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10 Top Ways to Increase your Life Expectancy

10 Top Ways to Increase your Life Expectancy

We all want to live as long as possible, but the quality of life is just as important as length. From stress management to having dietary discipline, there are many ways in which you can prolong your life.

Take a look at these top ten ways that will help ensure your well-being as you age. Try and internalise each area and apply it into your day-to-day life, ensuring you restore a healthy and balanced lifestyle along with having a smile on your face every day.

1. Be Wary of Stress

Stress can be a killer, leading to heart disease and inflammation in the body which can cause a range of health problems including asthma; diabetes; and depression. There are ways to tackle the stress, however, so take practical action as soon as you recognise your stress triggers.

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2. Eat Well

When we are younger, it’s possible to get away with an unhealthy diet but as we age, bad food choices take their toll. It’s easy to ensure you are eating well – just stick to foods which are unprocessed. You can never go wrong with fresh fruit and vegetables, lean meat, whole grains, healthy fats and the occasional treat.

3. Quit Smoking

More than 5 million smokers die every year globally due to smoking and another 600,000 non-smokers die from the effects of second-hand smoke. Therefore, by quitting this habit you are not only looking after your own health but that of your loved ones too.

There are a wide variety of methods available to quit smoking but recently many people have found success through vaping. There are also a variety of eliquids to choose from to suit your taste buds. This allows you to cut your nicotine levels down slowly and involves none of the negatives of smoking tobacco.

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4. Sleep Well

Everyone has slightly different needs when it comes to sleep but getting chronically little sleep over long periods of time can lead to illness. Aim for between 7 and 8 hours per night and always try to get up at the same time every day to maintain a good sleep cycle.

5. Drink Responsibly

There are studies which have shown that if you drink in moderation it has health benefits, however, excessive alcohol is also linked to many diseases including cancer. Therefore, be aware of weekly unit guidelines and give yourself a few alcohol-free days per week.

6. Get a Pet

This might not be for everyone but if you are an animal lover, having a pet has been shown to help keep you healthy. On an average pet owners have lower blood pressure, better cardiovascular health and suffer less from depression.

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7. Keep Active

If you have a dog, this one will be easy as you will be out walking them daily. However, everyone needs exercise so ensure you keep active. Any form of exercise you enjoy will probably be something you stick with. If you include weight-bearing activities, this will help protect your muscle-mass as you age.

8. Keep Your Mind Active

Your mind needs to be kept as active as your body if you want to stave off dementia in later life. Learning a new skill such as a second language; or even the brain-training games which are available now will all help.

9. Social Life

We all flourish when we feel we have friends and family around us who are supportive. Don’t let your social life suffer through the stresses of work or other commitments. A happy life depends greatly on the community in which we live.

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10. Be Optimistic

Optimism has been shown to improve wellbeing throughout life, so look to the future with positivity and be a glass half-full type person.

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James Timpson

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Last Updated on November 20, 2020

Kickstart Your Morning Workout With These 10 Simple Habits

Kickstart Your Morning Workout With These 10 Simple Habits

Benjamin Franklin said it like this: “Early to bed, early to rise, will make a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” He knew from his own experiences and watching others that the ones who got up early were healthier and more successful. That’s why a morning workout can be so important.

One 2017 study found that:[1]

“after controlling for such factors as age, sex, smoking habits, and others…night owls, were found to have a 10 percent greater risk of dying from any cause compared to morning types.”

This is a great reason to tap into some morning motivation and get your morning workout done.

Circadian Rhythm for morning workout

    As you can see in the above graph, your blood pressure begins to rise between 6 and 7 in the morning[2]. That means this is a great time to get your body moving and your heart pumping, even if it’s just for 20 minutes of exercise in the morning. 

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    Here are some tips on how to find the motivation for a morning workout.

    1. Remember Your Why

    It starts with remembering why you want to get up for a morning workout. If you don’t set a goal and establish your reasons for accomplishing a health and fitness goal, then you definitely won’t get up early.

