Everyone wants to live a long and healthy life. Few people ever do it. Not everyone is blessed with good genes or lives in an area where they can avoid pollution, excess weight, poor diets, stress, etc.
However, there are steps that anyone can take to achieve their goals of living longer and healthier.
All that’s needed is to follow these steps, modify them to fit your lifestyle, and you will find that living longer isn’t as difficult as it seems.
1. Reduce Stress in Your Life
Stress causes the release of chemicals in the body called cortisol. The purpose of cortisol is to prepare muscles for exertion by curbing the appetite and increasing blood sugar.
This mechanism works very well in an acute stress situation, but cortisol has the undesirable effect of raising blood pressure and blood glucose levels in people who are chronically stressed.
High cortisol levels also result in insulin resistance, which is a major factor in type 2 diabetes. Also, high cortisol encourages fat storage around the abdomen—one of the worst places to gain weight. Learn how to relieve stress?
2. Get Plenty of Sleep
Sleep is necessary for good health and has an impact on longevity. One study found that people who averaged less than six hours of sleep per night had twice the risk of death as those who slept seven or eight hours per night; It also found that those who averaged nine or more hours had 50% higher mortality rates.
We all know that lack of sleep can have adverse effects on our ability to think clearly, be creative, stay positive, and maintain a healthy weight. If you are not getting at least seven hours of sleep per night, make changes now to get the rest your body needs. Exercise is also good for sleep—if you can do it before dinner.
3. Exercise Daily
What is the best fitness program for longevity? According to research done at Harvard University, there are three types of exercise that work particularly well in lengthening life; Aerobic exercise, strength training, and stretching.
Aerobic exercises include brisk walking, stair climbing, hiking, biking, jogging, swimming laps, soccer, tennis, and so on. Strength training includes lifting weights or other resistance to strengthen muscles. Stretching exercises include yoga, tai chi, Pilates.
4. Eat a Low-Calorie Diet
There is an abundance of scientific evidence demonstrating that calorie restriction is one of the most effective ways to increase life expectancy and protect against disease.
According to research done at the University of Wisconsin, calorie restriction leads to longer lives by slowing aging and reducing free radicals that cause cell damage.
Calorie restriction also reduces body fat, blood pressure, and triglycerides, levels of insulin and growth hormone, oxidative stress, inflammation, plasma glucose levels
5. Eat a Healthy & Well-balanced Diet
Eating a calorie diet is not enough. A healthy and well-balanced diet has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, neither of which is good for longevity.
Eating foods that contain Omega 3 fatty acids (found in fish such as salmon or sardines) and monounsaturated fats (found in olive oil and nuts) reduces LDL cholesterol and is good for the heart.
Foods high in antioxidants help prevent free radical damage that is responsible for accelerated aging and disease.
6. Drink Plenty of Water
Although it may seem boring, drinking water can have a big impact on your health—even extending your life. It’s recommended to drink at least eight eight-ounce glasses of water each day.
Pure, clean water with no additives is preferable to sugary or caffeinated drinks because it helps maintain a healthy weight and regulate metabolism. Water also flushes out toxins from the body and increases energy.
7. Practice Relaxation Techniques
People who practice yoga or meditation on a regular basis usually live longer than their peers because they are better able to manage stress and stay calm.
Yoga and meditation lower cortisol levels, regulate metabolism, increase the immune system’s disease-fighting capabilities by ridding the body of free radicals.
If you can’t make time for a good yoga session every day, try incorporating some basic poses into your self-care routine to reduce stress and keep your chakras balanced.
8. Give up Smoking and Drinking Excessively
Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption cause the body to break down faster and leads to early aging. If you need help quitting, consider consulting a doctor or using an online stop-smoking program. Learn also about some deadly diseases caused by smoking.
9. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Maintaining a healthy weight can add many years to your life because it helps regulate metabolism, which is the body’s chemical process for converting the food you eat into energy. If you are obese, losing weight can prevent chronic disease and help keep age-related illnesses at bay.
10. Laugh and Be Happy
Research says that stress and depression reduce your life expectancy, which none of us wants. The best way of ensuring a long and fulfilling life is to laugh more and find reasons to be happy.
Many people wrongly think that they need big reasons to be happy and content.
Count your everyday blessings and begin by thanking God that you are alive and have seen another day. Once you begin, you will find other things to be grateful for.
Begin trying these tips from today and see how they transform your life. I’m sure you’ll get how to live longer and healthier.