Have you ever wondered how your actions can affect your aging process? Your lifestyle and habits can impact your overall health, which may lead to hastening your aging process.
Maybe you have noticed a change in your mood or have had less energy to get things done. Or you’ve even become depressed or anxious at some point in time due to different things. The same factors might add up subtly to your aging process as well.
Aging is inescapable, and as we grow old, different bodily functions start to decline, causing various conditions and disorders. As we age, we are more likely to experience health issues related to the heart, kidneys, lungs, etc.
Here are some factors that might be contributing to your aging process:
1. Tobacco and Alcohol Consumption
It is now widely accepted that smoking and drinking have deteriorating effects on your body, including making you age faster than necessary.
The main ingredient in cigarettes, tobacco, is linked to early aging. Regular tobacco use is strongly associated with early skin aging and the appearance of wrinkles on a person’s face and arms.
Similarly, regular alcohol use can also speed up aging because it interferes with the health and function of various organs.
Thus, you must stop or at least control smoking and alcohol consumption if you wish to age slowly. If you find getting rid of these habits challenging, you can always seek professional assistance. There are many health groups and facilities that can help you get rid of dependence. One such facility is Delphi Behavioral Health Group, which has various treatment options. You can check them on www.delphihealthgroup.com and opt for treatment according to your condition to lead a healthy life.
2. High Levels of Stress
Stress negatively impacts mental health, metabolism, and weight and furthers aging-accelerating factors.
Chronic stress from work, conflict in the family, or other causes raise blood pressure, disturb sleep, and cause acne outbreaks. All of these illnesses harm how we age. According to studies, stress that lasts for a long time can alter your DNA.
Thus, it is crucial to have constructive ways to manage stress to slow the aging process. You can reduce it by setting aside time to disconnect from technology and stroll in nature. Your body will appreciate it if you prioritize relaxing.
3. Not Drinking Enough Water
The average person’s body contains about 70% water making it an essential aspect of living. You might already know the benefits of drinking water. It energizes you, improves digestion, lubricates joints, controls body temperature, shields delicate tissues, and gives skin its overall supple appearance and radiance. Additionally, because it has so many positive effects on your body, it promotes healthy aging.
On the other hand, chronic dehydration, which occurs if you do not drink enough water, causes internal and external aging. Your skin begins to age prematurely as the collagen breaks down, producing fine lines and wrinkles. So, remember that drinking more water is better for your skin than sticking to the recommended eight glasses per day.
4. Sitting for Long Hours
People with office jobs may have to spend a lot of time sitting down. Even if you frequently exercise, sitting for a prolonged period may hinder blood circulation.
According to research, spending less time sitting and being more active lengthens our telomeres, the protective caps that cover the ends of our DNA. While standing and staying active lengthens telomeres contributing to a longer, healthier life. Telomeres are proteins at the ends of chromosomes that guard against deterioration during cell division, helping in slow aging.
Sitting for long periods prevents you from contracting your large skeletal muscles, which may affect your metabolism.
Also, it increases Triglycerides, an unhealthy type of fat, and high-density lipoproteins, which decrease good cholesterol and adds to the aging process.
5. Getting Exposed To Sunlight without Wearing Sunscreen
We all know the terrors of direct sunlight and its UV rays. But do you know that exposing your skin to direct sun can lead to skin cancer in extreme cases? It speeds up the aging process and causes wrinkles on the skin. For your skin, tanning beds and being exposed to the sun for even minutes is harmful and can cause brown spots and, worst of all, skin cancer. The blood vessels and skin cells in your skin can be weakened by too much UV exposure, giving you that leathery, dry appearance. It even causes collagen breakdown and hastens the aging process. For prevention, it is imperative to use sunscreen with a high SPF (sun protection factor) as a daily ritual, like washing your face and brushing your teeth.
6. Being Overweight
Being overweight causes the loosening of skin around your face as it loses its elasticity and appears saggy. Your face’s fat deposits thin out with time, and as you gain weight, the process proceeds more quickly, making you appear older. The same happens to the rest of the body as well. For instance, if you are overweight, your nails might start to curl in your late teenage years, and your body fat will gradually rise over time.
The stored energy in fat results in a higher level of hormones, and your skin becomes thicker and darker, aging you quicker.
7. Not Getting Enough Sleep
An epidemic of inadequate sleep has spread across the globe. It is well established that insufficient sleep affects one’s ability to think clearly and recall information. Poor sleep quality has an impact on our organs and various bodily functions. Our immune systems, decision-making abilities, reaction times, and other critical brain functions can all suffer from repeated sleep disruptions. It also decreases skin elasticity and causes uneven pigmentation and under-eye puffiness.
Many claim that as they age, their need for sleep decreases. It is true that as we get older, our circadian rhythms alter, disrupting our sleep cycles. But one can always try to have more downtime to stay healthy and young.
8. Poor Diet
Aging is accelerated by a poor diet high in calories, trans fats, and saturated fats. Similarly, you may age quickly if you consume a diet heavy in ultra-processed foods full of sugar, oil, starches, and fats.
A poor diet includes eating few fruits and vegetables, and it should not be surprising that eating unhealthy foods frequently is detrimental to our health. It slows down our metabolism, causes us to gain weight, raises our base cholesterol, results in diabetes, etc. On the other hand, a diet high in nutrients, packed with fiber, and low in calories can slow down the aging process.
9. Lack of Exercise
People who don’t exercise regularly have higher rates of heart disease and other aging-related illnesses.
Inactivity can lead to diabetes, high cholesterol, adiposity, heart disease, and vice versa. Our bodies can suffer irreparable damage and quicker aging if we don’t exercise enough. Therefore, exercising is the first step to healthy aging. It raises levels of good hormones like testosterone, lowers levels of the stress hormone cortisol, elevates mood, and regulates blood pressure. Additionally, it helps you maintain a healthy weight and live longer.
There are some deliberate things we can all do to slow down the progression of aging, even though it is impossible to stop time from moving forward. We hope the above-mentioned things will benefit you in changing your ways to lead a healthier life both now and in the future.