3 Everyday Habits That Age You
Most of us know the popular premature aging bandits; the sun, smoke, sleep, and chronic stress. Of course, there are the other hooligans; diet, drinking a lot, drugs, dehydration, and so forth.
Taking care of your body is a full-time job. Yet, it's not healthy to be obsessed with perfectionism. We just don't want to speed up the natural aging process.
While scrolling through the phone recently, I noticed that my posture was lousy. So, I stood in front of a mirror to correct it. What I first noticed were creases in my neck that weren't apparent before. Then, it got me thinking about ordinary habits that may be aging us.
Can you think of any seemingly harmless quirks? For instance, we make repeated facial expressions throughout the day, such as raising our eyebrows or frowning. Before you know it, those habits can make a permanent mark.
Obviously, you're reading this on your computer or smartphone. It's normal in today's world to become so immersed in our gadgets that we forget to control our posture. Text neck (or turtle neck) is real!
According to Physiopedia, "Text neck is a modern age term coined by US chiropractor, Dr. DL Fishman to describe repeated stress injury and pain in the neck resulting from excessive watching or texting on handheld devices over a sustained period of time. It is also known as Turtle Neck posture or anterior head syndrome."
The average head is about 10-14 pounds. That's a lot of weight to support! Add in stressing your neck by leaning forward; it's like carrying a child on your shoulders.
The Imperial Journal of Interdisciplinary Research conducted a review which stated, "Text neck directly affects the spine while flexing the head forward at varying degrees -when the head tilts forward at 15 degrees, the forces on the neck surge to 27 pounds, at 30 degrees 40 pounds, at 45 degrees 49 pounds and at 60 degrees 60 pounds, then at 90 degrees the model prediction was not reliable."
Spine and Med Clinics of North America explain that bad posture can lead to a nerve system disruption, neck and back pain, organ functioning disruption, joint problems, chronic fatigue, and headaches.
Did you know that you can get text neck lines? Those horizontal creases in your neck could be due to your posture, not sagging. It's also a sign that your posture could be in worse shape than you thought.
We all understand that good posture is more important. But, who wants to age unnaturally thanks to habits like texting, reading, and using the computer? We're not giving up our phones or computers, so how can someone remedy these horizontal neck lines? Here are a few possible solutions.
1. Mind your posture.
After all, poor posture is what caused them. The American Chiropractic Association details how to sit, stand, and lay correctly. Take frequent breaks from your devices by stretching, walking around, and minimizing use.
2. Sleep on your back.
According to Sleep.org, only 8% of people sleep on their backs, but it's considered the best position. Check with your doctor if you have underlying conditions, such as sleep apnea, that may prevent you.
University of Rochester Medical Center says, "Put a towel or small pillow under the back of your knees to create even alignment."
Use Rescue Skin Serum, and, if possible, coconut oil, cocoa butter, or a nourishing moisturizer by gently massaging it into your neck. Neck skin is much thinner and more delicate. Plus, it doesn't produce moisture as your face does.
4. Posture Exercises.
Chiropractor, Dr. Oliver gives three exercises that could help in fixing forward head posture. Sharp Healthcare also has a great video of stretches that may improve text neck. Yoga moves are used by numerous people to straighten their alignment.
Sipping through a straw regularly can cause "smoker's lips or lines," whether you smoke or not. Water bottles with small openings or straws fall in the same group. Maybe you're eco-friendly and bought a set of stainless steel straws. Perhaps, you use a straw to drink your tea or coffee to minimize staining your teeth or cavities.
Sadly, your good intentions can be another sneaky aging culprit. There's not much evidence that straws minimize teeth stains or cavities. You can always your dentist on your next visit to confirm this.
Mark Berhenne, DDS said, "Keep in mind that the tongue is in constant contact with the teeth, so if any soda or coffee touches your tongue, it will also get on your teeth. If you’ve tasted the drink, the teeth have been exposed."
You won't develop lines by the puckering your lips through a straw once in a while, but using one often will. Pursing your lips throughout the day as a blind fixation can also cause them. While sleeping, I clench my teeth and make all sorts of mouth movements without my night guard which has caused lines.
Straws don't only cause smoker's lips. Northwestern Medicine explains, "When you go to sip a drink from a straw, you first suck in a straw-length volume of air, which ends up trapped in your stomach."
If making facial expressions, such as puckering your lips can cause smoker's lips, then possibly exercising your face can counteract them. Fumiko of Face Yoga Method suggests trying catered exercises to minimize the lines.
It's a good thing if your favorite coffee shop removed straws for environmental purposes. It's to your benefit in many ways. Opt for a water bottle with an opening that you don't have to suck.
We live in an advanced world. People spend hours exposed to blue light-emitting from technological accessories. Most of us know that reading for a long time can take a toll on our vision. Bad vision can cause squinting and other unwanted facial expressions to become set fixtures.
Sunlight has a spectrum of colors with contrasting energy; red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet light. So, it naturally surrounds us. Yet, blue light from artificial sources can affect your aging process due to overexposure, especially to your eyes. The after-effects could be computer vision syndrome (digital eye strain).
All About Vision cites, "Less than one percent of UV radiation from the sun reaches the retina, even if you aren't wearing sunglasses. On the other hand, virtually all visible blue light passes through the cornea and lens and reaches the retina."
They also mention that not all blue light is unhealthy; stating blue light therapy for depression can be beneficial. Although, too much of it at night can interrupt your circadian rhythm. Moderation is key.
But, can it damage our skin?
The laboratories of the Ionizing and Non-ionizing Radiation Protection Research Center (INIRPRC) state, "Exposure to light emitted from electronic devices on human skin cells, even in case of short exposures, can increase the generation of reactive oxygen species. Skin is a major target of oxidative stress and the link between aging and oxidative stress is well documented. Especially, extrinsic skin aging can be caused by oxidative stress."
Research is still being conducted on blue light. It can be conflicting since it's still fresh. With so many skincare companies promoting "blue light" sunscreen protection, it's best to be cautious. Not all science has backed those claims. For now, we know for sure that it can impair your vision and throw off your circadian rhythm. Those two results can age anyone. Find your balance.
Medical Disclaimer: Nothing posted on Rescue Skin is medical advice or a substitute for advice from your physician or healthcare provider. Always contact your physician or other healthcare providers with any questions about a medical condition or your health.