Lifestyle

7 daily habits that make you age faster

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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 in order to maintain optimal physical and mental health as we age.

Here are some avoidable culprits that speed up the aging process:

1. Sun exposure

Despite how amazing the sun may feel on your skin, sunbathing is one of the worst things you can do when it comes to premature aging. Excessive exposure to UV rays weakens your skins blood vessels and skin cells, causing that dry, leathery look. Tanning beds are even worse for your skin. A tanning bed exposes you to up to 15 times more dangerous radiation than sitting in the sun, leading to wrinkles, brown spots and, worst of all, skin cancer.

2. Unhealthy eating

A constant diet of fatty, carbohydrate-laden foods is a huge cause of premature aging. Processed foods, red meats, white bread, and margarine cause inflammation in your body. This swelling can lead to skin flare-ups and wrinkle formation. These foods also add unhealthy levels of sodium, cholesterol and fat into your body, increasing your likelihood of obesity.

3. Alcohol

While a glass of wine every now and then is no cause for alarm, regular drinking can cause you to look much older than you truly are. Alcohol is a natural diuretic, which means that the more you drink, the more dehydrated you become. Your body relies on healthy fluids, i.e. water, in order for it to perform its normal body processes. Insufficient hydration leads to damage to your organs and premature aging of your skin.

4. Stress

Nothing can age you quite as fast as a constant sense of worry, anxiety and stress. Studies have shown that prolonged periods of stress can actually alter your DNA. Chronic stress caused by work, family unrest or other triggers, leads to increased blood pressure, sleep disruptions and acne breakouts. These ailments all have a negative impact on how we age.

5. Sleep deprivation

Insufficient sleep has become a worldwide epidemic. It has been widely proven that a lack of sleep leads to impaired cognition and memory performance. Over time, prolonged sleep disruptions can severely impact our immune systems, decision making processes, response time and other key brain functions. 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.

6. Smoking

The list of ways that cigarette smoking negatively impacts your health and aging process are endless. Illnesses such as heart disease, lung cancer, infertility, high blood pressure and emphysema are just a few of the ailments caused by smoking. In addition to shortening your life span, cigarettes also affect your physical appearance. Smoking activates enzymes that break down the elasticity of your skin. It also deprives your skin cells of needed oxygen, causing your skin to turn a grayish yellow pallor.

7. Lack of exercise

Healthy aging begins with regular physical activity. Research shows that people who do not consistently exercise have higher rates of cardiovascular disease and other age-related illnesses. They also suffer from more injuries than their exercise-loving counterparts. As we age, injuries become more dangerous and often lead to potentially life-threatening complications.

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.

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