Death is something most of us don’t want to think about. In fact, we would prefer to do anything else. But as we get older, the risk of chronic diseases, injuries, and other health problems increases.
We want to live a full, engaging life as long as possible. We shouldn’t have to slow down just because we’re older than we used to be.
Luckily, given the advances in science and studying the oldest people as well as the few animals seemingly incapable of senescence, longer life is achievable. As an added bonus, cultivating these habits will not only help you live longer, but will also help you live happier and healthier along the way.
Habits To Help You Live Longer
If you have the willpower, try to stay away from too much sugar, salt, and processed foods. These foods can cause bloating, which makes you feel sluggish and weak.
Instead, focus on eating larger amounts of green veggies, fruit, and water. These will not only boost your energy, but the hydration will also work wonders for your skin.
Meditation, in whatever form works best for you, quiets your mind and helps you find peace. That peace and rest have been studied, and results suggest meditation can have an effect on how long we live.
Meditation has been proven to reduce anxiety and depression. One study found that transcendental meditation lowered blood pressure, which can prevent health problems further down the road. Meditation has also been proven to:
- Reduce stress
- Promote relaxation
- Boost memory
- Improve concentration
- And enhance mood
All of these factors affect our lifespan, though more research is needed as to how meditation directly affects them.
Meditation doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all quality. There are plenty of different types of meditation that you can try to figure out which works best for you. Just five minutes of meditation a day can dramatically improve your sleep, stress levels, and overall wellbeing. The key is to take it slow and not push yourself beyond what your brain and body can handle.
2. Practice Stress Management
Do you feel like you’re drowning in stress? Chronic stress — that is, stress limiting your ability to function that lasts over an extended period of time — is on the rise. In fact, many Americans face situations of high stress on a daily basis.
While this might not seem like a big deal, it can have severe consequences on your health. Increased stress is linked to a shorter lifespan. Even mild amounts of stress affect our daily lives and cause trouble. So it stands to reason that lower levels of stress or better stress management will improve longevity and quality of life.
How can you lower or better manage your stress? Some of the best techniques include:
- Eating a healthy diet
- Breathing exercises
- Avoiding high-stress situations
- Self care
If you need more help getting your anxiety under control, seek out a therapist or counselor. Stress shouldn’t limit your ability to live a full life, and it shouldn’t cut that life short either. Learning to relax is a great step in living a longer, healthier life.
3. Get Plenty Of Sleep
Loss of sleep affects the quality of your life. Unfortunately, it’s something we struggle with all too often. Late nights at the office, long talks with friends and family, and evening movies all keep us from getting the sleep we need.
The average adult needs between 7 and 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep on average every night. Just one hour less of sleep directly affects your ability to think and respond and compromises your cardiovascular health, energy level, and immunity and that’s even if you don’t feel tired.
But the average American gets only 6.8 hours of sleep every night, putting our health in jeopardy.
If you want to live longer, getting the right amount of sleep is a great place to start. To make sure you’re getting enough sleep, start by planning your calendar the day before. Set a regular bedtime and rising time. Then, stick to it—even on the weekends. A regular sleep schedule leads to consistently deeper sleep.
Consider using a smartwatch to track your sleep levels during the night. If insomnia is an issue, melatonin, magnesium, and valerian root supplements can help you fall asleep more quickly and stay asleep longer.
4. Eat A Healthy Diet
It’s generally understood that processed foods are bad for our overall health. Yet, they are often our go-to meal choice because of cost, convenience, or habit. By cultivating better habits with what you put in your body, you can live longer and improve your overall quality of life.
Diets such as the Mediterranean diet are proven to increase longevity. With an average life expectancy of 85.8 years, Spain is set to hit the highest life expectancy by 2040. Why? Because they primarily eat the Mediterranean diet, a diet high in healthy fats, fresh produce, and fish.
One to two glasses of red wine a day could help you live longer, too. Other foods like berries and dark chocolate are rich in antioxidants, which may help prevent heart disease, cancer, and other chronic long-term diseases.
A sedentary lifestyle is a growing health concern. Sitting down all day rather than the movement our ancestors experienced is linked to a number of health concerns and should be avoided at all costs. But it’s easy to put exercise on the backburner as life gets more hectic, which makes it more challenging to start a workout regimen in the future.
A single trip to the gym after sitting down all day isn’t enough. Exercise, even taking a walk or gardening, should be a part of your daily schedule. Not only does exercise prevent many chronic health problems like heart disease and diabetes, but it can also reverse the effects of aging. You’ll have more energy, improved mood, and less pain.
Start prioritizing exercise to see the daily benefits as well as an increased lifespan.
6. Spend Time With Friends & Family
We all know that smoking is bad for our health and exercising at regular intervals throughout the day is good for our health, but did you also know that being social, having a purpose in life, and believing in a higher power can also help you live longer?
We are social creatures who need a reason to get out of bed in the morning every day. Having that purpose and reducing the feelings of loneliness will help you live longer. Time spent with friends and family will cause the brain to produce more serotonin, the happiness hormone responsible for feelings of joy and peace.
Experiment with the many ways you can put yourself out into the world. Join a club. Plan weekly lunches with your friends. Take your kids or grandchildren on a short hike in the canyon. You’ll feel better and live longer by doing so.
How Can Matrix Age Management Help You Live Longer?
At Matrix Age Management we understand how difficult it can be to change your habits. You might want to eat right, get enough sleep, and start exercising, but doing so on your own is challenging. You may feel like giving up entirely.
We are here to help you on that journey to a happier, healthier, and longer life. Many of our employees have transformed our own lives with healthy habits, and we know exactly how beneficial it can be to put your health first.
Let us talk to you about our custom plan for counteracting the natural effects of aging. Using bio-identical hormone replacement therapy, natural supplements, peptides, and other anti-aging treatments, we’ll help you live your best life for as long as possible.