This article is sponsored by Cell-IQ.com, proud makers of Immune-IQ, the breakthrough supplement for people who are "sick of being sick, and tired of being tired."
It's a gift to live a long, full life - and aging is a natural and inevitable process. It's possible to age prematurely with bad habits, so here are 11 ways you could be unknowingly aging yourself.
It's not surprising that being a couch potato isn't good for your health, but a study from the University of Queensland in Australia found that "every hour of television watched after age 25 was associated with a 22-minute reduction in average life expectancy," WebMD reported. That reality show about survival just reduced yours.
Listening to music
If you automatically pop on a set of headphones while going about daily tasks, you could be aging your ears. Stave off hearing loss by limiting the amount of time you wear earbuds or bigger headphones (one expert suggests an hour per day) and turning down the volume, so people around you can't hear your music, according to U.S. News and World Report Health.
Losing sight of your eye health
It's easy to notice little lines and wrinkles appearing over time around your eyes (and dash for the store to find an eye cream), but have you thought about taking care of your vision? People who don't have the need for vision-correcting glasses or contacts may forget to check in with an optometrist or ophthalmologist periodically to ensure their eyes are healthy.
Turning up the heat
Staying toasty warm in the wintertime may do a number on your skin. As realbuzz.com notes, "The central heating and air conditioning systems that many of us use at home and at work can severely dry out skin, leading to premature ageing and wrinkles." Turn down the heat and wear layers, and use a humidifier or even put a glass of water in each room. Your skin will thank you.
Drinking from bottles and through straws
Copious consumption of sodas is hurting waistlines and blood sugar levels across the country, but how you drink (even if it's water) can make you look older. "Sucking on straws and drinking out of sports bottles causes the same pursing action - and therefore the same fine lines and wrinkles around the mouth - as smoking," realbuzz.com says. Pour your drinks into a glass before imbibing.
Still sticking to a low fat diet? That's so '90s. The advice to steer clear of all fats has been proven not just wrong but harmful. Our bodies and brains need fats - at least, healthy ones. Scientific research advises limiting saturated fat, eliminating trans fats and embracing unsaturated fats. Omega-3 fatty acids are "the ultimate anti-aging fat, essential for protecting your brain, heart, bones, joints, skin, and more," according to Prevention. Look for fatty fish, nuts, and olive oil.
Not making intimacy a priority
Having an active sex life is a great anti-aging tactic. Studies show that people who regularly are intimate with their spouses "have stronger immune systems, less pain, a lower cancer risk, healthier hearts, and less stress," according to Prevention.
Not helping your hands
If you've looked down and had the shock of thinking, "When did I get my mom's hands?" it's probably past time to take better care of them. Many of us may be getting the message about slathering on sunscreen to protect against skin cancer, but our hands might be missing out. Faces, arms, shoulders and necks tend to be the priority for sunscreen. Don't forget the backs of your hands when blocking the sun.
Ignoring your feet
Staying active and on your feet is a good thing for the rest of your body, but it can do a number on various parts of your feet. Stay on your toes about what you can do to treat them well. Take a little extra time to find shoes that fit well, WebMD recommends, prevent ingrown toenails by trimming your nails "straight across with clean, sharp nail scissors" (don't round the corners) and stretch your calf muscles (WebMD suggests doing this three times a day), so you don't put more stress on the balls of your feet.
Exercising but not using weights
Exercise is one of the best tools to stay healthy and young. Moving in all kinds of ways, even just walking or gardening, can boost your mood and reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes and some kinds of cancers, among plenty of other benefits. But don't ignore strength training. It protects bone health and muscle mass, improves balance and coordination, and can prevent disease, according to Everyday Health - all things that are lifelong concerns.
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Your body is doing all it can to stay healthy and age well. Treat it with care with good habits and help it be well from within with Immune-IQ.