No matter who you are and what your age, you have the power to change many of the variables that influence how long you live, and how active you feel in your later years. We all know that smoking, drinking too much alcohol, not exercising, not eating enough fruits, and veggies can hustle into an early grave. Are you willing to stop these bad behaviors in the name of your longevity?
I live a normal lifestyle, but I try to make healthy decisions while doing it.
- Hannah Bronfman
There are a lot of things you can resolve to do in order to “slow down” your biological clock and live a more satisfying life. It’s never too late to start correcting your unhealthy habits to increase your odds of a longer life span, whether you’re in your 20s or 30s, all the way to your 60s, 70s, and beyond.
Any doctor will surely tell you that it’s much easier to prevent something than it is to reverse it. Obviously, it’s a given fact, right? As we get older, our bodies may change and our athletic prowess may decline, so we must take the necessary steps to keep our body looking and feeling young. Given below are the ways that we should do to live longer.
1. If you’re a smoker, STOP SMOKING.
It affects not only the coronary arteries and lungs but also increases the risk of cancer and stroke. You should be aware of the potentially catastrophic effect of smoking and it’s never too late to kick the habit. Aside from risk factor for multiple chronic diseases, it can make breathing much harder and thus, can make activity less enticing. The damage caused by smoking is cumulative which means the longer you smoke, the greater the risk of developing a smoking-related disease. Join a smoking cessation program, quitting not only saves money but also has added health benefits.
2. Enjoy drinking ALCOHOL IN MODERATION.
A good amount of red wine can improve blood lipid levels and reduce the risk of dementia, but heavy drinking increases health risks. Excessive alcohol consumption can cause detrimental effects ranging from weight gain to high blood pressure. Alcohol can actually be good for you only if it's served in smaller quantities. Remember, too many happy hours can lead to a not-so-happy time down the road.
3. DRINKING WATER promotes optimal health.
Our body is made up of between 55% and 75% water, so we are in need of constant water replenishment. Did you know that often times, we confuse thirst with hunger? Adequate hydration helps regulate metabolism and keeps our minds alert. Increase intake of water can actually enhance digestion, nutrient absorption, detoxification, skin hydration, and virtually every aspect of better health. It’s almost impossible to talk about a healthy diet and anti-aging remedy without mentioning this essential component.
4. Fill your plate with FRUITS AND VEGETABLES.
Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables help stave off disease and work wonders toward maintaining a healthy weight. Fiber can keep your digestive system working smoothly because it encourages regular bowel function. It has been found to promote lower cholesterol levels, improve blood sugar, and reduce the risk of colon cancer. So, why not choose it as a sweet end note after meals?
5. Make MEANINGFUL CONNECTIONS around you.
We have this impression of being connected all the time by doling out copious likes for everything that flashes on our screens. Living in a hyper-connected world actually masks the fact that most of us lack a deep connection. We’ll find a lot more fulfillment by reaching out to friends and making an intentional effort to interact with people we don’t necessarily know. It could be writing a letter, scheduling a coffee date, or just striking up a conversation while waiting in line at the bank- they seem minor, but it can make a big difference in our mental health. Socializing can help reduce depression and anxiety at difficult times. Social connection is linked to positive emotions and even speeding up recovery from disease.
6. Learn to practice STRESS MANAGEMENT.
Do you manage stress by smoking cigarettes or eating a bag of Cheetos? None of these habits is considered healthy and productive. Working in just a few minutes of meditation a day - even at your bed - can give your brain the mini-vacation from anxiety and tension it needs. Breathing deeply creates a greater sense of serenity and inner peace by accessing the part of the nervous system that allows you to digest and rest. Healthy coping mechanisms such as yoga, journaling, and writing in a diary can help improve sleep and lower stress hormones. Writing down 1-3 things every morning that you’re grateful for can improve your mood and increase overall happiness, simple but effective ways to de-stress.
7. Get MORE SLEEP and enough REST.
When you are chronically sleep deprived, it increases rates of heart disease, obesity, and high blood pressure. When it comes to being physically fit, sleep is at the top of the list of necessities because it is when our body can recharge and get ready for the next day. There are techniques that you can follow to fall asleep more quickly. Stop eating three hours before your desired asleep time, keep your bedroom dark, turn off all devices, and have the temperature on the cool side. You need enough shut-eye if you want to add more days to your life.
8. Stop sitting and GET SOME EXERCISE.
Even if you don’t like to embark on a major fitness regimen, any amount of movement you do can reduce your risk of dying. A 10-minute of light activity a day such as walking around your home, doing chores, and gardening can extend your life. The lack of stimulus to the muscles can produce harmful effects including diabetes, osteoporosis, and arthritis. Exercise is the key for allowing the muscles to have the strength and endurance for the body to move during activities of daily living. Those people who perform even a simple exercise are less likely to lose their balance or catch themselves, and reduce the speed of the fall if they slip or trip - which is a major cause of disability and death.
9. Keep your BRAIN ACTIVE at all times.
Aside from the body, your brain also needs some exercise to reduce the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s. The demands of life are increasing and multitasking is the norm so give yourself a mental workout by constantly learning new things. Expanding one’s knowledge helps tremendously to keep the brain working. Practicing activities that focus the mind lead to improved cognitive functioning. When you continue to explore the world throughout your life, it increases a sense of having a purpose that makes you strive to live healthier.
Stop thinking that only big changes count, try choosing even just one simple act at a time. A short spurt of activity each day like getting up 10 minutes earlier in the morning to fix yourself a healthy lunch for work can reap big benefits for your lifespan. Radical changes in lifestyle might be inspiring but it can also be too daunting, and therefore, consistency is more important than a short-term and grand gesture. Looking at what’s already working in your day-to-day routine can help you feel energized and motivated to tweak a little move in a healthy direction without causing stress in your busy world.
Don’t let your fear or denial keep you from achieving a healthy body. Of all the personality traits that could affect your longevity, conscientiousness ranks as an important one, perhaps the most important thing you can do. It is for the reason that conscientious people tend to engage in healthy behaviors like eating well, exercising, and following their doctor’s advice while avoiding risky behaviors like smoking and driving too fast. However, don’t confuse being conscientious with being neurotic about your health, a negative trait that may be linked to anxiety. A neurotic person worries he might have cancer, and fearing the worst, didn’t go to see his doctor. On the contrary, a conscientious person may still worry, but gets screened or tested, learns about the disease, and gets treated in a timely fashion.
Adopting simple habits such as never smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, engaging in regular physical activity, eating a healthy diet, and limiting alcohol consumption are the most effective ways in living a longer, healthier life. A sense of humor can also extend your life because deep laughter might actually be a form of exercise that decreases arterial stiffness, helping your heart. People with a positive outlook on life decreased their risk of early death compared with those who leaned more towards pessimism.
Thank you for reading and have a great day.
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