15 Bad Habits That Age You Faster Without You Noticing It With the possible exception of teenagers,just about everyone wants to look younger. That’s why the age-defying industry is sohuge. People spend hundreds, even thousands of dollarseach year to make themselves appear younger. While expensive creams and beauty proceduresdo their bit, the best investment lies in the adjustments we make in our lives and dailyroutines.
Bad Habits That Age You Faster Without You Noticing It

 Here are 15 bad habits that age you fasterthan you think!

 Number 1 - Indulging Too Often If you usually say yes to dessert and othertreats, such as pastries and candy bars, you may find yourself aging prematurely. Not only does sugar cause widespread inflammationin the body that can lead to disease, it also directly affects appearance. Sugar molecules initiate a biochemical processwhich leaves you looking tired, puffy and wrinkled.

 Let’s not forget that consistently givingin to temptation can also result in a loss of confidence and self-trust. Having a consistent healthy diet will helpyou achieve more of what you want, leading to a happier more youthful future.

 Number 2 - Skimping On Sleep Scientific studies have shown that sleepingless than seven hours per night on a regular basis can shorten your life. It will also make you look and feel a lotolder than you are. For one, not getting enough sleep robs youof the mental and physical energy you need to get through a typical day - to the pointwhere it can make it very difficult to thrive in your personal or professional life. Second, failing to get enough sleep is hardon your body, including your vital organs, like the brain and heart.

 The healing and detoxification processes thatoccur during sleep are imperative for a strong, resilient mind and body. For example, the sleep hormone melatonin,contributes to cellular repair which wards off cancer. Human growth hormone is also produced duringsleep, which gives us good muscle tone and youthful vitality.

 Number 3 - The Way You Sleep Sleeping with your face smashed into a pillowcan make you look years older. Persistently pressing your face into a pillowcauses trauma to the skin. Over time, as collagen breaks down, this traumaaggravated by the friction of a cotton pillowcase, can create permanent creases in your face. The skin’s ability to regenerate itselfis also compromised by the impaired circulation to the part of the face pressed into the pillow. To fix this problem, try sleeping on yourback.

 Or, use a silk pillowcase - it will not onlyminimize friction, but silk also contains amino acids that are very similar to thosefound in your moisturizers. As such, they don't draw moisture from yourface the way that some other pillowcases can. 

Number 4 - Crash Dieting Who doesn’t want to lose 10 pounds beforea long-awaited vacation? While quick fixes are tempting, crash dietingis never a good idea. It’s not a long-term solution. In fact, it may even be a long-term threat! Research shows that crash dieting can makeyou feel older, because it reduces your energy levels, messes with your concentration, andmakes you depressed and irritable. Crash dieting can also cause wrinkles andsagging, because the skin doesn’t have time to adjust to the weight loss. Obviously, weight management is importantfor health. But don't try to lose more than one or twopounds a week.

 Number 5 - Exercising Only To Lose Weight If your exercise plan starts every January1st and lasts only until you’re able to fit back into your jeans, you may be cheatingyourself out of longevity. Many studies show that regular exercise helpsprevent age-related diseases, and prolongs life span. Daily exercise helps lower cortisol levelsand increases beneficial hormones. It also helps control high blood pressure,improve mood, and keeps us strong and flexible as we age. It’s important to take pleasure in movingyour body and to enjoy the rush of blood, sweat and endorphins that comes along withit. Make exercise an enjoyable ritual, ratherthan a dreaded punishment.

 Number 6 - Not Taking Time For Yourself When was the last time you took time for yourself- perhaps an evening, or even just an hour? While this sounds impossible to many of us,the fact is, no one is ever going to make the time for you. It’s something you must do for yourself,and it’s an important way to prevent premature aging. Start by establishing small “me-time”rituals throughout the day, even if it’s just a quick journal entry before bed, ora walk around the block in the morning. These small self-love gestures go a long waytoward self-satisfaction and ultimately long-term wellness.

 Number 7 - Drinking From Bottles And ThroughStraws It may be hard to believe, but the puckeringprocess of drinking from a bottle or through a straw - just like any repeated muscle motion- can lead to fine lines and wrinkles around your mouth. Dermatologists advise those who are proneto fine lines and wrinkles around their mouth to avoid straws altogether, and drink directlyfrom a glass. If you can’t kick the habit of drinkingout of bottles, try to relax your upper lip to help prevent unwanted lines.

