Wondering how to live longer and live better?
Most of us don’t want to miss out on being around for our kids and grandchildren. While there is an abundance of ways to ensure your ongoing health, the key to a longer life primarily lies in preventing illness. Here are seven health habits that can lead to a longer life- as proven by science. Dr. Lester Breslow gained these seven tips from a study following 7000 adults over nine (9) years. They found that these seven habits were the key to increased life expectancy. People who followed all seven health habits lived 11.5 years longer than those who didn’t.
1. Eat Regular Meals
Eating scheduled meals is the healthiest way to consume your meals. A study published in the Journal of Public Health Nutrition proposes that eating regular meals helps individuals maintain more nutritious diets. Eating regularly contributes to heightened consumption of vegetables and fruits and less consumption of sodas, fast foods, and other unhealthy snacks.
2. Regular Exercise = longer life
Regular physical activity is strongly associated with higher life expectancy. Exercise can improve endurance and strengthen muscles, leading to decreased joint problems later in life and enhanced cardiorespiratory function, according to a study performed in 2019 by the Mayo Clinic.
3. Sleep Well
Getting higher quality sleep and practicing better sleep hygiene leads to increased mental focus and concentration. It is also associated with the consumption of fewer calories (which, as previously mentioned in this list, is a net positive). Better sleep can also aid in enhancing athletic performance, the benefits of which are also previously mentioned in this list. In conclusion, it all comes back to sleep!
4. Maintain a Moderate Weight
The benefits of maintaining a healthy weight throughout one’s life are innumerable, all of which can lead to a longer life expectancy. Maintaining a healthy weight can increase fertility, better sleep, stave off age-related diseases, decrease chronic disease risk (such as heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure), and give you more energy. According to the CDC, a healthy BMI will typically fall between 18.5 to 24.9, and maintaining a BMI within this level can lead to a longer life expectancy.
5. Drink Less Alcohol
Drinking less or even no alcohol has a laundry list of beneficial side effects, including but not limited to lower blood pressure, reduced cholesterol levels, and lower overall blood sugar. Studies show that reducing alcohol consumption can decrease one’s risk of developing at least seven types of cancer. Reducing alcohol also helps maintain a healthy liver. This will reduce the future risk of chronic disease according to Healthline.
6. Avoid Smoking
Avoiding smoking can help prevent the risk of developing multiple types of cancers over one’s lifetime, including cancers of the pancreas, stomach, cervix, liver, rectum, and colon, and help avoid acute myeloid leukemia (AML). If one is an active smoker, quitting will also lower one’s risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, and cardiorespiratory illnesses and diseases.
7. Eat Breakfast
Many studies support the health benefits of eating breakfast throughout one’s life. Consuming breakfast improves overall energy levels and mental focus, and concentration ability. It can lead to better results with weight management efforts, reduced risk of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes in the long term. And the cherry on top is that typical breakfast foods are also high in crucial nutrients such as fiber, calcium, Vitamin B, iron, and folate.
It’s never too late to focus on these healthy habits. Studies are showing that lifestyle changes can reverse health damage in all sorts of diseases that are lifestyle related. Even the smallest changes can lead to big rewards! For example, by modifying your diet and bumping up the exercise you can lower your cholesterol and blood pressure. Heart disease can even be reversed. It’s never too late to make healthy lifestyle choices. By doing so, you will not only live longer; you will live better!
Grab a free checklist below to help you get started on these healthy habits. If you are interested in more tips or assistance on maintaining your health and independence, contact Bluebird Health!
References: Belloc, NB and Breslow (1972), “Relationship of physical health status and health practices,” Preventative Medicine, Vol 1 No 3, pages 409-21; see also Breslow, L and J E Enstrom (1980), “Persistence of health habits and their relationship to mortality,” Preventative Medicine, Vol 9 No 4, page 469-83.