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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 January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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