Sure, your 20s and 30s are supposed to be the best years of your life regarding how you look and feel and what you do. There’s only one thing that you need to keep in mind before making the best out of these magical years: what you do during your 20s and 30s will have a significant impact on your life.
The habits you develop and the decisions you make at a young age can influence how you look and feel. So, it is extremely integral for you to treat your body with care and respect to maintain optimum physical and mental health as you age.
Here are some avoidable habits that age you significantly.
An Unhealthy Diet
There’s no harm indulging in your favorite juicy burger or a cheesy pizza from time to time. However, if your diet constantly consists of fatty and carbohydrate-loaded foods, you need to rethink it! Eating processed foods, white bread, red meat, and margarine, amongst many other food items, causes your body to inflame. This swelling or inflammation causes your skin to flare up, resulting in wrinkles. Moreover, these foods also contain morbid amounts of sugar, sodium, and fat content, leading to cholesterol and obesity.
Maintaining a healthy diet that comprises whole foods can help reduce your risk of heart problems and diabetes. Fruits and vegetables are packed with beneficial nutrients and antioxidants such as zinc, beta carotene, and vitamin C that boost your immune system, promote healthy skin and reduce wrinkles.
When it comes to the causes of premature aging, sun exposure takes the cake! Regardless of how great the sun may feel on your skin, sunbathing is one of the most horrible things to put your skin through. Excessive exposure to the sun’s harmful ultra-violet (UV) rays causes your blood vessels and skin cells to weaken, resulting in dry and leathery skin. In short, the sun can wreak havoc on your body and skin.
Also, other sources of getting a tan, such as tanning beds, can be even worse for your skin. Tanning beds expose you to almost 15 times more harmful radiation compared to sitting in the sun. It causes some serious premature aging signs such as wrinkles, brown spots, and even skin cancer.
It is important to learn to protect yourself from the sun’s dangerous rays. Always remember to apply sunscreen on your face and other exposed body parts before stepping out of your home. If you know that you’ll be staying out in the sun for long, then don’t forget to pack additional sunscreen.
Living in a constant state of worry and anxiety can you age you like no other. According to research, prolonged periods of stress and anxiety can alter your DNA, prompting a change in your gene expression. Your 20s and 30s can be highly stressful years as you try to figure out what you want to do. You are very likely to experience chronic stress in these years due to work, relationships, family, and other problems. This can lead to high blood pressure, disrupted sleeping patterns, and frequent acne breakouts, all of which have a major effect on your age.
While it isn’t possible to avoid stress completely, there are a few healthy ways to cope with them. You should take some time out each day to focus on yourself. Just unplug and try out any activity that you like. Whether it is having a warm bath, going for a run, or cooking food, don’t let your stress make you miss out on the small things that please you.
Sleep deprivation leads to impaired cognitive and memory performance. Insomnia has become an epidemic often caused by heightened levels of stress. However, prolonged disruptions in sleep can have a serious effect on our immune system, brain function, decision-making ability, and even our response time. In simple words, constant sleep deprivations speed up the aging process. Not only does it cause under-eye puffiness and dark circles, but it also reduces skin elasticity and leads to uneven pigmentation.
As children, we needed a good 8 hours of sleep to function properly. However, as adults, we manage to do the same within just 4-5 hours of sleep. While it’s true that our circadian rhythms change as we age, impacting our sleep patterns, but it is vital to try still and get at least 8 hours of sleep every night.
It’s probably not much of a surprise to see smoking on the list. Smoking has an extremely negative impact on your health and the aging process. Not only does smoking cause health problems such as lung cancer, heart diseases, and high blood pressure, but it also impacts your physical appearance. Smoking triggers enzymes that disrupt your skin’s elasticity and deprives your skin cells of the oxygen it requires, causing it to appear dim and dull. Most of all, smoking lowers your lifespan.
The best time to quit smoking is right now! If you’re a smoker, you should quit as soon as possible. Nicotine addiction is compelling and can be hard to fight on your own. So, if that’s the case, you should talk to your doctor and seek help to quit smoking.
The Bottom Line
You need to avoid habits that age you significantly and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle may seem difficult initially, but it is worth it in the long run. All it requires is a bit of effort and commitment on your part.