No matter how hard we try, it’s impossible to escape aging, and we shouldn’t attempt to feel as though we’ve run it. Genetics isn’t the only factor determining how old or young you look compared to your biological age.
Lifestyle makes a big difference in how old you feel and look. Dr. Noel Young, the clinical innovations associate, said, “While our life expectancy may be increasing, our healthspans – our time spent in good health –remains much lower than expected.”
Young said, “The good news is adopting specific lifestyle changes can help prevent chronic diseases and the faster aging that accompanies them.”
Here are lifestyle choices that may accelerate aging.
New research from Oxford University has found new evidence that alcohol accelerates biological aging. Over 17 units of alcohol per week resulted in shorter telomeres for those who drink over 250,000 units per week.
Researchers have discovered that UV exposure can cause skin aging – one study from 2013 found that 80% of visible aging signs are caused by UV exposure.
Sitting Down A Lot
Sedentary lifestyles and aging make building muscle harder. The decline in muscle mass you experience as you age puts you at risk for osteoporosis, frailty, and falls with injuries like hip fractures.
Collagen is the protein in the skin that keeps it healthy and elastic. Smoking hinders its production. Skin begins to sag and wrinkle as we age because collagen production decreases. Smoking speeds up this process.
Foods high in fiber, like vegetables, beans, grains, and fruits, have been linked to longer telomeres and improved lifespan, says Young. They also contain antioxidants like vitamins C and E. They also contain fiber, which helps regulate blood sugar levels, lower cholesterol levels, and maintain a healthy gut environment.
Not Getting Enough Sleep
A lack of sleep correlates with shorter telomeres, said Young, who mentioned that sleep deprivation also increases the chances of unhealthy behavior, such as not exercising and eating unhealthy food.