Here in America, the idea of staying young for as long as possible has become something of a national obsession. Unfortunately many Americans tend to go about it the wrong way, hence the popularity of fad diets, face lifts and a whole array of other things that can bring health risks with them. Fortunately, there are simple and inexpensive things that a person can do to avoid health mistakes and stay young and healthy naturally.
1. Too Much Sugar
It may be hard to believe, but approximately 18% of the American diet is sugar, and researchers estimate that the average American will consume a whopping 150lbs of it a year. Overconsumption of this is linked to obesity (another factor which can age someone quickly), diabetes and heart disease. It is also a culprit in the formation of wrinkles, as sugar will attach to the proteins in collagen and elastin and make the skin look older. Limit the intake of sugar to about 25g a day and get it from healthy sources like berries or dark chocolate.
A job which you do not enjoy or one which brings long work hours with it can cause the kind of chronic stress that will quickly age in the body, as well as compromising the immune system. It is also linked to decreased neurological function. If unable to change jobs, be sure to practice good self-care and include adequate rest, a healthy diet and stress reducers like spending time outside or with pets.
3. Overconsumption of Foods Containing AGE’s
Advanced glycation end products (AGE’s) enter the body when someone eats foods that are high in sugar or foods that have been browned, carmelized, roasted, broiled or fried. Also on the list of culprits are foods that have been processed or canned and high-fat dairy items like cheese. Reducing these in the diet will likewise reduce the chance of speeding up the aging process. Raw foods, or foods that have been steamed, poached or boiled also help reduce the risk.
4. Lack of Strength Training in the Exercise Routine
Resistance and strength training bring large benefits with them, especially for women. Since they lose muscle mass steadily after age thirty, these exercises are important to help to reverse that loss and even improve muscle mass. It is also great for the prevention of osteoporosis by keeping the bones strong and healthy. Scheduling 3 20-minute sessions of resistance exercises a week will keep the body fit and strong.
5. Inadequate Sleep
Most Americans simply do not get enough sleep, and when this happens, the hormone cortisol is released. Cortisol has been linked to an acceleration of the aging process as well as to weight gain. Getting 7 1/2 to 8 hours of sleep a night is linked, on the other hand, to a faster metabolism, stronger immune system, better digestion and increased capacity for healing, all of which can help keep the body young.
These five common mistakes can accelerate the aging process in the body. Fortunately, they are all factors that the individual can control to improve health and stay younger for a longer period of time.
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