NEW YORK – Are you aging faster than your years? If you don’t like what you see in the mirror, it may be time to evaluate some of your daily routines.
The foods you eat and even the way you sleep can add years to your face and may shorten your lifespan. Here the most common age-accelerating habits and ways to reverse the process.
If your to-do list never seems to get any shorter, the stress from your hectic life may be taxing your body. “People think multitasking is good, but you don’t actually get anything done—you just create more stress.
Several studies show that chronic stress triggers the release of free radicals, the unstable molecules that damage cells and are responsible for aging.
You rarely pass up dessert
Aside from adding excess pounds to your body, your sweet tooth may also be adding years to your face. “Internally, sugar molecules attach themselves to protein fibers in each of our cells.
This damaging process, known as glycation, can result in a loss of radiance, dark circles under the eyes, loss of tone, puffiness, an increase in fine lines and wrinkles and a loss of facial contours and increased pore size. Pass on the sugary treats if you want to preserve your youthful glow.
You get by on fewer than five hours sleep a night
Skimping on sleep not only results in dark bags under the eyes—it has also been linked to a shorter lifespan.
Get to bed earlier if you have the symptoms of sleep deprivation, which include a lack of daytime energy, mental sluggishness, attention problems, or weight gain.
You love a good TV marathon
Binge-watching the latest season of House of Cards is one thing; regularly gluing yourself to the TV is another. In a British Journal of Sports Medicine study of about 11,000 Australians ages 25 and older, researchers found that for every hour of television watched, adults cut their life expectancy by 22 minutes.
What’s more, people who spent an average of six hours a day watching TV lived five years less than their non-viewing counterparts.
You spend most of the day sitting
The dangers of a sedentary lifestyle are well-documented: People who spend most of their days parked in a chair are at increased risk for kidney disease, cardiovascular disease, and cancer, not to mention obesity.
You use sunscreen, but only on vacation
Running errands, driving, and walking back and forth to the mailbox may do more damage to your skin than spending a day at the beach if you do it sans sunblock.
The number-one cause of nearly every sign of premature aging on the human face is ultraviolet exposure. UV light is present even when it’s cloudy or raining.
You wear too much makeup
Metallic blue eye shadow aside, excess makeup can age you in less obvious ways, too.
Wearing excessive amounts of makeup, especially oil based products, can clog your skin pores and cause outbreaks. In addition, overusing skin products with fragrances, irritating chemicals, and alcohol agents may dry out the skin by removing its natural oils, which causes premature lines and wrinkles.
You sleep with your face in the pillow
Sleeping on your stomach or on your side with your face smashed into the pillow can create wrinkles and accelerate aging.
The connective tissue and collagen in your face becomes weaker and less supportive with age, so when you sleep on the same side of your face night after night, your skin won’t smooth out or spring back as quickly as it did when you were young.
You sip drinks through a straw
Drinking dark-colored beverages through a straw can prevent stains on your teeth, but just as squinting can eventually cause wrinkles to form around your eyes, pursing your lips can also bring about premature wrinkles around the mouth.
You cut out all fat from your diet
Some fat is necessary for maintaining a youthful feeling and appearance, says Franci Cohen, a certified nutritionist and exercise physiologist from Brooklyn, NY. “Heart-healthy omega 3 fatty acids found in oily fish (such as salmon and mackerel) and certain nuts (such as walnuts and flax seeds) keep skin supple and plump, thereby preventing wrinkles, and they boost both heart and brain health as well,” she says.
Slumping in front of a keyboard for hours on end can cause your spine to form an unattractive and potentially harmful hunched posture over time.
The spine has a well-balanced S-shaped curvature in order to stabilize and support us,poor posture or slouching deviates the spine from this normal alignment, and as a result, the muscles, disks and bones become abnormally stressed.