Are You Aging Faster Than You Should Be?
By Sara Butler
You may think you’re good to go as you age based on your family’s genetics, but there are many factors that influence how your body ages beyond the fact that your dad is 65 but looks 45. The choices you make daily have an impact on your body, and if those choices are poor you may be aging your body beyond your years. Here are a few of the things that impact how your body ages and what you can do to slow it all down.
Why It Matters
When you talk about aging, you’re not just talking about gray hairs or wrinkled skin. Aging is a natural process but it also can involve mental decline, disease, and aches and pains. All of these things can have a serious impact on your quality of life in later years, so it’s best to try to hold them off by being aware of the habits and lifestyle choices that can speed the process up.
It’s OK to love meat, but if your dinner plate more often than not has a big slab of meat on it accompanied by just a few vegetables, you may want to rethink the choice. Several studies have found a link between increased consumption of meat and early death.
The good news is that adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet can lower your risk of mortality. As long as you’re getting plenty of those plant-based antioxidants and nutrients then you should be OK.
Working a desk job is a danger to your health. Over the past several years, researchers have found sitting eight hours a day increases your risk of premature death by almost 60 percent. Yes -- 60 percent! An inactive lifestyle has been linked to death through cancer and heart disease. Prolonged sitting has also been linked to poor blood sugar regulation, high cholesterol, and slow circulation – all of which set the stage for age-related illness and disease.
How can you stop this? It’s really not too difficult. All you need to do to reduce your mortality rate by 40 percent is get an hour of moderate exercise per day. So, go for a walk after dinner because your life might truly depend on it.
A good night’s rest is invaluable to your health. If you don’t get enough restorative sleep, then it can impact everything from your memory development to your metabolism to your weight. Not getting enough sleep at night has been linked to an increase in blood pressure, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. So make sure you get the seven to nine hours per night your body needs.