The average life expectancy for men and women in the United States is 78.7 years. For men specifically the life expectancy is 76, and for women it’s 81.
The truth is that although the average life expectancy is increasing, it’s increasing at a much slower rate than in the past.
However, there are more people who are living well past 100 and they’re doing it with energy and style. If you aspire to live a long, vibrant, and rewarding life then there are steps you can take to increase your longevity.
Over the course of this article we’ll share 36 ways to increase your life span. Many of these steps or tactics require lifestyle changes. In order for these changes to be effective and to truly become part of your day-to-day routine, you’ll want to tackle one change at a time.
Lifestyle experts suggest that it takes two to three weeks to create a new habit. As you read through the next 36 longevity tactics, identify a few that would be easy to integrate into your life.
Focus on one of them at a time. When you’ve adopted them and made them part of your life, you can add another tactic. Eventually, you’ll be living the healthier life that you desire – and potentially adding decades to your life span.
To help you streamline the process of adding years to your life, the longevity habits are organized by category. These categories include:
Let’s get started with diet because the food and nutrients you put into your body make a big difference in your health and longevity.
- Stay hydrated – Make sure to drink a minimum of five glasses of water each day. Water helps deliver nutrients to your cells and carry away metabolic waste. When you’re dehydrated, your body cannot function optimally. A study at Loma Linda University found that people who drank 40 or more ounces of water each day were 54 percent less likely to suffer a fatal heart attack than those who drank less.
- Eat dark chocolate – Dark chocolate has antioxidants and other beneficial ingredients that can reduce your risk of heart disease. You don’t need much. 40 grams of chocolate a day will significantly reduce your risk.
- Skip the breakfast cereal – Breakfast cereal is usually a bowl full of refined grains and sugar. These are almost immediately absorbed into your body and cause a spike in blood sugar.
- Eat your veggies and fruits – You might be surprised to learn that simply eating vegetables at every snack and meal can reduce your risk of stroke by 26 percent. That’s five simple servings of fruits and veggies each day. And if you eat a colorful variety of produce, you get more cancer-fighting benefits. Variety is good for your health.
- Stay on top of your blood sugar – High blood sugar levels double your risk of heart disease. Reduce your risk by going on a low-sugar diet. This means steering clear of products with added sugar and not eating simple carbohydrates. Studies have shown that low sugar diets reduce the risk of anxiety and depression as well as reducing your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other deadly diseases
- Eat berries – The antioxidants in berries (including blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries) have been shown to offer a number of health and longevity benefits. They can prevent stroke and cancer and help keep your mind sharp as you age.
- Eat your curry – Turmeric is a compound in curry. It’s found to be fantastic for your brain health and it helps reduce inflammation. It’s also been shown to fight prostate cancer. Add this tasty spice to your veggies and enjoy better health and delicious food. (Bonus Tip: Start every morning with a teaspoon of Cayenne pepper and a tablespoon of lemon juice in a small glass of warm water. Both Cayenne and lemon are great for detoxing and Cayenne has way too many health benefits to list in this article, but they include heart and circulatory health, metabolism, improved digestion and many more!)
- Drink coffee – Coffee has been shown to reduce your risk of heart disease. Researchers at Brooklyn College discovered that four cups of coffee a day lowers your risk of dying of heart disease by 53 percent. If you don’t like coffee, you can get similar health benefits from drinking tea. And green tea is phenomenally healthy for you, too.
You are what you eat and when you eat a healthy diet, you improve your vitality and your longevity. However, it’s not the only part of the long life span equation. Your attitude makes a big difference too.
Next, let’s take a look at how to change your mindset so you can live longer.
- Laugh – Laughing helps keep your heart healthy. It improves blood flow, reduces inflammation in your arteries and may actually reduce cholesterol and blood clot formation. If you don’t laugh much, make a point of laughing. Find a humor website to follow, call a silly friend, read a funny book and watch funny videos. Laughter relieves stress, too.
- Become an optimist – Positive thinkers live longer. In fact, people who are chronically negative, fearful, and worry live an average of 16 years less than optimists. How do you become an optimist? Surround yourself with positive people. Learn to become more aware of your thoughts. Practice gratitude.
- Learn something new – Learning new skills and acquiring knowledge helps you keep your brain strong. If you’re going to live to 120, you want to be able to think clearly and appreciate your long life. Exercise your brain.
- Get married – Study after study has shown that married people live longer than singles. It probably corresponds in part with the next tactic.
- Have more sex – People who have more sex live longer. In fact, according to a report in the American Journal of Cardiology, men who have sex two or three times a week have 45 percent lower risk of heart disease.
- Connect spiritually – Studies have shown that people who belong to a spiritual community and regularly attend services live longer and happier lives. Being part of a community, feeling like you have a purpose and a support group all help a person experience less stress and feel more optimistic about their life. These sentiments have health benefits and can lengthen your life.
Mindset is part of the mental and emotional health equation. Reducing stress is a very specific component of having a positive mindset and healthy emotional wellbeing.
Next, we’ll look at how you can reduce stress and the impact that stress can have on your life.
- Stay calm and be patient – Stress, particularly angry stress, can cause you to have a stroke. In fact, men who express anger frequently are more than two times as likely to have a stroke. Find ways to defuse your anger quickly and learn to let go. Your health depends on it.
- Embrace your creative side – Expressing your creativity in the form of playing music, engaging in a hobby, painting, singing, writing or any other creative endeavor can help you unwind.
- Meditate – Studies have shown that people who meditate daily can add five or more years to their life. You don’t have to meditate for hours, either. Twenty to thirty minutes a day makes a big difference. Start small. Try to meditate five minutes a day and gradually increase your time.
- Volunteer – Volunteers live longer. Find a cause that is near and dear to your heart and get involved. It reduces stress, connects you to your purpose, and surrounds you with positive people.
