Would you like to live a long and full life? The good news is there are a range of actions you can take to extend your life expectancy. The following points when regularly followed will reduce the risk factors of an early death, reduce injury and illness and increase your overall vitality.
The first and most important point is to be HAPPY. Research shows people who have a positive outlook on life, enjoy their work, are happily married, and have strong friendships are more likely to live longer than those who are depressed, suffer from anxiety, divorced or lonely. Happiness is often more about your perception of life rather than what you have. So don’t worry, be happy.
Next relates to your heart health which is the leading cause of death. Be kind to your heart by limiting fried and fatty foods, increase the intake of healthy plant fats such olive and coconut oil, give up smoking, and increase the intake of nuts and seeds, berries, tomato, turmeric and garlic.
Exercise is a critical factor in reducing all your health risk factors. Regular exercise reduces heart disease, diabetes, improves immune function, improves sleep quality and reduces stress. Lean muscle mass is also a key marker in predicting the biological age. Biological age is the physical age of your body as opposed to your real age. The healthier you are; the lower your biological age.
Getting good quality regular sleep is another important factor in health and wellbeing. Sleep is the time our bodies repair themselves with our main sleep hormone melatonin acting as a powerful antioxidant and anti-aging hormone. Sleep reduces stress levels which is a factor in aging and increases overall levels of happiness.
Diet is obviously essentail in reducing the aging process. Apart from a general healthy diet there are some food groups which have a greater affect. A high fibre diet is important to reduce certain cancers, reduces diabetes risk, and reduces cholesterol levels assisting with heart health. A vegetarian diet has also been associated much lower risk levels of all major health conditions. Avoiding processed foods is a tip to stay energetic and active. Processed foods contain many chemicals which are hard to digest and reduce our energy.
There are a number of other factors which influence longevity such as regularly wearing a seat belt, avoiding risky activities, dental health, low levels of prescription medications, low alcohol intake, eating breakfast and 3 regular meals per day, getting regular check-ups, being sun smart by avoiding sun exposure from 10 am to 3 pm, and limiting exposure to environmental toxins.
The most important point to take from this information is to create balance in your life. Be happy, exercise regularly, eat a diet high in plant based foods and limit processed foods, get plenty of sleep and manage stress levels. Simple things, yet balance is one of the hardest things to achieve. Work hard at it and you will be rewarded with a long and healthy life.