Unlock the Fountain of Youth: 20 Habits to Avoid to Age Well

People can never live forever, and there’s no such thing as immortality. However, what we can do is change our habits so we can live a full, long, and happy life. It’ll be difficult, but it’s not impossible. We’ve listed the top 20 habits you must avoid to age well, so don’t miss out!

Consuming Processed Food

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Processed food like canned meat has become increasingly popular. However, research by Mia Lucas of the University of Punjab, published on ResearchGate, notes that processed food is usually high in calories, sugar, salt, and fat. On the other hand, it’s low in the healthy stuff we need, like fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Because of this, people become inclined to eat more without feeling full, eventually leading to obesity and diabetes.

Smoking or Puffing on Cigarettes

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People have been warned of the harmful effects of smoking for years. These effects have also been printed onto some posters and even the packaging of other cigarette brands. However, even with this, smokers still fail to realize how detrimental smoking is to their health. According to a study done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, puffing on cigarettes can lead to lung cancer, shortness of breath, heart attack, and more.

Avoiding Physical Activity

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Lots of people think exercise should only be done if you want to lose weight. However, beyond that, staying active is key to sustaining the overall well-being of your body. According to the National Library of Medicine, exercise may affect levels of blood-based biomarkers, such as insulin, triglycerides, cholesterol, and more.

Sustaining High Stress Levels

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Being stressed at work, school, or even in relationships is normal. However, one must be more mindful of their stress levels. Sustaining high stress levels for extended periods may impact one’s eating patterns and overall health.

Drinking Too Much Alcohol

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Getting drunk can cause many things to go wrong on the spot: you can hit someone if you drive under the influence, you can be taken advantage of by somebody, and more. However, in the long run, overindulging in alcohol has a lot more serious effects on one’s body. As the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism notes, “Half of liver disease deaths in the United States are caused by alcohol.” Additional research also shows the important and concerning correlation between alcohol consumption and breast cancer.

Skimping on Quality Sleep

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According to the Healthy Living Guide of 2020-2021 of the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, sleep is “as essential to our daily needs as food and water.” This is because getting ample sleep a day helps with brain and physical functions. The lack of sleep can also be linked to many chronic health problems, like high blood pressure, stroke, depression, and more.

Giving in to Sugar Cravings

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Having sweet treats every now and then isn’t bad, but what’s detrimental to your health is if you constantly give in to your cravings. This is because when you consume sugary treats, too much glucose enters your body. This raises insulin levels, causing sugar to get stored as fat, then cells become insulin-resistant, eventually leading to obesity and diabetes. Later on, obesity can lead to heart disease, high blood pressure, joint problems, and more.

Neglecting Your H2O Consumption

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At some point in your biology classes when you were younger, we’re sure you’ve been taught that around 60% of the human body is water. As you go about your day, your body’s water levels deplete due to sweating and more, and we need to replenish it. If we don’t, we’ll suffer from persistent headaches, fatigue, and even weight gain.

Skipping Sunscreen

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Some people see sunscreen as just another part of their daily skin routine. Others perceive it as a way for brands to sell more products. However, in truth, sunscreens are needed to counter the sun’s UV rays. The International Journal of Cosmetic Science also notes that “large-scale epidemiological studies have shown the benefits of sunscreen use in preventing skin cancer.”

Avoiding Fruits and Vegetables

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If you don’t consume enough fruits and vegetables on a daily basis, you are more susceptible to vitamin deficiencies and certain disorders. For example, if you lack Vitamin C, you may be more prone to getting scurvy—a disease that causes anemia, gum disease, and more.

Sitting Around for Extended Periods

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This bad habit goes hand in hand with the lack of physical activity or exercise. When you lounge around for long periods, you make yourself more prone to chronic health problems. Aside from being more susceptible to diabetes and multiple types of cancers, you are also more prone to develop depression and dementia.

