Everyone knows that fruits and vegetables are part of a healthy diet. So learning that you need to eat more produce in order to live longer is not rocket science. However, a surprising number of busy people forget to do this, or they make excuses. Vitamin C helps your body’s immune system fight off disease, so it is important to eat fruits like oranges and apples to keep the doctor away. According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, people who refuse to eat fruits and vegetables on a daily basis are 53% more likely to die sooner than they would have otherwise. If you are finding it difficult to afford produce every week, try to look for local farmer’s markets, where local people are selling their fruit and vegetables for half the price of what you find in a grocery store.
We all know that it is important to maintain a healthy weight, but it is not just a way to boost your self-confidence. According to the National Institute of Health, extreme obesity can decrease life expectancy up to 14 years. The definition of “extremely obese” is someone who needs to lose 100 pounds or more. That is like losing more than a year of your life for every 10 pounds that you are overweight. If it is difficult to lose weight, those extra years just may be enough motivation to get started on your next diet plan.
You would think that happy-go-lucky people live longer. But the truth is a little more complicated than that. According to Dr. Howard Friedman from the Longevity Project, children who are very happy and naive are more likely to have an accident compared to kids who are a bit more shy, observant, and cautious. They do not always see potential dangers that may be coming around the corner. By having a healthy amount of cynicism or pessimism, we protect ourselves from potential things that may hurt us. However, once you are a full-grown adult, studies have shown that having a happy, positive outlook on life can increase your life expectancy by 35%.
Studies have shown that people who incorporate moderate exercises into their daily routine will result in a healthier lifestyle compared to someone who goes hard at the gym only one or two days a week. There are plenty of simple ways to incorporate more movement into your day, like taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Take more walks in the park, ride your bike, or go for a swim. But it is not enough just to slowly slosh your way down the sidewalk at a snail’s speed. If you are not injured, you should try to “power walk” as much as possible. Evidence suggests that someone who walks with a faster, brisk pace is more likely to live 10 years longer than someone who is dragging their feet.
There is a saying, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”, and when it comes to building a healthy immune system, it is very true. Modern medicine is amazing, and we are not suggesting that you should skip going to the hospital or doctor. And sometimes, taking antibiotics is completely necessary to help your body fight off a life-threatening infection. However, there are some doctors over-prescribe antibiotics for infections that your body has the ability to fight on its own. It also messed with your gut biome, which is why most doctors recommend eating yogurt during your treatment. According to Medical News Today, women who are prescribed too many antibiotics throughout their lifetime are 27% more likely to die at a younger age. Antibiotics prevent your body from naturally learning how to fight off infection on its own. Therefore, the next time an illness comes around, your body may not be prepared to fight it off.
Having a dog or cat decreases anxiety, depression, and stress levels. If you have a dog, you will also take more walks, because your furry friend will want to get outside. There have also been plenty of stories of dogs and cats running to find help when their owner has fallen or is having a heart attack. If you live alone, it is especially important to have a pet with you so that you do not feel as lonely. Pets provide love and companionship, even in the worst of times.
According to AARP, people who go to church add 4 to 14 years to their overall life expectancy. This may have more to do with the fact that if you are apart of a religion, it also ties you to a supportive Community. So, if you are agnostic or atheist, it may be possible to get the same benefits from joining a local club. But no matter what your belief system may be, it’s good to check in on your inner self. It may give you more hope for your life and the future. Consider meditating or taking the time to get in touch with your inner soul.
Reading for at least a half an hour a day has been shown to help you to think clearly as you age. Books make our minds more empathetic, rational, creative, and it can also help you think more clearly. Studies have shown that it can even prevent mental illnesses like Dementia. Taking time to read is also a form of “self care”, because you are forgetting about your personal problems in order to sit or lay down and focus your mind on something else. Reading books and magazines may not help you live longer but it will give you a higher quality of life.
Going to the doctor can be scary sometimes, and a lot of people avoid going unless there is something truly wrong. However, it’s totally find to go just for a wellness visit, especially after the age of 30. Many times, a serious health condition like cancer can be caught early before it becomes life threatening. Your doctor will also be able to make personal recommendations for what you can do to improve your lifespan.
It’s no secret that people die in car accidents every single day. We cannot avoid running into bad luck, and we cannot stop the actions of other drivers. But there are some accidents that could have been prevented if both cars had regular maintenance, especially with good brakes or visibility. You also want to make sure the car has automatic locks and an airbag system. We are not trying to suggest that you should go blow your life savings on a brand new luxury vehicle, but holding on to the same car for years for the sake of saving money just maybe a contributor to an early death.
A surprising number of people become injured in their own homes, especially as they get older. Most of these accidents could have been prevented. The Center of Disease Control has a guide for a home safety check. This is especially important for an older person living alone. You would be shocked to know how many accidents happen from simple things like slipping on a throw rug, or missing a step in a dark stairwell. Go through the checklist with your loved ones in order to make sure everyone stays safe.
According to the Center of Disease Control, 3,000 people die every year because of a food allergy. If you are allergic to peanuts or shellfish, you probably already know that it is an issue, because you are likely to have had a violent reaction at some point in your life. However, allergies change as we age. So you may be allergic to foods that you have never tried before or have avoided eating for years, and would therefore have no idea that it would cause an issue. Consider going to the doctor to get an allergy test just to be safe. If you truly are deathly allergic to something, you will be prescribed an EpiPen to carry with you in case of emergencies.
There are some people out there who have not participated in a fire drill since they were in elementary school, and they are lucky to have never gone through a natural disaster. Even if you live in a relatively safe area, you truly never know when disaster may strike. It is actually very important to have a plan of what to do in case of an emergency. Make sure you have fire detectors and extinguishers in your kitchen. Keep around some extra blankets, candles, and bottled water in case of a power outage. Buy non-perishable foods, and come up with a potential meal plan. If you are not sure how to prepare for a natural disaster, check out Ready.gov for a detailed guide.