fruits and vegetables is always a good start for eating healthy.

Staying hydrated has a host of benefits as well. Not only does it flush impurities and help with circulation, fluid intake is also a weight-loss strategy. And weight loss has huge benefits for anyone who is overweight. Losing weight in a healthy manner is one of the biggest methods to improving overall health.

People notice wrinkles that are inevitable with age. But good skin care, protecting it from the sun’s rays and providing regular exfoliation and moisturizing, helps delay the effects of aging.

Lastly, one of the biggest health boosters is healthy relationships. An 80-year-old Harvard Study that began during the Great Depression found that a nurturing relationship was more important to prolonged happiness than wealth or genetics. The idea that there is having someone you can always count on matters a lot.

The bottom line is health and beauty go hand in hand. If you look good, you feel good and to look good you must feel good. Take a comprehensive approach to caring for yourself.

Phillip Stephens, DHSc, PA-C is affiliated with Carolina Acute Care & Wellness Center, P.A.

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