7 Everyday Habits That Age You

No one wants to look older than they really are. Genetics play a huge role in the aging process, but there are some elements within our control — like skincare habits, food choices and lifestyle — that can age us prematurely if we’re not careful.

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Here are seven very common anti-aging mistakes and how to avoid them.

Yo-Yo Dieting

Everyone knows yo-yo dieting (also known as weight cycling) is bad, but not everyone knows the serious toll it can have on your youth. Yo-yo dieting has been shown to increase the risk for health problems such as gallbladder disease, elevated blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol and cancer. It can also make it harder to lose weight in the future and lead to diminished skin elasticity.

While it may be tempting to try to lose a ton of weight at once with a restrictive fad diet, it’s far more effective in the long-term to lose weight slowly, over a period of time.

Not Getting Enough Sleep

In today’s world, we have more things to do than there is time to do them. Losing sleep over our endless to-do lists is a common habit, but one that will take a toll on your health and skin in the long run. Prioritize sleep and make sure you’re getting seven to eight hours every night so you can wake up looking refreshed and feeling energized.

Neglecting Weight Training

A lot of women don’t lift weights because they don’t want to get “bulky,” but this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Weightlifting not only helps you look lean and feel strong, but lifting can also help to support sagging skin as you age. Dr. Patricia Farris recommends that her patients engage in strength training to maintain a youthful appearance. “It’s like adding volume to the face with fillers, except on your body,” she says. Furthermore, weightlifting not only increases muscle mass, but it increases bone density as well. This is especially important as we age, since our bones tend to weaken as we get older, leading to osteoporosis, breaks, fractures. Strong, dense bones are essential to maintaining optimal health and mobility.

Focusing On What You Put On Your Body, Instead Of In It

Many women are used to thinking of skincare in terms of what they rub on their skin, however, what you eat tends to have a much bigger effect on skin than any creams could. Diane C. Madfes, spokesperson for the American Academy of Dermatology, recommends getting plenty of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, taking a vitamin D supplement, limiting processed foods, and drinking plenty of water for ageless, beautiful skin that keeps its elasticity.

Making Skin Care Complicated

Having a solid skincare routine is important, but the beauty industry would have us believe we need a million different expensive products in order to stay youthful. This is simply not true. Invest in a good cleanser, a toner, and an inexpensive, but all-natural moisturizer with SPF, and you’re pretty much set.

Stressing Over The Little Things

Routine stress has been linked to problems like heart disease, diabetes, depression, anxiety disorder, and high blood pressure, not to mention it puts lines on your face. Luckily, there are things that you can do to cope with and diminish the stress in your life. Getting exercise has been shown to help improve your mood and reduce your stress. Meditation and activities that pair breathing and motion, such as yoga and tai chi, can also be very helpful. Getting enough sleep is an important way to help reduce your stress load. Remembering to roll with the punrhces, spending time with family and friends, forgiving yourself, going outside, snuggling with a pet, and hugging someone close to you are all things that can help you feel calmer and happier.

Skipping Sunscreen

Sunscreen is the ultimate anti-aging tool, even in the winter. The sun’s UV rays shine year round and are a major culprit to skin damage, staining, wrinkling and loss of elasticity caused by sun exposure. However, this can be majorly avoided by making a broad-spectrum sunscreen (SPF 30) part of your daily routine.