Toxic Everyday Habits That Make You Age Faster
Just recently I turned 57! Yes, just (now less than) 3 years from my “BIG 60th”! Only 4 years ago I decided to seriously change my lifestyle, and as my next step, to help others do so. Nowadays I focus on working with and for kids. During my journey of change, and especially when working with my initial clients, I discovered that habits were the key to changing my lifestyle, that good habits improve your journey and lead you to a fundamentally secured new normal. Not good habits are usually referred to as bad habits - I like to refer to them as naughty habits (unless we talk about really serious matters), rest assured, you can learn how to overwrite them and even turn them into good habits!
If there was that time machine, and I could take a trip back to the past, these are my main concerns that I would be so much smarter about and consequently probably delay my ageing.
Let’s start with the nutritional aspect:
Let’s tackle the easier challenges. Sugar-loaded sodas, for example, any cola drinks, Fanta-likes, Sprite or 7-up kind of beverages, and so on!
I bet you already read about the effect of sugar on your health. We read a lot about sweet tooth challenges, but seldomly beverages are focussed on.
Besides adding undesired KGs to your body, your sweet tongue may also add years to your face. Dr Susan Stuart, MD, a San Diego (CA), board-certified dermatologist explains that internally, sugar molecules attach themselves to protein fibres in each of our cells. This damaging process, named glycation, often results in a loss of radiance, paints dark circles under your eyes, poor skin tone, puffiness, plus an increase in fine lines and wrinkles, and increased pore size. Sugar damages your collagen and elastin, both supporting your skin’s suppleness and softness.
So much just alone on the visible damage of sugar on your face!
But, the damage does not stop there!
Sugar is classified as an enemy at any health department of a hospital; it is known for lowering your immune system consequently leaving your body with only a weak shield against sickness and diseases, and, very threatening, sugar can even eventually lead to diabetes or obesity, which can be life-threatening as you know.
Just by reducing, and finally completely avoiding sugary drinks, you can make a big impact on your health and very much on your kids’.
My number 2 is, (also very much underestimated in my opinion), the rest your mind, and body require at night, your sleep.
Are you one of those claiming “7 hours per night? Naaaah…4 to 5 are enough for me!”?
If you have been sleeping insufficient hours over a longer time, you may (actually very probably) discover results in your appearance. Chronic sleep deprivation can, over a longer period of time, lead to advanced wrinkling, and dark circles under your eyes. Lack of sleep is also related to an increase of the stress hormone production, cortisol. Cortisol can break down collagen, the protein in charge of maintaining the smoothness of your skin.
Curious about more? According to a study (2017) commissioned by Estée Lauder, poor sleep quality was discovered to increase skin ageing.
Here again, arguments underline the distinctly visible damage of lack of sleep.
But again, this is not all of the damage…
If you do not pull the break on short nights, you may open the door for more, long-term and serious health problems. Some of the most serious potential problems linked to chronic sleep deprivation are high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attack, heart failure or stroke. Furthermore accelerated weight gain (even obesity), depression, a decreased immunity system, and lower sex drive may hit you early, at a younger age.
But, it is not only about the number of hours, the quality of sleep you get is as important.
Another alarming sleep deprivation-related effect: A (2018) study indicates that people who have slept for fewer than seven of the past 24 hours have higher odds of being involved in and responsible for car crashes. The risk is greatest for drivers who have slept fewer than four hours.
By creating a good bedtime routine, composed of sound sleep prep habits, you can combat your “bad sleep nights”. Third, but by far not last (as there are still many more): You are obsessed with avoiding any fat intake! In today’s society, keeping fit and staying slim are referred to as key components to reducing the signs of ageing. Therefore many people avoid as much as possible any intake of fat.
However, there is no need to be fat-phobic! There is a difference between eating deep-fried french fries, ice cream, and potato chips, versus fueling your body with “pure” fats essential for maintaining a youthful feeling and appearance. You put on an external moisturizer, maybe you also spend a lot of money on often very expensive moisturising creams, so why not moisturize your skin from the inside too (furthermore requiring less financial investment!)?
Franci Cohen, a certified nutritionist and exercise physiologist from Brooklyn, NY explains that "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."
Dietary fats provide essential fatty acids that fortify the skin cell membranes, nurturing your skin’s suppleness, keeping it elastic, and youthful-looking. According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, women with a higher intake of healthy fats had fewer wrinkles and firmer skin tone. I am quite convinced this works for men too!
So, in future, feed your body with those super fats found in olive oil, almonds, avocados, and omega-3 fats found in fish, flaxseed, as well as walnuts, and see how you will glow! But there is more to the intake of healthy fats. Fat is imperative for your brain! Referring to Tony Robbins health-vitality section: What fuels your brain? Healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids — which are found in brain fuel foods like salmon, flaxseed and walnuts — offer a number of health benefits, such as improving cognitive performance and warding off mental and mood disorders. These fatty acids can support brain plasticity, (...)
Do some good to yourself, embrace those healthy fats and rejuvenate, inside out! It is never too late to start! Maybe the right time to kick-off a rejuvenating 2022? Happy New Year!