Want to live longer? I mean who doesn’t, right? Sadly, not everyone lives past the average life expectancy rate. A lot of people met their demise early (premature death).
It was believed that genes play a crucial role in determining one’s life expectancy(lifeline). But the recent studies have discarded this theory. The latest findings suggest that one’s lifestyle(80%) plays a much greater role when in comparison to genes (20%).
So even if you belong to a family with a lower life expectancy rate, you still can live past your ancestors. All you have to do is adapt to a healthy lifestyle and you’ll have longevity on your side.
Here are 10 habits to help you live longer.
1. Eat a balanced diet
The foods you eat play an important role when it comes to living a long and healthy life. Eating a balanced diet provides you with enough nutrients necessary for good health.
It means eating a wide variety of foods in the right proportions and in the right amount to maintain healthy body weight.
According to the Eatwell Guide, “Most of us still are not eating enough fruit and vegetables. They should make up over a third of the food we eat each day.”
“Fruit and vegetables are a good source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber.” One should aim to eat at least five portions of fruits and vegetables each day. You have the option to can choose fresh, frozen, tinned, dried, etc.
A well-balanced diet consists of the following five components. They are:
- Carbohydrates. About 60% of the daily calories comprise carbs. They are a vital source of energy.
- Protein. It is important for the growth and development of our body. It is also needed in repairing and growing new cells. Nearly 25% of the daily calories should come from protein.
- Healthy fats. They are another source of energy. About 15% of the calories should come from healthy fats.
- Micronutrients. Vitamins and minerals support different types of bodily functions.
- Water. It helps to keep your body hydrated. It also helps in removing unnecessary substances from the body. Drinking 8 glasses of water each day is recommended.
Following are the benefits of eating a healthy balanced diet.
- Proper growth and development of the body.
- Better immunity.
- Delays the effects of aging.
- Lower risk of heart diseases.
- Lowers the risk of certain types of cancer.
- Helps to maintain a healthy body weight.
- Helps in preventing depression and anxiety.
2. Exercise daily for at least 30 minutes
Exercise can help you live a long and healthy life. Here’s how?
- It helps to keep your heart healthy. Thus lowering your chances of suffering from heart attack and stroke.
- Helps to lower your blood pressure.
- Manages chronic conditions such as arthritis and diabetes.
- Exercise helps to keep your bones, muscles, and joints healthy.
- Helps to maintain your balance.
- You’ll less likely suffer from diabetes, colon cancer, and osteoporosis.
- Helps to manage stress and improves your mood.
- It helps to ease symptoms of depression and anxiety.
A healthy adult should aim for at least 150 minutes of activity. If you break it down into days then try aiming for at least 20-30 minutes of activity.
You can choose however you want to exercise. You have the option to hit the gym or you might as well go for cycling, swimming, walking, jogging, etc.
The statement “exercise can help you live longer” is no more just a theory but a proven fact. A recent study has found that people who are active can live up to 2-5 years longer when compared to those who are inactive.
Another study suggests that exercise brings about positive changes in one’s chromosomes. It was observed that the telomeres were longer in people who were active compared to those who were sedentary. Telomeres are the end caps on chromosomes that get shorten with age.
3. Develop a positive attitude towards life
Stress is a mental and physical condition that a person undergoes due to their life experiences. The busy lifestyle of people is one of the major causes of stress and anxiety.
There is no single mind out there in this world who doesn’t stress out from time to time. It is common for people to get stressed. But it is however not very good from a health point of view.
Studies show that a person who stresses out a lot is more likely to die early. There is a great chance of people under stress to catch various diseases that might lead to premature death.
Some of the health-related issues that arise when a person is stressed are high blood pressure, high blood sugar, insomnia, severe headache, weakened body, risk of heart attack, and so on.
If you are someone who likes to take things seriously in life, chances are you might get stressed out a lot and it is not something that you’d like to do.
So, it would be best to take things lightly and have a positive attitude towards things and life. This will surely add to a longer life span and a happier and healthier life.
4. Add seeds and nuts to your diet
Eating nuts as a part of your diet is one of the healthy habits that’ll help you live longer. Nuts are rich in essential protein, fatty acids (Omega 3 and Omega 6). The fatty acids, especially Omega 3 fatty acids are beneficial for your heart’s health.
Seeds and nuts are also a reliable source to obtain the necessary vitamins and minerals for your body such as magnesium, copper, potassium, and vitamin E. These vitamins and minerals help to keep your blood pressure in check, improves metabolism and they are even linked with curing certain types of cancer.
Furthermore, people who consume nuts on a daily basis are more likely to live a longer life by lowering their risk of premature death. It is thus strongly advised that you include seeds and nuts in your diet.
5. Add a pinch of turmeric
The yellowish powder might not look all good to some. But it sure packs a heck of a punch when it comes to improving your health. It is now scientifically proven that this spice contains bioactive compounds with medicinal properties.
The bioactive compound found in turmeric is curcumin that works as anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. The antioxidants found in turmeric helps to prevent certain types of cancers. Thus helping to live a long life.
Turmeric is also used together with other natural ingredients such as basil, ginger, milk, honey, etc as a homemade remedy to treat different types of diseases and weaknesses.
