Habits That Cause Premature Aging

Habits That Cause Premature Aging

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Taking care of your body should be a top priority. Unfortunately in a world of flavored sodas and lazy Segways, we lose track of what it means to take care of ourselves.Exercise is key, and eating properly plays an equally important role, but there are other habits of our day to day lives that are negatively affecting our bodies.

And aging goes beyond a few wrinkles. Aging includes the slow deterioration of your body, through common disease and adverse effects. Well, it should be slow deterioration, but some habits speed up the process, such as smoking or tanning beds.

There are everyday habits that we partake in that may seem normal, but that are actually making our bodies feel and look decades older. To discuss what these daily mistakes are, we turned to the experts.

Dr. James Marotta is a dual board certified facial plastic surgeon who specializes in anti-aging. Jon Rhodes, a clinical hypnotherapist and Fiona Patterson, a yoga, tai chi and qigong instructor also had some interesting input on the subject.

All agree that premature aging can be prevented, but only if we're conscious of the mistakes and habits that are can cause the process to speed up. Here's a look at the top culprits. 

Habits That Cause Premature Aging

Shutterstock

Taking care of your body should be a top priority. Unfortunately in a world of flavored sodas and lazy Segways, we lose track of what it means to take care of ourselves.Exercise is key, and eating properly plays an equally important role, but there are other habits of our day to day lives that are negatively affecting our bodies.

And aging goes beyond a few wrinkles. Aging includes the slow deterioration of your body, through common disease and adverse effects. Well, it should be slow deterioration, but some habits speed up the process, such as smoking or tanning beds.

There are everyday habits that we partake in that may seem normal, but that are actually making our bodies feel and look decades older. To discuss what these daily mistakes are, we turned to the experts.

Dr. James Marotta is a dual board certified facial plastic surgeon who specializes in anti-aging. Jon Rhodes, a clinical hypnotherapist and Fiona Patterson, a yoga, tai chi and qigong instructor also had some interesting input on the subject.

All agree that premature aging can be prevented, but only if we're conscious of the mistakes and habits that are can cause the process to speed up. Here's a look at the top culprits. 

Eating Processed Food

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Processed foods are packed with high amounts of salts and sugars that your body does not react well with. Products known as AGEs have a complex group of compounds that form when amino acids and sugars react. This happens when sugars and molecules enter your body and the process has been found to lead to many diseases associated with aging such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and Alzheimer’s.

Drinking Sugary Sodas

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A recent study published in the American Journal of Public Health found that regular consumption of sugary sodas may influence metabolic disease development through accelerated cell aging. 

Lack of Exercise

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Exercise plays a key role in keeping a healthy lifestyle. One study published in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that in a number of mice, those that exercised reduced almost all of the negative effects of aging.

Smoking

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It is a fairly well known fact that smoking ages and causes wrinkles. The Mayo Clinic explains that smoking speeds up the normal aging process of skin, creating wrinkles. This process does not just happen in your face, but your entire body damaging collagen and elastin which give your skin strength and elasticity.

Not Wearing Proper Sun Protection

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You may not think of putting on sunscreen every day before leaving the house, but it should actually be a very important part of the beginning of each day. Sun protection is one of the biggest ways that you can prevent premature aging. 

Sleeping on Your Stomach

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Sleeping on your stomach, especially with your face on your pillow, can cause some aging damage. “As you age, the connective tissue and collagen in your face aren’t as strong or supportive as they used to be. So when you sleep on the same side of your face night after night, the skin gets repeatedly smashed up against the pillow and won't smooth out or spring back as quickly as it did when you were young,” explains Marotta. “Those ‘sleep lines’ that you see when you wake up in the morning after a night of sleeping on your face can actually become somewhat permanent over time. The best way to reduce this process is to vary your sleeping position, or try sleeping on your back.”

Stress

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“When stressed, our body produces different hormones, such as adrenaline. The problem is that they are not burned off,” explains Rhodes. “This is because we are designed to deal with physical stresses, such as being chased by a predator. When we run away we burn off these hormones, and can quickly relax. Physiological stress is different. We get a buildup of hormones that intoxicate our body, and ages us.”  

Cranking Up the Heat

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Beware of dry air. “While cranking up the heat or lighting up the fireplace keeps you toasty and warm, they do suck moisture out of the air, which can lead to dry, inflamed skin, which over time has aging effects,” explains Marotta. “One way to free your skin from itching, cracking and flaking is to invest in a humidifier, which will help keep moisture in both the air and your skin. Alternatively you can place a wet towel over the radiator or a bowl with cold water in the room.”

Drinking Through a Straw

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Consistently making the same type of facial expression can cause wrinkles over time. Marotta said that even the simple act of repeatedly drinking from a straw can create wrinkles around your mouth.

Drinking Alcohol

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Excessive drinking, over time, can have negative effects on aging. “Alcohol is a hepatotoxin, meaning it specifically damages the liver. It's a toxin to the cells that detoxify your body. All alcohol dehydrates the skin,” Marotta said. “This means your skin will appear less plump and fresh the next morning. Over time, your skin will lose elasticity and form wrinkles due to a lack of hydration.”

Poor Posture

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Sitting or walking with poor posture can do serious damage on your body and your aging process. Patterson said that unhealthy posture contributes to accelerated wear and tear on our joints and muscle strains. Having a good natural posture can actually make you feel a lot less tired and even help give a better outlook on life.