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22 habits that are making you age faster

Cut back on these practices today for a more beautiful, healthier tomorrow.

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Holding back the years
Holding back the years
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None of us want to look or feel old before our time, but often we don't think about how much our daily actions influence the ageing process. Cut back on these practices today for a more beautiful, healthier tomorrow.

Throwing the most elaborate, perfect party ever
Throwing the most elaborate, perfect party ever
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Perfectionism is a toxic side effect of our social-media-saturated culture, causing undue stress as we try to keep up with not just the Joneses but with everyone else on the planet, according to psychotherapist Mike Dow, PsyD, PhD, author of Chicken Soup for the Soul: Think, Act & Be Happy. “Perfectionism plagues the brain with negative thoughts which cause a release of stress hormones, and that can actually accelerate ageing,” he explains. “While it’s fantastic to want to do your best, it’s also OK to have a B+ house party or to take a day off to relax and do nothing.” Teach yourself to meditate and beat stress here. 
 

Ignoring your depression and hoping it goes away
Ignoring your depression and hoping it goes away
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Recent research has found that depression isn’t just uncomfortable; it also makes you age faster by accelerating brain shrinkage, Dr. Dow says. Take your mental health as seriously as your physical health and be sure to seek professional help if you’ve been struggling with dark days for more than two weeks. Cognitive behavioural therapy, or CBT, can help you feel happier fast, he adds. Discover 51 everyday habits that reduce your risk of dementia. 
 

Being too busy to slap on some sunscreen every morning
Being too busy to slap on some sunscreen every morning
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It doesn’t matter if you’re not hitting the beach or spending all day outside – you still need to apply sunscreen every day, says Jacob Steiger, MD, a facial plastic surgeon. The sun is the biggest factor in ageing skin, so if you don’t want wrinkles before your time, make sure you’re applying a lotion with at least SPF 30 every morning, he says. His pro tip: Put it on first before any make-up or other products. Learn the eight summer skincare tips dermatologists follow. 
 

Having a cigarette or two on the weekends
Having a cigarette or two on the weekends
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Think that just because you’re only a “social smoker”, you’re safe from the harmful effects of cigarettes? Nope. Tobacco contains more than 3,800 chemical components, which can damage skin tissue, making you older both inside and out, Dr. Steiger says. “Smoking also triggers enzymes that break down the skin’s elasticity and cause fine lines and wrinkles,” he adds. Find out the 15 mind-blowing ways your body heals after you quit smoking.
 

Bailing on girls’ or guys’ night out
Bailing on girls' or guys' night out
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Friends aren’t just good for remembering your birthday or picking you up from the airport; friendships also have powerful anti-ageing benefits. “Studies have shown that people with a strong social network and satisfying relationships tend to lead longer (not to mention happier) lives,” says Hersha Diaz, PhD, a licensed clinical psychologist. Set a monthly friend night and resist the urge to skip it for an evening on the couch with Netflix. Find out seven of our most annoying habits – and why we do them. 
 

Having a to-do list longer than your grocery list
Having a to-do list longer than your grocery list
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In our “go, go, go” culture, it’s natural to have daily demands and deadlines, but if you’re constantly running from one thing to the next, caught in a whirlwind of business, you are ageing yourself faster, Dr. Diaz says. “Stress hormones cause your blood vessels to constrict, and chronic stress increases your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke. It can also cause or exacerbate mental health problems,” she explains. Here are 19 things you can do in under 10 minutes to live longer. 
 

Hitting up the cafe every day
Hitting up the cafe every day
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Drinking coffee is a major part of many people’s daily lives, but your java habit may be ageing you, says David Greuner, MD, of NYC Surgical Associates. “Coffee lowers dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), a hormone that keeps appearance youthful and reduces inflammation.” Levels of this critical hormone start to drop naturally as you age, and coffee accelerates the process. Limit yourself to one or two cups a day, max. Check out the 10 things that happen to your body the moment you quit drinking coffee. 
 

Sleeping on a cheap pillowcase
Sleeping on a cheap pillowcase
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Think about it: Every night you’re pressing the delicate skin of your face into your pillow for eight hours straight. So if your pillowcase is made from anything other than silk, you could be bringing on premature wrinkles and sagging, Dr. Greuner says. “Pillowcases made of cotton restrict your skin from smoothly moving and keeping its natural shape and form,” he explains. Here are 7 surprising ways to get more sleep.
 

Ordering a bottle of wine to go with dinner
Ordering a bottle of wine to go with dinner
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When it comes to ageing and alcohol, there’s a fine line between protective and problematic. Some studies have found that the occasional glass of wine may offer some anti-ageing benefits, but more than one drink a day can decrease your lifespan, says Bindaya Gandhi, MD. “Excessive alcohol consumption ages people faster by causing a neurodegenerative decline, worsening hormone imbalances, causing sleep problems, and increasing body fat, which can lead to numerous (and ageing) medical problems like diabetes,” she explains. Find out the 15 health myths that make doctors cringe. 
 

Hunching over your laptop
Hunching over your laptop
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You know the posture that elderly people tend to get, that makes them chronically hunched over? Now people are getting that at much younger ages because so many of us are constantly bending over a phone, laptop or tablet, says David A. Shapiro, DC, CEO of Complete Spine Solutions. “Also known as ‘tech neck,’ this forward head posture rounds the upper back and puts stress on the front of the spine,” he explains. This habit can actually weaken your spinal structure, causing arthritis, a common ailment among older people, he adds. Check out five body hacks that will perk you right up. 
 

