How Can We Protect Our Health and Lengthen Our Lives?
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We were wondering how we can protect our health and lengthen our lives, so we started researching this topic. There are a lot of things we found out and we decided to compile this article and share them with you.
When we talk about health we mean both physical, emotional, and mental health. You need to be both physically well but also satisfy your emotional and mental needs. Working on one aspect of health and neglecting the other won’t help you live life to the fullest, so try to keep this in mind.
Before we get to health and longevity tips, we’d like to mention a few things.
- Don’t underestimate the power of healthy habits. They make a huge difference! Just one healthy habit can help you live longer, not to mention how effective it is to have an active healthy lifestyle.
- Although the fountain of youth doesn’t exist, there are lots of things you can do to feel and look younger. The most important thing is to nurture your health.
- Life expectancy has been increasing with healthcare and education improvements. Medicine has helped us live longer, so if we continue to work on improving our health we’ll have a lot more centenarians in our century.
- Remember that a large part of premature deaths was influenced by unhealthy lifestyle factors such as poor diet, obesity, inactivity, excessive alcohol consumption, and smoking
What is a healthy lifestyle?
Having a healthy lifestyle means you’re taking care of your health by eating nutritious food, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, and overall having a positive attitude towards the world.
Physical health is very important and you can monitor it with regular doctor appointments. Measuring blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol, and weight is a good indicator of your general health.
However, you shouldn’t forget about your mental health. More than 250 million people in the world suffer from depression, a disease that can lead to suicide if untreated.
A healthy lifestyle can help you prevent stroke, high blood pressure, and other heart conditions. It also reduces the risk of cancer, improves your memory, strengthens muscles and bones, helps you lose weight, etc.
Changes in daily habits can affect your lifespan. As you can see, the quality of life has improved over the past 50 years, so people live longer.
Find a purpose for your life
Before we talk about diet and exercise, we have to underline the importance of living a fulfilled life. People who believe that their lives have direction and purpose have a bigger life span. Not only do they live longer, but they’re happier too!
You can find a purpose through your relationships with friends and family or you can do some volunteer work and engage in generosity activities. Boosting human life span with hobbies and fulfilling activities might sound silly, but it’s really helpful for you to realize what you’re doing and why.
The best way to stay healthy and live a long life is by having a balanced nutritious diet. Maintaining your health with diet should be your number one priority! Most of the people who had the pleasure of blowing candles on the 100th birthday confirmed this.
The diet that consists of minimally processed and plant-based foods turned out to be the most effective for living long. Whole grains, green veggies, nuts, tubers, and beans are the main part of a healthy diet.
There aren’t any magic foods to eat to live longer but there is one piece of advice we can give you. It’s all about the balance! This means eating a diet high in plants and low in saturated fats and processed carbs.
A balanced diet also means avoiding overeating. Try to limit the number of calories, because the chances are you don’t need them and you’re eating for satisfaction only. We encourage you to explore various foods but with moderation.
Diet does affect life expectancy, so make sure to fill your plates with veggies and fruit for every meal. The Mediterranean diet can be your example. It’s full of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, olive oil, nuts, and fish. The diet of people from Okinawa can also be your guideline. Their diet is full of vegetables and they don’t have the habit to “finish the plate”.
You don’t have to change your entire diet all at once. Start with simple things, such as adding more vegetables and nuts in your meals. Nuts are amazing sources of protein, fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, so only one serving per day does wonders for living longer.
It’s also a good idea to avoid eating late in the evening or at night. You’ll reduce the risk of a heart attack by more than 50%! Remember this the next time when you’re feeling snackish at midnight and choose to get a glass of water instead. Staying hydrated will help you reduce the risk of colon cancer and keep your kidneys stay healthy.
If we want to live longer and healthier, we need to raise awareness about the positive effects of a healthy diet. Only this way can humans increase their lifespan. Big companies that sell fast food, chips, and soda will naturally oppose public health efforts and policy changes, so we need to fight them with education and spreading awareness.
Regular exercise is crucial for a healthy life. Around 150 minutes of moderate cardio activities will keep your heart healthy. In addition to a muscle-strengthening activity, you’ll get enough physical activity for a long healthy life.
Try to change your mindset about exercise. It shouldn’t be a boring task but a pleasure. In a variety of activities such as cycling, running, swimming, football, volleyball, tennis, and more, we’re sure you’ll find at least one that you’ll absolutely enjoy! And yes, both yoga and walking extend your lifespan among other things.
