7 Daily Habits That Make You Age Faster

Written by on December 15, 2018 in Hazards, Issues & Diseases, Health, Prevention with 0 Comments

By Power Of Positivity

There are both mental and physical habits that can both drain our energy and cause us to age faster. It is no exaggeration to think that how you feel when you’re older is a testament to how you lived when you were younger.


One of the remarkable aspects of the human body is its resilience. No matter your age, it is never too late to start making healthier choices – and feel younger!

So, let’s get to it!

Here are seven daily habits that make you age faster (and what to do about them!).

  1. Smoking

Of all the habits that accelerate aging, lighting up may take the cake. Tobacco smoke damages DNA, suppresses the immune system, and causes age-related physical symptoms (e.g. wrinkles, age spots). Fortunately, it is possible to quit smoking and reverse much of the damage done to the body, including the skin.

Researchers from the International Association of Ecologic Dermatology in Milan, Italy, in a study entitled “Quitting smoking rejuvenates the skin,” evaluated the skin health of 64 female smokers over an abstinence period of nine months. The research team performed skin tests (along with psychological and nutrition tests) at 3, 6, and 9 months.

Each woman’s appearance was evaluated visually and given a score on six criteria associated with skin aging: skin brightness, elasticity, lines, pigmentation, texture, and vascularization (formation of blood vessels and ease of oxygen flow) of the skin. Researchers then graphed the results to have a visualization of the effects of quitting smoking on the skin.

After analyzing the data, researchers found an average age reduction of about 13 years! This effect is even more astounding when one considers that, before the experiment, the women appeared an average of 9 years older!


  1. Being a couch potato

Multiple studies confirm what many of us already know: being a couch ‘tater is bad for health. Studies also show that sedentary habits are becoming more common while physical activity is trending downwards. It turns out that one’s cognitive abilities, particularly executive functioning and processing speed, are adversely affected by too much downtime.

In a 25-year study, researchers found that people who watch more than three hours of television per day do worse on tests of executive function and processing speed. Executive functions of the brain “are skills every person used to process and act on incoming information.” They include emotional control, flexible thinking, impulse control, self-regulation, organization, task initiation, planning, and working memory. Processing speed is the amount of time it takes for someone to understand and react to sensory information.

The solution, of course, is to become more physically and mentally active. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week.

You can keep your brain active and restore its health by doing things that are both enjoyable and challenging. Some ideas include:

  • Listening to classical music
  • Doing mental math
  • Learning a new language
  • Eating a new cuisine
  • Taking an online course
  • Testing your memory
  1. Not “ohm-ing” out

Yes, we are talking about meditation. Far from being a mystical mental activity designed for hermits and monks, meditation is, quite possibly, the best thing that one can do for both their body and mind. Since individuals like Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Alan Watts, and Ram Dass “brought” meditation over from the East, researchers have been astounded as to what extent quieting the mind can benefit a person. (Concerning the former, there are multiple methods of meditation that are compatible with – and irrelevant of – any religious or spiritual belief. “Western” Zen meditation is one such practice.)

Researchers say that people who meditate have higher concentrations of grey matter in multiple brain areas – including those responsible for decision-making, emotions, impulse control, hearing, seeing and speech. Robert H. Schneider, a physician, and scientist who has studied the effects of one particular type of meditation, Transcendental Meditation (or ‘TM’), says:

“[Research on TM] has found reduced blood pressure, increased insulin resistance, slowing of biological aging, and (a) 48 percent reduction in the rates of a heart attack strike and death.” Such convincing discoveries have led the American Heart Association (AHA) to issue a statement indicating that doctors should consider “prescribing” TM as a treatment for high blood pressure.

So, while not meditating doesn’t technically “age” someone, refraining from the practice denies their body a natural and effective way of improving age-related health factors.

  1. Being a slouch

Our spine has a natural, S-shaped curvature that allows it to support and stabilize our upper body. Over time, slouching – over a desk, on a chair, or somewhere else – gradually causes muscle strain and tightening, spinal misalignment, and even lower back pain, hip pain, or neck pain. Poor posture affects various bones as well as the disks of the spine.

Per the American Chiropractic Association, there are various things one can do to improve their sitting, standing, and lying posture, including:

(Sitting)

  • Keeping your feet on the floor or footrest
  • Avoiding sitting in one position for an extended period
  • Relaxing your shoulders

(Standing)

  • Keep your knees slightly bent and feet shoulder-width apart
  • Put most of your weight on the balls of your feet
  • Stand straight and tall with the shoulders pulled slightly back

(Lying)

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