It goes without saying that smoking cigarettes and catching too many rays can make your skin age prematurely, so congratulations if you stopped smoking and if you always put sunscreen. Know that there exist other lifestyle habits that can harm the appearance of your skin. If you’re trying to go back in time, or at least slow down your ageing process, don’t neglect these other lifestyle habits that could sabotage your efforts to counter the effects of time.
1. You don’t sleep a lot
It is not rare for very busy people to push back their sleep hour to do other things. The problem with this is that not enough sleep can be extremely bad for your health: studies link a lack of sleep with hypertension, diabetes, weight gain, as well as ageing prematurely. You don’t need to get 8 perfect hours of sleep every night, but sleeping has to stay a priority as often as possible: your body will thank you. The sleeping needs of everyone are very different. To know how much sleep you need, sleeping experts recommend to spend one night without an alarm and to see the time at which you wake up naturally. For most people, it’s 7-8 hours.
2. You have a weakness for sweets
Of course, a diet rich in sugar can have negative effects on your waistline, but experts think that it can also make your skin wrinkled and dull. The culprit would be a natural process known as “glycation” when the sugar in your blood fixes itself on the proteins to form new molecules called Advanced Glycation Endproducts (AGEs). The more sugar you eat, the more AGEs you develop. AGEs surround the proteins like collagen and elastin that maintain the skin’s firmness and elasticity. Once damaged, the collagen and the elastin becomes dry and brittle, leading to wrinkles and to the collapse of the skin. These ageing effects start at the age of 35 (approximately) and rapidly later in life according to a study published in the British Journal of Dermatology.
3. You are often stressed
You don’t feel good when you are stressed – whether it is because of accumulated work projects, problems with your kids, traffic, etc. – and there are good biological reasons why you shouldn’t live with this much stress. Stress increases the concentration of cortisol and of norepinephrine in the blood, increases blood pressure and erases immunity. Over time, if stress persists, this can delay the healing of your injuries, harden your arteries, and it can even reduce the zones in your brain related to learning and memory. You should try to calm yourself by doing meditation or yoga.
4. You only do sports to lose weight
Physical activity is one of the best ways to stay young and in good health but most of us only associate sports with weight loss. If you have a tendency of only going to the gym every two weeks to lose a few pounds, and you take two-month breaks between gym sessions, you are missing out on tons of great health benefits. Research shows that sporty people have longer telomeres – cell-biomarker that shorten with age – compared with healthy adults that don’t do as much physical activity. Being active in a consistent way can help reduce inflammation and prevent type 2 diabetes and other chronic health problems that arise with age.
5. You never see your friends
Your friends were probably really important when you were in your twenties. Now, you probably spend all your time being the chauffeur for your kids and their numerous activities. But here is why it is essential to devote some time to cultivating friendships: a study showed that satisfying friendships will be better than close family links and can help prevent obesity, depression, and cardiac illnesses. It isn’t surprising that you always feel great after a nice brunch with a good friend.
6. You eat vegetables, but not every day
You probably heard that fruit and vegetables rich in antioxidants can help you stay young. These strong compounds fight against free radicals that, otherwise, would wreak havoc on your body and your skin, would damage the cells that can lead to cancer and would make you look older. It is important to know this: antioxidants only stay active for a few hours and need to be constantly renewed, so don’t think you’ve had enough vegetables after eating a salad at lunchtime.
7. You always avoid eating any fats
Cutting saturated and trans fats from your food is a great thing to do for your heart, but when it comes to your health and vitality, cutting unsaturated fats, like ones in fish, nuts, and olive oil is not the right thing to do. Omega-3 fatty acids are the best anti-ageing fat, essential to protect your brain, your heart, your bones, your articulations, your skin, and more. Another type, mono unsaturated acids, can help reduce the bad LDL cholesterol, increase the cardio HDL cholesterol and reduce your risk of atherosclerosis. Also, studies suggest that a higher intake of these fatty foods could contribute to a longer life expectancy.
8. You can’t remember when you had your last sexual intercourse
Yes, sex is very enjoyable and is great for your overall mood, but it is also fantastic for your health. Studies show that people with a sexually active life have a stronger immune system, less pain, fewer risks of cancer, healthier hearts and less stress. According to a study, having sexual relations can even make you look up to 12 years younger.
9. You don’t drink enough water
This is well known, drinking water is essential to be healthy. You need to be well hydrated to be healthy, but also to have nice-looking skin. Hydration is also necessary to optimize your organs function and to get rid of toxins. You should drink 6-8 glasses of water per day.
10. You listen to your music too loudly
If you have a tendency of listening to your music too loudly, be careful, since you could lose your hearing. It usually develops slowly. It is a result of an extended exposition to too high decibels. The volume of an mp3 players set higher than 50% can pump up to 101 decibels, much higher than the recommended decibel. To avoid this problem, keep your volume at its lowest possible. You can also use noise-cancelling earphones to block ambient noises, which will reduce the need to increase the volume of your music. Don’t hesitate to wear earplugs when you go to a concert or when you’re mowing the lawn.