(HealthyResearch.com) – What would you do for the chance to add a decade to your life? Would you make different choices? We’ve found information about changing lifestyle habits, eating patterns, exercise habits, learning and socialization activities. Here are some things that may help you add 10 years to your life.
How Do Your Habits Add Up?
Life’s too short not to enjoy yourself! Sometimes a margarita or glass of wine, a piece of chocolate cake, or a fine cigar can add the exclamation point to your day. But how often should you indulge?
A meta-study performed on over 1600 participants and submitted to The Lancet suggests that anything more than 100 grams of alcohol per week (about 1 drink per day), could begin to impact your lifespan. Up to 196 grams (2 drinks per day) could shave as much as 2 years off your life.
Increasing your sugar intake by as little as 25 percent a day could cause genetic damage that could also shorten your life without even showing up on your waistline. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends daily sugar limits for men of 9 teaspoons (37.5 grams or about 150 calories) and for women of 6 teaspoons (25 grams or about 100 calories).
Each cigarette smoked reduces your life by 11 minutes according to a study submitted to the BMJ in 2000. Each carton might cost you a day and a half of life. And every year of smoking a pack per day could cost you almost 2 months of life for each year you indulge.
Everyone splurges once in a while, but what you choose habitually could make a big difference. The choices are easy! By making healthier choices most of the time, you could enjoy a longer life and still have plenty of treats!
Could Your Diet Use a Revamp?
How many servings of fruits and veggies do you eat every day? By contrast, how often do you eat fast food and boxed or frozen meals? The CDC recommends eating at least five servings of fruits and veggies per day, lean proteins and healthy fats to keep your body in its best possible shape.
You might be able to find inspiration to create meals through cooking classes, experimentation, or by subscribing to a meal kit service like Blue Apron or HelloFresh. Keeping up even a 20 percent improvement in your diet over time could reduce your chances of dying by between 9 and 14 percent according to a study submitted to the New England Journal of Medicine.
Going a step further, there seems to be some evidence that calorie restriction and fasting diets might enhance health and extend lifespans even more. More study is needed over a longer timeframe, but those who participated in this regimen through a National Institute of Aging (NIA) study had better cardiovascular health, less inflammation, slower rates of aging and lower blood glucose levels.
How Active Are You?
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), “Moving (even just a little) improves your heart health.” However, they recommend adults get a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week. The same benefits can be gained in less time by stepping it up and doing high-intensity aerobic exercise for 75 minutes a week. A little of A and a little of B will also work. For even more benefit, increase your activity to 300 minutes per week.
Physically active people have up to 8 years more life expectancy than inactive people according to an examination of 13 cohort studies. On average, physically ill men who became active experienced 2.9 more years of life expectancy while ill women who become active extended their lives by an average of 3.9 years. Non-smokers who were not overweight and were physically fit and who became more active extended their lives by as much as 12 years.
How Do You Feed Your Mind?
Beyond a healthy diet, your brain needs emotional and intellectual nourishment. Research on animal models shows environmental enrichment may improve cognition and slow the advancement of neurodegenerative diseases. Another study out of Ball State University indicates that you may be able to live a longer, happier life by adopting mindfulness practices like meditation and yoga. Continuing to learn and take classes, exploring your memories through journaling or reminiscing, and expressing yourself artistically through music, painting, sculpture or crafting could help keep your mind active,
Spending time with friends and family and maintaining a healthy social network into your senior years has been shown by researchers to be vital to your health and longevity, based on a study performed through the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Investing in your hobbies and finding purpose in your life also seems to be vital to extending your life according to a two-year observational study performed in Japan.
You might add a decade or more to your life by making simple choices on a day-to-day basis and by maintaining some good habits that you probably already practice. By making improvements where you can and finding a happy balance, you might be able to give yourself more years to enjoy friends, family, and interests.
~Here’s to Your Health & Safety!
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