A healthy lifestyle can not only make you live longer but also make you look younger. Most of us wish to age gracefully, or at the very least not look and feel older than we actually are. You may believe it all depends on genetics, but it can actually be achieved with a lot of discipline and good habits too. Here are some of the bad habits that can speed up your ageing process – try to avoid them as much as possible for healthy, glowing skin.
It is already a well-known fact that smoking affects all the body organs but a less common side-effect is that it also speeds up the normal ageing process of the skin, resulting in premature wrinkles. Smoking increases inflammation in the body which thereby damages the collagen and elastin protein of the skin, thus making the skin sag and wrinkle at an early age. Quitting smoking will benefit your overall health.
Stress is known to cause many illnesses in the body such as insomnia, depression, anxiety and even Alzheimer’s disease. But not many people know that stress can accelerate your ageing process. Stress causes inflammation in the body, which damages various parts of the body including the skin fibres. This makes the skin look dull and lifeless. Stress also damages the cellular structure of the body, which causes premature ageing of the cells. You can meditate, practice yoga or do any leisure activity to release your stress.
3. Exposure to sun
Continuous exposure of the skin to the ultraviolet rays of the sun can damage the elastic fibres of the skin. The elastic fibres of the skin help the skin remain firm. When they get damaged, the skin starts getting wrinkly and loose. Continuous exposure to sunlight also leads to age spots (otherwise called dark spots) on the face, hands and other sun-exposed areas. You must apply sunscreen on your hands and face before stepping out in the sun.
4. Sleep deprivation
Many of us notice dark circles under our eyes after an all-nighter. Continuous sleep deprivation can not only lead to dark circles but also other signs of ageing such as dark spots and fine lines, much earlier than expected. Researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles found that even a single night of insufficient sleep can make the cells of the body age quicker in the case of older adults. Sleep deprivation not only causes premature skin ageing but also decreases the ability of the skin to fight against the harmful rays of the sun. A person should sleep for at least 7 hours a day to keep the body healthy.
5. Lack of exercise
Exercising regularly improves blood circulation in the body, thus making the skin look radiant. Studies have shown that regular exercising helps people age slowly and live a healthier and more energetic life. The University of Birmingham, UK, conducted a study in the year 2018 in which they compared a group of older people who have exercised all their lives to two groups (similar aged and younger adults) who haven’t exercised regularly. The study concluded that people who exercise regularly showed fewer signs of ageing as compared to the other two groups. The doctors believed that exercising for half an hour a day is enough to keep your body fit and healthy.
Alcohol consumption not only increases the levels of triglycerides in your body but also allows fine lines and wrinkles to appear at an early age. Alcohol consumption makes these signs of ageing grow deeper with time. Alcohol causes dehydration in the body and also depletes it of vitamin A, which is essential for keeping the skin firm and youthful. Alcohol makes the skin dry, thus making it look dull and lifeless. Reducing the consumption of alcohol as you age is essential to avoid these effects.