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Everyday Habits That Are Aging You Faster

Doing these things will age you, experts say.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

Let's face it—we all have a few bad habits we think are harmless enough, but in reality they're not.  Many of the bad behaviors we engage in  are not only unhealthy, but can speed up the aging process. But with a few lifestyle changes, we can help slow down the aging process. Eat This, Not That! Health talked to Dr. Jagdish Khubchandani, MBBS, Ph.D. Professor of Public Health New Mexico State University who revealed five everyday habits that are aging you faster. Read below for tips on what habits to avoid to help stay looking young. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.


Stop Stressing

young woman, who is sitting on a sofa with her eyes closed, touching her head while suffering from a migraine.

Dr. Khubchandani says, "Stressing about everything and managing stress poorly can age people faster and cause mental and physical health problems – we do not realize this, but stress can be a very deadly and silent killer given its multiple psychological and biological effects. Unfortunately, the world is going through one of the most stressful times in history with the pandemic adding more insult to existing injuries. The APA study called "Stress in America" indicates this.


Get Your Beauty Sleep


According to Dr. Khubchandani, "Lack of sleep is another problem that is well connected with stress. Sleep helps us rejuvenate and de-stress and may slow down aging related changes, but many people take this aspect of our lifestyle lightly. In our recent study, we found that a third of working adult Americans struggle with sleep and the numbers are rising. Unfortunately, in this study, we found that many critical workers who save our lives or keep us safe are struggling the most.

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Eat Better


Dr. Khubchandani explains, "Poor diet is another major lifestyle factor associated with disease and aging. The amount of global consumption of soda, processed food, fatty foods has increased in the 21st century and that has been linked to decline in life expectancy."

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Keep Moving and Stay Active

two women and a man walking together in a park
Shutterstock / Tyler Olson

"Lack of exercise or enough movement in daily life and living a sedentary life can have a great impact on our health and wellbeing," Dr. Khubchandani says. "In the absence of this activity, one can have many diseases and age faster. The effects of exercise are many fold from biological, physical, psychosocial, and epigenetic."

RELATED: 7 Ways You're Ruining Your Body After 60, Say Experts


Stop Smoking and Drinking

Woman wine

Dr. Khubchandani warns, "the dependence on alcohol, tobacco, and drugs for social experiments, curb loneliness, to be validated in social circles, or as a cure for stress and anxiety could be the worst habits. People can die with overdoses, but beyond that, regular and high frequency usage ages people faster, causes cognitive decline and mental health issues, leads to weight gain, and causes acceleration of aging. This is easily skin with skin texture and appearance indicating aging at a faster pace. A very famous study pointed out that we may be dying of heart disease and cancer known to be major killers, but the underlying problems are poor diet, sedentary behaviors, and ATOD (alcohol tobacco other drug) use." And to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Heather Newgen
Heather Newgen has two decades of experience reporting and writing about health, fitness, entertainment and travel. Heather currently freelances for several publications. Read more about Heather
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