As we get older, our bodies undergo changes that can hinder us from doing the things we love. While none of us will live forever, there are ways to extend and improve the quality of one’s life. Below, we’ve compiled five habits that can help you live a longer, happier life.
Have a balanced diet
A balanced diet is the real foundation of healthy living. Research shows that the Mediterranean diet results in an average life expectancy of 82.8. The Mediterranean practice includes more vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grains, and less red meat, sugar, and processed food. It is proven to be beneficial to blood pressure levels and glucose metabolism.
On the other hand, oily food and sweetened drinks are linked to obesity and chronic disease. One way to avoid consuming excessive junk food is to prepare your meals. There are plenty of healthy food and lifestyle blogs that provide recipes and inspiration for your daily meals. Apart from being a safer and healthier option, meal prepping will also save you time and money.
According to the World Health Organization, the median body mass index (BMI) for a healthy adult population should be between 21 and 23 kg/m2. Individuals should aim to maintain a BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 kg/m2. A person whose BMI is classified as obese or overweight is at higher risk of developing diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease.
Stay physically active
Working out regularly is strongly linked to longevity. Federal physical activity regulations recommend getting at least 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of robust exercise per week, or ideally, a combination of both spreads throughout the week.
If you lack the time for daily workout sessions, lighter activities like walking and mopping the floor can still give you the physical activity you need. Start with 15-30 minutes a day, and build your physical regimen from there. If you choose a more vigorous workout, you can engage in team sports like tennis, basketball, and soccer. Apart from boosting your cardiovascular fitness, these activities encourage social interaction, too.
Exercise protects you from significant health complications, including heart disease, high cholesterol, and cancer. It increases your blood flow and boosts the oxygen levels in your body, reducing your risk of heart attack and hypertension. Physical activity also protects you from type 2 diabetes by maintaining your insulin and blood sugar levels.
Apart from your physical health, working out can also lift your spirits and reduce your risk of depression. Exercise drives your body to release chemicals that can relax your mind, reduce stress, and boost your mood.
Aside from the harmful effects nicotine has on your teeth and skin, cigarette smoking has also been linked to stroke, asthma, heart disease, and different cancers. Smoking might bring instant comfort and stress relief to some, but a single stick can significantly damage your body and reduce your lifespan. There’s no better way to save yourself from these risks than never to smoke at all.
While taking care of your physical health is a must, maintaining a positive attitude is equally crucial to achieving a longer life. Of course, it can be challenging to get out of old habits at first. Just remember that a healthy lifestyle can improve your mental health, protect you from illnesses, and add extra years to your life.
Brooke has been a connoisseur of back roads and obscure places since she was a girl. Growing up in a small working farm, she knew at a young age that there was so much to see and understand about the world. Since she left home at 17, she’s been gallivanting around the world. She’s a go-to resource for fearless Euro travel and extreme budget adventures. Her colorful experiences moving from one country to another with only time to spare will surely inspire you to leave the rat race and chase your backpacking dreams.