You have undoubtedly met people who look much older than their actual age. While aging is inevitable, certain habits can hasten the process.
Consider these behaviors that accelerate the signs of aging:
- Smoking – Most everyone knows that smoking is detrimental to overall health. It can shorten your life by increasing your risk of cardiovascular and lung diseases. It can also make you look a lot older than your actual age. Smoking activates the enzymes that break down your skin’s elasticity, leading to wrinkled and sagging skin.
- Crash diets – Americans clamor to lose weight quickly—often with extreme diets. Weight loss is a long-term process, something that cannot be achieved overnight. Crash dieting can lead to sagging skin and wrinkles. It is best not to lose more than two pounds per week.
- Lack of sleep – Most adults need from seven to eight hours of sleep each night. Depriving yourself of sleep will make it hard to function well during the day, leading to rapid aging.
- Skipping fruits and vegetables – Eating healthy helps your energy and skin quality. Make sure that your diet contains enough nutrition-packed produce.
- Stressing out – Stress hastens the aging process, including cognitive decline. If you frequently feel stressed out, identify the causes of stress in your life and make a plan to manage them effectively. If you are having trouble de-stressing, enlist the help of a family member or even a professional counselor.
- Sedentary lifestyle – Exercise can increase your energy levels and mental outlook. A lack of physical activity can lead to a decline in your appearance, mood, and overall health.
- Alcohol – While it may be acceptable to drink in moderation, one’s capacity for alcohol often decreases with age. Alcohol can interfere with some medications and wreak more havoc on the body than it did in youth. At any age, excessive alcohol consumption can speed the aging process and heighten the risks of some diseases.
No one will be “forever young,” but all of us can stay more youthful and energetic by maintaining healthy personal habits.