Changing these habits can do more than just help you to look better, they can actually help you be healthier too. We all know that smoking and sun exposure can add wrinkles – and years – to your skin, but you may not know that these 9 habits can also pack a preverbal punch to your looks and add years to you and your body.
1. Not getting your beauty sleep
Many of us cram our housework into the evening hours, and wind up getting only a few hours of sleep. You need to make sleep a priority and try to get 7-8 hours every night. Research has linked lack of sleep to high blood pressure, diabetes, weight gain, and even just looking tired and older.
2. You have a sweet tooth
A diet that’s high in sugar isn’t just bad for your weight, experts also believe it can make your skin dull and wrinkled too because of harmful little by-products that damage proteins like collagen and elastin. Once damaged, springy and resilient collagen and elastin become dry and brittle, leading to wrinkles and sagging. Try to limit your sugar intake to help balance out your skin and eating patterns.
3. Too much stress
When you spend more time being stressed than not, there is an increase in the concentration of the hormones cortisol and norepinephrine in the bloodstream, which kicks up your blood pressure and suppresses immunity. Continued stress can delay healing, harden your arteries, and possibly shrink areas of your brain involved in learning, memory, and mood. Continuous levels of stress can also keep us from getting the proper sleep that we need on top of everything else.
4. Exercising only for weight loss
If you’re only exercising every few months for a couple weeks at a time to try and drop some pounds, then you’re missing out on some really major health perks. Those who exercise regularly have longer telomeres – cellular biomarkers that shorten as we age – compared with healthy adults who rarely work out. Regular exercise does good for more than just your weight, it keeps you young too.
5. Listening to too-loud music
Hearing loss usually develops over time, but the addition of iPods and loud concerts can help bring this damage on more quickly. Using noise-canceling earbuds to block out ambient sounds will let you listen to your music without hiking up the volume.
6. You don’t make time for your BFFs
One study has found that having satisfying friendships can help protect against obesity, depression, and heart disease, among other health problems. Keeping in touch with your friends regularly can help to keep you young.
7. You don’t eat your fruits and veggies
Getting plenty of servings of antioxidant-packed fruits and veggies fight free radicals that can wreak havoc on your body and skin. But did you know that they only remain active for a few hours and must be continually replenished? Try to get in some antioxidants every few hours with every meal to see their benefits.
8. Too few good fats
Avoiding unsaturated fats like those found in fish, nuts, and olive oil, isn’t doing your health any good. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for protecting your brain, heart, bones, joints, skin, and more. Monounsaturated fat can lower bad LDL cholesterol, raise cardio-protective HDL cholesterol, and decrease your risk of atherosclerosis.
9. More lovin please!
Sex is more than just fun, it’s good for you. Research shows that people with active sex lives have stronger immune systems, less pain, a lower cancer risk, healthier hearts, and less stress. One study even shows that it can make you look as much as 12 years younger.