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Sun Protection, Stress Management, and Other Anti-Aging Habits to Practice Daily

1 month, 2 weeks ago

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Posted on May 10, 2024, 3 p.m.

Despite health and technological advancements that have increased the average life expectancy over the years, accelerated aging remains a prevalent health concern. A previous post discussed how increased biological age, an indicative sign of accelerated aging, may increase the risk of cancers in younger generations, particularly adults under the age of 55. Specifically, accelerated aging was associated with an increased risk of early-onset lung cancer by 42%, early-onset gastrointestinal cancer by 22%, and early-onset uterine cancer by 22%.

Other age-related diseases that negatively affect overall health and life expectancy include cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and hypertension. Fortunately, increased biological age can be influenced by lifestyle factors like diet, physical activity, and mental health — entailing the following daily habits to prevent aging and improve overall wellness.

Invest in sun protection

Ultraviolet radiation is one of the primary risk factors for premature aging and skin cancer, making sun protection essential to daily life. This starts with regularly applying mineral sunscreen like the SilkScreen SPF 50 Sunscreen, which provides broad-spectrum protection against UVA and UVB rays on exposed areas like the face and neck.

Since UV damage can also compromise the eyes and raise the risk of age-related vision problems like cataracts and macular degeneration, wearing sunglasses must also be a daily habit for optimal eye care. Optical retailer Clearly carries a wide range of UV-protective sunglasses to fit your budget, from affordable in-house collections with oversized acrylic frames to luxury options like the Ray-Ban Wayfarer Classic, which provides adequate coverage.

Practice stress management techniques

Beyond genetics, stress levels can also be a determining factor for life expectancy. While it’s normal to encounter stressors in daily life, studies suggest that toxic stress loads accumulated through life can accelerate the aging process and even contribute to the risk of early mortality through chronic diseases like heart disease.

So, whether your stressors stem from work, school, or personal relationships, ensure that you keep your stress levels in check through relaxation techniques. These range from simple daily habits like praying, going outdoors, and writing in a journal to physical activities like yoga, taichi, and deep breathing exercises.

Get enough sleep

Another important lifestyle factor you can’t overlook is sleep, as a lack of quality sleep can otherwise bring about a range of health problems, including heart disease, high blood pressure, anxiety and depression, and obesity. Although aging can affect sleep patterns and play a role in disorders like excessive daytime sleepiness, adults can meet the recommended seven to nine hours of quality sleep each night through sleep hygiene practices. These include reducing caffeine intake, especially in the late afternoon and early evening, and meditating before sleep.

Maintain a healthy weight

Weight management is an essential component of healthy aging, as it not only reduces the risk of chronic diseases but also improves function and quality of life, even in old age. Eating a balanced diet is one of the most effective ways to lose weight, but health experts warn against the risk of weight regain if you can’t sustain diet and nutrition.

As such, dietitians suggest adopting a Mediterranean eating pattern in the long term, as this approach focuses on healthy fats, whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables instead of solely relying on calorie restriction. Pair this nutrient-rich diet with the relaxing physical activities mentioned earlier for more sustainable results.

Overall, the aging process is normal, but the aforementioned lifestyle choices can slow down the signs of aging and improve your overall health outcomes in the present and later life stages.

This article was written for WHN by RUTH ANN JOHN who is a freelance writer who enjoys writing about health, wellness, and sustainability. When she’s not typing away at her keyboard, you can find her completing an oil painting or doing DIY projects.

As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before changing your wellness routine. This article is not intended to provide a medical diagnosis, recommendation, treatment, or endorsement. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. 

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