What are the secrets to good health and living longer… Longevity, to some, is a function of their genes. They have a history of living till old age in their lineage. Regardless of their habits – drinking, smoking – they still get strong and old. If accidents do not occur, this kind of people lives longer, relatively. But you may wonder, is longevity all dependent on one’s gene?
According to Dr. Thomas Perls, an aging expert, genes are responsible for below 33% of your chances to live up to 85 years. He adds that our longevity is largely dependent on our ‘health behaviours’. In his words “Our genes could get most of us close to the remarkable age of 90 if we lead a healthy lifestyle” and with the level of discoveries in medicines, we could live even more.
Now, if our genes play just about 33 percent of the role, what determines the rest? Well, it is determined by our lifestyle. Your lifestyle begins to tell how gracefully you would age right from when you were born. However, this is not always the case, as life throws different unforeseen circumstances at us at any point of our existence, which could cause significant damages to our wellbeing.
Life is not promised – It can suddenly change the next minute. But this shouldn’t make you live your life like every day is the last. Rather, live every day with the hope of tomorrow and the assurance that you’ll be here and healthy to live it to its fullness. This positive mentality keeps you health-conscious every passing day. There are several ways you can make your life change for good and configure your mind and body to function optimally. Here are some tips that could help you live a healthy and longer life.
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Everyone seems to be on the fast lane these days. The fast-paced world exposes the average human to daily stress. Our body system, when exposed to such stress, begins to deteriorate. Stress is imposed on us by a handful of ways which comes from work, family, career, our social relationship and other areas where life can become a bit demanding.
One key secret to long life is to cut down stress. Everyone has a different reaction to stress. While some cope reasonably with stressful conditions and easily absorb its long-term effects, others may not really go far. A study revealed the role played by stress in human longevity. In the study, 73 seniors were randomly selected from 8 elderly people’s home. The participants were divided into two parts: no treatment and three treatment which had close similarity in outer structure and expectations – mindful training (MF) Transcendental Meditation (TM) program ineffective distinction making or low mindfulness (relaxation) program.
The study reveals that TM group made the best improvement, followed by MF, contrary to no treatment and relations groups, on joint associate learning; word fluency; systolic blood pressure; mental health;2 measures of cognitive flexibility; treatment efficacy, measures of behavioural flexibility and aging. On perceived control, the MF recorded better improvement followed by TM.
Three years after, TM had a 100% survival rate while MF had 87.5%, a far cry from the lower rates of other groups. This establishes that mindfulness and meditation are the primary ways of handling stress. It is important to understand how you react to stress; such knowledge would help you develop an effective strategy to prevent it from damaging your health and reducing your lifespan.
While eating is widely considered one of the essentials of life, unhealthy eating has grave consequences (click here to see so-called healthy foods you should avoid). This has led to an increased awareness campaign on the importance of healthy eating globally. Many dieting myths have been proven untrue over the years while some silent ‘assassins’ like refined sugar have been discovered as key elements of unhealthy diets which should be removed from our menus.
Generally, food is life. So you must consider, paramount, the need to consume only healthy items. Genetics has gone ahead to identifying food items that could affect our health. This discovery has helped us to be more conscious of what we consume, guiding us to personalising our diet. Besides, identifying the essentials of healthy eating would help you maintain a balanced diet which in turn gives us a healthy and longer life.
The human body, particularly the brain – depends largely on sleep. Sleep is fundamental to healthy living, but most times, we ignorantly deprive ourselves of it. Sleep helps your dieting and workout more effective; so the need to get enough sleep every day can never be overemphasised
With the hustling and bustling in the world today, we hardly have to time to reflect on our lifestyle and focus on the things that could keep us healthy. Depriving yourself sleep and working for as much as 20 hours a day can cause severe long-term health issues which often leads to premature deaths. Sleeping is a natural healing therapy, hence you should get nothing less than 8 hours of sound sleep at the end of every day.
Regular physical activities are a primary determinant of your well-being and longevity. If you stop exercising, your body system begins to slow down its functions over time. Yes, just as you need to take out time for rest, getting regular workout sessions is as important. These sessions must not always happen in the gym. Going for regular walks with your dog, going for outdoor sport and socialisation are productive daily activities that could keep you active and healthy. Studies have revealed that engaging in physical activities during one’s leisure can lead to a healthier and longer life expectancy for persons between ages 21 to 90.
However you perceive it, the increase in internet activities, computer games, and television activities, has made the society more sedentary. The onus rests on us to change the current situation and plan out measures to take charge of our individual lives and make it more active. These days, we hardly ever have enough time for the outdoors. We are either out at work or in with the screens.
We need to encourage and motivate ourselves to start living our lives differently if health and longevity are what we crave for. As you begin to age, keep thriving for health and remain active in the game called life. It is overwhelming when people marvel when you tell them your age. The feeling is rewarding.