It’s important to understand the risk factors of aging so you can make lifestyle changes to reverse the damage or at least minimise future damage.
Recently, we talked about the aging process and outlined the reasons why some age faster than others.
If one or more of these risk factors of aging is part of your lifestyle habits, your body is probably aging faster than the ticking of the clock. Fortunately, it’s never too late and with some positive changes, it’s possible to slow aging process.
Overweight or obese
Talk with your doctor about how much weight you need to lose. Don’t consider quick-fixes or fad diets, but aim to lose between 500g to 1kg per week. If you have a lot to lose, then set mini-goals.
Just losing five per cent of your body weight can have a positive impact on your blood pressure and cholesterol, fertility, insulin function and blood sugar levels. You will also reduce your risk of stroke and heart attack, diabetes and some cancers.
Losing weight will also reduce stress and depression symptoms, and leave you with increased energy and a happier, more positive approach to life.
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If you smoke then you need to STOP. Smoking significantly increases your risk of death or illness from numerous cancers. It increases your risk of heart disease, stroke and respiratory diseases. It can also cause a host of other problems including infertility, erectile dysfunction, blindness, dental problems, pregnancy and birth complications and contributes to osteoporosis.
Smoking is a difficult habit to break but one worth doing. By quitting smoking for 12 months, you can halve your risk of coronary heart disease, compared to continuing smokers. After 15 years of quitting, your risk is the same as a non-smoker.
A heavy drinker
Drinking moderately has been shown to have some health benefits. But if you have trouble controlling your alcohol intake, you need to seek professional help. Long-term, excessive alcohol consumption increases the risk of cancers of the mouth, oesophagus and liver. Combine it with smoking and you make things even worse.
Sleep is vital for our health and well-being, as it is the time when our body heals and repairs itself. Lack of sleep has been linked to conditions such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes, headaches, depression, slower reaction times and poor memory. Experts recommend that adults get between seven and eight hours of sleep each night, so make an effort to grab those extra zzzzs.