5 Tips to a Long & Healthy Life
According to scientists, 25% of our longevity is due to genetics; the rest is dependent on our daily choices.
So what do those who have the longest life spans have in common? Here are tips on how to live a long and healthy life:
- They engage in regular, low-intensity exercise, like walking. Yes, just walking. Sardinians spend hours every day walking, Okinawans walk in their gardens and people in Loma Linda, California (who are mostly Seventh Day Adventists) who frequently take nature walks. For those who are older, daily walking improves balance and thereby reduces the risk of falling. Walking also reduces blood pressure and heart health and improves the chances that you will stay independent in your later years. Walking also burns more calories than running and will help you stay trim if you walk on a regular basis. How much walking? 30-60 minutes a day. However, if you can’t walk that long, walk for 5 minutes immediately after a meal to help bring down your blood-sugar levels – this may help with diabetes prevention. Walking benefits the brain.
- They also eat less. Stop eating when you fell about 80% full or when you are no longer hungry (instead of when you feel full) and you will find it easy to hold on to a steady healthy weight and improve your heart health. Use smaller plates and bowls. Another trick is to serve yourself in the kitchen and put the rest of the food away. This way you are sure to eat less than when you have the platters right in front of you making second servings so much harder to resist. In restaurants, ask for a doggy bag right away and when you’re served, put half of what is on your plate into the doggy bag.
- Eat less meat. Those who live the longest eat meat only several times a month favoring beans, vegetables, whole grains, and other plant foods that naturally raise their anti-oxidants and fiber intake. Eating what grows in your garden or in your area during the season it’s grown is better suited to you and your body.
- Eating 2 oz of nuts five times or more per week has been shown to reduce heart disease rates by half compared to those who rarely do.
- Start drinking! Yes. That’s right. Not just anything. Wine! A glass a day has been shown to have significant benefits in reducing arterial inflammation. Arterial inflammation is often linked to atherosclerosis and diabetes among others.
Who doesn’t want to live a long and healthy life? I know I do! How about starting with a walk every day? You can make it more interesting and burn even more calories with Nordic Walking which uses poles so your upper body gets a workout every time you want. It’s a lot of fun!