There are some basic habits, like eating right and getting plenty of sleep, that are simply common-sense habits we must form if we want a longer, healthier life. Feeling young as we grow older is something to strive for, and it takes a little work. Forming healthy habits now that lead to better health, more energy, and feeling happier as we age is well worth the effort.
We have put together a list of 12 healthy habits that, when practiced consistently, are scientifically proven to keep you strong, healthy, and active while increasing the quality and longevity of your life.
12 Habits to Healthier Aging
- Sleep – Numerous medical studies and research reports point to getting plenty of sleep as the most important contributing factor leading to good overall health. 7 to 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep is ideal. Beware, however, that getting more than 9 hours of sleep per night can have the opposite effect. Also, if you are unable to sleep at least 8 hours per night, it is important to take a 15-to-20-minute nap during the day to allow your brain to shut down and rest.
- Limit Screen Time – A big part of giving your brain the rest it needs is limiting your time on electronic devices, such as cell phone and computers, to no more than 6 hours per day. For those of us who rely on using the computer to get our jobs done, this can be a real challenge. Too much time on these devices can cause wrinkles and the blue light from the screen will make it difficult for you to wind down and get the sleep you need.
Take Care of Your Gut – Perhaps one of the most critical factors that determine our health level as we age is the condition of our “gut”. Increasingly, scientific studies are pointing to the gut microbiome balance being critical part of immune strength and our ability to heal ourselves.
Stomach health has been shown to have a direct link to the brain and cognitive function. Studies also show that people who suffer from certain mental illnesses, like depression, have similar gut microbiomes. As we age, it becomes even more important to treat our gut the right way by eating the right foods. It’s important also that when you take a course of antibiotics, you also replace the “good” bacteria that gets destroyed along with the bad.
Restore your gut balance by eating lots of vegetables and yogurt (though this is not enough) while taking a pharmaceutical grade, multi-strain probiotic that stays refrigerated.
Get Plenty of Exercise – You knew this was coming, didn’t you! Exercise, which makes your body act young, is at the top of the list of healthy habits that prevent aging. Researchers at the Mayo Clinic found that:
“…people who engaged regularly in high-intensity interval training had cells that were more efficient at creating new proteins--which in turn results in reversing a major adverse effect of aging.”
The more exercise we get, the less our bodies age biologically, and the better we feel. A big part of the joy of longevity is feeling good physically in our older age, and exercise is a big piece of that puzzle.
- Watch Calorie Intake – Not only are the types of foods we consume important, but the number of calories we ingest is as well. Studies conducted on animals have shown that a 10 to 50 percent decrease in the number of calories we take in can increase our longevity. Avoid overeating!
Eat Nuts – Nuts have a tremendous amount of nutritional value. They are:
- Rich in protein, fiber, antioxidants and beneficial plant compounds.
- Source of copper, magnesium, potassium, folate, niacin, vitamins B6 and E.
- Eat Lots of Healthy Plant Foods – Eating a wide variety of plant foods (which have a lot of nutrients and antioxidants), including fruits, vegetables, beans, seeds and grains has been shown to decrease the risk of disease, therefore increasing longevity.
- No Smoking! – Smoking is one of the worst habits you can form to shorten your life span. Smokers are 3 times more likely to die prematurely and can lose up to 10 years of their lives. If you’re a smoker, it’s time to stop! If you haven’t started, don’t ever start. The harmful chemicals enter your lungs, move quickly into your bloodstream and affect almost every organ in your body with damaging results. If you need help to stop smoking, visit Quit.com.
- Get Some Vitamin D – According to Jyotir Jani, MD, a physician with Piedmont Healthcare, 15 to 30 minutes of sun exposure a day should be adequate for vitamin D production. Contact a medical professional to be tested for Vitamin D deficiency. Too little or too much Vitamin D can lead to premature aging. If you’re deficient, you can take a supplement. If you are deficient, your skin will burn faster when you’re in the sun. This leads to fine lines and wrinkles, so having enough will prevent premature signs of aging on your skin. Vitamin D also fights disease, improves your bone health and wards off depression.
- Drink Coffee - Good news for those who enjoy their daily cup of joe! This has health benefits that can extend your life. Moderate intake can reduce the risk of death, according to a Harvard study. It fights Diabetes and might reduce the risk of dementia and heart disease.
- Manage Your Stress – Stress is linked to many causes of deadly diseases and death, including heart attacks and strokes. People who are stressed out for long periods of time have lower levels of klotho, a hormone that regulates aging in our bodies. Stress causes free radicals to be released, resulting in damaged organs, emotional instability, high blood pressure and damaged genes. Not to mention stress wreaks havoc on your relationships and interferes with your sleep, all of which lead to premature aging. Learn how to manage your stress. Help is available!
- Maintain Mental Health – There have been studies that show that elderly people who have connections with others, who take care of others and feel like the have a purpose, live longer. It’s important to maintain friendships throughout our lives. Kindness and generosity are stress relievers we can choose to maintain. You’ve heard that “attitude is everything”, right? It turns out that it does make a big difference in our lives, as we experience more joy in our longevity.
These 12 habits will benefit your health and increase longevity. Adding Stay Young Life’s Age Support Vitamin will assist you in the formation of these habits as well. This supplement includes the essentials that your body needs to help you stay younger, feel better and live longer.