For those of you who read my blog loyally, you know that I am always touting exercise and healthy diets as the best way to get into shape and live a healthy lifestyle. And there have been numerous studies showing that a healthy lifestyle helps to prevent disease, increase your immune system, and allow to live a longer life (with the caveat that there obviously are some genetics that come to play in this as well!)But, for the most part, it is pretty interesting that after studying people that have lived to over 100 years, they do have some similar traits.
What will help me live longer?
–Retire later: After retirement rates of obesity and chronic illnesses increase. So, if you want to retire, go for it, but keep active! Have a hobby that is active, like gardening, volunteering with kids or animals, join a walking club…keep yourself moving and have goals, even if it is just a goal to travel to your next place, but make sure you go on walking/biking tours!
–Keep up your oral care: Keeping your toothbrushing up and regular flossing (at least twice a day) keeps down the risk of gum disease related bacteria that can enter your bloodstream and cause artery inflammation and lead to cardiac disease. Long story, short: inflamed arteries due to oral bacteria is bad, so brush your teeth!!
–Get your move on: a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise per day is required by your body to feel better, and to keep your heart and lungs in shape. exercising daily boosts your immune system, so not only do you feel better and look better, but your body will actually benefit and you could live longer too. See? There’s a reason I tell you to exercise!! 🙂
–Boost your fiber: Eating a diet high in whole grains and fiber, will help to keep your blood sugar levels stable throughout the day, thus leading to a reduced rate of diabetes, and will help keep your colon running smoothly. Plus, it keeps you full longer, so you will tend to eat less during the day and skip snacking!
-Sleep! Getting 6-8 hours of sleep, helps your body to relax and recharge, making you more energized for the next day. Some people tend to skip on sleep, so that they can be “more productive” one day, will end up actually not being super productive, and it will take a while for your body to recharge. When you can, get sleep, and wake up early to jump on it!
-Eat FOOD: People who have a vitamin rich diet, tend to live longer and be healthier, but supplements and vitamins aren’t absorbed as well so people who eat crappy diets but supplement with pills, don’t gain the same benefits form the vitamins. Try eating colorful plates filled with lots of yummy and healthy foods; you’ll boost your vitamin intake, which will stimulate your brain, and make you feel better.
–Chill out: We have got to learn not to stress out as much and dwell on things. People who live longer tend to not get stressed out easily (this knocks me out of the box of living long….) Or if they do, they deal with it and move on, they tend to get over things quickly and don’t sweat the small stuff. Try to take a different outlook on life, especially with little things that annoy you…try to not let them (I totally get that this is easier said than done- it is a total life change!)
–Make it a habit: Live your life based on routine. I’m not saying do the EXACT same thing every day, but if you have a basic routine for life, you tend to be more accomplished during your days. For example, I have a morning routine that includes waking up, drinking tea, cuddling with my dogs, then heading out for my morning run; I clear my head, get focused and ready for the day, and I know exactly how long I need SO if I need to add an early morning meeting, or get a bunch of errands done, I know when to wake up, and I feel less rushed and less stressed starting my day. So, if you have basic routines, you can figure out how to alter your schedule when you need to, but it also gives you time to go through your day the way you want to.
–PARTY! Well, not really. But hang out with your friends, stay connected socially. Those who tend to be socially withdrawn are more prone to depression later in life vs those who keep close friendships and are socially active have less risk of depression and live longer. Of course, steering clear of drugs and alcohol also helps to increase your longevity!
All in all, not difficult goals to set for yourself (well, besides the whole stress thing- at least for me!) and as I said before, genetics does play a role, so we are all predisposed to some sort of length of life or possible chronic illness, but I think that these are good goals to set for yourself to try and get the most out of life. So get your 30 minutes of exercise, ditch the vitamins and eat a healthy salad while chilling with your girlfriends, just like the Golden Girls and you will live forever, just like Betty White 🙂
Yours in Good Health