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16 Bad Habits to Avoid to Help You Age with Grace

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“You don’t look a day after 25” is probably one of the best compliments anyone can get if they’re way past 25. Every day, when the sun sets, we are all aging, but aging gracefully is the pursuit of many people.

Aging is a natural process and inevitable that one should feel blessed to experience. Our habits and lifestyle decisions can impact how we age. The elusive feat of looking younger than your years is greatly influenced by adopting healthy habits and avoiding harmful activities.

These are the top 16 unhealthy habits to avoid if you want to age gracefully, vibrantly, and generally well.

1. Lack of Exercise

Motivated elderly man with beard working out on exercise machine
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We are no longer hunters and gatherers. As the world gains civilization, it is becoming increasingly sedentary. Not moving is detrimental to the human body and one of the recipes for aging not-so-gracefully.

Regular physical activity is crucial for maintaining muscle mass, bone density, and overall health as you age. If we started moving our creaking bones early, they will feel much better for years to come.

2. Skipping Sunscreen

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Sunscreen is an underrated beauty hack; its uses are far greater than just beauty. The skin is the largest human organ, and many people forget how much damage the sun does to it.

Going out daily without protection from the sun’s harmful rays will lead to premature aging and wrinkles and, at worst, increase the risk of skin cancer. A dollop a day is all you need, even when the sun seems to be hiding.

Alternatively, grab your favorite sun shirt or hat if you’d also like to skip some of the toxic sunscreen chemicals after you’ve had a sufficient dose of daily vitamin D.

3. Skipping Regular Physical Exams

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We know we need physical exams, but not many people diligently go to the doctor for them. Routine health check-ups can help detect and address health issues before they become more serious with age.

Many diseases would be caught early if people made and kept their annual physical exams. Some lifestyle diseases can be avoided if caught in their earlier stages.  

4. Smoking

Man in suit holding no smoking sign
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While everyone is free to choose what little pleasures they enjoy, smoking is one pleasure that makes aging gracefully difficult. This habit accelerates aging and increases the risk of various health problems, including cancer and heart disease.

Smoking is also responsible for prematurely aging the skin, discoloring the teeth, and generally degrading collagen. This makes the skin saggy and adds more wrinkles.

5. Inadequate Sleep

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Kids are forced to sleep early to help maintain a healthy body and good immunity. Yet, as adults, we tend to lose this awesome habit. Poor sleep quality or insufficient sleep can impair cognitive function, weaken the immune system, and accelerate aging.

Adulting may make it impossible to be in bed at 9 PM and take a siesta every afternoon, but a good night’s rest is necessary if you want to age without eye bags and saggy skin. Aim for at least 7 hours of sleep every night, and make it quality sleep by eliminating distractions.

6. Poor Diet

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Garbage in and garbage out is not just about computers; everything you eat shows on your body and mostly on your face. A good diet is the proper anti-aging Bible, and it’ll do you great to follow it religiously.

Consuming excessively processed foods, sugar, and unhealthy fats can contribute to chronic diseases and accelerate aging. Check that your diet includes lots of fruits and vegetables, and don’t forget to drink lots of water.

7. Neglecting Hydration

Three happy friends drink water to quench their thirst
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It has been mentioned before, but it can’t be stressed enough: The body needs enough water to be healthy and age well. Inadequate hydration can affect various bodily functions and contribute to aging-related issues such as dry skin and reduced cognitive function.

Eight glasses have been quoted as the ideal quantity, but more research says the amount of water your body needs depends on your weight and level of activity.

8. Overworking

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Today, the world is big on the hustle culture, which emphasizes the practice of working until you drop. While you may make more money, chronic overwork can lead to burnout, stress-related health problems, and accelerated aging.

Plan your work so you have time to rest and know when it’s enough. You may consider cutting back on overtime and working fewer hours. If your job doesn’t allow it, consider switching careers to something more flexible.

9. Poor Posture

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Your office chair may make you look and feel older than you are. Bad posture can lead to musculoskeletal problems and affect mobility and overall quality of life as you age.

