Everybody has terrible habits, some of which are just inconvenient or unhealthy, while others are all of the above and are likely to hasten the aging process.
The habits that we develop in our 20s and 30s have a huge impact on how we look and feel when we are older. It is so important to treat your body with respect and care to maintain optimal physical and mental health as we age. Here are some habits that make you age faster.
1. Spending too much time on screens.
Dr. Alexis Parcells, a board-certified plastic surgeon states that looking down at a phone, tablet, or computer for extended periods can result in unnatural, premature wrinkles, particularly around the neck.
Also, focusing can make you scowl, and over time, this can add premature lines to your face. Instead, position your devices so that you can utilize them at eye level. Even your tablet and smartphone fall under this category. It is advisable to take frequent pauses and refrain from using electronics.
Nothing can age you quite as fast as a constant sense of worry, anxiety, and stress. Chronic stress caused by work, family unrest, or other things, leads to increased blood pressure, sleep disruptions, and acne breakouts. These ailments all have a negative impact on how we age.
You can deal with stress by taking some time each day to unplug and enjoy some quiet solitude which can go a long way towards reducing your stress levels. Go for a walk or read a book. Make de-stressing a priority and your body will appreciate you.
3. Sleep deprivation
Insufficient sleep has become a worldwide epidemic. Many people say that as they get older, they need less sleep. It is true that as we age, our circadian rhythms change, thus affecting sleep patterns. However, it is still ideal to get seven to eight hours of sleep each night.
Lack of sleep leads to impaired cognition and memory performance. Sleep deprivation is also linked to a speed-up in the aging process. Reduced skin elasticity, uneven pigmentation, and under-eye puffiness have all been linked to poor sleep quality. If you find that you are waking up tired or dragging during the day, talk to your doctor to rule out any possible sleep disorders such as sleep apnea.
4. Sun exposure
Exposing yourself to the sun is one of the worst things you can do when it comes to premature aging. Excessive exposure to sun rays weakens your skin’s blood vessels and skin cells, causing that dry, leathery look.
Protecting yourself from the sun’s dangerous rays is not difficult. If you know you will be out in the sun for a long period, pack a hat and sunscreen with you. Also, teach your children the dangers of the sun and get them used to wearing sun protection regularly.
5. Lack of exercise
Healthy aging begins with regular physical activity. Exercise helps to increase beneficial hormones such as testosterone, lowers cortisol levels, improves mood, and controls blood pressure. It also keeps your weight stable and prolongs your life span. You can consider investing in a fitness tracker to motivate you to get your target steps in each day. Do your best to exercise for at least 30 minutes five times a week.
While it is impossible to turn back the clock on aging, there are some conscious things we can all do to slow down the aging process. Committing to living a healthy, productive life will benefit you not only today but in the years to come.