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.