Practice mindful sitting habits by maintaining good posture and avoiding prolonged crouching. Remember to take regular short breaks from sitting to stretch your legs and walk around. This will promote better overall health and comfort.

10. High Stress Levels

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“I’m stressed” has become the soundtrack of many people’s lives. As the economy falters, environmental degradation accelerates, and self-centeredness pervades modern society, stress levels soar. Many are unaware that perpetual stress ages you and diminishes your gracefulness.

Chronic stress can contribute to inflammation, weaken the immune system, and accelerate aging. Reduce stress by breathing exercises and discussing your problems with trusted individuals. Also, make the necessary changes in your relationships and career to reduce stress.

11. Excessive alcohol consumption

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While partying and excessive drinking may be common practices for some individuals, they are detrimental habits for those striving for success and seeking to age gracefully. Alcohol also dehydrates your skin, making you look older.

Excessive alcohol consumption can result in liver damage, cognitive decline, and various other health complications. Consider reducing your alcohol intake through lifestyle changes or seeking assistance from a certified professional if alcohol consumption is becoming a problem.

12. Neglecting Mental Health

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Ignoring mental health issues such as depression and anxiety can impact overall well-being and accelerate aging. Depression and anxiety can affect cognitive function and contribute to cognitive decline over time.

Positive mental health is linked to healthier behaviors, stronger social networks, and more stress resilience, all of which make aging more enjoyable. Prioritize your mental health by meditating, exercising, and seeking counseling where necessary.

13. Ignoring Chronic Health Conditions

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Neglecting to manage chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, or arthritis can worsen over time and accelerate aging-related complications. Untreated conditions also tend to worsen over time, leading to increased severity of symptoms and complications. This progression can result in a decreased quality of life.

To improve the quality of life, seek timely medical attention to help manage conditions and prevent complications. Make the necessary lifestyle changes and adhere to medication regimens.

14. Excessive Screen Time

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Screens are the undisputed kings of the world today, and every home boasts multiple screens in various sizes. Screens are crucial to today’s operations, but excessive screen time will not help with aging.

Screens are making people more sedentary, leading to musculoskeletal disorders, weight gain, and other difficulties. Prolonged screen time can also cause eye strain, which can hurt and even hasten the degradation of eyesight associated with aging. Screens are the major cause of disrupted sleep patterns, which impact the body’s natural cycles and may accelerate aging.

15. Neglecting Social Connections

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We’re encouraged to “do you, and the world will adjust.” Unfortunately, more people are isolating themselves in a quest to “do you.” Isolation and loneliness can have negative effects on mental and physical health, accelerating the aging process.

Your mental and emotional health will suffer if social ties are neglected. People may feel isolated, depressed, and alone in the absence of meaningful relationships and support networks.

16. Avoiding Mental Stimulation

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Your brain has to be challenged and exercised continuously to support healthy aging of cognitive function.

Age-related memory issues might worsen, and a lack of mental stimulation can accelerate cognitive decline. Reading a book, doing crossword puzzles, or participating in trivia will help your cognitive function age better.  

Source

19 Things You Shouldn’t Fear as You Get Older

sad old woman
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As we grow older, it’s common for our fears to grow alongside us and sometimes hold us back from enjoying our lives. Many of these worries come from not knowing what will happen as we age. The media (social and news) also makes older folks unnecessarily fearful about their health and vitality- often painting a picture of disaster, decline, and disease.

19 Things You Shouldn’t Fear as You Get Older

17 Insane Things That Were Acceptable for Children in the 1960s

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Many of the behaviors that were deemed ordinary for children in the 1960s would be mortifying to people today. If parents from the ’60s were to raise their children in the same manner in today’s world, they might find social services knocking on their doors. As time progresses, so do parenting methods and the level of supervision and exposure provided to children.

17 Insane Things That Were Acceptable for Children in the 1960s

16 Boomer Habits That Are Becoming Obsolete

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The youngest members of the Baby Boomer generation are swiftly approaching their 60s, and several of the once-iconic trends they championed have become unfamiliar to the younger generations.

16 Boomer Habits That Are Becoming Obsolete

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