10 Lifestyle Practices to Get Back on the Road to Longevity
There is no permanent place called "idle.” Daily choices lead you toward improved health or slowly veer you off course toward illness. Today, as you journey on the road of life, take a moment to stop, and look at the map.
Where have you been? Did you like what you saw and how you spent your time? How was the food? Was your bed comfortable? Sleep well? Are you pleased with the ratio of work to recreation?
If the answers are anything but "good" and "yes," it is time to reroute.
Living healthy creates more time and ability to enjoy the journey. The road to health and longevity includes feeling good, freedom to move, ability to travel, ease of mind, and increased assurance against cancer, heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and Alzheimers.
The alternative route is toward discomfort and illness.
The Little Things Add Up
An analysis of 15 international studies with over 500,000 participants found over half of premature deaths were due to unhealthy lifestyle factors - poor diet, inactivity, obesity, excessive alcohol intake, and smoking. Not surprisingly, the greater the number of healthy habits people had, the longer their lifespan.
Researchers in the American Heart Association study Lifestyle and Life Expectancy concluded that adhering to a low-risk lifestyle (never smoking, a healthy weight, regular physical activity, a healthy diet, and moderate alcohol consumption) could prolong life expectancy in US adults at age 50 by an average of 14.0 years for females and 12.2 years for males.
This data supports small changes in direction can reroute anyone back to the road of vitality and longevity.
The 10 Lifestyle Practices
10 Lifestyle Practices to Get Back on the Road to Longevity:
- Eat real food from the earth: a variety of colorful vegetables and fruits, hearty grains, lean protein, legumes, nuts and seeds, and some dairy.
- Avoid processed, trans-fat laden, sugary products.
- Move often. Reach. Bend. Stand. Get up. Move around. Walk a lot.
- Exercise most days. Walk, bike, run, swim, hike, take a class…30 minutes, 5 times per week.
- Sleep 7-8 hours per night. Nap if needed.
- Stimulate your mind. Engage in creative activities. Participate in interesting conversations. Read good books.
- Reduce stress. Let go of what is not yours to control. Learn to breathe deep and exhale.
- Have faith. Ask the big questions and seek the answers.
- Stop smoking.
- Limit alcohol.
Good Habits Are Not Developed in a Day
Habits have a massive impact on how you feel day to day as well as how long and how well you live throughout life. They can add years to your life and reduce the risk certain diseases.
Good habits are not developed in a day or destroyed in a moment.
Healthy lifestyle habits are a series of decisions and choices over time. It is worth the effort to explore which of the 10 Lifestyle Practices are working for you and which ones need to shift.
Li, Y., Pan, A., Wang, D., Liu, X., Dhana, K., Franco, O., . . . Hu, F. (2018, July 24). Impact of Healthy Lifestyle Factors on Life Expectancies in the US Population. Retrieved June 18, 2019, from https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/full/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.117.032047
Loef, M., & Walach, H. (2012, June 24). The combined effects of healthy lifestyle behaviors on all cause mortality: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Retrieved June 18, 2019, from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0091743512002666?via=ihub
Information presented by W(h)ealth should not be relied upon to determine diet, make a medical diagnosis, or determine treatment for a medical condition. The information is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. Consult a doctor and/or medical professional before making any health changes, especially any changes related to a specific diagnosis or condition.