There’s no stopping aging, but it doesn’t mean that you cannot slow it down, and the worst thing that you can do is to continue your bad habits. According to one of the most popular research done on the subject bad habits such as smoking, poor diet, lack of physical activities, and excessive alcohol can age you by 12 years.
The research was participated by almost 5,000 British adults in a span of 20 years. During the duration of the study, 29 percent of the people with all bad habits mentioned earlier died. On the other hand, 8 percent of those not practicing any of those died. This does not mean that living a healthy lifestyle will prolong your life, but living an unhealthy one will most definitely increase the odds. The most common causes of death are cancer-related and heart diseases.
We’ve all been warned how bad habits and unhealthy lifestyle overall can cause premature aging. This news is not at all new. But what not everyone knows is that these habits will age you by more than a decade on the average. Most of us only start to care when we start suffering from different health conditions and problems. But would you wanna look like you’re already in your 50s when you actually just turned 40? Think about it.
Perhaps some of you are already in the middle of your adulthood and thinking that it’s too late to start breaking and making new habits now. But it’s never too late. You need not make drastic changes all at once or quit bad habits like smoking cold turkey. You can always start with baby steps.
Creating new habits may seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. For instance, you don’t have to enroll in a gym and start going four to five times a week. You can begin with at least two hours of exercise per week. When you want to challenge yourself more, increase the frequency and intensity. When it comes to your diet, start by adding more fruits and vegetables and ditching processed foods little by little. You also don’t have to bid your social life goodbye. You can still enjoy your beer, whisky, or cocktails without overdoing it. Lastly, there’s no way to romanticize your relationship with those death sticks. You may start by reducing a stick a day, but you must resolve to quit altogether sooner; make it your ultimate goal.
No amount of anti-aging creams and lotions, gadgets, and even surgeries can conceal a bad and unhealthy lifestyle. If you continue with your bad habits, all the money spent to look young will be put to waste. The choices that you make on a daily basis influence your future, which can actually be sooner than you think. Start making wiser decisions for yourself and for your loved ones.
So, aside from getting rid of those four major bad habits, below are tips on how else you can feel and actually look younger.
1.Eat a healthy balanced diet that is appropriate for your nutritional type.
The reason why some diets work on others but not on you is because we all have different nutritional type and thus, we all have different nutritional requirements. It would depend on a lot of different factors such as our genes and physical activities among others.
While finding the best diet for yourself is tricky, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have to follow any rules when it comes to your eating habits. You know the basic. Eat your greens, drink plenty of water, don’t have too much salt or too much sugar.
Also, by now, you should know that crash diets won’t work. While it may be effective in helping you lose weight in a short amount of time, your health might be compromised. It may also mess up other functions such as your metabolism.
2. Choose raw and organic.
Processing your food alters its components including the vitamins and minerals and other nutrients that they naturally contain. Sadly, a whopping 90 percent of the food that we purchase and consume is processed. These foods contain a lot of chemicals, so it’s no wonder that there’s an epidemic of chronic and degenerative diseases.
Luckily, there has been a movement for raw food. If you are presented the choice, always choose raw. Cooking them might still eliminate some of its nutrients, so eating as much raw food as you can is still your best option. When choosing raw, also choose organic.
3. Manage your insulin and leptin levels.
Sugar and grain consumption will shoot up your insulin level, and this leads to faster premature aging. Another hormone that speeds up the aging process is leptin. Your diet plays a huge role in balancing these two hormones. This is why it is very important that you understand very well how your body works before subscribing to a diet. For instance, calorie-counting method won’t be able to maintain balance between your insulin and leptin, will it?
4. Enjoy eating healthy fat.
Not all fats are bad. There are good and healthy fats such as the omega-3 fats, and itis necessary to achieve optimal health. A good source of omega-3 that contains two of the most important fatty acids, DHA and EPA, are fish and seafood. If you want tobe less at risk of cancer and heart disease, make sure that you load up with these fatty acids. DHAis also important to our mental health. Those diagnosed with mental disorders like depression, schizophrenia, and Alzheimer’s are said to have low DHA levels.
