How long you live is determined by a combination of factors like protective genes, lifestyle choices, and a little bit of luck. The only one you have any control over is the choices you make. But your lifestyle can make a big difference! One study showed that women could increase their disease-free life expectancy by a decade if they made healthier choices. Making healthy habits a part of your life not only helps contribute to an overall feeling of well-being, but it could also boost your longevity. Below are some tips on how to live a longer, healthier life.
Habits to Integrate to Live a Longer, Healthier Life
Incorporating good habits permanently into your lifestyle is easier said than done. Yet, the sooner you do so, the longer you will reap the benefits.
Eating nutritious foods and staying active are some of the most essential factors tied to longevity. In fact, three of the four recommendations from Johns Hopkins on how to live longer involve maintaining a healthy weight. They advise that to live longer, people should keep their BMI under twenty-five, get thirty minutes of exercise on a daily basis, and eat a diet rich in fresh fruit, vegetables, low-fat protein, and whole-grain carbohydrates. As you age, it’s also critical to get enough vitamin D and calcium in order to live a longer, healthier life.
Exercising is an important component as well, with one 2018 study showing that not exercising can decrease your life expectancy even more so than factors like smoking, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. Your best bet is to find an activity you enjoy so that you will stick with it. Better yet, find a friend who likes the same workout so that you can keep each other accountable.
Your mental health is as important as your physical health when it comes to longevity. Maintaining strong social ties is crucial to living a longer, healthier life. Having strong, enjoyable relationships isn’t just good for your mental health; it can help your physical health as well. Some experts say that maintaining connections with your friends and family keeps your memory in better shape and prolongs your brain function, which is tied closely to your physical health.
Next, ensure you’re getting a good night’s rest. Not getting enough sleep puts you at greater risk for obesity, heart disease, and diabetes—all factors that contribute to premature death.
Behaviors You Should Consider Stopping
Quitting smoking is a fantastic way to contribute to your long-term health. Other indulgences don’t have to be entirely eliminated from your life, but to reap the most benefits, smoking has to become a thing of the past.
Fortunately, simply cutting back on other indulgences will help you feel your best. For instance, since your nutrition and weight are important to your longevity, stop overeating if you can. On occasions when you do overeat, try to ensure what you are eating is nutrient-dense.
Stop doing things that don’t make you happy. Many studies have shown that happiness is linked to longevity. Try to find meaningful work, put effort only into relationships that are reciprocal, and try meditation to relieve remaining anxiety or stress.
Next, don’t give up your vacation days. Taking time away from your job is a healthy way to relieve stress and connect with friends or family. Some studies have indicated that those who skip their time off were 32% more likely to die of a heart attack or develop coronary artery disease.
Lastly, don’t forego sex. Sex is part of a healthy, active lifestyle, and it can help lower your blood pressure, increase the quality of your sleep, and boost your heart health and immunity.
With Age Comes Wisdom
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