Furthermore, it has been mentioned in “the Atharva Veda” the Vedic book of spells as a medicinal herb. Indians and South-Asian people have been known to consume this spice for more than 1000 years or so.
So, it would be a good idea to include this magical spice to your food which will eventually add to your life expectancy.
6. Avoid overeating
Eating a full stomach is one way to stay fit and healthy. But eating to your heart’s content might actually harm your body in more ways than you could actually imagine of.
Studies on the longevity of life suggest that the amount of calories that you intake largely affects your life expectancy. Furthermore, women need around 2000 calories per day and men need around 2500 calories per day.
But in order to live longer one must find the courage to lower the calorie intake. Since lower calorie intake is related to longer life expectancy. It is however advised that you only do so for a period of time and not for a longer period of time which might prove to be harmful to your health.
So, if you ought to live a little longer than what you would live naturally, you ought to lower your calorie intake for a certain period of time.
7. Avoid smoking and drink in moderate
Most of you might have already guessed the reason why you shouldn’t smoke and drink. But since we are on the topic, let me break down the things for you.
Studies suggest that a person who smokes on a daily basis is likely to die a premature death. Even if it doesn’t happen, he/she is more likely to die a decade earlier. If that was not enough, smoking and drinking are highly linked to lungs and liver cancer which may cause a painful death.
If you ask me what is worse, drinking or smoking? and Why?
I would say smoking and for the why part let me explain it to you. Smoking no matter if you are a light smoker or a heavy smoker, causes diseases such as cancer, in the long run. It destroys your cells causing cancer and other lungs problem such as difficulty breathing.
But drinking alcohol moderately however is considered to do good to people. It is found that drinking a glass of red wine regularly is linked with improved heart health.
So, it would be best that you stop smoking if you do. You can, however, choose to drink moderately if you have to. Doing so will certainly increase your life expectancy.
8. Develop a healthy sleeping pattern
If there’s one thing, people, like doing more than anything else in this world that would be sleeping. So how does it sound when I say sleeping plenty is one of the healthy habits that will grant you a longer life?
When a baby is born, doctors advise the parents to make their babies sleep a lot. The reason is simple. A sleeping baby is more likely to have healthier growth and a peaceful mind.
But when the same child grows up and starts going to school, the child gets lesser and lesser time to sleep. And when the child grows up to become an adult, he/she is more likely to get even lesser sleep.
It is a bitter truth that our lives have changed drastically when compared to those who lived in the 20th century. Everyone nowadays is forced to live a busy life with no time to eat properly or sleep adequately.
Thus, our lifespan has drastically reduced over the century and now we even might not make it to our old age if this routine continues.
Studies conducted suggest that a person needs to sleep at least 7-8 hours a day. Sleeping less than 6 hours a day or sleeping more than 9 hours a day increases our chances of early death.
So, it is advised that you develop a healthy sleeping pattern and sleep for at least 7-8 hours a day. It will increase your chances of living a longer life.
9. Maintain your body weight
As we grow up, our body weight changes, we keep gaining weight until we reach maturity. It is perfectly natural and there’s nothing to worry about. But as we reach our maturity, our body weight mostly remains constant. That is until and unless we gain weight from overeating or lose weight by eating less.
But no matter whether you gain weight or lose weight, both might not be a good sign. Especially gaining weight is linked with many complications such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, arthritis, etc.
Healthy body weight is a ratio between your height and body mass. If you’re are tall, it is natural for you to weigh more than your friend who is of the same age but is shorter than you. So, if you’re a grown-up, the only concern for you should be is to maintain a healthy weight hereafter.
If you’ve gained excess weight after you’ve reached your maturity period, chances are you will suffer from one of these diseases. They are hypertension, dyslipidemia, type 2 diabetes, some form of cancer, etc.
And if you’ve lost excess weight once you’ve reached maturity, chances are you might as well suffer from diseases such as malnutrition, anemia, vitamin deficiencies, etc.
The best way to maintain a constant body weight is to develop a healthy eating and sleeping pattern. Exercising daily is equally important too.
10. Create a healthy social circle
A healthy social circle is linked with positivity, creativity, happiness, and success. Does this sound unacceptable to you? Well, if it does you might as well consult a good psychiatrist my friend.
People are social beings and cannot survive and thrive without having a friend circle or a social circle. A social circle is more like external stimuli. It shapes an individual from childhood until old age. You might’ve read about peer pressure when at school. The exact same principle applies here as well.
The habits an individual develops including the way he/she thinks, the attitude he/she possesses, etc. are all directly linked to his/her social circle. Thus it is fair to say that a healthy social circle will do good things to an individual and vice-versa.
So, it is advised that you have a healthy social circle to hang out with. Also, if you are a parent then encourage your children to join a healthy circle. This makes for a healthier and happier life.
We hope that you find this article helpful and we also hope that you’ll switch to these healthy habits and live a healthy and prosperous life. You can visit our site www.learninghealthyhabits.com for more health tips and advice to live a long and healthy life.
And make sure you drop your queries in our comment section below. We will do your best to address all your queries in real-time. Lastly, I would like to say that life is precious to throw away so learn to live healthy people 🙂