Not only does looking younger and healthier increase your self-esteem, studies have shown that it also has potential to improve your professional life, too. This goes for both men and women, with men (particularly in Silicon Valley and other highly competitive areas) increasingly opting for aesthetic procedures, such as Botox injections. Of course, being more attractive to your partner or your romantic prospects is another great benefit to making yourself look healthier.
There are many ways to turn back the clock, and some of them are free. If you drop these bad habits, you’ll take years off your face, but it’s really what on the inside that counts—ditching these habits can make you physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually healthier, too.
- Put down the drink. When alcoholism is rising, like it is in America, there’s an increase in people aging beyond their years, too. While some experts say drinking in moderation is alright and even healthy, binging or too much alcohol does a number on many organs including your liver and skin. Side effects can include poor sleep, overeating (which can lead to carrying excess weight) and burst blood vessels. If you can’t or don’t want to stop at one or two drinks per session, you might consider getting help to stop drinking entirely.
- Stop smoking … and vaping. Smoking anything can lead to an increase in wrinkles around the mouth. However, tobacco and the latest trends such as “vaping” can make you look particularly older and less healthy. It can lead to yellow skin, deep wrinkles, and the smell certainly doesn’t evoke the fountain of youth. Unlike alcohol, there’s no potential upside to smoking. It’s important to get help quitting right away as one of the best ways to boost your health.
- Ditch processed food. Ideally, seek out foods without a label. This will naturally increase your produce intake as well as proteins (if you’re an omnivore). Processed foods have been linked to a variety of cancers, and since you are what you eat the last thing you want to munch on is a bunch of chemicals.
- Avoid added sugars. Sugars found in nature, such as in fruits, can be a healthy treat in moderation. However, we live in a culture that thrives on added sugars. These “empty calories” can lead to excess weight, which can make you look older and is connected to numerous diseases including heart disease and diabetes.
- Stop avoiding exercise. It’s recommended that every person enjoy 150 minutes of cardio exercise per week. However, sarcopenia (age-related muscle loss) can make you look older than you are. Muscle is a sign of youth, so including strength training as well as balance, flexibility, and agility training in your workouts is important. Being a healthy weight is important, but that’s not the totality of “fitness.”
Looking at what you can stop doing instead of what you need to start doing is one of the best approaches to a happier, healthier, younger-looking you. Remember that it takes time to develop habits, both good and bad, so choose realistic goals that are timely. Within a month, commit to stopping at least one bad habit for good and re-assess how you look and feel. Also, bear in mind that it takes time to see dramatic results. Be kind to yourself and don’t set goals that are too challenging because those are the easiest to give up.