Everybody wants to look and feel younger. But research shows that we often unknowingly fall into habits that age us faster…
Here are five of them you should avoid (and what you should do instead):
1) Getting Rid of Healthy Fat From Your Diet
Removing trans fats from your diet keeps your heart, blood vessels, and memory at their best. But you don’t want to stop eating all fats. Your skin, for example, needs omega-3 fatty acids to remain plump and wrinkle-free.1 And your brain needs them to stay sharp.
Follow the recommendation of many registered dieticians—eat at least two servings of wild-caught salmon or mackerel each week. Add avocado slices to your meals to make sure you’re getting a daily dose of healthy fats. They contain vitamin E that fights aging by helping your body create collagen.
2) Holding Grudges
Forgiving those who have wronged you may be hard, but your youth may depend on it. A study out of the University of Tennessee psychology department found those who hold grudges take more medication, suffer from sleep problems, and experience higher levels of stress.2
Research also shows the more contempt you hold for another person, the more cortisol you release…and the faster you age. Cortisol can make you more likely to develop high blood pressure, diabetes, and Cushing’s syndrome.3
So try practicing metta—or loving kindness—meditation if you’re feeling resentful. Studies show it can help you lower stress and boost your wellbeing.4 Five to 10 minutes a day is all it takes.5 Here’s a list of free guided meditations from UCLA.
3) Skipping Your Workouts
Remember—there are other benefits to exercise besides losing weight. You’ll feel better, sleep better, and lower your risk of many serious ailments.
One study in JAMA Internal Medicine found that just 75 minutes of rigorous exercise each week can reduce your risk of dying in the next 14 years by more than 30%. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is ideal for hitting this goal. All it requires is 10-15 minutes of heart-pumping activity each day.
4) Losing Weight Too Quickly
When you lose too much too fast, it can make you look much older than you are. That’s because your skin doesn’t have time to shrink. The result is saggy, wrinkly skin and flabby jowls…6
It’s better to lose weight gradually in most cases. This allows your skin to tighten as your body gets smaller.
5) Avoiding the Sun Entirely
Staying out of the sun seems like a good idea. After all, too much sun causes wrinkles and turns skin leathery. But staying indoors all day isn’t the answer either. It deprives you of vitamin D. This makes you vulnerable to cognitive decline. So what should you do?
Try to get outdoors—without sunscreen—for about 10 minutes a day. Also make pasture-raised eggs, and wild-caught salmon part of your diet. They’re both high in vitamin D. If you live in a cloudy climate or can’t eat these foods, take a whole-food vitamin D supplement. A 5,000 IU dose is adequate for most adults.
Ask your doctor to measure your 25(OH) D levels to pinpoint the exact amount of vitamin D you need to reach a blood level of 40-60 ng/mL. You want your number in that range for optimal health and anti-aging benefits.
If you’re eating right and exercising, you’re off to a great start for fighting aging. But avoiding these five traps may give you even better results.
In Good Health,
Publisher, INH Health Watch
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