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9 mistakes that are ageing you

Looking older than you are? Some young women, who while in the pursuit of their career or dreams, neglect the importance of looking after themselves. The same goes for some women who start a family and caring for their partners and children take precedence over their well-being. As a result, they end up ageing sooner than they should. Of course, there are others too who are simply not bothered about caring for their health and skin until it is too late when someone guesses that they are older than they actually are. Before that happens, see if you are committing any of these “ageing mistakes” and rectify them before you receive a blow to your self-esteem!

Mistake #1: Overindulging dessert

Who isn’t guilty of this at some point of their lives? Tucking into moist chocolate cakes and mint sundaes are the first mistake that speeds up your age. Do you know that sugar is the culprit that causes wrinkles and adds years to your face? When you eat sugar, a process called glycation takes place in your body. In this process, sugars attach to protein to form new molecules.

In the long run, these new molecules damage the two most prevalent proteins in our bodies – collagen (the fibrous protein that acts as a glue that holds the body together; without it, the body would fall apart) and elastin, causing the collagen and elastin to become dry and brittle. It is needless to say that you will look just like your collagen too. Bear in mind that the ageing effects of excess sugar consumption are visible around age 35 and accelerate rapidly after that.

Mistake #2: No breaks

Long-term chronic stress is a common problem for students and the working community. Anything we are doing too much of is not a good sign as working too hard speeds up the ageing of cells. Your body needs a rest every now and then to rejuvenate and revitalise.

Mistake #3: Exercising the wrong way

You attend gym sessions three times a week, go for a daily morning run, do indoor exercises and go hiking during the weekends. Despite the workout which should leave you feeling energized mind and body, you feel tired all the time. What went wrong?

The answer is that your exercise routine is so intense and you are actually exhausted. The entire workout has led to extreme muscle soreness and you are experiencing injuries due to the over usage of muscles. The muscles are in a state of chronic inflammation as they do not have a chance to recover before being put to strain in another exercise. You should only focus on a few exercises and skip the rest.

Mistake #4: Consuming AGEs

Foods that are processed and/or heated are examples of advance glycation end (AGE) products. When you consume AGEs, the sugars and fats in it react with the protein in your body, causing its structure to change irreversibly and then attach itself to other cells in the body, damage these cells. Eventually, inflammation and oxidation of these cells will occur and lead to ageing and age-related diseases.

Mistake #5: Little sleep

There is a stage in sleep where the body repairs its damages, be it the elasticity of skin or restoring the level of cortisol and metabolism to its normal levels. Getting regular sleep is a medical need because if you are lack it, your body will produce cortisol, a hormone which can causes breakouts on your skin. Cortisol also ages us internally and externally, and causes one to constantly look tired, older and spot wrinkles and lines.

Mistake #6: Throwing the good, healthy fats

Omega-3 is a fatty acid and one of the good, healthy fats that helps to keep skin supple. Many are not able to tell which fat is good and which to kick out from our diet, so they mistakenly eliminate all forms of fat from their dietary intake. When you cut out omega-3 from your diet thinking that it will help you to lose weight, your body lacks one of the strongest anti-inflammatory substances that serves to fight the ageing process.

Mistake #7: Wrong posture

Sitting, standing and bending incorrectly add years to your appearance. They force your muscles to work harder and eventually, your joints are weakened. A common incorrect posture results from sitting hunched over the computer. You will develop a condition known as ‘turkey neck’ as a result of sitting stationary for long hours. Also, while you are staring at the monitor, the screen actually puts years on your face without you realizing it. There is another (amusing) term called the “computer-face”, referring to your squinting and frowning face as you look at your computer screen. As the common phrase suggests, frowning uses more muscles than smiling, so you will soon be the owner of lines, wrinkles and a saggy face too.

Mistake #8: Exposure to excessive sunlight

80% of exposure to the sun comes from cumulative everyday outings. So that short walk to your car in the sun actually adds up. When you are exposed to too much sunlight, wrinkles will appear faster on your face. This is because sunlight triggers a harmful reaction when it strikes the molecules in our skin, ageing our bodies on the inside and decreases immunity.

Mistake #9: Making less love

Sex does have a reversal effect on ageing, so making love three times a week can make you look ten years younger. A vigorous sex life is the second most important determinant after physical exercise on how youthful a person looks. Sex is a form of exercise after all. Making love keeps you looking younger because it decreases stress and relaxes your body and mind. But this doesn’t give you an excuse to go around having casual sex because it is also the emotional attachment between two physically and emotionally compatible people that works to alleviate stress.

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