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How to Live a Long, Healthy and Disease-Free Life

How to Live a Long, Healthy and Disease-Free Life

A large part of what you’ve heard about nutrition and health is nonsense.

In some cases, you have been intentionally lied to by greedy people trying to sell you something.

In other cases, though, people (including some health professionals) are simply misinformed about how to be healthy.

Guidelines are often crafted based on “policy” instead of science, the ridiculous war on saturated fat being a prime example of that.

Lifestyle Diseases Are Preventable

If you are willing to look past the advice that is constantly given by these misguided people, such as “food doesn’t matter, only calories” then you will discover that some of the most common diseases we face today are preventable.

They are called lifestyle diseases for a reason because our unhealthy lifestyle causes or contributes to them.

In this category falls everything related to the metabolic dysfunction that happens with a western diet and sedentary life. This includes obesity, type II diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, some types of cancer, and many, many others.

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If you follow the directions outlined below (for life), chances are that you will avoid these diseases, and possibly even reverse their progression if they have already started developing.

Don’t Smoke, Drink or Do Drugs

First of all, if you’re a smoker, alcoholic or a drug addict, then diet and exercise are the least of your worries.

I know that giving up these addictions is extremely difficult. If you can’t stop on your own, seek professional help or go to rehab. It works.

Eat Healthy

Nutrition can get pretty complicated at times, but eating healthy is actually really simple.

First of all, avoid sugar. As we know, sugar ain’t healthy, so it is usually one of the first items we take off our menu not only to help lose weight but for overall health. Trans fats, industrial oils, and processed foods should also be avoided.

Eat meats, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, healthy fats, and oils. If you can tolerate them, then full-fat dairy and some non-gluten grains are okay as well.

If you are overweight, then the best thing you can do to improve your health is to lose weight. For that, low-carb diets are very effective although there are also other approaches that work well for some people.

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The best eating plan for YOU is the one YOU can follow in the long term.

Skipping meals from time to time (intermittent fasting) and eating a bit less (calorie restriction) are methods that are very likely to increase longevity. In fact, these are two of the main tactics employed by immortalists.

If you don’t get much sun, then you might want to consider Vitamin D supplementation. A Vitamin D deficiency is associated with many diseases, and avoiding it may prolong your health. To know if you need this or not, ask your doctor to measure blood levels of 25(OH)D.

Omega-3 fatty acids are important, and if you don’t eat much fish or grass-fed animals then you should consider a fish oil supplement.

Other supplements that may be useful include Magnesium and Vitamin K2. These are often lacking in modern foods.

Exercise Regularly

The importance of exercise can not be overstated. It is one of the foundations of a healthy lifestyle. Exercise makes you feel better and helps prevent a massive range of diseases.

If you have a desk job, then you need to consciously make time for exercise, at least 3 times per week.

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There are certain activities that are more efficient than others, but in my opinion just doing something is critical.

If you like going to the gym, go to the gym. If you like walking, walk. If you like swimming, well.. you get the picture.

Instead of focusing on calories, aim to improve your physical fitness. The calories are negligible anyway, and exercise helps you lose weight by other means.

Optimally, you would do both weight training and some type of cardiovascular exercise. Some sports and group activities incorporate this automatically.

It is incredibly important to do something you enjoy!

Sleep Well

In the busy western society, sleep often suffers. We tend to be too busy and distracted to get the sleep that we need.

If you suspect you might have a sleep disorder such as sleep apnea, which is fairly common, then see a doctor. It is treatable.

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Some tips to improve sleep:

  • Don’t eat or drink in the last few hours before bed.
  • Go to sleep and wake up at a similar time each day, including the weekends.
  • Sleep in a dark room, with no lighting.
  • Dampen your lights a few hours before bedtime.
  • Expose yourself to bright lights in the morning, preferably from the sun.
  • Do not ingest caffeine after 2-3PM.
  • Eat healthily, and do regular physical exercise.

Avoid Stress

Like sleep, stress is something that comes with our lifestyles.

Avoiding unnecessary obligations is very important. In other words, simplify your life as much as possible. Be organized, and avoid procrastination.

Meditation can be very effective to relieve stress. If you are a stressed person, then that is something you should definitely look into.

As with other aspects of life, eating healthy and exercising can work wonders for stress.

Take Care of Your Personal Life

Be close to your family and friends. Take good care of your hobbies. Set new goals and achieve them. Have fun.

Having a sense of purpose in life is incredibly important to stay happy and healthy.

Conclusion

If you follow these methods, your chances of living a long and healthy life will be greatly improved.

These are all things you have probably heard of before, but it can help to have them all in one place.

More by this author

Jae Berman

Health Writer

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.

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Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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