Longevity is more about healthy lifestyle than genes. Humans are living longer than ever, with an average life expectancy. While living to an old age is not guaranteed, there are some habits you can acquire which will increase your life span and make the life you live a happy one.
A recent study found that four bad behaviours: smoking, drinking too much alcohol, not exercising, and not eating enough fruits and vegetables can hustle one into an early grave.
Fortunately, you can do something to correct these and other unhealthy behaviors. Adopt the following habits to keep your body looking and feeling young.
Exercise your brain and challenge your mind: Your brain needs exercise just as your body does, stay curious and mentally alert as you age. For instance, solve puzzles, play bridge, play an instrument or take painting, art, computer or foreign language classes.
Watch your weight and exercise regularly: It is hard to find obese centenarians, keeping a trim waistline is one of the keys to living longer because excess weight contributes more to heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. Be smart about what and how much you eat. Eat more fruits and vegetables, and less red meat and fries.
Faith matters: Older people with an active faith had lower blood pressure and lived longer, studies show people who attended religious services regularly or who feel they are spiritual also feel healthier. Religious services provide a social network and a source of comfort and support. Continue to keep your spirituality by joining religious activities and staying connected with people, family and friends.
Get busy: Having satisfying s ex two to three times per week can add as many as three years to your life. Getting busy can burn an impressive amount of calories sometimes as much as running for 30 minutes. Regular s ex may also lower your blood pressure, improve your sleep, boost your immunity, and protect your heart.
Be positive: Keep laughter and humour, positive thinking helps people reduce stress and enjoy life more. People with positive attitudes decrease their risk of poor health and early death. Laughter and humour are strong medicines for mind and body.
Establish healthy habits: Get regular physical checkups, blood pressure and cholesterol checks, floss daily, don’t smoke, drink in moderation. Move around and get regular exercise every day. If you have a busy, fast-paced life then remember to take some time to slow down when you take a minute to just relax, you will feel calmer and more focused.
Stay active and connected: Be active and interested in what’s going on in the community and world, staying connected and involved keeps your brain working and increases your sense of purpose. Establish a support system and have a daily connection with close friends or family members.
Heal your body with rest: Sleep is a powerful force, scientists believe sleep lets the neurons in the brain recover from the work they do during the day. Growth hormones are released during sleep, which is why children sleep longer when they are going through growth spurts. Lack of sleep is linked to greater risk for many diseases, including heart disease, diabetes and obesity. When you allow your body enough time to sleep, you will notice increased energy, mental focus and a better mood. People need varying amounts of sleep, so find what works for you and make sleep a priority in your life.
Slow down: Stress is a cause of many undesirable physical symptoms like headache, fatigue, muscle pain and stomach problems, and it can lead to health issues such as high blood pressure, heart disease and obesity. It’s hard to get rid of stress, slowing down and finding time to relax can seem impossible. Take small steps, learn deep breathing techniques. Practice a few yoga poses, turn off all electronics at least 30 minutes before bed, and schedule some down time into your day.
Give water a chance: Water is essential for every living thing on the earth. In modern life, it’s easy to take the availability of water for granted. If you have clean, potable water coming out of a facet in your home, you are very lucky. This “elixir of life” regulates the body temperature, helps remove waste, fortifies cells and organs and keeps you feeling invigorated. It’s the beverage people should choose to drink most often. If you get tired of plain water, try adding lemon, lime or other citrus. Drink sparkling water or make your own infusions with mint, cucumber and lemon. You can get some hydration from other beverages like fruit juices and tea, but make water your main drink of choice and avoid added sugar and chemicals.