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5 Healthy Habits For A Youthful Appearance

Affinity Health, a leading provider of high-quality health cover, explores how adopting healthy habits can help you look and feel your best at any age.


A youthful appearance is not solely about skincare products or cosmetics; it starts from within.


“Although genetics does play a role in how you age, they are just one piece of the puzzle,” says Murray Hewlett, CEO of Affinity Health.


“How you age is also influenced by lifestyle choices. Remember, taking care of yourself from the inside is just as important, if not more so, as any beauty regimen you may follow.”

What Happens as We Age? 

As we age, our bodies undergo a series of natural and gradual changes.


Our muscles tend to lose mass and strength, decreasing mobility and strength. Bone density may decrease, increasing the risk of fractures. Skin becomes thinner and loses elasticity, resulting in wrinkles and sagging.


Metabolism slows down, making it easier to gain weight and more challenging to maintain muscle mass. 


Blood vessels may become less flexible, increasing the risk of high blood pressure and reduced blood flow. The heart may become less efficient, leading to a decreased exercise tolerance.

Habits That Help Slow the Hands of Time

These five habits contribute to a higher quality of life, allowing us to stay active, engaged, and youthful well into our later years.


Maintain A Balanced Diet

A nutritious diet is the foundation of youthful skin and a healthy body. Incorporate these dietary habits into your daily life:

  • Eat various fruits and vegetables: These provide essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that protect your skin from damage caused by free radicals and support collagen production.
  • Choose lean proteins: Incorporate sources like fish, poultry, beans, and tofu to help repair and build skin tissues.
  • Healthy fats: Omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fish, flaxseeds, and walnuts can help maintain skin elasticity and hydration.
  • Hydrate: Drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated from the inside out.
  • Limit sugar and processed foods: High sugar intake can lead to premature ageing by causing glycation. This process damages collagen and elastin fibres.
  • Antioxidant-rich foods: Berries, dark chocolate, and green tea are rich in antioxidants that can help protect your skin from oxidative stress.


Practice Sun Protection

Did you know excessive sun exposure is a leading cause of premature ageing? Sun damage is cumulative, meaning that the effects of sun exposure add up over time. Even if you don’t see immediate signs of ageing, the damage may become more apparent as you get older.

Protect your skin from harmful UV rays by:

  • Applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 daily, even on cloudy days.
  • Wearing protective clothing like wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses, and long sleeves when spending time in the sun.
  • Staying out of direct sunlight during peak hours, typically from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Avoiding tanning beds, which can damage your skin and increase the risk of skin cancer.


Prioritise Sleep

Quality sleep is essential for a youthful appearance. During deep sleep, the body repairs and regenerates cells, including skin cells. Aim for 7-9 hours of restorative sleep each night to wake up feeling refreshed and looking rejuvenated.


Stay Active

Regular exercise not only benefits your body but also your skin. Physical activity increases blood flow, which helps nourish skin cells and keep them healthy. Try to incorporate at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise per week.


Manage Stress

Chronic stress can lead to increased production of free radicals and oxidative stress in the body. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can damage cells, including DNA, lipids, and proteins. This damage can accelerate the ageing process and increase the risk of age-related diseases. To help manage stress, try stress-reduction practices such as mindfulness, meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises.

By adopting these 5 healthy habits, you can take significant steps towards looking and feeling your best at any age. Remember that the journey to timeless beauty is a lifelong commitment, and the sooner you start, the more profound the impact can be.

About Affinity Health

Affinity Health is South Africa’s leading provider of health cover, offering you a range of options at affordable rates, including access to the widest national provider network. We understand the importance of having medical insurance that meets your needs, budget, and lifestyle. Our range of healthcare products are designed to protect you and your family when it matters the most. We strive to give our clients peace of mind and the highest standard of service at all times. For more information, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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