According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the average life expectancy in America, is around the age of 78, with leading causes of death, such as: heart disease, cancer, and chronic lower respiratory disease. A healthy lifestyle can not only prevent these illnesses and other life-shortening conditions, but can also ensure that you remain feeling healthy and fit as you age! Following a healthy diet, maintaining social relationships, giving time to your body and mind on a daily basis, through mindfulness practices and much more, can help you to stay in the best shape possible.
The Keys to a Longer Life
1. Start practicing a healthy diet
Fruits and vegetables are essential keys to leading a happy, healthy and long life! The Global Burden of Disease reports that eating too little fruits and vegetables increase your risk of early death and disease. Eating too little seeds and nuts also shortens your lifespan, along with consuming high processed meat and not getting enough fiber. It is also important to avoid foods that might harm your health on the long run, such as processed foods, fatty foods, refined oils, refined sugars and others. Make sure you educate yourself in order to find out what is best for yourself and your loved ones!
2. Prioritize exercise
Exercise isn’t just about weight loss. It also reduces your risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Moreover, it also helps manage and lessen symptoms of mental illnesses, such as depression and anxiety. Schedule moderately active exercise over the week, such as yoga, swimming or go for daily nature walks.
3. Kick those unhealthy habits
Regular exercise and a healthy diet are useless if you’re still smoking and drinking too often. Smoking is known to shorten one’s life, with only half of long-term smokers living beyond 70 years. This bad habit also causes diseases, such as: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung cancer. It is also known to trigger one in six cases of heart disease.
While drinking one or two glasses of wine can reduce heart disease, drinking beyond the moderate amount can shorten your lifespan. Alcohol is the 12th highest cause of death in Western Europe, along with other related conditions such as cirrhosis, fatty liver disease, and liver cancer. Alcohol intake isn’t the only risk involved. Many accidents that end up killing others or yourself come from drinking too much alcohol.
4. Manage your stress
Stress plays a big role in determining your lifespan. Harvard and Stanford researchers report that long hours, heavy demands at work, and other stress factors can reduce your life expectancy. Yoga, meditation and mindful practices are excellent to reduce your stress levels and have been proven to reduce inflammation, which occurs when our body is under chronic or high stress. Other activities that help in reversing chronic inflammation are tai chi and qi gong.
5. Keep and start new social ties
Some studies report that loneliness poses the same risk as smoking, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. Therefore, it can be very beneficial to have a strong and healthy social network. Moreover, being with a group promotes social activities, such as exercises and can enhance a sense of belonging or togetherness, which has a positive effect on our life energy. It is important to note that loneliness is not only defined by the quantity, but also by the quality of our relationships. Focus on making meaningful friendships and sustaining the ones you are most comfortable having. Maintaining this group will increase your chances of living a longer and more meaningful life!
The time to invest in your future starts today. By adopting healthy lifestyle practices, we can ensure we keep our mind, body and energy healthy and balance. After all, a healthy mind and body, is a healthy you and can help you in living a fulfilling and beautiful life!