If I told you I know the secrets that could extend the quality years of your life and how you can live longer, would you want them? Then try these 10 on for size!
- Watch What You Eat
Researchers have found that decreasing your caloric intake can increase a person’s life span as well as decrease their chances of age-related diseases.1 Certain foods can help as well. Here are 3 to add to your diet:
- Fish: Fish contains omega-3 fatty acids that keep your cholesterol low and keeps your heart ticking. Wild-caught salmon, anchovies, sardines, and mackerel are some of your best choices.
- Tomatoes: Tomatoes are loaded with lycopene, which stimulates your immune system and wards off free radicals that can mess with your organs.
- Broccoli: This cruciferous vegetable is high in vitamin C, calcium, and fiber. It helps keep your bones strong and healthy, boosts your immune system, and can reduce your risk of heart disease.
Most of us are sedentary, but did you know that decreasing the amount of time you sit by 3 hours a week can add up to 2 years to your life?2 Exercise, even walking, wakes up your organs, gets your blood flowing, strengthens your lungs, and stimulates your muscles.
- Never Stop Learning
If you don’t use it, you will lose it. One of the most exciting findings of the late 20th century was Brain Plasticity.3 According to Newsweek journalist Sharon Begley’s Try Your Mind, Change Your Brain, you don’t need to have the young spongy gray matter of a 4-year-old to learn to play the violin; you may have to work a bit harder, but the more you use your brain the better it will work for you. You are never too old to go back to school to learn a new language, subject, or skill. Be a student of life.
- Improve and Extend Your Social Network
Current research suggests that building and maintaining healthy, fulfilling relationships improves mental health, quality of life, and longevity.4 An analysis in the journal PLOS Medicine reviewed the lives of 309,000 people across 148 studies and discovered that those with close friends lived longer.
- Catch some Z’s
Do you stay up late or toss and turn through the night? While getting 7–8 hours of sleep can improve your life (and your workout results), the amount of sleep each person requires varies between individuals. What’s most important is that you get quality sleep on a regular basis as researchers note that those who do live healthier, longer lives.6 Poor sleep patterns are also linked to poor health and obesity. Having trouble getting a good night’s sleep?
- Get a Pet
Pets can keep you from feeling lonely, make you laugh, decrease depression, and encourage exercise7 . . . all of which improve the quality of your life. Researchers reported that pet owners who were released from the hospital after surgery from a heart attack were 12% more likely to survive than the patients who did not own a pet.8 So, I would say it’s time to go rescue a dog or cat and improve two lives at once!
Do you freak out over little things? Find yourself waking up tense? Time to find some ways to decompress before the stress messes with your blood pressure. According to the American Heart Association®, men with high blood pressure are 3 times more likely to develop heart disease and 6 times more likely to have a heart attack by the age of 55.9 So head out to the next yoga class or find something meditative to calm you when the rest of your life goes sideways.
- Live With Plants
Houseplants improve the quality of the air we breathe. They eliminate indoor air pollutants that have been responsible for more than 1.6 million deaths per year.10 And, they’re nice to look at. The best pollution-eating plants for your home or office are the English Ivy, Purple Waffle Plant, Asparagus Fern, and Waxy Leaf Plant.
- Maintain Healthy Teeth
Flossing might be a pain, but dirty teeth and gums can kill you. If infectious bacteria gets lodged between the gums, they can trigger an immune response and they might play a role in heart and cardiovascular disease.11 In order to keep your teeth nice and healthy, avoid refined carbohydrates and sugar, floss daily, use antibacterial mouthwash, brush teeth at least twice a day, and see your dentist every 6 months for a checkup.
- Have Sex
Sex doesn’t just feel good—it burns calories and orgasms release stress-reducing endorphins into your bloodstream! These feel-good chemicals can relieve the pain associated with arthritis and other age-related illnesses. No partner? Go solo! Your heart, lungs, and even your skin will still enjoy the benefits.
Source: Sarah Stevenson, Team Beachbody