The bags under your eyes are puffy and blue, your wrinkles are developing wrinkles, and you’re pretty sure you found your first age spot. We will always get older, but that doesn’t mean we have to look old. The way we treat our bodies manifests in how we look, and many of us have bad habits that cause us to look much older than we are. It’s possible to age gracefully ― but only if you resolve to never do the following six things.
When you were a teenager, you wanted nothing more than to have responsibilities because you thought they brought freedom and power. Unfortunately, now that you’re a true adult, you realize that responsibilities only make you look old. It doesn’t matter whether your stress comes from work or home, carrying around worry or tension literally degrades your DNA, causing your mind and body to age prematurely.
It’s usually impossible to decrease the amount of stress in your life, but you can limit how much they affect you. You should strive to leave your stresses behind ― for example, only think about work at the office ― and take up some relaxing hobbies.
Though you probably feel tired all day, you probably aren’t in any rush to get to sleep at night. Worse, thanks to electronic devices, our brains often find it difficult to unwind and enter deep sleep, which is when the body is able to restore itself. More than a third of U.S. adults fail to reach even the minimum recommended sleep time, and a sleep deficit results in sallow skin, weight gain, and a number of other aging effects.
You should do your best to set a strict bed time to ensure you achieve between seven and nine hours of rest, and to reach the deepest sleep, you should avoid digital screens for at least an hour before shut-eye. If you are afraid so much snoozing could cause sleep lines, you can cover your pillows in silk or satin ― or you could just sleep on your back.
It’s easy to put off one workout ― then another ― then another, until the last time you hit the gym was a few months ago, and the paunch around your middle has grown to a surprising size. Being a couch potato may be instantly gratifying, but in the long-term, it causes countless health problems ― including looking old.
Completing a moderate workout five times per week will lower your stress and boost beneficial anti-age hormones like testosterone. Even better, maintaining an active lifestyle will decrease your risk for injury, which could limit your mobility and make you look old and frail before your time.
It’s agreed: Smoking is not good for your body, especially if you are trying to avoid premature aging. Tobacco cigarettes turn your teeth terrifying colors, desiccate your hair and nails into brittle flakes, sag your breasts, darken your eyes, and wrinkle your skin. Smoking just one cigarette per day can increase your likelihood for a number of deteriorating diseases, especially in your mouth and lungs.
Obviously, you should try to quit, but as all tobacco-lovers know, that is easier said than done. Instead, you can switch to e-cigarettes, which are the new hip thing and are less likely to age you by not giving your teeth a funny color.
You might think you are helping your skin by lying out in the sun. Indeed, you might develop a healthy, sun-kissed glow, but your tan is actually a panicked reaction by your body to protect itself. Ultraviolet light, which comes from the sun, penetrates deep into the body, killing skin cells, altering DNA, and weakening blood vessels. After just a few tanning sessions, your skin is irreparably damaged, and in a few years, you will look leathery and old.
The best option is to avoid spending too much time in the sun, though “too much” depends on your skin type. Those with darker skin naturally have more protective melanin, allowing them to avoid damage longer; conversely, those with lighter skin should apply SPF 30 sunblock whenever they plan on going outside.
The fewer calories you eat, the less you will weigh, right? Unfortunately, the equation isn’t that simple. In fact, studies have found that severely restricting your diet and dropping weight quickly not only fails to provide satisfying long-term weight loss, but it causes skin to loose elasticity and make you look older.
Though seems like a major achievement to lose 10 pounds at once, you should try to limit your weight loss to two pounds per week. Then, your skin will have time to adjust to your new body shape, and you can avoid unsightly features like loose, sagging skin and stretch marks.