Ancient Greek mythologies and contemporary novels often revolve around themes like immortality and eternal youth. And while the dream of achieving an everlasting life has existed for a long time, its possibility isn’t as far-fetched now as it was a few centuries ago.
As time passes, the life expectancy of an average individual keeps increasing. People can live to a ripe old age of 100 or more thanks to modern science and technological advancements. There is no magic elixir that makes this happen. Your lifestyle, habits, and environmental factors significantly contribute to your longevity.
Not so long ago, it was a common belief that an individual’s health and life span depend entirely on their genetic makeup. But recent studies show that while crucial, your genes only account for 25% variation in life expectancy. And the rest gets determined predominately by your way of living.
Although growing older is inevitable, it doesn’t mean you have to become frail as you age. Try adopting these seven ways in your routine to age well and perhaps even live a little longer.
People who work in stressful environments or have complex issues in their personal lives tend to die at a younger age. They often turn to vices and get involved in substance abuse to cope with the stress of everyday life. But these habits can have a detrimental impact on your health. Their long-term usage can risk your chances of developing heart diseases, diabetes, or other chronic illnesses affecting your quality of life.
Fortunately, there are better, more proficient ways to deal with stress. Clinical professionals like the Delphi Behavioral Health Group can help you recognize patterns that most commonly result in stress. When you’re in better control of your worries, you’re less likely to take on unnecessary tensions and consequently feel better.
Few things are as crucial as regular exercise to keep your body healthy. It keeps you fit, prevents fat accumulation, and lowers the risk of developing severe diseases. Additionally, it strengthens your bones and muscles and keeps you active even after you grow old. The physical activity you choose for yourself doesn’t have to be highly vigorous or extreme and can instead be any sport you enjoy. They can be in the form of a brisk walk, running, swimming, cycling, or even dancing.
The CDC recommends a moderately intense workout of 150 minutes per week for an average adult. So plan your day to include a slot for your exercise session, regardless of other scheduled tasks.
Watch what you’re eating
Anything you consume in your diet is a substance that enters your body. Therefore, you must be watchful of what you do and don’t eat. It means avoiding foods bad for your health and taking in nutrients vital for normal body function. For example, burgers and chocolates are rich in saturated fats and sugar. Their regular consumption is a primary risk for developing diseases like obesity and diabetes.
In contrast, healthy foods like fresh fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants. These are anti-aging chemicals that can help you live longer.
Incorporating a balanced diet into your routine dietary habits can benefit your health and longevity. Since it includes all essential nutrients in recommended proportions, it can prevent you from developing health-related concerns and keep you safe from most illnesses.
According to the CDC, smoking is the leading cause of preventable deaths. Its harmful effects severely impact an individual’s health and cause several diseases like stroke, lung diseases, and diabetes. Compared to non-smokers, a smoker, on average, dies ten years earlier and often due to an underlying illness. Cigarette nicotine hardens your blood vessels, making it more difficult for the heart to supply blood to the remaining organs as time passes.
Regardless of how long you’ve been smoking, you can still quit and improve your chances of living healthier lives. While quitting this long-term habit won’t be easy, you’ll feel much better when you can breathe better and allow your body to function fully.
Water plays several vital roles in maintaining the body’s internal and external environment. Every cell and organ in your body relies on water to perform its function. Without it, there will be no medium through which substances can enter and exit the body and nothing to keep your joints lubricated. While most doctors recommend drinking 6 to 8 glasses daily, your required amount may vary depending on where and how you live and work.
Additionally, water removes toxins or harmful substances that may have passed the body’s defense mechanisms and gotten through. Before they can cause any damaging effects, water detoxifies the body and ensures its safe environment. However, if you drink less water, some of these functions may slow down or stop working altogether, severely risking your health.
Get proper sleep
Studies show that insomnia and other poor sleeping patterns can increase the risk of health conditions like hypertension, obesity, and heart diseases. When your body doesn’t get enough time to slow down and recharge, it quickly gets exhausted and eventually stops responding even when you’re awake. A lack of sleep may also cause depression, anxiety, or other mental illnesses that cascade into other diseases. In recent years, the constant use of mobile phones and other screen activities have severely impacted the sleeping habits of most people. It may be why noncommunicable diseases are growing prevalent, despite abundant health resources available.
Practice winding down your activities as your sleeping time gets closer, and try to sleep each night on the same schedule. 7-8 hours of sleep are typically enough to get you back on your feet and re-energized for the next day.
Nurture your relationships
Living a healthy life doesn’t mean you must only focus on the physical aspect. Mental and emotional health is equally important, if not more. Most unhealthy habits stem from feelings of loneliness or having a complicated relationship with your loved ones. When you feel like you have no one in your corner, you end up engaging in harmful behaviors and stop taking care of yourself. But building a solid social network can pull you from feelings of solitude, reduce your anxiety, and help improve your overall health.
Although it may seem like longevity is beyond your control, achieving it isn’t as impossible as you would think. You can live a significantly prolonged and healthier life by incorporating a few minor changes, like those mentioned above, in your routine.