8 Ways To Stay Healthier Longer
While your genes have the biggest affect on how long you will live, there are eight simple lifestyle steps you can take to improve your odds of living a long, healthy life with fewer doctor and hospital visits, and little or no prescription medications.
Step 1. Stay Active
Your body was made to be active not sit at a computer all day and spending your evenings on the couch in front of your television or surfing the web on your phone or tablet.
A study involving Taiwanese people, participants who exercised for only 15 minutes per day extended their lives by 3 years. Those that exercised 30 minutes per day increased their life expectancy by 4 years.
Everyone can exercise at least 15 minutes per day. You don’t need a gym membership for that.
Step 2. Eat Fruits and Vegetables
This may sound old, but their is plenty of research to back up increased life expectancy of people eating primarily a plant based diet. This doesn’t mean a vegetarian diet. It means eating at least 5 servings per day of fruits and vegetables. A serving is 1/2 cup cooked vegetables or one piece of fruit. A large lunch or dinner salad easily means this requirement.
Not only are fruits and vegetables lower in calories, they provide many essential nutrients not found in meat.
Five servings per day can increase life expectancy by 3 years.
Step 3. Eat Whole Grains
A Harvard research study reported eating 28 grams of whole grains, about the amount in less than 2 slices of whole wheat bread, reduced the overall risk of death by 5 percent and the risk of dying from cardiovascular diseases by 9 percent.
Whole grains include; whole wheat, oats, brown rice, barley, corn, rye, and quinoa.
Step 4. Do Not Smoke or Stop Smoking
Most victims of fires die from smoke inhalation not from the flames. Hint, hint!
The reason most people smoke is due to nicotine addiction. Smoking was considered to be cool. Watch movies and television programs prior to the 1970s.
Life expectancy among smokers is at east 10 years less than for nonsmokers according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Step 5. Get The Right Amount Of Sleep
European researchers reported sleeping less than 7 hours per night increased the risk of death by 12 percent. Sleeping 9 or more hours increased the of death by 30 percent.
Seven to eight hours per night appears to the the sweet spot. Everyone is different, and some people seem to function well on very little sleep.
Step 6. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Being overweigh ot obese increases your risk of diabetes, cancer, and high blood pressure.
Men and women who maintain a normal body weight had the lowest death rates.
To calculate your BMI score and estimate your daily calories download my Calorie Estimator spreadsheet. It requires Microsoft Excel or software .xls comparable software. Click here to down load the spreadsheet.
Step 7. Eat Less Red Meat
This means less beef and pork. Both are high in saturated fat. Substitute leaner meats like chicken and fish.
Step 8. Manage Stress
Stress is a killer. Many Americas are under constant stress at work and at home. Uncontrolled stress increase blood pressure which can lead to a heart attack or stroke.
Meditation or yoga are proven ways to reduce stress and you can do them at home with little or no equipment.
Just 10 minutes of daily mediation can significantly reduce stress. Meditation can also preserve brain neurons as you age according to a study by the University of California Los Angeles.
Click here for post about How to meditate.