One of the realities of life is that we all grow old and die. However, it is possible to put off that inevitable moment of death if you take precautions to live healthier, and employ a few commonsense tips. Personally, I think living longer isn’t that great if you don’t have your health. Unless you can have health as well as longevity, there isn’t much point.
My maternal grandfather is a great example to me. He’s active, inquisitive, and eats reasonably well. Not only is he almost 81, but he is also in pretty good shape, with relatively few health problems, and an ability to do most of the things he enjoys. He’s independent, and able to live the lifestyle he wants. Not bad. And a lot of it has to do with his lifestyle habits. Here are 9 tips that can help you live longer and healthier:
1. Quit Smoking
One of the biggest pieces of advice being touted for longevity is to avoid smoking. If you never smoke, that is ideal. However, quitting can boost your health and your lifespan. Plus, you can also help the health of those around you, since second-hand smoke can be so damaging.
2. Add More Fruits and Vegetables to Your Diet
You knew this was coming — of course. More fruits and vegetables in your diet can help you live healthier, and longer. Adding fruits and veggies provides you with fiber, which can lower bad cholesterol, as well as provide antioxidants that fight aging, and even boost your immune system so that you are less vulnerable to sickness and other health problems.
3. Reduce Your Intake of Red Meat
Do you have to get rid of red meat altogether? No you don’t! But eating it all the time might not be the best option for a longer, healthier life. Reducing the amount of red meat you eat can help you live longer, and boost your health. Other protein sources, like from poultry and fish, can be a good substitute. Personally, I wouldn’t want to stop eating red meat entirely, but I have a noticed a difference in how I feel and my general health since I started cutting back my red meat consumption.
4. Eat More Whole Grains
Whole grains can also improve your health. You have more fiber, and less of the simple carbs that have come to dominate our diets. Boost your intake of whole grains, and you could see the health benefits, including a longer life.
5. Enjoy Physical Activity
Most of us understand that physical activity is important to maintaining physical health. However, it doesn’t have to be straight up exercise all the time. I’m not a big fan of the type of exercise done in front of a TV or at a class at the gym. Adding physical activity, such as bike riding, playing outside with the kids, or any number of other things, can help. My grandpa likes to play golf and go fly fishing. These activities keep him active, happy, and healthy.
6. Add Strength Training
While simple physical activities and aerobics can be good for your health, you also need to engage in strength training. Strength training is especially important if you want to keep up your bone strength and muscle strength as you age. You’ll prevent falls from becoming huge problems if you add strength training to your routine.
7. Make a Few Friends
Interestingly, you are more likely to live longer if you have friends. Your social interactions can help you boost your longevity. Your emotional health, and your outlook on life, can be impacted by your social activities. Enjoy your social life, and you could live longer — and happier.
8. Make Sure You Get Adequate Sleep
A good sleep routine can help your health, and increase your life span. Sleep helps your body recharge, and has been linked to lower stress and better health. Make sure you are getting the sleep you need, and your longevity could be increased.
9. Learn New Things
When you are more open to change, and willing to learn new things, you are more likely to live longer and be healthier in the bargain. Optimism, and a natural curiosity, can help you improve your emotional and mental health, as well as your physical health. Be willing to keep learning, and be open to new experiences, and you will likely live longer — and enjoy your life more as well.