We say “health is wealth”, that is true but health is also vibrance, a youthful look, and graceful aging - a spring to your step. Healthy living is just as important for our insides as it is for our outsides. However, what can be said to sum up healthy living? Is it just mere wishes or a lifestyle switch or signing up for a community fitness class? Some people might even say genes help in the pursuit of healthy living. Habits are like the fundamental part of our behavior trait as humans and sometimes, even play a big role in the outcome of our health. Every year, more and more Americans are reported to have health issues that arise as a result of poor habits and choices. Certain lifestyle choices can make you look and feel older than you are. It is not enough to say we have bad habits that may be affecting our health adversely, we also have to identify them so changes or improvements can be made.
In this article, we would be addressing six everyday habits that may seem like not so much of a big deal but still impact heavily on our appearance. At Herbal Goodness we believe that for big changes to be seen in the state of our health, small steps have to first be taken. How you look and feel when you’re older may depend on how you live your life when you’re younger. That means getting rid of bad habits now that could threaten your physical well-being later.
Toxic Everyday Habits That Make You Age Faster
- Not Sleeping Enough: At this point, I think it is safe to say that sleep deprivation has no benefits. Adults need at least 7 hours of sleep each night. Not getting enough sleep not only results in looking tired but also shortens your life. Experts recommend going to bed earlier if you perceive a lack of energy, mental fatigue, or lag. During sleep, several body systems, ranging from the brain to the skin—undergo renewal and repair. Not getting enough sleep may prevent these processes from happening effectively. According to a study published in Clinical and Experimental Dermatology, women who got quality sleep experienced 30% better skin-barrier recovery than women who got poor sleep and had "significantly lower intrinsic skin aging”¹
- Consuming Too Much Sugar: Consumption of foods rich in sugar doesn’t do our skin health and overall health any good. Sugar sabotages your skin by causing wrinkles and damaging collagen and elastin; which are responsible for keeping the skin radiant and supple. Taking carbonated drinks such as sodas do not help as well because sugar-sweetened sodas may make your white blood cells age faster, posing a threat to the strength of your immune system. A study conducted at the University of California, San Francisco, found that people who drank more sugar-sweetened drinks like soda had shorter telomeres, the components of cells that hold DNA information. Telomeres start long and get shorter as they grow older; when they get too short, they die. "Regular consumption of sugar-sweetened sodas might influence metabolic disease development through accelerated cell aging," wrote the study's authors.¹
- Overexposure to the Sun: A day in the sun is fun, that is true and a tan looks good as well; that is also true. However, overexposure to the sun does more harm than good. When you move around without applying sunscreen, you expose your skin to harmful UV rays which causes wrinkles, brown spots, and photoaging. All of which will make you look old. Photoaged skin develops wrinkles and fine lines because of changes in the collagen of a deep layer of the skin called the dermis. Signs of photoaging include wrinkling, pigmentation changes such as age spots, liver spots and freckles, loss of skin tone, and broken capillaries.
- Stress: Nothing can make you feel or act older like mental decline. Studies show that letting go of stress can help you avoid cognitive impairment and keep your mind young. Stress damages various parts of the body including the skin fibers. This makes the skin look dull and lifeless. Stress also damages the cellular structure of the body, which causes premature aging of the cells. Try to identify your stressors and find ways to avoid them or to diffuse their effects through relaxation techniques such as meditation or exercise.²
- Crash Dieting: This is never a good idea. It’s not a long-term solution. It may be a long-term threat. Research shows that it can make you feel older by reducing your energy level, messing with your concentration, and making you depressed and irritable. Crash dieting can also cause wrinkles and sagging because aging skin, which has less elasticity, doesn’t have time to adjust to the weight loss. If you are trying to manage your weight, it is advisable to take the slow route, giving your body time to regain its elasticity and firmness.
- Sitting (or lying) Around All Day: Exercising regularly improves blood circulation in the body, thus making the skin look radiant. Studies have shown that regular exercising helps people age slowly and live a healthier and more energetic life. Little physical activity in your 20's and 30's could cause some problems later on, the main ones being joint or muscle pain, and an overall hunched-over look. Certain types of exercises can help you loosen your muscles and joints, like yoga or pilates. But you can also increase your flexibility even if you are only into cardio or weightlifting. Just make sure that you are going to start and end with warm-up exercises, and focus on stretching both before and after exercising every single time.³
At Herbal Goodness, we strongly believe in the use of food as medicine and not medicine as food. To champion this cause and see it being the state of things in our society, we believe a conscious approach to how we live life is needed. That is why we have designed a wide range of supplements and teas to meet up whatever fitness and health goal we aim to achieve. Together, we can live longer and healthier radiating with graceful aging.
- www.eatthis.com/news-aging-habits-science/Everyday Habits That Make You Look Older, According to Science. Accessed on August 1, 2021.
- www.everydayhealth.com/senior-health-pictures/bad-habits-that-make-you-age-faster.aspx. 8 Unhealthy Habits That Make You Age Faster. Accessed on November 13, 2014.
- www.news18.com/news/lifestyle/habits-that-make-you-age-faster-myupchar-2767055.html. 6 habits that make your skin age faster. Accessed on August 7, 2020.