9 Bad Habits that Cause Premature Aging

Last Updated on January 8, 2021 by Alice Pien, MD & Asher Milgrom, PhD

Avoid the 9 bad habits and avoid premature aging.

Avoid the 9 bad habits and avoid premature aging.

 

Changing these bad habits, recognized as the top 9 causes of premature aging, into healthy habits can do more than just help you to look better, they can actually help you be healthier too.

Change These Habits to Stop Premature Aging

We all know that smoking and sun exposure can add wrinkles – and years – to your skin, but you may not know that these 9 bad habits can also pack a preverbal punch to your looks and add years to you and your body.

Changing these habits NOW will slow the aging process and help you look your best and avoid premature aging.

#1 Not Getting Your Beauty Sleep

Lack of sleep can cause premature aging.

Lack of sleep can cause premature aging.

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.

A good night of sleep is essential to overall good health.

#2 Your Sweet Tooth

Too much sugar can actually damage your collagen.

Too much sugar can actually damage your collagen.

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 

Stress leads to all sorts of health and beauty problems.

Stress leads to all sorts of health and beauty problems.

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 (see #1).

Meditation is a great way to reduce stress and also learn how to better deal with it.

#4 Exercising Only for Weight Loss

Regular exercise can lengthen your telomeres.

Regular exercise can lengthen your telomeres.

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.

Don’t know where to start? An ISSA Certified Personal Trainer can get you on the right path.

#5 Rocking out to Loud Music 

Hearing loss leads to other causes of premature aging.

Hearing loss leads to other causes of premature aging.

Hearing loss usually develops over time, but the addition of iPods and loud concerts can help bring this damage on more quickly.

Research from Johns Hopkins university has shown that hearing loss may cause atrophy in the brain (see #3) and also contributes to social isolation (see #6). Both of which may contribute to Dementia.

Using noise-canceling earbuds to block out ambient sounds will let you listen to your music without hiking up the volume.

#6 Not Making Time for Your BFFs

It's amazing what good friends can do for your health.

It’s amazing what good friends can do for your health.

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 and healthy.

#7 Not Eating Your Fruits and Veggies

Antioxidants help fight free-radicals and protect your skin.

Antioxidants fight free-radicals and protect your skin.

Getting plenty of antioxidant-packed fruits and veggies will 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 on your health and your skin.

#8 Too Few Good Fats

Fight premature aging with Omega-3 fatty acids.

Fight premature aging with Omega-3 fatty acids.

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 Not Enough Lovin

Sex can actually make you look younger.

Sex can actually make you look younger.

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.

If you want to look younger and stay healthy we recommend that you avoid these 9 Bad Habits that Cause Premature Aging! :)

About the Authors