 Number 8 - Holding Onto Grudges Life is too short and precious to hold ontogrudges. Learning how to forgive and let go may addyears to your life and make the years you have left a lot more productive. You might even notice fewer wrinkles fromfrowning! Studies show that forgiveness leads to betterphysical, psychological, and spiritual well-being. Benefits include lower blood pressure, lessdepression, less stress, and less anxiety. 

Number 9 - Not Using Sunscreen Every Day Overexposure to UV radiation is one of thekey causes of ageing skin. It pays to wear sunscreen, even on cloudydays, because clouds only block about 20 percent of UV rays. And UV rays cause free radicals that can damageyour collagen, elastin and skin cells. Use a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30,to prevent or reverse the signs of premature aging on your skin.

 Number 10 - Sweating The Small Stuff It is evident that stress accelerates theaging process by causing a chemical imbalance in the body. The effects of stress are not visible rightaway because they are more internal, but gradually, if we are consistently stressed, we will seeit! So make a point of rolling with the punches,going with the flow, and laughing things off whenever possible and appropriate. Realize that even the worst situations aretransient. Having a little bit of optimism is a greatway to defend yourself from premature aging.

 Number 11 - Rubbing Your Eyes If you want to stay younger-looking, you shouldavoid rubbing your eyes. Rubbing your eyes breaks down collagen andelasticity around the area, which produces wrinkles and broken capillaries. For relief from tired or irritated eyes, insteadof rubbing them, try brewing two green tea bags, allow them to cool, and place them overyour eyes for 10 minutes. 

Number 12 - Working Too Much Focusing on your career above all else — likeyour physical health or home and family — can help you climb the corporate ladder, but itcomes with a cost. Simply put, taking on as much as possibleat work in order to advance your career might net you a promotion, but is it worth lookingand feeling a lot older?

 Problems arise when you work an excessiveamount of overtime. Add ten or twenty hours to a 40-hour workweek and suddenly there isn’t a lot of time for exercising, relaxing with friends andfamily, or even sleeping. Working extra hours can also make it toughto eat well, with many workaholics resorting to fast food in order to get by. It’s a situation that leaves many peopleone or two steps ahead in their careers, but far behind in every other part of their lives.

 Number 13 - Central Air And Heating Low-humidity environments such as those createdby central heating and air conditioning can lead to dry skin. And dry skin makes wrinkles more pronounced-- even though it doesn't actually cause wrinkles. It’s best to warm or cool your body by puttingon or taking off layers of clothing, rather than turning up the heat or air conditioner.

 Number 14 - Using Alcohol As Stress-Relief While a glass of wine a couple of times aweek is certainly not an issue, using alcohol as an escape from daily troubles might bemaking you old before your time. Not only because of the physical effects ofthe alcohol (like inflammation and a slower metabolism), but also because this indicatesthat issues are being left unresolved and trapped inside. Try writing down things that are botheringyou, to give you perspective, instead of automatically reaching for a glass at the end of a longday. Even this small action helps shed the loadof stress, and may bring clarity and resolution to a problem.

 Number 15 - Smoking It’s certainly no secret that smoking isbad for your health. But did you know it’s bad for your looks,too? Cigars and cigarettes contain chemicals thatonce released into the air, tend to stain everything they come into contact with — includeskin, teeth, eyes, and even hair. Of course, that’s not even considering thefact that excessive smoking can result in one developing a range of serious health problems,affecting parts of our body beyond the surface. For example, smoking can do serious damageto the mouth, throat, and lungs. It can make you sound a lot older than youare.

 Studies show that in addition to shorteningyour life by increasing your risk for heart and lung disease, smoking can activate enzymesthat break down the elasticity of your skin. Even if you’re a closet smoker, the finewrinkles and pale appearance that cigarettes cause can give you away - just one more reasonto cut out smoking! Picture yourself five, ten, twenty years fromnow.

 Will you be vibrant, strong and aging gracefully? Or will you be looking older than what yourage would suggest? It’s important to realize that the choiceis in your hands. Since getting older is an extremely slow andgradual process that happens over time, it’s those little habits that you do every daythat can determine how healthy and happy you’ll be down the road. Fortunately, the choices and habits that promotewellness as you age are also great ways to take care of yourself now. It’s never too early, or too late, to embracea healthier lifestyle! As always, we want to know what you think! And, let us know how you keep yourself lookingyoung. Or, what changes you plan on making! 

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