Longevity is achievable.
We can not only live happily, find meaning, form relationships, achieve goals and reach peace, but also increase our lifespan.
Sadly, what most people do is work on decreasing life expectancy from their teenage years on.
That happens by developing unhealthy habits, choosing easier and faster solutions, being lazy physically and mentally, and preferring instant gratification over what’s good for them in the long term.
And the biggest problem is that they do this daily.
Actually, shortening life is a common habit many share.
What can we do about that then?
There are many factors that either take years from our life or add some and help us live longer. They include people, physical and mental health, place of living, environment, work, stress, habits and many others.
The good news is that you can control most of them. You’re in charge of everything happening in your head, of the people in your life, whether you work out and eat healthy or not, the conditions you live in, the stress, etc.
There isn’t any secret to longevity, just precise steps, advice and useful information you need to consider.
By making changes in your daily routine, social life and way of thinking, and taking smart decisions, you can live a long life of fulfillment, passion and contentment.
What to do first to increase longevity?
The first aspect of your longevity project is health.
We have one body to live with and if we take good care of it, we can live, feel and look great for much longer.
Positive and negative health factors that affect lifespan
Longevity hack 1: Sport
Being active is good for both body and mind.
Working out is one of the most important keys to avoiding heart attacks, obesity, diabetes and a great number of diseases and aches, and as a result of that – to postponing aging.
Being active can mean any kind of movement.
Walking daily, for example, is great. It is the easiest activity and the best option for older people, but – of course – everyone can benefit from it.
Studies show that taking long walks a few times every week has a positive effect on your muscles, heart, mind, joints, etc.
And by making it a habit, you are on your way to a longer and happier life.
Another advantage is that you can easily make it a fun and pleasant experience – do it close to nature, with your dog, friends or kids, go sightseeing or contemplate while doing it.
After some time start jogging.
30 minutes of daily exercise (cardio, stretching or training with weights) is what your body needs in order to be in great shape and health.
So if you still haven’t started doing any of these, now is the time.
And here are some other easy ways to be more active without putting much effort:
• use the stairs instead of the elevator;
• avoid driving short distances;
• do pushups, crunches, squats, etc. for 5 minutes every 2-4 hours when at the office or just staying at one place;
• have a standing desk at work or home.
Longevity hack 2: Obesity
Now that’s a negative factor.
Having a lot of excess weight is a sign that we’re leading a sedentary lifestyle, eating the wrong fats, processed and junk food, overeating and being inactive.
The heavier you are, the worse the condition of your heart.
Then comes cholesterol, depression, digestive problems, a bigger risk of cancer, lung and liver diseases and a premature death.
All that has a huge negative effect on our life expectancy.
Longevity hack 3: Overeating
I listed that separately as it’s becoming a world problem.
Many slim and even underweight people eat more than they are supposed to. Our gluttony is increasing an it’s not surprising to learn that today almost every fast food restaurant offers a bigger portion that it did years ago.
An enormous amount of fats and calories in just one meal has become the norm.
How awful is that!
We eat too much and too many of the wrong things.
And anything in our life that is being overdosed is crucial.
We became a nation of emotional eaters and that literally killed our body’s ability to send signals when it is hungry, thirsty, full, etc.
Now most people eat only because they want to, their favorite show is on, are in front of the computer, in a bad mood, or a good one, depressed, have nothing else to do, and – in a nutshell – because of any other reason but hunger.
That slowly, but steadily ruins our organisms and the only one that benefits from it is the fast food industry. So congrats to them!
Longevity hack 4: Overtraining
Unfortunately, sometimes exercising can be a factor that is more harmful than beneficial.
And if done regularly – in the wrong way, can decrease our life expectancy.
Such examples are people in the gym who are doing everything completely wrong and this way the machines injure their muscles and joints. Or those who do it right, but way too long.
Our muscles are being shaped while we rest and sleep, and not in the gym.
But many enthusiasts haven’t done their research and think that the more they work out, the faster they will have their dream body.
The result is injuries, fatigue, broken tendons and torn muscles.
So if you’ve decided to improve your lifestyle by adding daily gym sessions, or another kind of exercise, see how others do it first and start small.
Longevity hack 5: Fats
A well-known fact is that Americans are the most obese nation.
Every foreigner is shocked by the number of overweight people he sees in the US.
That’s also the country with the biggest number of heart attacks. Many statistics conclude that the average citizen has many health problems because of the many calories of fats he takes.
People of other nations also eat a lot and have a high calorie intake, but what differs Americans from them is the quality of those fats.
The so-called “fast food nation” even has the most obese children, which is an evidence showing that their habits are worsening.
Those fats are the worst enemy of the heart. They make us tired, depressed and eventually we can’t even take the stairs without getting out of breath.
We won’t be healthy until we start eating only good fats (natural oils, nuts, etc.) and exclude all processed food from our diet (greasy meat, fried foods, sugar, and everything that comes from a package).
Longevity hack 6: Vegetarianism
Meat is one of the worst factors that affect our lifespan.
We aren’t supposed to eat meat – it’s not humane, our organisms can’t digest it properly, it is full of unnatural hormones and deteriorates our health.
Vegetarianism, on the other hand, is a positive factor and everyone says that when giving up meat, we start living a better, healthier and happier life.
Meat is associated with high cholesterol, stomach issues, many kinds of cancer, allergies, heart attacks, asthma and problems with digestion.
By becoming vegetarians, however, we refind the power of food that meat has put in the background.
We can still get enough proteins, all the vitamins, fibers, amino-acids and antioxidants needed by all sorts of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains and fish.
Longevity hack 7: Slow Eating
Most of us eat super fast.
The reasons for that behavior may be different – lack of time, being in a hurry, just having the habit of eating one thing after another in no time, or consuming a lot of food without even realizing.
Well, this is ruining our bodies and making us live a shorter and unhealthy life, so it’s high time we all slow down and chew more.
Feel the benefits of slow eating and really enjoy the taste of what you put in your mouth.
Longevity hack 8: Sugar
It’s everywhere these days, even in the products in which we least expect it.
The whole world, especially children, is full of sugar addicts. We’ve got so used to it and love the taste so much that we buy more and more of it.
Here is the reason why sugar is a negative factor which directly influences our longevity:
It’s actually made of sugar-cane, but in the process of refinement every mineral and vitamin goes away.
And it has no nutritive value any more.
By eating it together with different foods we gain weight, which then turns into glycogen in the liver and after some time the surplus of it goes back to the blood circulation and becomes fat.
You can prevent that by building the habit of reading carefully the label of what you buy (and changing your buying habits in general) and choosing wisely what to eat.
These are just some of the factors concerning our health that affect longevity.
But it’s not too late to fix the way our days go.
Eliminate the negative factors and increase the influence of the positive ones to add more years to your life and live them healthy and happily.
Your lifespan depends on what you do – your daily choices and habits determine whether you’ll live long, or not.
So what are you going to do today that will boost your longevity?
Full-time freelance writer. Lifestyle designer.
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