Erasing past health blunders isn’t a simple overnight task, but it is fair to say that making changes now can start to make a difference to your health. Find out how to try and reverse some of those health mistakes you’ve made over the years.

1. Sunbathing

Aside from threat to your health from overexposure to the sun, there is also the matter of lines and wrinkles to tackle if you’ve spent years sun worshiping. While we can’t promise you’ll get your complexion of old back, you can start to take steps to reverse the signs of sun damage. Using a hydrating moisturiser can help, as can eating certain wrinkle-busting foods such as strawberries, avocados, blackcurrants, cucumbers, tomatoes, salmon and spinach. It is also vital to wear sun protection every day – not just when it is sunny.

2. Bad posture

Years of slouching can catch up with you and left unchecked it can lead to problems such as back pain and reduced mobility. But it’s not too late to start working on your posture and eliminating slouching from your bad habits. Working on your core and improving your flexibility can go a long way towards righting some long-term wrongs. Findings published in the American Journal of Public Health suggest that elderly people participating in yoga can help to correct spine curvature.

3. Binge drinking

Years of partying hard and overdoing it on the drink can take its toll but is by no means irreversible. The liver is quite incredible in that it is capable of repairing itself, so long as you lay off the booze. You don’t have to be a teetotaller to stay healthy, but by keeping within sensible limits and eating a well balanced diet can help. Obviously, in some cases if the damage has been long-term then the damage may not be reversible.

4. Smoking

Quitting smoking isn’t going to magically reverse the effects of the habit, but quitting long-term can start to bring health benefits. The risk of heart disease reduces by 50 per cent for a quitter one year on. After five years going without smoking the risk of a stroke is considered the same as a non-smoker, and after 15 years of abstaining the heart disease risk is considered the same as a non-smoker. The risk of cancer also decreases among quitters, and the effects of premature ageing will be slowed significantly.

5. Inactivity

Years of inactivity can be a hard habit to break, but there is a price to pay if you don’t get active.

Long periods of inactivity are known to contribute towards heart disease and diabetes, but researchers at Duke University Medical Center have suggested that moderate exercise can start to reverse the impact. If you are getting back to exercise after a long period away, then start slowly and ease yourself back in. Maybe you need to get the go ahead from a health professional before getting started, but once you are clear to get started, then how about setting some short-term (such as running your first race) and longer-term fitness goals (such as running a marathon ).

6. Poor diet

Your dietary choices can really come back to haunt you, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do something about it now. Years of bad food choices can do serious damage to your health, but some of this can be reversed by making changes to your diet. Reduce your intake of saturated fats (found in foods such as processed meats and hard cheeses), trans fats (found in fried foods, biscuits, and cakes), and salt and sugar. Substitute your previous poor choices for healthier options and try and increase your intake of fruit and vegetables, nuts, seeds and omega-3-rich oily fish.