It is not so hard to take care of your health, once you put your mind to it. You just have to make the commitment.
According to the Centre for Disease Control, practicing healthy behaviors can prevent or control the effects of many leading causes to death. It has been shown that one’s lifestyle has the greatest influence on how healthy you are and how long you live.
So, it is all in your power to live longer and feel better, you just have to set your mind to it. Here are some things you have to do and some things you have to avoid.
Eat Less and Healthy
It has been shown, in animal studies, that reducing calories increased life expectancy and delayed aged-related disease. This hasn’t been yet proved for humans, but it is a common knowledge that modest reduction in total fat, saturated fat and cholesterol help maintain a healthy weight and reduce the risks for diabetes, cardiovascular disease and strokes, which are in fact the leading causes to premature death. You should also practice a lot of exercise, as diet and exercise go hand in hand.
Healthy food gives your body the fuel it needs to stay active and function at its best. Instead of eating fat meals, you should choose fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains and lean meats, which provide your body with the nutrients it needs to repair itself. Consume less fat. Limit your total fat intake to 30% of the calories you get each day. Limit saturated fat, from animal products, such as butter, eggs, meat and regular milk, to 10%.
You should also eat several small meals during the day instead of three large ones, or use a smaller plate so that it appears you have more food. Put your fork down after every bite. This is a trick that encourages you to eat more slowly, giving your stomach time to signal your brain you are full.
You can eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day and exercise regularly, but healthy behavior means little if you continue to smoke. The message that ‘smoking is bad for you’ is an old one, so people don’t give it their full attention. Why quit smoking, anyway? One reason is that smoking can cause lung cancer and other cancers and illnesses as well.
A cigarette contains more than 4000 chemical compounds and at least 400 toxic substances. The products that are more damaging are the tar, which is a carcinogen, the nicotine, which is addictive and increases cholesterol levels in your body, and the carbon monoxide which reduces the oxygen in the body.
The damage caused by smoking is influenced by the number of cigarettes smoked, by whether the cigarette has a filter on not and by the way the tobacco has been prepared. Anyway, it is proved that smoking affects how long you live; it reduces life expectancy by seven to eight years. So, if you want to add a couple of years to your long and healthy life, you should abandon this nasty habit before it is too late.
Many people use alcohol. Most drink moderately throughout life without developing a problem. But, some people begin drinking or increase their use of alcohol in later life, usually in response to stress. At first, alcohol is used for temporary relief, but later becomes a problem. Researchers estimate that as many as 10 percent of the population age 60 and older have a problem with alcohol. If you drink, you should not have more than two drinks a day, because if you pass that limit, you increase the risk of having various diseases as well as physiological and social problems. Alcohol increases the risk of suicide, it shorten life expectancy, it destroys families and other relationships, it impairs memory, reduces the quality of life and it kills. So, avoid drinking too much alcohol if you want to have a nice elderly life.
You should get regular exercise, as it is critical not only for your weight control and for your cardiovascular health, but also for building strong bones. Activity does not need to be strenuous; a little goes a long way. Aim for at least 30 minutes of daily moderate activity. Researchers continue to uncover health benefits from maintaining a physically active life, including weight management, improved sleep patterns, more energy, reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety, stress relief, strengthened bones and muscles, lower risk of diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, blood pressure, and so on. No matter your age, try to be as active as possible, even if lying on the sofa is more attractive than walking.
Get Enough Sleep
In order to live a long healthy life, this is an aspect you should not ignore. Even if you are in your early youth and do not feel tired at any time, the effects of skipping sleep hours will be visible in a couple of years. A healthy life means aiming for 7-8 hours every night, sticking to a regular schedule and avoiding foods or drinks that may keep you up before going to bed. Why is it important to get enough sleep? Because, nature’s own fountain of youth, the human growth hormone, is produced during sleep. We make less of it as we age, so get as much sleep as you can.
Today’s world is faster and more complex than ever. We always have to hurry to work, to hurry to take the kids from school, not to forget that important project we have to present at work, and all sorts of other activities that keep us in a continual state of tension. Well, if you want to live long, you have to learn how to relax and the ways that reduce stress in your life. Listen to some music, meditate, find a hobby, watch a baseball game, read a book, get a pet as they have been proved to lower blood pressure. Try to find at least 15 minutes every day to relax and you will see the long-term results.
Studies show that people who live with someone else live longer. It may be because there’s someone there to take care for you if you get sick, to pick up prescriptions, and other things like that and also to give you moral support when you need it. The emotional connection strengthens your own resolution to survive. In many cases, when two old people live together, when one of them dies, this emotional bound being broken, causes the death of the other, too. Have more sex
There’s no evidence that sexual activity helps you live longer, but there is also no evidence that it doesn’t. In fact, it has been proved that people who remain sexually active have a lower rate of strokes than the ones who left sex life. So, why not try it and see what happens?
Remember mental and emotional health
Mental health is very important to healthy aging. Depression, stress, and anxiety can affect your health and ability to recover from illness. New research suggests that brain health can be improved by being physically and socially active. Another good way to exercise your brain is through brain teasers and puzzles.
Social activities are both fun and good for your health. Find activities that match your interests, such as book clubs, dance classes, walking programs or simply getting together with friends. This mind- body connection is a very important factor in our lives, because we all know that one’s attitude can have an effect on one’s health. Another key factor in staying healthy is to look upon the future and aging positively. Those who remain flexible and adaptable age best.
Research made on people aged 100 and more proved the fact that they are all engaged with life, able to cope with loss and have a slightly humoristic attitude towards life.