You Can Slow Down The Clock: Daily Habits That Are Aging You Faster
You have heard that you are what you eat. You should also know that your life is a total sum of what you do on a daily basis. Since getting older is an extremely slow and gradual process how you spend every minute will determine whether you are vibrant, strong or you are degrading fast and looking older than you really are.
Luckily, it’s never too late to slow down the clock by embracing a healthier lifestyle. Here are the habits to avoid if you want to stay “young for your age.”
Sitting all day
Research shows that sitting all day can actually be deadly in the long run, in part because it increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. While you should always aim for a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous exercise daily, if you reach that, but sit for the rest of the day, you’re not necessarily lowering your risk for chronic disease.
Solution: Take a break every once in a while and move from your desk. Simple things like pacing around as you talk on the phone, watering the plants, getting up to chat with a co-worker in person rather than emailing, and taking a short walk at lunch all suffice—you just need to be moving more often than not.
We have replaced the good old human interaction with social media. Instead of making and keeping one friend in real time we prefer the thousand faceless “friends” in virtual reality. It’s important for your health to communicate not only by voice but through facial expressions, eye contact and body language. Social interaction—face-to-face, in-person, quality, engaged contact—contributes to mental, emotional and physical health. The more attuned you become to others, the healthier you become.
Solution: Put away your smartphone and spend more face time connecting with your friends. A 2013 study found that spending time with a friend or co-worker, who shares your emotional state in other words, stresses the same way you do will also lower both of your stress levels, which is a health win.
The time you spend staring down at your tech devices all day and most of the night is wrecking your posture. Researchers looked at the mobile phone habits of 56 young adults who text on a daily basis. Half of the subjects reported problems with their neck, arms or hands. Those who complained of aches and pains more often tended to text while hunched over. In another study, preliminary research on college students suggested that the more they texted, the more pain they experienced in their neck and shoulders.
Solution: Being mindful of your posture reduces aches and pains, helps you breathe easier, increases your confidence and makes you look younger. Sit up with your back straight and your shoulders back. Keep knees bent at right angles, make sure your rear touches the back of your chair, and place your feet flat on the floor. Also, take regular breaks from staring down at your cell phone and change up your position throughout the day.
Weakness for sweetness
Indulging too often in sweets foods such as pastries and candy bars, you may find yourself aging prematurely. Not only does sugar cause widespread inflammation in the body that can lead to disease, it also directly affects appearance. Sugar molecules initiate a biochemical process called glycation, which leaves you looking tired, puffy and wrinkled.
Solution: Eat healthily. Our bodies are naturally drawn to certain foods at certain times of the year for a reason. Fruits and raw veggies are naturally cooling and energizing while beans and root vegetables create warmth.
Scientific studies have clearly shown that sleeping less than seven hours per night on a regular basis can shorten your life, not to mention leave you mentally sluggish and overweight. The healing and detoxification processes that occur during sleep are vital for a strong, resilient mind and body. For example, the “sleep hormone” melatonin contributes to cellular repair which wards off cancer. The human growth hormone (HGH) is also produced during sleep, which gives us good muscle tone and youthful vitality.
Wrong Exercising Attitude
The reason why you feel the need to exercise makes a big difference. Exercising out of guilt just want to lose weight could be aging you. People who stay healthy later into life often have physical fitness, strength and balance to thank.
Solution: It’s important to take pleasure in moving your body and to enjoy the rush of blood, sweat and endorphins that comes along with it. Make exercise an enjoyable ritual, rather than a dreaded punishment.
Your beauty regimen
If you spend half an hour a day washing with face wash, body wash, shampoo and toothpaste, only to layer on the moisturizer, deodorant and makeup, it’s likely that all of these products are adding up to a significant toxic load on your body. Conventional self-care products contain sulfates, parabens and phthalates — chemicals that alter your hormones and poison your organs.
Solution: Switch to natural alternatives using ingredients like coconut oil and baking soda instead, and buy non-toxic makeup. A glowing youthful face doesn’t need all those products anyway.
When was the last time you took care of — not your dog, not the house, not the kids, not your boss, not your partner but yourself. Even for half an hour, or perhaps a whole evening? While this sounds impossible to many of us, the fact is, no one is ever going to make the time for you. It’s something you must do for yourself, and it’s an important way to prevent premature aging.
Solution: Start by establishing small “me-time” rituals throughout the day, even if it’s just a quick journal entry before bed or a walk in the morning. These small self-love gestures go a long way toward life satisfaction and ultimately long-term wellness.
Using alcohol as stress-relief
While a sociable glass of wine a couple of times a week is certainly not an issue, using alcohol as an escape from daily troubles might be making you old before your time. Not only because of the physical effects of the alcohol (like inflammation and a slower metabolism), but also because this indicates issues are being left unresolved and trapped inside.
Solution: Find healthy ways to deal with stress, including true downtime. Instead of ranting on Facebook, Twitter and God knows where else take a long leisurely bath, read a book or spend more time alone. Quiet time equals smarter choices, according to a study published in Psychological Science, which showed 15 minutes of focused-breathing meditation can encourage people to make more rational decisions, reducing recklessness (and unnecessary stress) from your daily life.
Grudges are a great way to waste energy and vitality that we would rather conserve. Don’t let an old spat continue to sap your happiness today — practice forgiveness and experience better mental and physical well-being.
Solution: Let go. Studies show that learning to let go even results in lower blood pressure, less stress and anxiety, and lower incidences of depression.
Unsatisfactory sex life
Not to get too nosy or anything, but when was the last time you had sex? Or enjoyed an affectionate physical exchange with someone you care about? Studies indicate that people with regular and satisfying intimacy practices enjoy brighter skin, a clearer mind, and better resilience to stress, not to mention a stronger immune system and less chronic pain. All of these benefits clearly result in a more youthful overall state of being.
Solution: Find time to get groovy. Remove distractions and create ideal conditions for a good loving session.