18. Don’t smoke
One of the side effects of smoking is that it makes you look much older. Smoking has a severely negative impact on your health, and it also ruins your hair, skin, and teeth. After smoking on a regular basis, you get wrinkles, your teeth appear yellow, and your skin, hair, and nails look dull and unhealthy. Smokers are often seen as much older than they are.
Smoking reduces the blood flow to the skin and prevents essential oxygen and vitamins from reaching tissue. This causes tissue damage, exacerbated by the direct adverse effect of smoking on collagen and elastin. It also causes bags under the eyes due to reduced blood flow to the eyes, giving the appearance of always being tired and drawn. Smokers often have thinner hair than non-smokers and tend to go gray younger.
Smoking significantly increases your risk of dying. Insurance companies recognize this and bump up your contributions if you smoke. Smokers can pay up to four times higher than non-smokers. They suffer from far more health problems of all descriptions, such as all types of cancer. They also do not heal as well after surgery.
Cigarette smoke contains carbon monoxide that displaces oxygen in the skin. It contains nicotine that reduces blood flow. It also depletes the nutrients consumed, such as vitamin C, which protects against tissue damage. Smoking can even increase the risk of cataracts in the eyes because it puts oxidative stress on the lens. If you smoke, you already know you need to give up – and knowing more about its impact on your body and how it reduces your life expectancy may give you the motivation you need to give up.
19. Wear sunglasses
Wearing sunglasses is pretty much like using anti-wrinkle cream. They not only protect your eyes from the glare of the sun but they prevent you from squinting. If you’re always squinting when you’re outdoors, you can develop crow’s feet and wrinkles. An inexpensive pair of sunglasses from the drugstore may look cool but will not necessarily offer the type of protection your eyes need.
The type of sunglasses you wear is essential. They need to have UVA/UVB protection. UVA rays cause signs of aging and UVB rays are known to cause cancer. Polarized lenses eliminate the brightness of the light coming off reflective surfaces like water, sand, and snow. Metal frames can reflect sunlight causing the tops of your cheeks to burn. Look for sunglasses that thoroughly cover your eyes. Wrap round ones will block out glare from the side as well as the front.
Our eyes are sensitive, and prolonged exposure to the sun can cause all kinds of problems. With age, people can develop macular degeneration. Using sunglasses protects the photo-receptors from UV damage and can help to prevent loss of vision. Protecting your eyes can also slow down the development of cataracts. It can also prevent skin cancer of the eyelids and avoid the formation of tissue growth over the white part of the eye surface, altering the curve of the eyeball and causing astigmatism (Pterygium).
Bright sunlight can also trigger bad headaches or migraines. Wearing sunglasses when you’re outdoors will reduce eye strain and make you more comfortable. They are a great fashion accessory but more importantly, your eyes will be protected and less subject to all the eye problems that come with aging.
20. Drink red wine
Resveratrol is a substance found in the skin of grapes. In studies done with mice, those whose diets were supplemented with resveratrol lived longer on average than the control group. The resveratrol reduced liver problems and diabetes in the mice, and lead to a decline in deaths related to obesity. The catch is that you would have to drink about 180 bottles of red wine a day to achieve these results.
Researchers are now working on developing a resveratrol pill containing an optimal amount but until it appears on the market, enjoying red wine has some other health benefits. According to a study at Johns Hopkins University, red wine may help to diminish the brain damage caused by stroke. Other research has shown that the procyanidins found in red wine could help with clogged arteries. This helps to lower bad cholesterol and reduce heart disease.
The antioxidants, including the resveratrol, in the red wine help to deal with the free radicals that play a significant role in aging and age-related health problems. It’s recommended that women drink one glass of red wine a day and men drink two. Any more than this recommended amount can have the opposite effect on health and appearance.
Drinking red wine on a daily basis may have such positive benefits as giving your skin a healthy glow and lowering your risk of cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. It may seem counter-intuitive but drinking that glass of red wine daily increases rather than decreases your brainpower as you get older. If you don’t want to drink red wine, other foods containing polyphenols and antioxidants will have the same effect. Blueberries, pomegranates or dark chocolate will do the trick.