Habits That Make You Age Faster

Are you guilty of these daily habits that make you age faster?  Read and find out!

I think it’s fair to say that there comes a time in most people’s lives when aging becomes something they think about, something they talk about it, and maybe even something they want to understand better.

Read: Tools to Life Long Wellness: Understanding How and Why You Age

Say “Sayonara” to the Habits that Make You Age Faster!

For some people, this moment comes when they’re faced with an illness.  For others, it happens because they no longer like what they see when they look in the mirror.

Whatever your reason for becoming acutely aware of wanting to stay healthy and youthful, your tools for achieving it will be the same!  And it’s not spending a fortune on expensive cosmetics or pills!  We’re talking about doing the opposite of those daily habits that make you age faster and make simple changes to your daily routine that won’t cost you a cent!

Aging Habit 1 – Forgetting to Eat Fresh Food

Ignoring Medicinal Herbs

This has got to be number one in our list of daily habits that will age you faster.  Without fresh fruits and vegetables, you just don’t get all the nutrients you need to stay healthy. Your cells can’t work at their optimum and your body starts to shows signs of aging.

Eat vegetables — especially leafy green vegetables — every day, preferably raw or just lightly cooked.  That means crisp green salads made with lettuce, but also mesclun mixes (including leafy greens like arugula, cress, baby spinach, and parsley) for variety because every type of leafy green has a different health benefit.  Also include kale, spinach, and silverbeet, which are often eaten cooked.  These power foods are packed full of antioxidantsnature’s anti-aging secret!

Once you’ve gotten used to the idea that leafy greens are the best possible food you can eat, branch out and add in other fruits and vegetables.

Variety is the spice of life and it’s the key to healthy aging, too.  When you eat lots of different, fresh produce, you give your body lots of different nutrients.  And it knows exactly what to do with those nutrients to keep you looking and feeling your best, even as you grow older.

Aging Habit 2 – Eating Toxic Food

Ignoring Medicinal Herbs

Am I exaggerating when I say toxic food?  Maybe a little bit.  But, if you think about it, not really.  

Take alcohol, for example.  We all know it’s poison (if a quite a tasty poison).  Or sugar, salt, and deep fried foods — all tasty poisons, too!  What’s more? They’re the top leaky gut foods to avoid if you want to take care of your overall health.

It may be the taste that keeps you coming back for more, but in the end, it’s your health that needs to drive your decision making.

Artificial additives, preservatives, and colorings are also in my toxic food category.  These have no health benefit at all, so you’re best to avoid them altogether.

(Note about salt!  I want to quickly point out here that salt is an important part of a healthy diet because it’s essential to keep your blood pressure normal.  The problem for most people is that their diets have too much salt, especially if they’re eating a lot of fast food or and pre-prepared meals.  So, if you’re following our number one healthy aging habit – eat all the fresh things – then a bit of salt on your salad is almost certainly fine!)

Aging Habit 3 – Ignoring Medicinal Herbs

Ignoring Medicinal Herbs

Did you know that herbal tea can make a difference in how quickly you age at a dose of just three cups daily?  Medicinal herbs contain all sorts of wild and wonderful nutrients that have been used since ancient times to promote health and longevity.  

So, ignore these ancient remedies at your peril!

Two great anti-aging herbs are ginseng and ginkgo, which are known for their potent antioxidant activity.  They’re easy to source, easy to prepare, and their flavors are not too bitter.

Even better, though, is green tea: the jewel in the crown of anti-aging herbs.  It’s become well-loved the world over.  And it’s been well-studied for its potent antioxidant and anti-aging properties.  

In fact, it may even be the secret to the long lifespan that Japanese people enjoy.  (The average lifespan in Japan is 84 years, compared to 79 years in the US and a worldwide average of 72.)

Aging Habit 4 – Being A Couch Potato

Being A Couch Potato

Of course, we know how much fun it is spending a day on the couch, curled up with your favorite book or movie.  But if you do that every day, your blood flow stagnates.  And your cells get congested from all the metabolic waste build up.

When you exercise, your blood flow increases.  This sends more nutrients, oxygen and energy through your organs and muscles.  Your heart and lungs get stronger because they’re being asked to work a little harder.  The rest of your body thrives on the rich blood flow that feeds and cleanses your cells.  And healthy cells mean healthy aging.

Related: The 3 Best Exercises for Healthy Aging

There are countless ways to exercise and a lot of information available about its benefits. But there are two important keys to doing it right:

  1. Get your heart rate up.  For most people, this means more than a gentle walk around the block.  Your heart needs to be beating harder in your chest and your lungs need to be filling to capacity with each breath.  That’s when you know you’re getting the benefits of increased circulation.
  2. Make it regular.  For your heart and lungs to get strong, they need to work hard at least three times each week.  It’s enough to keep your cells healthy, too, because they’re getting an energy boost every couple of days.  They use this extra nourishment to perform at their best and clear away cellular waste products that have been slowing them down.

Aging Habit 5 – Missing Sleep

Missing Sleep

It’s a habit that’s easy to get into – staying up late at night because it’s the only time you have to yourself and you want to make the most of it.  But it doesn’t change the time you have to get up in the morning.  So, all that really happens is you get less sleep and end up feeling more tired!

Your body does most of its repair and rejuvenation while you’re asleep.  So, if you miss out on any crucial sleep hours, your health suffers.  Aim for around eight hours of sleep nightly. And make sure you do so regularly!

Sleeping at the same time every night keeps your daily rhythm regular, and your body loves this!  A strong daily routine of sleep and wakefulness keeps your hormones in balance and your cellular processes in top shape.  This promotes healthy aging in a powerful way.

Aging Habit 6 – Letting Stress Get to You

Letting Stress Get to You

We all live with stress – sometimes a lot and sometimes a manageable amount.  The experience of stress is different for everyone, but the impact it has on your body is the same.  If your stress is at the level where you have tension, insomnia and other symptoms, then it’s going to be aging you.

If you cut out other habits that make you age faster, you’ll be better equipped for dealing with stress because they all make you healthier and stronger.  Learning to say no to stressful people and situations can help a lot, too.  Remember it’s your life and your health that’s affected, so if you really need to get out of a toxic scenario, just do it!

Of course, it’s not possible to cut out all stress from your life and learning to manage it is important, too.  Meditation can really help with this. 

In fact, meditation’s stress-reducing abilities are so powerful they’ve even been shown to affect cellular and DNA markers of stress, keeping cells’ replication from changing in response to stress.  This promotes healthy aging by correcting cell function at its core.

Staying connected to family and friends can also help keep stress away by giving you people to share your experiences with.  Whether it’s a shoulder to cry on and someone to make you see the funny side of a bad situation, your network being there to support you can help you manage stress.  

Be grateful for the people in your life and enjoy your time with them.  Laugh often!

Take Home Message

There are daily habits that make you age faster.  Bad habits that you might have slipped into that promote aging include: not eating enough fruits and vegetables (especially leafy greens), eating toxic foods (like alcohol, sugar, fried foods, colors, and additives), not taking advantage of herbs and spices (especially ginkgo, ginseng and green tea), being a couch potato, not getting enough sleep (8 hours per night) and not managing your stress in healthy ways (such as meditating or spending time with your family).

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