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.
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.
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.
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.
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.