We’ve all got bad habits, and while some are simply pesky or bad for your health, others are all of the above and age you fast. Many of these people might not even realise it, but science shows they are ageing.
And while no one stays youthful forever, we can try our best to make good choices to age a little bit slower and stay healthy as well. In modern times, many of us have gotten caught up in faster lifestyles and forgotten how these little habits can impact our lives in a major way.
Of course, most of us have bad habits, but continuing to make bad choices regularly can be devastating in the long run.
1. Drinking too often
Drinking causes us to become dehydrated and sucks the water out of our cells. Not only does this cause flushing and swelling, which ages us faster, it also damages our liver, which makes it harder for our body to digest our food.
2. Not drinking enough water
Healthy skin contains around 10–20% water. However, when we become dehydrated, our hydration ends up sinking below that number, which can cause our skin to become dry and cracked.
In turn, it looks and feels older as well. Check with your doctor to find out how much water to drink based on your age and health conditions, as studies have found that the older we get, the more water we need.
3. Biting your nails
While it may be tempting to bite your nails due to stress, our mouths are filled with bacteria, and biting our nails and cuticles can lead to infection. Additionally, chewing your cuticles ages your hands.
4. Drinking with a straw
Debra Jailman, M.D., says that while occasionally sipping through a straw is no big deal, doing so regularly can cause wrinkles around the mouth. When we purse our lips regularly to suck through a straw or smoke, it shows.
5. Getting too much screen time.
Dr. Alexis Parcells, M.C., is a board-certified plastic surgeon. According to her, “looking down at a phone, tablet, or computer for extended periods of time can cause unnatural, premature wrinkles, especially around the neck. Additionally, concentrating can also result in a frown expression, which can also add premature lines over time.
Instead, put your devices at eye level when you use them. This even includes your cell phone and tablet. Take frequent breaks and avoid an electronic device if at all possible (wear air buds for a call instead of texting). Need a reminder? Place a mirror next to your computer to be reminded to change your posture and expression.”
6. Staying tense
Staying tense or stressed and continuously worrying and reliving difficult moments causes us to release cortisol, a stress hormone. This hormone causes inflammation, which ages us.
7. Not using sunscreen
The sun damages our skin; there is no doubt about it. And while most think only to wear it in the sun, we should also be wearing it daily in our moisturizer. Otherwise, we are enduring unnecessary skin damage that ages us.
8. Washing your face wrong
Do not, I repeat, use hot water to wash your face or use hard strokes to rub in a cleanser. Hot water dries the skin, and hard strokes leave age marks on the skin. In turn, your daily skin-washing routine could age you rather than help you.
9. Staying sedentary
During the pandemic, many of us became couch potatoes. However, that is the worst thing you can do for your immunity as well as your overall age. Living a sedentary lifestyle is not only horrible for your overall risk of death from any cause (heart attacks, cancer, strokes, etc.), but it also causes your cells to begin ageing faster.
A study conducted by researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst found that taking at least 7,000 steps per day was associated with a 50–70% lower chance of dying prematurely. And while 7,000 may sound like a lot, it isn’t.