Sadly, most of the fish available in the supermarkets are farmed, and they are contaminated by mercury, PCBs, and other toxins. Wild-caught fish and seafood are still your best bet. However, if you don’t know for sure where your food is really coming from, taking supplements like krill is a good option.
5. Drink plenty of water every day.
Our body loses water every day through urine, sweat, and other physical activities. It’s important that the water lost be replenished. Water is the one thing that you can’t survive without. You can even live longer without food as long as you have water. But you can only last for so long without water.
There are ways to know when your body is in need of water. If the color of urine turns a deep, dark yellow, then it’s your body’s way of saying that you need to drink more water. After a while, you will notice that your urine is turning lighter in color.
Sometimes, we don’t feel thirsty because of the other drinks that we take such as sodas, tea, and coffee. These beverages are still full of sugar and caffeine, and excess of both cannot be good. Thus, your main beverage should still be pure water.
Make sure that you have easy access to clean and pure water. You can install a water filter and constantly be updated regarding the latest practices and methods on eliminating toxic byproducts and impurities from your tap water.
6. Avoid being exposed to toxins.
Toxins are not just found in food. Other sources of harmful chemicals are your household cleaners, personal hygiene and care products, air fresheners, bug sprays, and insecticides among others. While it’s nearly impossible to eliminate toxins completely, you can lower your toxic load as possible.
It is all about being a wiser consumer. Patronize those products that are free of harmful chemicals. For example, there are now independent sellers of detergents that contain noor less chemicals. You don’t have todoan overhaul all of a sudden. You can take small steps, and eventually, you will realize that your home is filled with products that are less harmful to you, your family, and your environment.
7. Learn howto manage stress.
It’s nearly impossible to completely avoid stress. If you try, somehow, it would find a way to creep back into your life. Your goal shouldn’t beto eliminate stress in your life. What you need to work onis learning howto cope with stress effectively.
The most evident stress that we see from others may be caused by traumatic events in their childhood. However, even the daily emotional stress that seems harmless can be detrimental toyour health.
Entertain the idea of meditation. It may seem intimidating, but almost everyone who has tried it and practiced itwill tell you how powerful it actually is. I really recommend that you attend one of those guided meditations just so you are already on the right foot when you decide todoiton your own and in the comforts of your own home. Practicing meditation will improve your mindfulness. Asoppose to what most think, meditation will not suppress those thoughts and emotions. Meditation will help you entertain them without being reactive. Itwill teach you to pause before you respond.
8. Take time to exercise.
Even if you’re keeping a healthy and proper diet, avoiding all the bad stuff in food, you cannot achieve optimal health without any physical activities. You need to make sure that those muscles and joints are being worked out.
Exercising has many benefits other than helping you pack away those pounds. Exercising will help you sleep better, improve your immune system, reduce your risk of cancer and heart disease, and boost your mental health.
Nowadays, there are many different workouts and exercises that you can choose from. I’m sure even if you’re not at all athletic and sporty, you can find some type of physical activity to enjoy.
9. Get enough sunlight exposure.
Maybe some of you are avoiding the sun because of the horrors you’ve heard about sun exposure- howit can cause skin cancer or speed up aging. But don’t forget that Vitamin D is vital in your overall body functions. Vitamin D receptors can be found from your brain to your bones.Vitamin D optimizes 2,000 to 3,000 genes in your body, which amount to10 percent of your total genes.
So don’t be afraid of basking under the sun. Just make sure that you don’t overdo it. The best time togo out and enjoy sunlight isin the morning.
10. Get plenty of quality sleep.
When your sleeping habits and hours get messed up, your health suffers. It affects a lot of different functions like your metabolism. Sleeping problems are also linked to serious health issues such asdepression, heart diseases, and cancer.
Experts recommend that you have at least 7 hours of sleep. You willbe amazed athow having enough quality sleep will make your life a lot better