Five Lifestyle Habits That Accelerate The Normal Ageing Process
Although there is NO fountain of youth, certain habits do affect how we age.
Although ageing is a natural phenomenon, there are some lifestyle habits that do accelerate it and make us look much older than our biological age. The aim of this article is to bring these five habits to the fore to help us avoid them, or if we cannot completely avoid them, at least minimise them.
A stick of cigarette contains about 5,000 carcinogenic chemicals that are harmful to the body in that they destroy collagen and elastin, thus giving us sagging skin and deeper wrinkles. Smoking is one of the causes of death in the UK, according to NHS. Smoking changes the skin because it deprives the skin of oxygen and nutrients making the skin looks pale, it also affects hair and teeth in a way that make us look much older.
‘’Smoking represents an important ageing accelerator, both directly by triggering inflammatory responses, and indirectly by favouring the occurrence of several diseases where smoking is a recognized risk factor. Hence, non-smokers can delay the appearance of diseases and of the ageing process, so attaining longevity.’’
Smoking causes deep lines around the mouth because of how smokers use the muscles around the mouth to inhale and exhale smoke. The deep lines are caused by a loss of elasticity around the mouth. Smokers do also develop age spots easily than non-smokers.
Long term smoking causes dental damage, stained teeth (and fingers/nails), gum diseases and bad breath. Smoking also accelerates hair thinning and is a risk factor in male pattern balding.
2. Poor Eating Habit
Foods that are denatured and lacking in essential nutrients do easily show on our skin. We should limit the consumption of sugar, alcohol and caffeine. Healthy eating remains the number one tip for optimum health. Healthier eating involves a diversity of foods and mainly water. Diversity in foods ensures we get to take in most nutrients which will also support our gut health as well as immune function. No single food is able to supply the body’s nutritional needs, hence variation is encouraged.
3. Poor Hygiene
Good and clean living standards do help us overall to improve how we look and age. A simple daily oral care (with tongue swishing) support oral health, regular wash, (with exfoliating), removes dead skin and helps the skin to breathe.
‘’Dry brushing is a popular anti-ageing skincare technique. Not only does it boost circulation and remove dead skin cells, but it also helps to drain the lymphatic system — the network of vessels which remove waste materials from the body.’’ Keri Filtness
Make-ups should NOT be left on the face permanently. It is best to cleanse the face before sleeping.
4. Not Drinking Enough Water
This looks simple enough but most of us are guilty. Drinking water is an elixir of life, as water flushes the system and also helps circulation. Hydrating the skin is both from inside and out. As well as drinking enough water, (NHS England recommends 6–8 ounces of water daily), we should use hydrating cream on the skin. An example is an emollient cream that covers the skin with a protective film and traps moisture.
5. Lack Of Quality Sleep
The importance of sleep quality cannot be overemphasized to help us look and feel well. An adult needs a minimum of six hours of sound sleep. The body undergoes cells repairs and renewal during sleep, so we can imagine how important sleep is to the body.
‘’The study, commissioned by Estée Lauder, demonstrated that poor sleepers had increased signs of skin ageing and slower recovery from a variety of environmental stressors, such as disruption of the skin barrier or ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Poor sleepers also had worse assessments of their own skin and facial appearance.’’
Inadequate sleep quality is accompanied by the stress hormone cortisol which is known to age us prematurely. We must help ourselves sleep by having a regular sleep pattern, and ensuring the bed and our bedroom are conducive to quality sleep. For instance, remove bright lights, and limit the use of mobile phones and or laptops in your bedroom. Light background music like classical music do aids quality sleep.
- We must try to stay on top of our health, not compromising in any way.
- Having and maintaining a positive self-image is important in how we look and feel.
- Gut bacteria influence brain development, so poor and low-quality food weakened the immune system. This is particularly bad for the elderly because it can result in muscle weakness and decreased bone mass.