These Eight Simple Things Can Help You Live Longer and Stay Healthier

By: VGFS
Friday, June 24, 2022

Tales of eternal youth have been around for thousands of years.

While the Fountain of Youth may only exist in folklore, the possibility of living longer has become a reality thanks to advances in science and medicine. Research suggests that genetics accounts for 25% of the variation of one’s lifespan, while environment and lifestyle factors largely influence the rest. Adopting healthy lifestyle changes can help you age well and may even add a few years to your life.

Here are eight science-backed secrets to living longer and healthier.

Get moving

In addition to improving fitness, regular physical activity can also extend your lifespan. Exercise has been shown to reduce the risk of age-related diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, stroke, and certain cancers while strengthening bones and muscles, reversing cellular aging, and boosting overall life expectancy. The CDC recommends a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate activity each week, but smaller amounts of exercise are still beneficial.

Stay connected

Relationships are emotionally fulfilling and they’re beneficial for physical health, too! One study revealed that the health risk of social isolation is equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day and is more significant than being obese. Having strong, meaningful relationships can increase feelings of happiness and satisfaction with life, as well as reduce stress and improve overall health.

Follow a Mediterranean Diet

People who live near the Mediterranean regularly include olive oil, fish, vegetables, and whole grains in their meals. Instead of salt, they use spices and herbs to flavor their foods. This "Mediterranean diet" is good for heart health and may reduce the chances of developing mild memory issues and some forms of cancer.

Shed excess weight 

Getting rid of those extra pounds puts less pressure on your joints and less strain on your heart, and might lower your chances of developing diabetes. Ditch the carbs, desserts, and processed foods. Instead, fill your plate with proteins like lean meats, fish, and beans, and eat plenty of plant-based fare such as vegetables, whole grains, and fruits.

Kick the habit

Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States and has been linked to disease in many organs. On average, smokers die almost ten years earlier than non-smokers and have three times the mortality rate. It’s never too late to quit. Kicking the habit can add as much as ten years to your life and reduce the risk of heart attack, heart disease, stroke, and lung cancer.

Manage stress

Chronic stress and anxiety can profoundly impact the body and mind, accelerating aging and even leading to premature death. You'll never completely avoid stress but you can learn ways to control it. Yoga, meditation, journaling, and deep breathing, for example, are all effective techniques. Even a few minutes a day can make a difference!

Develop good sleeping patterns

Sleep is crucial for regulating cell function and helping the body rejuvenate. Studies have shown that longevity is linked to regular sleeping patterns, such as going to bed and waking up around the same time each day. Sleep duration is also a factor. Too little sleep may promote inflammation and increase the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. Excessive sleep may be linked to depression, low physical activity, and undiagnosed health conditions. For most adults, seven to eight hours of slumber is optimal.

Drink alcohol in moderation

Excessive alcohol consumption can increase your risk of heart disease, liver disease, high blood pressure, and certain cancers. If you do drink, moderation is the key to minimizing the negative health consequences. That means one alcoholic drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men.

These habits can boost your health and put you on the path to a long life. If you would like more information or if we can be of assistance in any way, we are here to help. Please contact us anytime.

About Vaughn Greene Funeral Services: For more than 25 years, Vaughn Greene Funeral Services has been providing a ministry of care to Baltimore’s African American community. As a leading local, minority- and family-owned provider, we promise to provide our highest level of service and respect to families who entrust us to honor their loved ones. For more information about our funeral, cremation, memorial, and repast services, please call us at 410.655.0015 or visit us online at https://vaughncgreene.com/.

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