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Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Habits That Age You

Ageing is inevitable, but you can still feel and look younger than your years if you know a few facts. If you’re fatigued in the middle of the day or notice new lines on your face in the morning, your everyday habits may be adding more years to you than you know. Experts give advice on ways to turn back the clock.


Staying up late is fun in your teens, but burning the midnight oil can make you look older as you age. Beauty sleep is not just an old wives' tale. “Sleep deprivation causes bags under the eyes and droopy, tired eyelids and pallor,” says Dr. Allen Towfigh, a board-certified sleep medicine doctor and neurologist.
“This makes us look less healthy, and, hence, we appear less attractive to others.” To determine how much sleep you need to look your best, add up the number of hours of sleep you get over a period of two weeks (including naps) and divide by 14.


If you’re unable to let bygones be bygones, you may add years to your body. Several studies show a link between forgiveness and physical health. A study published in the Journal of Behavioral Medicine from 2005 showed that a lack of forgiveness increased nervous symptom activity, contributing to a greater number of medications taken and decreased sleep quality.
“Holding a grudge increases stress, which boosts levels of the hormone cortisol,” says Dr. Jennifer Landa, chief medical officer of BodyLogicMD, an anti-aging network. “Cortisol contributes to weight gain, raises blood pressure, elevates blood sugar and increases the risk of diabetes.” Learn how to let go, and you may live longer.


"Such a routine during college might be fine, but it needs to change as early as possible. Apart from giving yourself dark circles, you also shorten your life with insufficient sleep. Sleeping within the seven-hour range is optimal," says sleep specialist, Dr. Casciari.
Consciously make efforts to go to bed early if you show symptoms of lack of sleep, like fatigues during daytime, mental lethargy, deficit of attention or weight gain.


If you never say no to dessert, you may be saying yes to more wrinkles. “Sugar increases aging of every part of our body,” says Landa. “Eating a diet high in sugar will not only damage your waistline but it will increase your risk of diabetes and can even cause skin problems, especially acne and wrinkles.”
When you eat sugar a process called glycation occurs, where the sugar in your bloodstream attaches to proteins, forming new molecules called advanced glycation end products, or AGEs for short. These AGEs damage nearby protein fibers that keep skin elastic.
“A better choice would be dark chocolate with low sugar, or if you need to use sweeteners, consider monk fruit, a natural sweetener that doesn’t raise blood sugar,” suggests Landa.


Tired eyes? Avoid rubbing them if you want to stay younger-looking. Rubbing your eyes breaks down the collagen and elasticity around the area, which produces wrinkles and broken capillaries. “The skin in this area is incredibly thin and extremely sensitive and vulnerable to sun damage and wrinkling,” says Dr. Dennis Gross, a dermatologist.
“This is why rubbing your eyes may result in broken capillaries.” For relief from tired or irritated eyes, instead of rubbing them, try brewing two green tea bags, allow them to cool and place them over your eyes for 10 minutes. If you are concerned about broken capillaries, look for ingredients that build collagen. Applying creams that contain vitamins K and D, as well as including them as part of a balanced diet, can also help. 


It’s time to kick those butts to the curb if you want to live a long, healthy life. A clear link between smoking and longevity exists, and the earlier you quit the more years you add to your life. A study published in the American Journal of Public Health in 2002 showed that smokers who quit at age 35 add approximately eight years to their life, compared with people who continue to smoke. Smokers who quit at age 65 add between two to four years of longevity.
“Smoking causes the release of free radicals . . . which is like rust for your body,” says Landa. “Smokers have higher risks of almost any disease under the sun, including cancer, heart disease, dementia and generally premature death.”



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