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7 Longevity Tips To Help Extend Your Lifespan
People have been searching for a Fountain of Youth or its equivalent since the beginning of conscious thought. Most of us undoubtedly feel that the time we have on earth just isn’t long enough to get done what we want to do. While, sadly, there is no magic spring that will provide us with an elixir that will help us live longer, there are longevity tips that can certainly help to make it more likely that we will be able to add enjoyable and productive years to our lives.
While there are some medical conditions that just happen, and that are unavoidable, there are others that develop because of bad habits. There are several obvious practices that should be eliminated fast if you want to live longer.
- Smoking is one of the most detrimental activities anyone can practice. Smoking affects the lungs and heart primarily, and will cause lung cancer and cardiac disease. My own mother died because her lungs were no longer able to get oxygen into her blood because of her emphysema. It’s hard to stop, it’s supposed to be (tobacco companies don’t want you to quit, after all), and even harder for women than for men, but taking that step can add about 7 years, good years, to your life.
- Although overweight people are looked upon as being jolly, there is absolutely nothing funny about obesity. Obesity contributes to high blood pressure, heart disease, clogged arteries, arthritis, diabetes, breathing difficulties, and sleep apnea. The best longevity tip for dealing with obesity is to lose weight. Diet and exercise are an unbeatable combination, and will give you more time to enjoy life.
- Part of what contributes to aging is stress. One of the best ways to counter stress is through meditation. Not only does meditation teach you valuable techniques for relaxation, but it also strengthens your memory and assists with how you are able to process and handle new information. Meditation is a non-invasive way to not only increase your longevity, but also make life more enjoyable in general.
- Sleep is what ‘knits up the raveled sleeve of care’, and is as necessary to us as food and air. Shakespeare understood how important a good night’s rest is, and science has proven that we all need at least 6 or 7 hours of sleep to maintain our mental and physical equilibrium. Surprisingly, not getting enough sleep is actually more detrimental than smoking, alcoholism, or obesity. Exercise, having a regular sleep schedule, cutting back on caffeine, and learning how to relax before going to bed can all help you get the rest you need and live longer.
- Alcoholism can present not only physical and mental problems, but also familial ones. Leaving aside the devastation of relationships from alcohol use or abuse, alcohol also impacts the body negatively in a number of important ways. Overindulgence in alcohol causes cardiac problems, cancer, damage to the nerves, cirrhosis of the liver, and pancreatitis. Alcohol also causes the brain to shrink more than normal and contributes to dementia. Cutting back on alcohol or going on the wagon altogether will not only improve your longevity chances, but will probably improve your interpersonal relationships.
- Good eating habits can also help you live longer. This doesn’t necessarily relate to obesity, but just to adding healthier foods to your diet. Even a thin person can eat all the wrong kinds of food. Avoiding fats and sugar is a good way to start, and adding fruits, vegetables, fish, lean meats, and a moderate amount of carbohydrates can help your body much healthier and more likely to hold up for a longer period of time.
- It’s a sad fact that as many people age, they plop themselves down in front of the television and spend the rest of their lives watching sitcoms. You’ll live longer if you take more interest in the world around you. Take up a new hobby, join a dance club, volunteer at a hospital, or get involved at a pet shelter. Years ago, I read of a man who was starting to learn Greek at the age of 84. One of his friends asked him why someone his age would want to do something like that and he said, “Why not?” Why not indeed. You’re never too old to learn or do something new, and people who have interests will see many more sunrises than those who do not.