To prolong your longevity, a long duration of your life, you need to start by making healthy life choices a priority. Plan to slowly quit bad habits, if you have any. Easy to say and hard to do, right? Baby steps will help.
Keep in mind that it’s never too late to start eating healthier, exercising, sleeping more, finding a new passion, learning something new, and feeling more joyful & happy! Its also never too late to quit bad a habit such as overeating, smoking, and or consuming too much alcohol. If you need any help, reach out to someone you can trust. Speak with your doctor if there are any issues decreasing your longevity!
Below are some helpful tips on how to boost your life and promote healthy aging:
1. Schedule regular health screening checks to help prevent illness & diseases
Discuss with your doctor which screening tests are right for you based on your age, gender, risk factors & family health history. If you live in BC, visit Healthlink BC:
Researchers state that a healthy diet and lifestyle are now the main key factors to longevity. Genes are now known to play a smaller role than believed. There also seems to be a link between calories and longevity. Reducing your calorie intake may help you live longer and protect against disease, however more is proof still required.
2. Consume healthy plant foods such as fruits, dark leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, beets & beans, which are known to may lower disease risks while promoting longevity. Research & try the Mediterranean diet!
a. Fruits and vegetables are a great source of vitamins and minerals, are full of fiber, and are low on calories, fat & sodium. Many of them contain phytochemicals, which are biologically active substances that can help protect against some diseases.
b. Nuts are plant-based protein, fiber, antioxidants, and a great source of vitamins & minerals. Nuts have beneficial effects on heart disease, high blood pressure, inflammation, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, belly fat levels, and even some forms of cancer. They make a convenient snack on the go and are great to be added to various dishes to boost protein content. Make homemade pesto which offers a delicious sauce for your pasta meals. Walnuts, peanuts, almonds, pine nuts, pistachios & cashews are highly recommended unless you have allergies.
c. Tomatoes contain lycopene, which helps lower your “bad” cholesterol and blood pressure levels and reduce the risk of heart disease. If you don't like tomatoes, consider using tomato paste concentrate in cooking & salads.
d. Olives & olive oil
Olives are very high in vitamin E and other powerful antioxidants. Studies show that they are good for the heart and may protect against osteoporosis and cancer. The healthy fats in olives are extracted to produce olive oil, one of the key components of the healthy Mediterranean diet which is a key factor in longevity!
3. Add spices to your diet!
Tumeric contains a potent bioactive compound called curcumin that helps maintain brain, heart, and lung function, as well as protects against cancers and age-related diseases.
Allspice, cloves, cinnamon, ginger, oregano, sage, and thyme powders are all high in antioxidants. These plant chemicals boost brainpower and are known to and heart disease & prevent cancer.
Rosemary is a rich source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, to help boost the immune system and improve blood circulation. It is also a cognitive stimulant to help improve memory performance and quality. It boosts alertness, intelligence, and focus and also has anti-cancer properties.
4. Cook with more garlic which has long been associated with fantastic health benefits – from curing a cold to lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Garlic is mostly used as a spice but is actually botanically a vegetable! It contains vitamins C and B6 and a chemical called allicin, a type of antioxidant to fight bacteria, viruses & even parasites.
5. Control your eating habits & frequency: Aim to eat earlier in the day, less frequently and stop when you feel full to avoid overeating.
6. Lower your sodium and sugar intake to reduce risks of chronic diseases like heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, and chronic kidney disease and help manage weight.
7. Drink moderate coffee and tea amounts. Both are connected to healthy aging & longevity.
They boost your immune system, fight off inflammation, and help with the prevention of heart disease & stroke, and type 2 diabetes. Use in moderation as too much caffeine is unhealthy and can cause anxiety.
8. Reduce alcohol intake and only drink moderate amounts to:
lower blood pressure, reduce headaches, heartburn, indigestion & upset stomach & reduce fatty liver build-up!
Improve your sleep, mood, mental well-being, and skin- related conditions.
9. Practise light exercise: As few as 15 minutes of light cardio exercise such as walking per day which could include an additional couple years of life
10. Get enough sleep to:
Strengthen your immune system
increased energy levels
Boost your Brain’s performance
Improved overall well-being
11. Staying socially active helps with mental health, and overall quality of life and can help you live up to 50% longer!
12. Reduce stress & anxiety which significantly decreases longevity. Spend time in nature in quiet spaces and peaceful views. Try a simple deep breathing exercise called the 5-5-5 method. Breathe in for 5 seconds, hold your breath for 5 seconds, and then breathe out for 5 seconds and continue this process until you notice some relief.
13. Have a passion - engage in a hobby you enjoy doing regularly that calms you down, inspires you, fills you with joy and optimism, and keeps you active.
14. Learn something new on a regular basis to stimulate your brain and thinking.
15. Be flexible & open-minded: Stay intellectually curious to evolve. As we age we need to adjust to life changes and adapt with ease. For example, if you wish to age in place you will need to adapt your environment to accommodate your changing needs and start Advance care planning.
16. Practice gratitude, kindness & mindfulness & optimism! Focus on what you have and appreciate rather than what you do not have.
17. Volunteer to help others!
18. Last but not least: boost your longevity through joy & happiness every day.