Maintain a healthy body weight
It’s not about losing weight to look good, it’s about fighting obesity that’s associated with diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. A healthy diet and regular exercise are enough to maintain healthy body weight, so you can live longer and happier.
You can calculate your BMI (body mass index) to see if your body weight is considered healthy. There’s a chance you’ll be underweight or overweight. Once you know where you stand, you can start working on getting better.
Remember that slimmer isn’t always better. Being underweight carries health risks such as anemia, heart disease, osteoporosis, etc. You should aim for the “middle ground” if you want a long healthy life.
A sedentary lifestyle won’t help you extend your lifespan. It’s exactly the opposite! Sitting the entire day is the worst thing you can do for your health. In today’s time, sitting has become a natural state, from office work to our leisure time. However, we need to change that in order to live longer.
You need to be active as much as you can. You can start by walking to work or taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Any kind of physical activity is good; even cleaning or gardening is beneficial!
Friends and family
Surrounding yourself with friends and family is crucial for improving our mental and emotional health. Social isolation and loneliness can be as dangerous as obesity. Socialize and keep in touch with your friends.
If you’re an introvert type of person, things slow. Find people who share your hobbies and interests or whose company you’re enjoying. Online friends count too! We’re sure you’ll meet new people easily and choose your friends wisely.
Get enough sleep
Sleeping allows you to recharge and tackle all the challenges ahead. When you get enough sleep, you’ll be well-rested and in a good mood. You can also recover from illness faster. We suggest getting at least 6 hours of sleep (but aim for an average of 7-8 hours).
Consistently getting less than 6 hours of sleep increases the risk of heart attack and stroke. When you sleep just enough you’re less likely to suffer from diabetes, heart disease, mood disorders, etc. Try to go to bed early, even if you don’t fall asleep right away. Being intimate with your partner can also be beneficial for extending your lifespan.
Be sun smart
Sure, sunlight can lift your spirit and boost your vitamin D levels. However, long exposure to the sun can increase the chance of skin cancer. Sun damage shouldn’t be taken lightly, so make sure you always use a lotion or a cream to protect yourself.
You don’t have to avoid sunbathing at all costs but you should try to avoid the sun from 10 am to 5 pm. The sun is the most powerful between 12 pm and 3 pm when its rays are the strongest. You can get a tan early in the morning or late in the afternoon. Of course, if your skin burns easily, don’t try tanning at all! Also, don’t forget to hydrate (a lot) when you’re at the beach.
Does this even surprise you? Naturally, if you want to lengthen your life, you need to quit smoking. Smokers are twice as likely to die from cancer, kidney failure, infections, and all kinds of conditions.
Heavy smokers breathe harder and get tired easily during light exercise. Even going up the staircases seems like a mission impossible! Smoking makes your daily life more difficult.
We should also mention the dangers of nicotine poisoning. Excessive smoking can lead to symptoms such as nausea, stomach ache, vomiting, loss of appetite, dehydration, and headache.
Limit alcohol consumption
Excessive drinking can also lead to premature death from liver failure, heart disease, and other health problems. You don’t have to give up an occasional glass of wine (that can actually be good for you), but you should limit alcohol intake.
Cut back on pain pills
Regular use of ibuprofen, naproxen, and other painkillers can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. Try to limit these medications and use them only when you have severe pain.
Cut the stress out
We know, you can get rid of the stress entirely. It’s just the way we live our fast lives. However, you can try to manage it better. Control the stress with yoga, meditation, deep breathing techniques. There are lots of stress relief activities. You just need to find what works for you.
Some people turn to spiritual activities. Other people play some sport or enjoy some activity with their kids. We can’t tell what exactly will work for you, but we can say that relaxation comes in various forms. You can start by taking a vacation, for at least 3 days and see how that goes.
Frequently asked questions
How can we improve our health?
For starters you need:
- Healthy diet.
- Regular exercise.
- Maintaining a normal weight.
- Limiting alcohol and quitting smoking.
How many years eating healthy adds to your life?
Research shows that having a healthy diet can add an entire decade to your life span.
What is the longest recorded lifespan of a human?
The oldest person ever was Jeanne Calment (1875–1997), who lived to the age of 122 years. The oldest verified man ever is Jiroemon Kimura (1897–2013).
So how can we protect our health and lengthen our lives? Can we really find the fountain of youth? As you saw, all we can do is try our best to lead a healthy active life and we’ll increase our chance to live longer. We don’t know what the future holds, but if we try our best, we can hope for the best too.
Cherish the people around you, but don’t forget to love yourself too. Learning to take care of yourself can go a long way!
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