Not everyone ages at the same rate. Some people show signs of aging earlier than others. Lifestyle choices, such as smoking and sun exposure, can lead to premature aging.
Science has also found various other factors that contribute to how quickly a person ages. Many of these factors are beyond a person’s control, but there are some lifestyle choices they can make to help protect against premature aging. In this article, we look at 10 science-backed ways for men to look younger.
1. Get more sleep
Sleep is essential for a person’s physical health and emotional well-being. According to the National Institutes of Health, adults need 7–9 hours of sleep each night to function at their best. Sleep is when the body heals itself, and studies have shown that people who get plenty of sleep are less likely to show signs of aging.
Sleep affects how a person looks, as well as how they feel. As people get older, their sleep patterns often change naturally. Many find it harder to fall asleep, and some wake up several times throughout the night.
Poor quality sleep can lead to adrenal fatigue and stress hormone imbalances, which cause the skin to age faster and contribute to weight gain, according to research published in The International Journal of Endocrinology.
The authors also recommend “getting enough sleep” as a strategy for reducing stress levels and cortisol production, both of which may contribute to premature aging.
A lack of sleep may contribute to premature aging because it can cause oxidative stress in the body. Oxidative stress occurs when free radicals accumulate faster than the body can remove them, which ultimately leads to cell damage.
2. Exercise regularly
Exercise is one of the best things a man can do to help prevent the signs and symptoms of aging. A study in the journal Circulation found that exercise can help increase telomere length. Telomeres are sections of DNA at the end of chromosomes that act as caps, protecting them from damage. They shorten as a person ages, which increases the risk of age-related health problems.
In an older study from Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, researchers found that regular exercise helps to slow down age-related changes in the immune system. The immune system weakens with age, making it more difficult for an older person to fight off infection.
Exercise also improves mood and keeps weight gain under control, which can make a person look younger.
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3. Lose weight
A man’s weight can affect how young or old they look. A body mass index (BMI) that is too high or too low can age a person’s appearance. A 2018 study found that the faces of people with a normal BMI looked 2 years younger than those who were underweight and 1.5 years younger than those with a BMI in the obese range.
Carrying excess weight, especially around the abdomen, can affect hormone levels and lead to health problems such as diabetes. Research has also linked being overweight with premature aging. In a study in the journal PLoS ONE, researchers found that people who were obese in their 20s were biologically 8 years older than those whose weight was normal.
If you are overweight or obese, losing weight can help protect against premature aging and reduce your risk of developing serious health problems.
A person can lose weight by adopting a healthful diet and exercising regularly. A doctor may also suggest medications to help people lose weight who have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater.
4. Eat more fruit and vegetables
A diet rich in fruits and vegetables is important for overall health. A 2013 study found that eating fruits and vegetables could protect against aging. The researchers found that the levels of antioxidants in a person’s blood were associated with age. Antioxidants are substances that occur naturally in plants, fruits, and other foods. They can protect against cell damage caused by free radicals, which are harmful compounds that enter the body from outside sources, such as the air pollution or cigarette smoke, or they can form inside the body during natural processes, such as metabolism.
5. Manage stress
Stress is a natural part of life. However, chronic stress can significantly affect a person’s appearance. For example, people who experience long-term stress often develop wrinkles around their eyes and mouth as a result of making facial expressions associated with anxiety.
Stress also triggers a burst of hormones that can cause skin issues, such as acne or rosacea. These changes are not just cosmetic; they can also lead to health problems, such as anxiety or depression.
6. Quit smoking
Studies have also found that smoking can prematurely age the skin by damaging collagen, which is a protein in the body that keeps the skin elastic. Also, researchers have observed that people who smoke have more lines around their lips than nonsmokers.
7. Laugh more
Laughing may help men look younger. Laughter can reduce the physical effects of stress on a person’s body. Consequently, reducing stress may help protect against premature aging. A person can integrate humor into their day by reading funny books, watching comedy movies, or spending time with friends and family.
8. Eat more fish
A study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition in 2013 found that eating fish may reduce signs of aging. The authors noted that the omega-3 fats and other nutrients in fish may help preserve skin elasticity, which is often a sign of healthy skin.
The omega-3 fatty acids in fish make your skin look smoother and more even. They also reduce inflammation and may prevent age-related damage to the skin by protecting against sunburn.
9. Use sunscreen
Sun exposure is a major risk factor for premature aging. This is because the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can damage the skin, causing it to become rough and leathery. To protect the skin from premature aging, people should regularly apply sunscreen products with an SPF of at least 30 to all exposed areas, including the face and hands. Sunscreens that contain oxybenzone and octinoxate may also help protect against fine lines and wrinkles.
10. Drink less alcohol
Alcohol has a range of effects on the body and brain. These include mood changes, anxiety, depression, and weight gain. As we age, our ability to tolerate alcohol decreases. Therefore, a man’s drinking habits in their 20s and 30s may affect how they look when they are older.
According to an article published in the journal Alcohol and Alcoholism, people who drink heavily tend to appear older than they are. This is because heavy drinking can cause wrinkles, red skin tones, and age spots.
The article also stresses that having too much alcohol can lead to dehydration and excessive drying of the skin. Excessive alcohol consumption can also lead to premature aging by damaging cells and blood vessels in the skin.
So there you have it, 10 ways to look younger. Feel free to try some or all of them. You may find that the key to looking younger is not a single change, but a combination of many things.