Stop Killing Yourself: Make Sure You're Following These 8 Healthy Habits
Believe it or not, the way in which you age is not entirely dependent on your gene pool. In fact, your genetic makeup has very little to do with how well you grow old. What it boils down to is how you live and the habits you implement on a day-to-day basis.
You can reduce your risk of having a stroke if you adopt these four simple habits: daily exercise, eating your five-a-day, avoiding excess alcohol, and cigarettes. It's not rocket science -- it's about healthy habits for life.
For more on how to live a healthy, balanced existence and prolong your lifespan, this blog outlines a few great tips.
Healthy Habits for Life: How to Age Well and Enjoy It
It's a sad reality, but most people tend to dread getting older. But aging is a privilege denied to many, and if there are tools to help you age well, then why dread growing older? By implementing simple healthy habits on a daily basis, you not only increase your chances of aging well, but also get to enjoy the ''golden years'' of your life.
Here are 8 simple habits to adopt right now:
1. Make Sleep a Top Priority
Ever heard the saying ''you can sleep when you're dead''? Well, this does not apply to a healthy life of the living. Sleep is important, no matter your age. But as you grow older, sleep becomes an elixir of health.
Try to prioritize at least 6 hours of sleep per night, and even more if you're past the age of 65. Deep sleep consists of healing REM cycles which last a minimum of 6 hours. This is when your body repairs and regenerates itself. Good quality sleep also helps you to manage your stress better -- and we all know how stress can speed up aging. So try not to skimp on sleep and remember its importance in your daily routine.
2. Consistently Move Your Body
Another fountain of youth is daily exercise. There's no simpler way to put it: staying active helps you to live longer. It's the same as oiling the engine of a car. You don't have to do it, but the car will always run better and last longer if you do. A healthy exercise regime consists of 30-minutes of exercise approximately 5-days a week. It doesn't have to be strenuous either -- as long as it's movement. Long walks, yoga, stretching, swimming, gardening, and cycling are good ways to keep your body moving.
Regular exercise not only promotes health but helps to boost your mental state, regulate the metabolism, control cravings, and regulate high blood pressure. For more on the symptoms of high blood pressure, check out this article.
3. Never Skip Breakfast
You've probably heard this one before, but breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. As you age, forget about dieting fads such as intermittent fasting. This first meal of the day sets up your metabolism for the rest of it.
If you neglect to have breakfast, this can wreak havoc on your metabolic state, which leads to low energy, cravings, and fatigue. Eating a fiber-rich breakfast each morning helps to regulate your blood sugar levels and boost your mental clarity. It is also said to lower incidences of diabetes.
4. Don't Replace Whole Foods With Supplements
There is no substitute for eating healthy whole food that comprise a well-balanced diet. This means that you can't get the same effects from supplements that you can when eating fresh, nutrient-dense foods. People with higher levels of selenium, beta-carotene, and vitamins C and E tend to age better. These vitamins and minerals also help to delay cognitive decline.
In short, there is no anti-aging supplement that can reverse the effects of aging. But a balanced diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, fiber, healthy carbohydrates, and fats can help you to age better. Try to avoid unrefined foods such as white bread, pasta, and simple sugars.
5. Develop a Healthy Routine and Stick To It
As you grow older, you may find yourself becoming a creature of habit. There is nothing wrong with this -- in fact, it's encouraged. This means you have established a healthy routine -- and your body thrives off regular, healthy habits.
This is not to say you can't enjoy a treat every now and then and break out of routine. But for the most part, try to develop a habit of eating and sleeping well, regular exercise and socialization. A healthy routine also bolsters your immunity, helping you to fight off illness, infection, and disease as you age.
6. Stay Socially Connected
Having some semblance of a social life as you grow older is important for your mental and emotional health. This is one of the key ways to avoid depression and social isolation, which can only accelerate aging.
A decline in mental health as you grow older is only natural. But staying socially connected with friends and loved ones is a good way to keep yourself sharp. Your social circle does not need to be huge -- a handful of friends whom you see on a regular basis is all you need.
7. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
Looking for a literal fountain of youth? You can find it when you open your kitchen faucet! That's right -- water is so important to your overall health, no matter your age. Every cell, tissue, and organ in your body needs water to function properly.
It's incredibly important for all bodily functions and helps to keep your skin supple and hydrated. Try to drink an average of 1-2 liters of water per day. Keep yourself accountable with a large water bottle and try to track your consumption daily.
8. Prioritize Your Dental Hygiene
Did you know that your oral health is actually a major predictor of your overall health? This is because bacteria in the mouth can enter the bloodstream and cause inflammation throughout the body.
Make good oral health and hygiene a top priority. Schedule in regular dental check-ups and floss at least once a day. These simple habits can add years to your lifespan.
Learn How to Live Your Best Life
These simple healthy habits for life don't ask for much -- it's just about finding the time to look after yourself with a healthy daily routine.