Premature aging is a subject that concerns most of us, given that it affects not just our physical appearance, but also our overall health. Medicine has advanced greatly over the past decades and has allowed us to slow down and, in some respects, even reverse the physical signs of aging. However, we are still aging on the inside, and we cannot do anything to stop this process – all we can do is adjust our lifestyle in order to slow down the effects of aging.
1. Worrying Too Much
Stress can truly wreak havoc on your mental, emotional and physical health, so you need to try hard not to let it interfere with your life. Are you the type of person that worries too much? Do you stress yourself over every single thing, even those that are seemingly irrelevant? If so, then the chances are that you are taking life’s ups and downs too seriously, and this will undoubtedly speed up the aging process. The reason why stress ages you is very simple: age increases the secretion of norepinephrine and cortisol, two ‘negative’ hormones that affect your immune system and also increase blood pressure This can lead to cognitive decline, and it also increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. Try some relaxation techniques at least twice a week – from aromatherapy to yoga, try anything that makes you relax and blow off some steam. You will feel and look better!
2. Not Having a Regular Skin-Care Routine
Another bad habit that speeds up the aging process is the lack of a consistent, regular skin-care routine. The notion of skin care does not only mean the face and eye creams that we should use on a daily basis; it also involves staying hydrated and consuming at least eight 8-oz glasses of water per day. That, coupled with using a good eye cream and a face cream to keep the wrinkles at bay, will certainly slow down the aging process. A well-chosen moisturizer that matches your skin type can take years off your face, and the results are typically visible within just a few weeks. A good skin-care routine will stimulate the natural production of collagen and elastin, and it will also slow down the formation of deep wrinkles, the most obvious sign of aging.
3. Bad Eating Habits
There is a reason why our parents insisted on us eating our vegetables as children! If you know you have bad eating habits (and you don’t eat enough vegetables and fruits, which are packed with antioxidants), then it is highly recommended to do something about it while you still can. Antioxidants are vital for preventing oxidative stress caused by free radicals. Simply put, the free radicals target the superficial skin cells and damage them – this leads to wrinkles, and it also increases the risk for various types of cancer. The good news is that you can slow down the aging by simply increasing your daily fruit and vegetable intake.
4. Lack of Exercise
The dangers of living a sedentary lifestyle are no longer a secret to anyone, and there are literally thousands of reports and documentaries that point out the risks of living an exercise-free life. Not only does this cause obesity (which has side effects that are also very well known), but it increases the risk for cardiovascular and kidney disease. All you have to do to stay young, healthy and fresh is to enjoy at least 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise on a daily basis. Besides delaying the aging process, studies have revealed that exercising regularly can also increase your lifespan by up to a decade.
5. Neglecting Your Sleep
When we were little, many of us refused to take a good nap when our parents urged us to. Now that we are adults, we often crave one, yet don’t have the time to sleep! However, it is extremely important to make sure that you get enough sleep at night. One of the most common misconceptions about the lack of sleep is that it will only create dark circles under your eyes. While it is true that not getting proper sleep does make you look very tired, the real dangers of sleep deprivation go far beyond the aesthetic. On average, a healthy adult should sleep around seven hours per night in order to stay mentally alert the next day. If you do not get enough sleep, you will likely feel tired and sluggish the whole day, and you will also tend to eat more than you normally would.
6. Not Using Sunscreen
Another common mistake many of us tend to make is not using sunscreen that protects us against dangerous UVB rays. While many women rely on makeup for sun protection (and most foundations do have low a sun-protection factor), it is extremely important to use sunscreen as well in order to prevent enlarged pores, brown spots and fine lines.
Smoking is another highly unhealthy habit that will undoubtedly speed up the aging process. Long-term smoking can cause your teeth to become yellow, it will wreak havoc on your skin and cause many fine wrinkles, and of course it also increases the risk for cancer (especially mouth and lung cancer). Besides this, it is also well known that smoking increases the risk for heart disease.
8. Lack of Regular Sex
Enjoying sex with your partner is more than just getting the physical satisfaction we crave. As a matter of fact, sex is an amazing natural antidepressant that can elevate your mood instantly, not to mention that numerous studies have also revealed that those who have a normal and balanced sex life also tend to be healthier. Simply put, sex triggers the release of endorphins and other essential chemicals in your body that will improve the function of your immune system, lower stress and also reduce the risk for certain types of cancer.