“You don’t stop laughing when you grow old, you grow old when you stop laughing.” – George Bernard Shaw
There are things that we do in our day-to-day lives that can make us age beyond our years. As we get older, we want to make sure that we’re doing things in our lives to keep us as healthy as possible, rather than adding years onto our bodies.
There are habits that we do every day that can age us faster. Being able to recognize these habits will make it easier to quit them, so that we can keep our bodies and minds young, and make sure that we’re not aging ourselves. Science has proven that avoiding these specific habits will keep you young.
“What can we do to slow the aging process? Because physical aging can be accelerated by environmental factors such as lack of physical activity, regular exercise can offset physical aging and improve quality of life,” says Dr. Sandra Hunter, associate professor of exercise science.
Here Are 8 Habits That Make You Age Faster
1. Not reducing your blood pressure
Blood pressure is something that, while we’re young, we don’t think too hard about. It can mean that when it really starts to matters, we’ve already gone long enough not watching our blood pressure that things can get hairy.
According to Hello Heart, “It turns out the early stages of hypertension (those you experience in your 20s, 30s and 40s) and high blood pressure, have a very real impact on how old you look. Even though you aren’t getting heart attack-like symptoms, you are aging faster than you should, and those around you can tell.”
Therefore, if you let your blood pressure go unchecked, high blood pressure can even take years off your life, including causing the risk of heart disease, stroke or even heart failure.
2. Not watching your weight
Science has long proven that people who were overweight and who managed to lose some of that weight and keep it off were able to improve their life span. Not watching your weight can make you age faster. When studied, patients who lost at least 2.2 lbs increased their lifespan by 2 months. Maintaining a healthy weight can increase your lifespan, as well as stop you from aging faster.
Most people know the health risks of smoking, including skin, lung and throat cancer. But smoking can also make you age much faster than your body should be aging. Even after you’ve quit smoking, it’s hard to turn the effects back around that can cause problems years down the line after you’ve quit.
According to WebMD, “Maybe there is no fountain of youth, but there is a surefire way to make yourself look older. Smoking changes the skin, teeth, and hair in ways that can add years to your looks. It also affects everything from your fertility to the strength of your heart, lungs, and bones.”
It’s best to never start smoking to begin with, but even if you’ve already begun, quitting is much better than keeping on smoking. It’s one of the most dangerous and biggest things that age you faster.
4. Not living life
Instead of taking chances, and living your life the way that you want to, some people tend to take the easy path. When you don’t live your life to the fullest, and your life isn’t something that makes you happy and fulfilled, it means that you’re much more likely to die sooner, and age faster. People who live in a state that is overwhelmingly positive have reported feeling healthier and happier, and living longer lives.
5. Lack of physical activity
If you consider yourself a lazy person, or someone who just doesn’t like to exercise, this could be a habit that’s really shortening your life and making you age way faster than you should be. Science has already proven the benefits of physical activity – even low level physical activity like taking a walk every day.
According to this study, Dr. Mark Tarnopolsky, MD, PhD stated that “a person can slow the speed at which they age by exercising regularly.” You don’t have to become a weightlifter, but for a longer, healthier life, starting up some exercise is just the thing.
6. High cholesterol levels
Much like blood pressure, cholesterol is something that a lot of people don’t pay attention to when they’re young. If you have a habit of just letting yourself go without keeping an eye on your cholesterol levels, you may be making yourself age faster – even if your twenties and thirties. Making sure you’re getting enough good cholesterol and lowering your bad cholesterol is a great way to stay healthy and stop yourself from aging faster than you need to be.
7. Not practicing meditation
Stressed out? Anxious? Upset? Feeling lots of negative emotions? Do you just let yourself wallow in those feelings without trying to work through them? Are you the type of person to let yourself get overwhelmed by your negativity? This is a habit that is definitely making you age faster.
According to this study, “… meditation mitigates stress-related cognitions and propagation of negative emotions and negative stress arousal, a longstanding practice of mindfulness or other forms of meditation may indeed decelerate cellular aging.”
Getting into meditation and peaceful mindfulness will help reduce your anxiety and stress, while making sure your negative emotions aren’t taking years off your life.
8. Giving up on education
Education, and especially university and beyond, can be inaccessible for a lot of people. But, if you’re capable to going, it’s important to get as high of an education that you can. Studies have shown that education has an impact on your life in so many different ways, and all of them work together to improve your health, help you live longer, and keep you young.
No one wants to age faster than they need to! Keeping young is more than just about buying moisturizing cream and wearing the right kind of makeup. Staying young also includes taking care your body, from your physical body to your mind and spirit. Turn these habits around to keep yourself from aging faster, and to stay living a long, healthy life.