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Five Simple Ways to Live Longer

Scientists in the field of anti-aging medicine are coming up with remarkable new drugs and therapies from stem cells to gene-splicing, all of which, when perfected, promise to radically extend the human lifespan.

But, until those visions come to fruition, there is a lot you can do right now to live a longer and healthier life. Here are five simple anti-aging tips everyone should be doing right now.

Cut Out Soda and Sugary Soft Drinks

A study at the University of California—San Francisco found that people who consumed more sugar-sweetened drinks, such as soda, had shorter telomeres, the part of our cells that hold DNA. Telomeres get shorter as they age; when they get too short, they die. “Regular consumption of sugar-sweetened sodas might influence metabolic disease development through accelerated cell aging,” wrote the study’s authors.

Reduce Your Sugar Intake

Excess sugar consumption is not healthy for many reasons, not the least of which is an increased risk of obesity, which can shorten your lifespan in many ways. But did you know that too much sugar can actually make you look older? Our skin is supported by two compounds, collagen, and elastin, which keep it looking plump and youthful. According to a study published in the journal Clinical Dermatology, when high levels of sugar are consumed, it binds to amino acids in collagen and elastin, damaging them and blocking the body’s efforts at repair.

Reduce Stress

If you have ever thought, “all this stress is killing me,” you were not far from the truth. Taking measures now to reduce stress can lengthen your life. Harvard Medical School reports that chronic stress can also shorten telomeres. Not only is telomere-shortening the literal process of aging, but people with shorter telomeres are at risk of serious diseases, including heart disease and cancer. The experts suggest deep breathing, yoga, and exercise such as Tai Chi or Qigong as excellent ways to reduce stress.

Reduce Your Consumption of Alcohol

Alcohol dehydrates the body and causes inflammation—two shortcuts to looking older. A 2019 study of more than 3,200 women found that those who drank more than eight drinks a week had more “upper facial lines, under-eye puffiness, oral commissures, midface volume loss, and blood vessels” than women who drank moderately or not at all.

Get Enough Deep Restful Sleep

According to a study published in Clinical and Experimental Dermatology, women who said they frequently got quality sleep had 30% better “skin-barrier recovery” and “significantly lower intrinsic skin aging” than women who reported poor sleep. To stay youthful, don’t skimp on your shut-eye—experts recommend seven to nine hours of quality sleep every night.

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