Diet and Exercise Mistakes that May be Ageing You
A lot of your day to day habits can make a difference to how your skin looks and your general appearance, and a few bad ones can contribute to premature ageing. Here are some you may want to avoid.
Eating Too Much Sugar
Too much sugar can damage the cells in your body in a process called glycation. The sugar in your blood stream attaches to proteins to form harmful new molecules, which accumulate and lead to connective tissue damage and inflammation. This process causes your skin to lose elasticity and gain more wrinkles.
Eating Too Many Processed Foods
Processed foods are often high in sugar, salt and unhealthy fats, all of which can cause cell damage when consumed to excess. Like over-eating sugar, eating too many processed foods can have a noticeable effect on the appearance of your skin, ageing it prematurely.
Skipping Fruit and Veg
Fruit and vegetables are an essential part of a healthy, balanced diet. They also play a key role in keeping your skin at its best, as they contain antioxidants which are believed to help protect the body from the harmful effects of free radicals. Over time, free radical damage can result in premature ageing of the skin, and if you’re not getting enough antioxidants there’s nothing to minimise that damage. Try adding blueberries, blackberries and plums to your diet – these are especially rich in antioxidants.
Not Drinking Enough Water
Dehydration has a significant effect on how you look and feel. If you regularly drink too little water, it may even make your skin look a little more dry and lined, adding extra years to your appearance. Drinking plenty of water may not erase wrinkles and fine lines, but it will help to keep your skin looking its best.
Exercising Too Much
Getting regular exercise is important for your health, and will have a real positive impact on how you look and feel. With this in mind, you may feel like constantly exercising can only be good for you. However, it’s also important to give yourself breaks from exercise. Your body needs time to rest – pushing it to be active constantly can trigger inflammation because your muscles aren’t getting a chance to recover. Over-exercising can also increase levels of cortisol in the blood which can damage collagen fibres, decreasing elasticity in the skin and causing premature wrinkles.
Everyday activities like sitting at a desk, using a computer and carrying a handbag all take their toll on your posture. But walking around with hunched shoulders is sure to make you look older than you are. Paying attention to your posture can take a good few years off your appearance. If you have trouble with your posture, there are certain forms of exercise which can help you with it. Pilates and yoga can have a particularly noticeable impact.
Getting older is a natural part of life but there’s no reason you have to look older than you are. Making a few small changes to your diet and exercise habits can really help to hold back the years, so give it a try.
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