It goes without saying that as age catches up with us, we tend to slow down. Our energy levels drop and our memory, which you were once so proud of, loses its edge. Over time our facial features change. Sure, most of these are part of aging gracefully. However, lifestyle and dietary habits can cause the grey hair, and saggy skin, to retire your youth faster than they should. If you find your 60-year-old mother more energetic and heedful than you, you probably need to shake things up in your daily routine a little. Here are the five common habits that are speeding up the aging process:
- Sleeping Less – You might have been called the “All-Nighter-Ninja” during your college days but if you’re still holding on to the title, you’ll soon see your skin health and mental performance suffer. Chronic sleep deprivation and poor sleep quality can increase the risk of intrinsic aging. It can even cause a decline in the skin barrier function and decrease your satisfaction with appearance suggests a study published in the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Dermatology. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review probes into the impact of poor sleep on an individual’s cognitive function. Sleep deprivation can reduce attention span and hamper central processing, the study reports. Make sure to catch at least 8 hours of undisturbed sleep every day.
- Skipping The Healthy Foods – The solution to plumping up your droopy skin isn’t so much an expensive anti-aging cream as it is a healthy diet. A good diet can work wonders to improve your overall health while lowering the pace of your natural aging process. Vitamin C-rich oranges, berries, tomatoes, pomegranate, and apples boost the production of collagen that improves your skin’s elasticity and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Tomatoes are also rich in lycopene that fights UV damage and provides protection from cancers of the skin, lung, bladder and cervix. Other foods like carrots and sweet potatoes contain the antioxidant vitamin A that helps lower the risk of age-related macular degeneration. Nuts, fish, and avocados are a good source of heart-healthy fats, and vitamin E. Vitamin E helps prevent premature graying of hair and split ends. Increased intake of green leafy vegetables can lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases, reports a study conducted by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. On the contrary, a diet high in sugar can impact skin tone, and increase wrinkles. Make sure to keep a strict tab of what you eat!
- Stressing Out – Are you anxious all the time; either about a business presentation or your daughter’s school results? Calm down, lest you want your aging clock to speed up! Too much stress can accelerate your aging process and make you more susceptible to age-related neuro degenerative diseases. This happens due to the oxidative damage caused by stress, according a study published in the US National Library of Medicine. Practice calming activities like meditation and yoga that will benefit you mentally and emotionally! What’s even better is that staying stress-free will help you trim down, as well!
- Smoking And Drinking Too Much – If you’ve been thinking of reasons to give up smoking and drinking, here’s a few more you should add to the list! Tobacco smoking can increase the process of skin aging by impairing the production of collagen and degrading the dermal connective tissue metabolism, reports a study conducted by the Journal of Dermatological Science. On the other hand, binge drinking can lead to cognitive dysfunction.
- Sitting Too Long – Given the nature of jobs today, we spend a lot of time throughout the day, sitting. Physical inactivity can shorten your life expectancy. Plonking yourself in a chair or your comfortable couch for long hours can put you at the risk for cardiovascular diseases, kidney disease, obesity, and cancer. Make sure you exercise an hour daily to see positive results on your overall physical and mental well being.
In addition to these pointers, ensure that you limit your exposure to the harmful rays of the sun by covering yourself before stepping out and wearing sunscreen. Drink plenty of water and find time to meet your circle of friends to socialize. It helps reduce the risk of neurodegenerative diseases. Here’s to a long, healthy and youthful life ahead!