8 Habits That Accelerate The Aging Process

Let’s be honest. Not many of us want to get older. While we may enjoy the cake and celebrations that accompany our birthday, we’re not always thrilled to notch up another year.

But did you know that the age of your body does not always correspond with the number of candles you blew out on your last birthday? Depending on how well you look after yourself, you could be older — or younger — than you think.

It’s no secret that our health, lifestyle and habits have a dramatic effect on our longevity and quality of life.

For example, a 35 year old woman who is overweight, smokes, has a high stress job, leads a sedentary lifestyle, and drinks a few glasses of wine each day, could have the health of a 43 year old woman who does not share these lifestyle conditions.

On the flip side, a 60 year old man who has never smoked, maintains a healthy weight, works out regularly and gets adequate sleep and has minimal stress, can be as healthy as a 52 year old man.

See how it works? This is called your health age or virtual age and it can sometimes be in stark contrast to how old you actually are.

There is no getting around that we all get older, with both external and internal changes occurring as we age. The more obvious signs of changes include:

  • Changes to the amount and colour of our hair
  • Dry skin, wrinkles, and age spots
  • Receding gums and worn teeth
  • A stooped appearance
  • Weight gain or weight loss

What you may not realise is, there are changes happening to our internal systems as well. Typically:

  • Our heart needs to work harder to pump blood through less elastic or narrowed arteries
  • Muscles lose strength and joints become less flexible
  • Digestive secretions decrease causing a slower digestive system and increased likelihood of constipation
  • Our kidneys have a harder time removing waste from our bodies
  • Bladder control and urinary incontinence are more common
  • Our memory can deteriorate due to brain cells decreasing with age
  • Our reflexes become slower
  • Hearing loss is common.

It doesn’t sound very appealing, does it?

So, how well are you ageing?

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Nerissa Bentley

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