    Getting up early isn’t easy. If it were, everyone would do it, right? Your goal for your health and fitness must be so strong, and the WHY behind it must be so powerful, that nothing will stop you from accomplishing that goal.

    2. Go to Bed Early

    If you want to get up early for a morning workout, it’s going to be important to get to bed earlier. Falling asleep at midnight and trying to get up at six just won’t work in your favor.

    This will likely be very difficult for a few days while you adjust your sleeping habits. However, as you get into an exercise routine in the morning, this will naturally make it easier to fall asleep earlier and faster at night.

    3. Make a Commitment

    I sometimes tell my Facebook community of my plans to work out, and we all keep each other motivated by posting our runs, our workouts, etc. This is a way to develop accountability. By publicly announcing your intentions, you increase your chances of actually carrying out your plans.

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    Another way to do this is to find an accountability partner who has similar goals for morning workouts. You can check in with each other to make sure you’re sticking to your plans. If that doesn’t work, hire a personal trainer for a few weeks to get you started.  

    You can learn how to find a good accountability partner here.

    4. Find a Friend

    If you can find a friend that is motivated like you are, and you can hold each other accountable daily to working out, then you will accomplish your fitness goals. Many people prefer working out with friends to working out alone. Whether it’s a chat while hitting the treadmill at the gym, or having someone to spot you while weightlifting, working out with friends is sometimes just more enjoyable.

    Texting each other the night before with a simple statement is best. Don’t ask: “Are we still working out in the morning?” With this kind of question, if they were thinking about not working out, you just gave them an opt out.

    Make a statement instead: “Can’t wait to see you in the morning!” This implies that they will be there, and they will feel more obligated to show up.

    5. Treat Yourself

    We all have to treat ourselves every now and then. After a morning workout, plan to treat yourself with a colorful, healthy breakfast or a delicious morning smoothie. This will help you look forward to something and push through to the end of your workout.

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    You can learn more on rewards and punishments here.

    6. Change your Mindset

    Many people throw away the idea of a morning workout by simply saying, “I’m not a morning person.”  Instead of using this excuse, decide to try to become a morning person by shifting your mindset.

    When you look into the benefits of waking up early and getting some exercise in before your day starts, you’ll feel more positive about your life overall.

    7. Plan Your Day

    You know you’re going to be busy. Try time blocking to plan all the things you need to do on a given day, and make sure you add in your morning workout[3]. If you have a plan laid out, you’ll be more likely to follow it and get done everything on your list done.

    Time blocking

      8. Reflect on How You’ll Feel After

      Starting a morning workout is hard, but visualizing how you’ll feel after can help you find motivation. Think about the extra energy you’ll have and how proud you’ll feel knowing that you were already so productive. No matter what you do the rest of the day, at least you squeezed in your exercise!

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      For me, I live in an area where there are a lot of runners. When I am heading home in the evening or sitting out on the patio at one of my favorite restaurants, and I see the runners go by, it makes me feel so accomplished that I got mine in that morning and I can enjoy the evening.

      9. Lay out Your Workout Clothes

      Setting out your workout clothes the night before makes it impossible for you to start to run late because you couldn’t find something to wear. Tap into the determination you have before bed in order to convince your less-than-motivated morning self that you need to get up and get your morning workout in. When you wake up and see your outfit laid out next to you, it’ll push you to get up and get moving.

      10.  Set Multiple Alarms

      Many people miss their morning workout simply because they hit the snooze button so many times. In order to make this more difficult for yourself, set a series of alarms. That way, if you keep hitting snooze, you’ll have three or four alarms going off every ten minutes, which will be annoying enough to get you out of bed.

      Also, put one alarm at least a few feet from your bed so that you’re forced to get up to turn it off.

      Final Thoughts

      About three years ago I went from being the person that says I will never be an early riser to a person that loves to get the day started as soon as possible. Without the distractions that begin to come around 8 or 9 in the morning, you’ll find that you’re more productive and more likely to squeeze in that morning workout.

      Take some of the actions above and find the best morning workout routine to start your day and feel good.

      More Tips on Morning Exercises

      Featured photo credit: Tomasz Woźniak via unsplash.com

      Reference

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