While living the longest doesn’t necessarily mean living the best life, there are still plenty of good reasons to be interested in living as long as possible. Especially since many of the methods that can help extend your life also help you stay healthy as you grow older, which comes with all sorts of quality of life improvements. This means that taking care of your health can help you retain your independence longer and reduce how much time you spend in hospitals throughout your life.
With that in mind, here are some of the ways you can help yourself live a longer and healthier life.
1 – Eat healthy
You don’t have to become a vegetarian or vegan entirely to live a healthy life. It comes down to avoiding certain foods while embracing others and making sure you don’t overeat. This means making sure your body is getting all the nutrients and vitamins it needs while managing your caloric intake and eating unhealthy things in moderation.
Following a specific type of diet can be helpful in this area. Becoming a vegetarian, for example, can both be good for your health and offer other perks and — as this article makes clear — help you pay less in life insurance premiums, as this article makes clear. The DASH and the Mediterranean diets can both be good for your health as well.
If being too strict with your diet sounds like a pain, that’s ok. Healthy eating is not a binary thing — you can still make your eating habits healthier just by adding some fruits, nuts, and whole grains to your diet while eating everything else just as you used to. Any positive change will always beat making no changes at all.
2 – Exercise
There are disagreements on how much exercise you should get every week to stay healthy. One number proposed by the World Health Organization is that people should get around 150 minutes of moderate exercise every week, combined with resistance training at least twice a week. But some sources say that is not enough, while others recommend more exercise.
What matters is: exercise is good for you. And if you are looking to live a long healthy life, getting on a regular exercise schedule is a good idea. Not only to promote hormonal balance and cardiovascular strength but also to strengthen your body so you’ll be able to move without assistance longer.
3 – Manage your stress
Stress is a silent killer, and there have been plenty of studies linking chronic stress to several conditions that can greatly reduce your life expectancy. One of the chief concerns with stress is the fact that it increases the risk of you developing heart conditions, not to mention that it makes people more prone to gaining weight. And obesity is another risk factor for heart conditions.
There is no universal stress management solution out there. Different people prefer different methods of decompressing. Just remember that setting time aside to do something that helps you relax every day — or at least a few times a week — is in the best interest of both your mental and physical health.