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Holding back the years

Holding back the years
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None of us want to look or feel old before our time, but often we don’t think about how much our daily actions influence the ageing process. Cut back on these practices today for a more beautiful, healthier tomorrow.

Throwing the most elaborate, perfect party ever

Throwing the most elaborate, perfect party ever
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Perfectionism is a toxic side effect of our social-media-saturated culture, causing undue stress as we try to keep up with not just the Joneses but with everyone else on the planet, according to psychotherapist Mike Dow, PsyD, PhD, author of Chicken Soup for the Soul: Think, Act & Be Happy. “Perfectionism plagues the brain with negative thoughts which cause a release of stress hormones, and that can actually accelerate ageing,” he explains. “While it’s fantastic to want to do your best, it’s also OK to have a B+ house party or to take a day off to relax and do nothing.” Teach yourself to meditate and beat stress here.

Ignoring your depression and hoping it goes away

Ignoring your depression and hoping it goes away
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Recent research has found that depression isn’t just uncomfortable; it also makes you age faster by accelerating brain shrinkage, Dr. Dow says. Take your mental health as seriously as your physical health and be sure to seek professional help if you’ve been struggling with dark days for more than two weeks. Cognitive behavioural therapy, or CBT, can help you feel happier fast, he adds. Discover 51 everyday habits that reduce your risk of dementia.

Being too busy to slap on some sunscreen every morning

Being too busy to slap on some sunscreen every morning
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It doesn’t matter if you’re not hitting the beach or spending all day outside – you still need to apply sunscreen every day, says Jacob Steiger, MD, a facial plastic surgeon. The sun is the biggest factor in ageing skin, so if you don’t want wrinkles before your time, make sure you’re applying a lotion with at least SPF 30 every morning, he says. His pro tip: Put it on first before any make-up or other products. Learn the eight summer skincare tips dermatologists follow.

Having a cigarette or two on the weekends

Having a cigarette or two on the weekends
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Think that just because you’re only a “social smoker”, you’re safe from the harmful effects of cigarettes? Nope. Tobacco contains more than 3,800 chemical components, which can damage skin tissue, making you older both inside and out, Dr. Steiger says. “Smoking also triggers enzymes that break down the skin’s elasticity and cause fine lines and wrinkles,” he adds. Find out the 15 mind-blowing ways your body heals after you quit smoking.

Bailing on girls’ or guys’ night out

Bailing on girls’ or guys’ night out
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Friends aren’t just good for remembering your birthday or picking you up from the airport; friendships also have powerful anti-ageing benefits. “Studies have shown that people with a strong social network and satisfying relationships tend to lead longer (not to mention happier) lives,” says Hersha Diaz, PhD, a licensed clinical psychologist. Set a monthly friend night and resist the urge to skip it for an evening on the couch with Netflix. Find out seven of our most annoying habits – and why we do them.

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Having a to-do list longer than your grocery list

Having a to-do list longer than your grocery list
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In our “go, go, go” culture, it’s natural to have daily demands and deadlines, but if you’re constantly running from one thing to the next, caught in a whirlwind of business, you are ageing yourself faster, Dr. Diaz says. “Stress hormones cause your blood vessels to constrict, and chronic stress increases your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke. It can also cause or exacerbate mental health problems,” she explains. Here are 19 things you can do in under 10 minutes to live longer.

Hitting up the cafe every day

Hitting up the cafe every day
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Drinking coffee is a major part of many people’s daily lives, but your java habit may be ageing you, says David Greuner, MD, of NYC Surgical Associates. “Coffee lowers dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), a hormone that keeps appearance youthful and reduces inflammation.” Levels of this critical hormone start to drop naturally as you age, and coffee accelerates the process. Limit yourself to one or two cups a day, max. Check out the 10 things that happen to your body the moment you quit drinking coffee.

Sleeping on a cheap pillowcase

Sleeping on a cheap pillowcase
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Think about it: Every night you’re pressing the delicate skin of your face into your pillow for eight hours straight. So if your pillowcase is made from anything other than silk, you could be bringing on premature wrinkles and sagging, Dr. Greuner says. “Pillowcases made of cotton restrict your skin from smoothly moving and keeping its natural shape and form,” he explains. Here are 7 surprising ways to get more sleep.

Ordering a bottle of wine to go with dinner

Ordering a bottle of wine to go with dinner
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When it comes to ageing and alcohol, there’s a fine line between protective and problematic. Some studies have found that the occasional glass of wine may offer some anti-ageing benefits, but more than one drink a day can decrease your lifespan, says Bindaya Gandhi, MD. “Excessive alcohol consumption ages people faster by causing a neurodegenerative decline, worsening hormone imbalances, causing sleep problems, and increasing body fat, which can lead to numerous (and ageing) medical problems like diabetes,” she explains. Find out the 15 health myths that make doctors cringe.

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Philippines lockdown update:
Please be advised that due to the current lockdown in the Philippines, we hope to have the April print issue available by the middle of July, and the May, June and July issues available by the end of July, but this is dependent on when local lockdown restrictions are lifted. We sincerely apologise for this inconvenience. Thank you and stay safe!
– The Reader’s Digest team