Friday, July 28, 2023

Want To Live Longer? Do These 8 Things


Remember Queen?  They had a song about wanting to live for ever.  I think everyone wants to live as long as they can.  I have a goal.  I call it a goal rather than a dream because you have to work for a goal but not always the dream.  I want to dance on a table in a cafe in Paris at the stroke of midnight when I'm 95.  To that, I have to make sure I stay healthy and the eight things I'm talking about today, will help me accomplish this.

Many of these things you've heard recommended before separately but together they can extend your life while helping you live a better life.  One of the first things is to exercise regularly. The exercise doesn't have to be at the gym.  It could be walking outside for blocks, running, jogging, or swimming but it should be something you enjoy.  Exercising regularly can help you maintain a healthy weight, strengthen your cardiovascular system, while reducing the risk of chronic disease.

Always, eat a balanced diet filled with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, lean proteins, and healthy fats.  Healthy fats are fats such as monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats found in vegetable oils like olive or canola oil, nuts, seeds, or fish.  Cut back on processed foods, sugary foods, and alcohol.  A well balanced diet can help cut down the risk of certain illnesses.  Speaking of alcohol, it is best not to drink much as consuming too much alcohol can lead to certain diseases.  In addition, do not smoke as smoking increases your chance of getting certain diseases such as emphysema.

Furthermore, it is important to maintain a healthy weight because if you carry more weight than is healthy, your chances of having heart disease, diabetes, and other diseases increases.  This one is much harder as you age.  I noticed I gained weight over several years and I thought it was normal but about 8 months ago, I changed my exercise program, switched out the sugary desserts for fresh fruit and I dropped enough weight, I ended up where I needed to be.  So it is possible but you have to find the factors that work for you.

A big factor is to reduce stress because high levels of stress can cause health issues.  Stress is a big issue for many of us.  One can reduce the extra stress by practicing stress reducing techniques Such as meditation, deep breathing techniques, yoga, walking in nature, or participating in hobbies you like.  I added an app to my iPad that helps me with breathing and visualization as a way of helping me reduce my stress.

One of the big steps, is to visit your health care provider on a regular basis rather than waiting until you notice something wrong.  When you visit your health care provider regularly, they are often able to make an early diagnosis of a series disease so that treatment can begin earlier.  Early treatment of diseases can help you live longer because things are treated early and prevents other medical issues.  

Sleep is extremely important.  One should aim for between 7 and 9 hours each night.  I know it can be hard to sleep sometimes so on Monday, I'll look at things one can do to help sleep better each and every night.  A good nights sleep is necessary for rejuvenation both physically and mentally.  

Finally, maintain social connects with others because humans need to have social interactions and need contact with family, friends, and community. These connections encourage improved mental and physical health.  So try to do all eight things to improve your chances of living longer.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear. 

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