Increasing life expectancy may seem beyond your control. But incorporating certain habits into your lifestyle will be extremely beneficial. For instance, avoiding risk, getting a health screening and tests, having more sex, flossing daily, being socially active and taking time out for a 15-20 minute workout can help you lead a ripe old age.
It is just a myth that longevity depends on genetics – the role of genes is nothing compared to the environmental factors and dietary changes. The guide runs you through the changes and steps associated with longevity and improved health.
1. Quit smoking
Do you know smoking can rob you of ten years of life? It is one of the most preventable causes of death. So, if you are a smoker, consider quitting it right away. Your body is excellent and restores the optimum blood pressure and circulation level soon after quitting and will make you look younger. Moreover, your family also stays safe when you keep yourself tobacco-free as they will no longer be exposed to dangerous smoke.
2. Start exercising to extend your life
You have a busy routine; managing home and office, and working out or exercising is the last thing in your mind! However, a study found that 15 minutes of exercise five or more times a week can increase the life expectancy up to three years. Eric Richard Ellen, personal trainer at Era Fit, says, “Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.” So, stop sitting still, regardless of age and health condition; taking time out for exercise will keep you active and attentive and improve life expectancy.
3. Stay connected
You need to be social for a longevity booster – it manages stress and strengthens the immune system. However, be sure to surround yourself with positive people who are credible enough to count on. Good relationships keep you strong, while bad relationships put you at high risk of depression and increase the risk of a heart attack. If you are depressed or have gone through a fussy relationship, staying connected can be difficult. But we suggest re-engaging and meeting new people no matter if you are in a new city, feel down or have lost someone close to you.
4. Stop eating processed food
One of the worst dietary changes that sadly has spread across many countries is consuming more processed food. Processed food comes with added salt, fats, more sugar, and less fibre, leading to more cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer, and hypertension. If you want to increase life expectancy, ALWAYS eat clean food that is rich in fibre. If you have a hectic routine and are short of time, consider cooking ahead in big batches. As per the CDC recommendation, an average person consumes over 3,300 mg of sodium in a day from restaurants and pre-cooked meals like cured meals, soup, or baked goods.
5. Always have a better Zzzz
Never underestimate the value of quality sleep. A sleepy driver is not just at the risk of a car accident, but missing your night sleep for an extended period can shorten your life. Sleeping too little, less than six hours or more than nine hours can put you at a high risk of early death. Good night sleep is mandatory to ward off stress, diseases, and depression. If you have a problem staying asleep, better talk to your health provider and resolve it at your earliest convenience.
6. Avoid overeating
The calories intake help you live longer and protect you from several life-threatening diseases. As per one study, reducing the calorie intake for up to 10-50% profits to expand the lifespan. Longevity of life can be linked with low-calorie intake, moreover, it also reduces the likelihood of diseases. An American snowboarder and health enthusiast, Nate Holland, once said, sharing his opinion about the calories, ‘My best nutrition tip is to eat things you like that are low in calories and fat. Some of my favourites are chicken, rice, assorted veggies, egg white omelettes, turkey sandwiches and protein shakes.’ In addition, calorie restriction also mitigates the chances of belly fat and excess body weight. However, more studies are to be performed to know the exact relationship between reduced calories and increased lifespan.
7. Moderate the alcohol intake
Are you the one who boozes? Quit the habit, or make sure you moderate the alcohol intake. Liver, heart, and pancreatic disease and overall chances of early deaths are linked with alcohol consumption. However, some studies suggest that moderate alcohol consumption significantly decreases the chances of premature death, but we don’t encourage this idea especially when you don’t usually consume alcohol. Why? Because no vital research indicates the benefits of alcohol consumption are more than completely abstaining from the wine or beers.
8. Avoid chronic depression and stress
Stress and depression can elevate the risk of premature death. For example, women suffering from anxiety are two times more likely to die from heart diseases or lung cancer. On the other hand, workouts can significantly alleviate long term depression. “There’s good epidemiological data to suggest that active people are less depressed than inactive people. And people who were active and stopped tend to be more depressed than those who maintain or initiate an exercise program’ says James Blumenthal, PhD, a clinical psychologist. So the relationship between mood and exercise is pretty strong. Maintaining an optimistic outlook on life can help in increasing life expectancy too.
9. Drink coffee and tea
Green tea contains a significant number of polyphenols and catechins – elements linked to reducing the likelihood of cancer, heart ailments and diabetes. Similarly, drinking coffee and tea, especially the latter, can reduce type 2 diabetes, heart problems, and certain cancers and brain diseases. Moreover, drinking them daily can reduce early deaths by up to 20 to 30%. However, be sure the caffeine consumption may lead to insomnia and anxiety, and you should curb it to the recommended limit of 400 mg per day.
10. Eat healthy plant foods
Food plants such as nuts, seeds, vegetables, fruits and whole grains lower disease risk and promote longevity. Study after study suggests that consuming a plant-rich diet can mitigate the risks of metabolic syndrome, heart disease, depression, cancer and brain cell deterioration. The effects are due to the nutrient and antioxidant properties of these plant food, including folate and vitamin C, polyphenols and carotenoids when you Incorporate a plant-based diet, 29–52% lower risk of dying from diabetes, heart ailments and hormone imbalance conditions. Contrarily, meat consumption can cause early death. All this information, in a nutshell, emphasizes the consumption of a plant-rich diet to increase lifespan.
11. Maintain a good oral health
You will be surprised to know flossing not only prevents gum disease but protects you against heart disease. This is because flossing helps gums from inflaming, as when they are inflamed, they trigger the chronic bacterial infection that harms arteries through two mechanisms. The first is that they hang out in the arteries and cause plaques. Secondly, the immune system responds to the bacterias and causes arteries to narrow, which eventually makes it hard for your heart to perform its function and leads to heart disease.