Eating junk food
Eating junk food
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No one thinks junk food is good for us (right?!), but eating processed, low-nutrient foods regularly can age you faster than you can say “Where’s my denture cream?”, according to author and registered dietitian Shawn M. Talbott, PhD. “Eating a diet full of fibre-rich fruits, vegetables and whole grains, like the Mediterranean diet, helps you sleep better and protects against stress – two things that will help you look and feel younger,” he says. Is your diet not showing results? Here are 20 reasons why.
 

Using a straw
Using a straw
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Plastic straws are not only bad for the environment – they’re also bad for you, causing you to look older than you are, says Joseph Cruise, MD, a board-certified plastic surgeon. “Using your lips to sip from a straw can lead to lip lines and wrinkles surrounding your mouth,” he explains. Thankfully, the solution is simple: Ditch the straw and drink your (unsweetened) beverage straight from the glass. Check out 50 health secrets every woman over 50 should know. 
 

Not wearing sunglasses
Not wearing sunglasses
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Who hasn’t forgotten their sunglasses on the front seat of the car and accidentally crunched a pair? Time to take better care of your glasses so they can take care of your eyes, Dr. Cruise says. Not only does wearing sunglasses (yes, even on cloudy days!) help prevent fine lines around your eyes, but they also help protect your eyes from cancer and cataracts and help keep your vision sharp. Follow this additional eye care advice to protect your vision. 
 

Eating big meals
Eating big meals
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Eating large meals more than twice a week can accelerate ageing because overindulging puts oxidative stress on your cells, according to emergency physician Chirag Shah, MD, co-founder of Accesa Labs. “Eating small, regular meals and reducing food intake by 50 percent or more can help slow down the ageing process,” he explains. “Less energy is needed by the body to digest the food and can be utilised for other, more valuable metabolic processes that help improve cell and organ health.”
 

Not using that gym membership
Not using that gym membership
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You had the best of intentions when you signed up at the gym in January. But now it’s autumn and you’ve barely made it there twice. Unfortunately, not getting enough exercise is one of the fastest ways to age your body, Dr. Shah says. Take the wasteful stress off your wallet and your body by making a commitment to hit the gym, even if it’s just to walk on the treadmill while you watch a show, at least three times a week, he advises. Exercise doesn’t have to be tough to make a big difference. Check out these tips on how to overcome exercise excuses. 
 

Skipping the weight machines
Skipping the weight machines
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Muscle strength directly correlates to how well you age, says Barry Sears, MD, author of the Zone Diet book series and president of the nonprofit Inflammation Research Foundation. Increasing your muscle mass by strength training (at the gym or in your daily life) helps protect your heart, brain and bones, helping you look and feel younger, he explains.
 

Not taking care of your smile
Not taking care of your smile
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Your teeth are one of the first places to show the wear and tear of ageing, according to celebrity dentist Jon Marashi, DDS. Protect your youthful smile by brushing and flossing daily and seeing your dentist for regular checkups. Investing in whitening strips or other cosmetic procedures (talk to your dentist) can take years off your look, he adds.
 

Buying only fat-free foods
Buying only fat-free foods
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Eating a low-fat diet may help you lose weight (or not), but one thing it definitely does is speed up the ageing process, says Usama Azam, MD, of Health Tips Hub. Omega-3 fatty acids – a type of fat found in fatty fish and nuts – are essential for maintaining youthful-looking skin and increasing heart health. “You must consume healthy fats on a regular basis,” he says.
 

Wearing too much makeup
Wearing too much makeup
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It’s a terrible catch-22: We often wear makeup to help us look younger, but much of what we put on our skin is speeding up the ageing process, Dr. Azam says. “Wearing too much makeup clogs the skin pores and removes the natural oils which protect the skin, both of which can cause premature lines and wrinkles,” he says. Many makeups also contain harsh chemicals and toxins.
 

Skipping out on sexy times
Skipping out on sexy times
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A lack of physical intimacy means missing out on a wealth of physical benefits that can increase both the length and quality of your life, says Laura Deitsch, a licensed clinical professional counsellor and sexologist for Vibrant. “Sex has been found to decrease blood pressure, boost the immune system, reduce headache pain, improve bladder control in women, and decrease the chances of prostate cancer in men, just to name a few youthful benefits,” she says. Think your sex life is over after 40? Hardly!
 

Not having good sex
Not having good sex
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Having sex is a great start, but if you’re routinely missing out on orgasms, then you’re not getting the maximum anti-ageing benefits, Dr. Deitsch says. “Achieving climax can boost self-esteem, decrease anxiety and depression and give your body a big dose of oxytocin, the happy hormone,” she explains. Find out how to put the honeymoon-level excitement back into your relationship.
 

Not having any hobbies
Not having any hobbies
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Bowling, painting, book club, pottery, building Lego castles – it doesn’t matter so much what you do, as long as you do something that allows you to be creative, according to a George Washington University study. Researchers found that people who engaged in a regular hobby – like singing in a choir – had fewer doctor’s visits, needed less medication, and had a happier outlook on life than a similar group that didn’t have a hobby. 

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Source: RD.com

 



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