You may be surprised to find out that you can add years to your life by changing a few of your daily habits. It is what we do on a daily basis that truly affects our overall health and well-being. Not only is it important to take care of our bodies, but our minds as well. What are these mysterious habits that will prevent us from leaving before our time? The truth is that they really aren’t mysterious at all. Here are a few habits that will help you feel healthy at any age.
1 Get more sleep
Studies have shown that people who get less than 6 hours of sleep a night, double their risk for acquiring infectious diseases, heart disease and stroke. Lack of sleep has also been connected to weight gain, depression, and impaired decision making. I have found that by allowing myself a good night’s sleep, I have more energy and stamina to tackle the day ahead.
2 Floss your teeth
The simple act of flossing your teeth has shown to increase your lifespan by several years. Dentists will tell you that flossing is the number one way to ward of gingivitis. Gingivitis has been linked to various heart problems, including heart disease, irregular heartbeat, and infection. By flossing our teeth twice a day, we can help to protect our hearts from disease.
3 Eat Well
Eating a diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients will help your body to function properly. It also ensures that all of the cells in your body are getting the nutrition they need to stay in good health. If you aren’t sure whether or not you’re getting all of the nutrients you need, taking a multivitamin supplement.
Antioxidants have been shown to increase the average lifespan by fighting disease causing free radicals. Free radicals are mutated cells in the body, which seek to impair other healthy cells. Not only can this process be a precursor to cancer, but it can cause a number of other health related issues as well. When given a sufficient amount of antioxidants, the body’s healing process can take place naturally.
4 Deal with Your Stress
We all seem to have some type of stress in our lives. It is how we deal with our stress that is the determining factor. Not only is stress a major component to our emotional well-being, but it can also affect us physiologically as well. There are many effective ways to deal with stress. I find the deep breathing technique to be extremely helpful. When you are feeling overcome with stress, simply take a break from what you are doing. Take several deep breaths, hold them for a few seconds, and then let them out slowly. There are other stress relieving techniques, such as massage, music, essential oils, and exercise.
5 Stay Active
Exercise is a vital part of a healthy lifestyle. Find a way to stay active by participating in an activity that you love to do. By selecting an activity that you are excited about, you remain motivated to do it everyday. I love hiking in the mountains, and find myself getting out there whenever possible. Other people may love to run or bike. Whatever gets you moving on a daily basis is the perfect exercise regimen for you. Exercise will help you to maintain a healthy weight, help to keep your heart healthy, and increase your lung capacity.
6 Be Social
Sociologists have studied how nurtured relationships can increase your lifespan. When we belong to a group or feel involved in something, we tend to live longer. Not only can this lessen your feelings of depression and anxiety, but it can encourage you to take better care of yourself. It also gives us the sense of belonging that we need to feel like we are a part of something important.
7 Quit Smoking
Known as one of the world’s top killers, smoking has been found to cause many chronic, life-threatening diseases. This includes cancer, heart disease, and COPD. Surprisingly, statistics show that a person is killed from an illness due to smoking every 6 seconds. In order to improve your quality of life and your life expectancy, you must stop smoking as soon as possible. Your body has an amazing ability to regenerate damaged tissue, and combat the signs of respiratory distress. Catching it in time is key.
As more Americans are celebrating their centennial birthdays, more and more people are interested in taking better care of their bodies. With the proper care, people will continue to live long and healthy lives.
About the Author: Missy contributes to Solstice Med as part of her web content series on health and fitness.