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Prolong Your Life Starting Today With These 5 Simple Tips

Prolong Your Life Starting Today With These 5 Simple Tips

Prolonging your life is easier said than done. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle in the west is much like maintaining a car. It may crap out on you depending on how poorly you take care of it.

Whether you are a millennial, Gen-Xer, or a Baby-Boomer, health is the great equalizer. It favors no one but the proactive. Anyone at any stage can take their health into their own hands. However, knowledge of health is not a natural endowment and must be sought after. The problem is that much of the information we find on the internet regarding health is usually written by “quacks.” In order to break from this theme, I have compiled a list of 5 ways to prolong your life with citations made available for each. Some of these citations come straight from the World Health Organization, the Mayo Clinic, government websites, or doctors who have been cited in the links.

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The following areas are things we may tend to overlook in life, but that we should give more of our attention to. Here are 5 ways to take charge and prolong your life starting today.

Adopt A Healthy Diet

The sodium and sugar intake in the average western diet leaves a lot to be desired. How can you possibly prolong your life with your diet? The trick is to consume sodium and sugar in moderation. The World Health Organization recommends the following:

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  • Consuming more fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and grains.
  • Reducing your intake of salt, sugar, and fats.

Have A Social Life

Having a social life is also a key way for you to prolong your life. The Mayo Clinic shows us some key benefits of having friendships:

  • Reduces stress
  • Helps you cope with trauma
  • Encourages you to change or avoid unhealthy lifestyle habits, such as excessive drinking or lack of exercise

Exercise Regularly

It is obvious to most that you need to exercise in order to prolong your life. However, if you are second-guessing your exercise routine, here is a tip:

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  • The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends at least 2.5 hours per week of moderate-intensity exercise to increase life expectancy by 4.5 years.

Get Enough Sleep

I know. The boss wants you to put in extra hours, you need to play with the kids a little while more in order to get them tired enough to go to sleep, you have one more thing on your checklist to complete before you get to bed — these are all very valid points. How can you prolong your life with this busy schedule? Think of the many times that you just sit down and stare at your smartphone during those off-the-clock hours. Time management skills can also be used in your personal life in order to get the necessary amount of sleep needed in order to be healthy. Here are some of the benefits of getting enough sleep:

  • Sleep keeps your heart healthy
  • May prevent cancer
  • Reduces stress
  • Reduces inflammation
  • May help you lose weight
  • Reduces your risk for depression
  • Helps the body repair any damage

Consume Plenty Of Water

Our bodies are 75% water. Most of us do not get the necessary amounts of water needed in order to maintain our health. Here are some of the benefits to consuming adequate amounts of water:

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  • May prevent colon cancer
  • Flushes out toxins
  • Aids in weight loss
  • Moisturizes your joints

“Health is wealth.” We have all heard that adage time-and-time-again. However, we should keep in mind that repetition does not preclude the saying from the realm of fact. If you are a healthy individual, you will not have to spend your retirement money on hospital bills. You are more likely to actually use that money to enjoy a nice long life.

Now that you have checked out these quick tips, I hope that you take the necessary steps in order for you to prolong your life starting today!

Featured photo credit: Johan Mouchet via unsplash.com

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Last Updated on May 22, 2019

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

1. Cat Camel Stretch

Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

Here’s a video to guide you through:

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2. Go for a Walk or a Run

This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

3. Jumping Jacks

Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

4. Abductor Side Lifts

Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

5. Balancing Table Pose

This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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    6. Leg Squats

    Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

    Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

    The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

    7. Push Ups

    You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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    An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

    Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

    This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

    8. Bicycle Crunches

    There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

    Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

    9. Lunges

    Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

    Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

    This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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    10. Bicep Curls

    You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

    Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

    Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

    Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

    Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

    These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

    You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

    Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

    More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

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