- Make time to exercise – Exercise actually provides an abundance of longevity benefits. It improves your outlook and reduces depression. It also improves blood flow and cellular function. And when it comes to stress, the endorphins that are released during exercise help you better manage stress and exercise reduces cortisol levels in the body. Cortisol is a hormone that over time can cause damage to your body.
- Be social – Make good connections with people and develop friendships. People with social connections and strong ties with friends and family have a lower stress level. They have stronger immune systems and both can help you live longer.
We’ve talked about diet, mindset, and reducing stress.
But that’s not all that you can do to live a longer, healthier, and happier life.
There are simple lifestyle habits that you can adopt to add years to your life.
Let’s explore this area next.
- More magnesium please – French researchers have discovered that people with high magnesium levels in their blood may be up to 40 percent less likely to die of any cause. Magnesium reduces your risk of a heart attack and your risk of developing diabetes could be cut by 33 percent when you take a daily supplement. Magnesium has also been shown to reduce depression and prevent migraines. You can take a supplement. However, magnesium is also found in dark leafy greens, nuts and seeds, fish, and bananas.
- Drink less alcohol – A study at Harvard suggests that drinking more than three 4-ounce alcoholic beverages in a 24-hour period increases your risk of atrial fibrillation, which often leads to a stroke. The general rule of thumb is to have no more than 4-5 drinks per week and no more than one drink each day.
- Get more sleep – Are you sleeping enough? In 2002, The Scripps Clinic Sleep Center released a study on sleep and longevity. They studied the habits of one million Americans and found that people who slept between six and a half and seven and a half hours a night live the longest. Other studies have shown that people should try to get between seven and nine hours of sleep to improve their health. However, it’s difficult to argue with a study that looked at a million people.
- Visit the doctor – Make an annual check-up part of your life. If you catch the symptoms of diseases like heart disease, high blood pressure, and cancer early you have a much better chance of treating them successfully.
- Take a daily multivitamin – There are conflicting studies about the effectiveness of multivitamins. However, a report from Harvard Medical School advises people to take a daily multi and to make sure they’re getting enough calcium and vitamin D for a longer life.
- Floss your teeth – Gum disease is related to a higher risk of heart disease and stroke. People with gingivitis and periodontitis have a mortality rate that is 23 to 46 percent higher than those who don’t. Flossing daily helps keep your mouth healthy.
- Get a pet, and play with them – People who have pets tend to be happier people. They exercise more and aren’t as prone to depression.
- Eat breakfast – A study by the University of Massachusetts found that people who skipped breakfast or who waited more than 90 minutes to eat after waking, were 50 percent more likely to become obese. Obesity is directly related to your likelihood of developing many conditions including cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
- Don’t go to work when you’re sick – Did you know that if you go to work when you’re sick, you can double your risk of having a heart attack? Stay home. Your co-workers will thank you.
- Take care of your immune system – Speaking of getting sick, consider regularly imbibing herbs that bolster the immune system such as astragalus, ashwagandha, turmeric, echinacea. e6702244
- Stop smoking and steer clear of second-hand smoke – Smoking and second-hand smoke increases your risk of lung cancer and can raise your diabetes risk by 40 percent.
- Get some sunshine every day – Get outside and get some fresh air and vitamin D. You’ll reduce your risk of depression and give your body what it needs to stay mentally and physically strong.
- Maintain a healthy weight – Extra pounds put you at risk for heart attack, diabetes, cancer and other diseases that not only deplete your quality of life, they also shorten it.
- Have kids later in life – Contrary to what you might expect, you’ll live longer if you wait to have children. According to according to Boston University’s New England Centenarian Study, women who have children after age 40 have a greater chance of living to 100 than women who give birth earlier in life.
Food, stress, lifestyle and mindset are part of a healthy lifestyle and a great way to make sure you live a long and happy life. However, they are incomplete if you don’t get up and move.
We’ve talked a bit about exercise already so let’s take a quick look at two more important elements of exercise before we wrap it up.
- Burn at least 1100 calories each week – Find an exercise program, team, or club that supports you to get rid of your belly fat. Scientists at Duke University learned that when people burn 1100 calories a week, it prevents the accumulation of belly fat. This is the most dangerous type of fat for both men and women. It causes systemic inflammation and heart disease.
- Lift weights – In addition to burning 1100 calories a week, at a minimum, add strength training to your workout. It strengthens bones in women and helps prevent osteoporosis. It also lowers blood pressure and reduces your risk of stroke. Strength training has also been shown to provide cognitive benefits and it can relieve stress.
Pulling It All Together
You now have 36 different ways to lengthen your life. It might look like an overwhelming list. However, anything is manageable when you take it step-by-step. Identify one item on the list and create a plan to integrate it into your life. Once it has become a habit and you feel ready, add another tactic to your life.
Consider starting with something that you know you can achieve. For example, maybe you make an appointment to get an annual check-up. That’s easy enough to accomplish.
As you begin to modify your lifestyle and embrace healthy habits, you’ll feel more confident in your ability to make big changes. You’ll feel empowered to take the necessary steps to live a long and healthy life.
What is Aging?
Some scientists and physicians suggest that aging is a ‘disease’. This is not a fair description. Aging is not a disease but part of the process of life itself!
You cannot reverse aging but you can help slow it down to an optimal level which nature intended. So, how long should we live for? This is a subject of much debate and disagreement.
Some scientists claim extraordinary times…200+ years. However, this is really in the realm of science fiction.
The position of Xtend-Life is that it is possible to live to the projected maximum human life span of 120 years. To achieve this, your life has to be well balanced! In other words, your lifestyle, your diet, the amount of exercise you do, the environment you live in and your nutrient intake have to be as close as possible to optimal.
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