Snacking at Midnight

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Eating some fruit or vegetable sticks late at night every now and then won’t hurt. But the real problem behind midnight snacks is that people tend to choose more unhealthy options—like sugary treats, chips, and more. Additionally, humans need food for energy, but when you eat late at night, your metabolic rate is already low; your body no longer needs the extra energy it’ll get from the snack, and the calories will be stored as fat instead of expended as energy.

Exposing Yourself to Too Much Sun

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The sun is a vital source of energy. However, it also emits harmful rays from which we must protect ourselves. Though effects vary, and some, like erythema or hyperpigmentation, are more acute, let’s not forget that sun exposure can also cause skin cancer in some people.

Relying on Excessive Caffeine

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Most people can’t start the day without a cup of coffee–or maybe two. But remember that caffeine can be found in more than just coffee, so you need to be more mindful of the amount of caffeine you consume daily. The US Food and Drug Administration considers 400 milligrams a safe amount of caffeine for healthy adults. For reference, about 95 milligrams of caffeine are in 8 ounces or 1 cup of brewed coffee.

Overindulging in Screen Time

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Though entertaining yourself through your phones, tablets, computers, or televisions is a great way to pass the time, remember that too much of anything is bad. Research done on the health effects of screen time showed that with increased screen time come possible effects such as headaches, eye strain, body pain, sleep deprivation, and more. This may possibly be because of the UV light they emit.

Sipping Through a Straw

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Straws have become increasingly popular, especially with the rise of reusable tumblers worldwide. However, straws of any type can cause adverse health effects such as excess bloating due to the increased amount of air you need to trap in your mouth to sip and drink through the straw. In a more aesthetic sense, drinking from straws also gives you more wrinkles!

Overexposing Your Eyes to Sunlight

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David Turbert published an article in the American Academy of Ophthalmology focusing on the effects of the sun and its UV light on a person’s eyes. Like how the sun damages our skin, its UV radiation can also damage our eyes’ surface tissues, cornea, and lens. This can later on lead to cataracts, eye cancers, snow blindness, and more.

Preferring to Sleep on One’s Side

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Aside from waking up with sore muscles, sleeping on your side can also impact your health. When you sleep on your side, you compress and stress out your skin, eventually causing wrinkles. And, more than your sore muscles, sleeping on your side can increase your risk of shoulder pain.

Jumping on Fad Diet Trends

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There are many so-called effective diet strategies out there. However, it’s best to consult a doctor before following any diet trend. If you keep jumping from one kind of diet to the next, you may mess up your internal system. This may also lead you to yo-yo dieting, which will lead to poor health conditions, like bone diseases, anemia, metabolic abnormalities, and more.

Neglecting Intimate Connections

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Peter Morales-Brown wrote an article on Medical News Today about the health benefits of physical intimacy. In his article, he noted that intimate connections “may boost certain aspects of people’s well-being and physical health.” In fact, studies show that it can help reduce the risk of prostate cancer in men.

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20 Things You’re Doing That Make You a Bad Neighbor

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People have different personalities; that’s a fact. When you move somewhere with a tight-knit community, you will get to know many people who will either clash with your personality or make you feel like you’ve found a new friend. However, no matter what it is, remember to establish boundaries. If you don’t, you might soon see a lot of bad blood between you and other people in the community!

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20 Signs You Have Little to No Emotional Support in Your Relationship

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20 Christian Practices That Confuse and Puzzle Others

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All regions differ in some way. Catholics collect saint cards and plan their vacations around religious sights, and Buddhists believe in karma and reincarnation. Like them, Christians also practice some things that are simply unheard of or puzzling for others. They practice tithing, cast out demons, and more!

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Author: Karen Danao


Karen is a writer and also a marketing and advertising professional. Beyond the keyboard and the screen, she is someone who’s out to enjoy every bit that life has to offer!

Poetry, philosophy, history, and movies are all topics she loves writing about! However, her true passion is in traveling, photography, and finding common ground to which everyone from different cultures can relate.