The last thing you want to look like is Lindsay Lohan at 27, am I right? (Sorry Lilo). But she’s a perfect example of somebody who has let their bad habits get the best of them. And as a result, they look much older than they really are.
In the age-obsessed world that we live in, it’s ironic how we develop bad habits that speed up the aging process. Millions of dollars are spent every year for age reversing procedures and treatments. But develop good habits now and you can stay looking and feeling young for decades to come.
We talked to anti-aging expert Dr. Ryan Yermus from Toronto’s Life Balance Clinic on what he thought were women’s worst age promoting habits .
Eating out should be a luxury, not a habit. But in the fast paced life that we live in the easy option is to grab something on-the-go. The problem with this according to Dr. Yermus is the amount of simple sugars, fat, and sodium that are found in a lot of these foods.
Try to minimize the amount of fast food runs during the week. Prepackage your lunch the night before so you don’t have to rush in the morning. Include fruits and vegetables to snack on and remember to drink lots the water throughout the day. Not only will you have more money in your pocket but the long term benefits can be seen inside and out.
“Eating healthy will help the body function, prevent heart disease, cancer and help you look better,” says Dr. Yermus.
Too much cardio, not enough weight training
Women should be exercising at least 30 minutes, three times a week. Simple enough, right? Dr. Yermus notes that although a lot of women do workout, many make the mistake of just doing one type of exercise. “When women do exercise, a lot of the time they just focus on cardio. Weight training is really important, especially in women for maintaining bone health,” he says. Women are at higher risk of osteoporosis and weight training is one of the best forms of prevention.
Dr. Yermus recommends doing push ups or using small dumbbells. If you really want to push yourself, “Get familiar with some of the weight equipment in the gym. Don’t be intimidated or think it will make you bulky. It won’t,“ says Dr. Yermus.
Lack of sleep
You should be having 6-8 hours of sleep a night. Dr. Yermus says getting enough sleep is absolutely critical because that’s when the body repairs itself. Not to mention, the less sleep you get, the more tired you’ll look and feel.
There’s nothing good about smoking. Not only does it age you, it increases your risk of heart disease, stroke and it’s the leading cause of cancer.
Doctor’s orders: If you consider yourself a “social smoker” consider breaking the habit now. “Most smokers started off as social smokers,” says Dr. Yermus. With addictive properties such as nicotine, every time you “socialize” you’re slowly getting addicted. Especially in the summer months when people love going out for a casual smoke, if you’re smoking most days a week you’re still a smoker. “By the time winter comes and you’re not socializing as much, your brain and your body still wants that nicotine.” And by then, it may be too hard to resist the urge to light up.
Now who doesn’t love their glass of wine at dinner? Or a casual beer with friends at the patio? Alcohol is fine in moderation, but admit it, we’ve had that night where we had one too many. “When you have more than two drinks a night, it becomes problematic. It’s a strain on your liver, it dehydrates the body, and has negative impact on your skin,” says Dr. Yermus.
The recommended amount of alcohol is ten glasses a week. But don’t get it twisted, if you don’t drink all week you can’t have all ten glasses in one night.
Women love to get their tan on, but too much sun can be bad for you. Not only does it increase your chances of skin cancer and melanoma, your skin will age faster.
“That tan may look nice today, but ten years down the road you’re going to have more wrinkles, dark spots and blemishes,“ says Dr. Yermus.
If you do plan to spend time under the sun, always wear sunscreen and reapply throughout the day.
The moral of the story here is not to take advantage of your body. You may be young now, but everything catches up with you. The worst feeling is having to deal with the effects of your poor habits when it’s too late.
Dr. Ryan Yermus runs Life Balance Clinic located in Toronto. He is board certified by the American Academy of Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine. His focus is on prevention of illness and making his patients look and feel healthy.