I write a lot in this blog about the ever-expanding lifespan of the average American, and much of that is thanks to truly incredible developments in medical science over the past few years. But living longer can be a personal victory too.
Medical Daily recently published a list of ten easy practices we can all put in place to earn a longer life. Many of them are common sense, but the important thing is to bundle them all together in the same lifestyle. When carried out in concert, these simple “life improvements” have been proven to lead to a longer and more fulfilling life.
- Exercise — The more the better, but even a little walking and standing can help. This one’s at the top of the list because it’s more effective than all the rest.
- Don’t Smoke (or Stop Smoking Now) — Every month you quit could add a year onto your life!
- Avoid Drinking & Hard Drugs — It’s no secret that illicit drugs can ruin the body and brain in no time, but it’s important to remember that “softer” drugs like alcohol take nearly the same toll when consumed in excess.
- Feel Young— Research shows that people who feel younger inside actually live longer. Mind over matter!
- Stop Sitting So Much — Some studies show that a sedentary lifestyle can be as deadly as smoking. For reasons we don’t entirely understand just yet, the physical act of sitting is almost toxic to the body. Do as little of it as possible.
- Eat Well — Fruit, vegetables, whole foods, etc. Whether you go organic, Mediterranean, or even adopt a diet all your own, be sure to avoid excessive sugar, calories, chemicals, processed foods, and all those other tempting vices. Opt for heart-healthy foods!
- Keep Your Mind Sharp — People who stay mentally active into old age are known to have substantially lower rates of dementia.
- Stay Social— Loneliness isn’t just depressing; it’s deadly. Some studies find that loneliness and obesity yield identical early-death rates.
- Maintain Positivity & Purpose — People who maintain a positive outlook and a sense of purpose have drastically lower levels of stress. Since stress is a major source of internal bodily damage, avoiding it can extend your life considerably.
Chances are, you’re doing a lot of these already. Why not make a couple of changes so you can score a perfect 10 out of 10? The proof is in the pudding, after all. These little changes make a big difference!