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Always Have a Disciplined Life
The human lifespan is about 100 years, which is quite a long period compared to many other animal species. A person's lifespan and longevity depend on various factors. Of them, genetics plays a role. Worry not, there are many ways to lead a healthy life and to increase the lifespan. A disciplined lifestyle, good food habits, and routine exercise help to attain longevity.
1. Go for a Walk:
'A brisk walk for half an hour, three times a week can reverse your physiological age by about ten years', says Gareth Jones, director of the Canadian Centre for Activity and Aging in London, Ont.
He conducted a 3 years study of 220 retirement age men in which half didn't exercise and the other half walked briskly for 30 minutes, three times a week. After a year, the walking group showed a 12% increase in aerobic power and a 10% increase in strength and hip flexibility- that was equivalent to what they would have lost over a decade had they not exercised at all.
Make a habit of a brisk walk for half an hour, three times a week for good health and longer life. This will increase your social connection and lead to more bonding as well. Also, you may end up meeting someone whom you know or you may make new friends. This keeps your brain active and engaging.
2. Lift Weight or Do Exercise:
Scientists once believed that you can't do anything about the decreasing muscle mass associated with age. But, in 1990, a study was published by the August Krogh Institute in Denmark that showed there was one group of aging athletes who maintained the power and strength of men half their age - weight lifters.
Tuft University, Boston, Mass studies confirmed that loss of muscle and bones could be stopped or even reversed through weight training. With the exercise of lifting weight two times a week for a year, a group of post-menopausal women at their 50s and 60s made a gain in bone density and had increased strength levels which were equivalent to the strength levels of women in their late 30s.
Find out the image of Ernestine Shepherd who is 73 years old bodybuilding record holder. She has maintained her body so nicely! If not possible to go to a gym, you can make simple exercises at home itself. Don't idle. Continue doing small tasks at home like doing banking transactions, doing household chores, going shopping, watering the plants, feeding the pet, etc. Your self-confidence also increases with such activities.
3. Have a Pet:
The people who have a pet are less likely to be depressed as per the study conducted by the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. A professor at the Ontario Veterinary College in Guelph, Cindy Adams, who is a specialist in human-animal bonds found out that the positive health benefits generate from the fact that pets force the person in contact to focus on something else other than themselves. This process takes the mind off from the persons' pains and aches.
4. Take Additional Supplements in the Diet:
Memory loss and dementia are associated with Vitamin B12 deficiency. So, it is important to make sure that you are getting adequate of them. You have to boost Calcium intake to prevent osteoporosis. Colon cancer risk can be avoided by taking multi-vitamin tablets containing folic acid daily.
I believe a daily diet with nutrients is a must. Along with that, old people should ensure to take supplements to get the left out nutrients in the diet. By doing so, old people feel energetic and cheerful.
5. Always be Optimistic
New England Centenarian Study shows that one quality commonly found in centenarians is, an ability not to dwell on difficulties. Mental stress gives rise to a physiological response that is not good for the body said Hymie Anisman, a professor of neuroscience at Carlton University in Ottawa. The body pumps out adrenaline and cortisol that help to cope with the stress in the short term. But, that can damage the immune system like heart and brain, if you always provoke such stress.
Be calm and face the facts of life boldly. If complications arise, discuss with friends and relatives to lessen the problem. Taking tension is bad for health and should avoid that.
6. Eat Healthy Food, Don't Smoke:
Eating healthy foods at regular intervals is very important to have a good immune system. Maintaining a healthy weight becomes easy with proper diet and regular exercise. Consume varieties of cereals, whole grains, fruits, nuts, and vegetables to get all kinds of nutrients like vitamins, minerals, iron, carbohydrates, folates, fat, etc. thatare important for the body.
Spending on food should not be considered as a luxury. It is a necessity. By eating healthy foods, you can save money that otherwise would have been spent for the doctor to cure your health problem. Eat more fish that is rich in omega-3 fatty acid which is good for the body.
Don't cultivate a smoking habit. Even if you are a smoker, try to quit smoking. Your general health and lifespan will improve if you stop smoking.
7. Involve in More Social Activities:
Making friends, attending functions, and engaging in social activities help in living longer. The benefit from social engagements is almost equivalent to adding of lifespan one can gain by cutting cholesterol or by lowering blood pressure. Thomas Glass, associate professor at The John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore proved this fact by tracking the participants by almost 3000 people aged 65 and up in 13 years period.
Going to clubs, playing cards, or playing a chess game in a group keeps the mind engaged and makes you cheerful. For the time being, you will forget about the pains and body aches you have. Mingle with same age people, make sure that you are not lonely for a long time.
8. Get Satisfaction By Helping Others:
Helping others financially or physically or in any other form gives immense satisfaction and pleasure. This can be proved by yourself with such an experience. The inner peace you get by helping others is matchless. Always be helpful to others. This is one of the ways through which you can live longer happily.
9. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Belly fat is not good. Dietitian Leslie Beck who reviewed dozens of studies to write the book 'Leslie Beck's Longevity Diet: The Power of Food to Slow Aging and Maintain Optimal Health and Energy' says, weight gain during adulthood, especially abdominal weight can harm health and life expectancy. She recommends increasing anti-inflammatory foods such as fruits, vegetables, oily fish, and limiting inflammatory foods like refined sugar, meat, and processed foods.
Beck recommends the top five anti-aging foods: 1) Berries for antioxidants 2) cruciferous vegetables for their ability to help the liver break down the food and excrete toxins 3) Kale for vitamin K, potassium, and lutein that help maintain healthy bones and vision, help to keep blood pressure in check 4) Black beans for their property as slow-digesting plant protein, fiber, and antioxidants 5) Green tea for flavonoids that protect against heart diseases and certain cancers.
10. Keep Mind Active by Taking up Challenging Activities:
Certain activities like lecturing, playing chess, doing sudoku, or crossword puzzle, learning a new language, reading a challenging book stimulates your mind and makes you concentrate. This, in turn, boosts your mental capacity. Angela Troyer, a psychologist specialized in aging and memory at the Bay crest Centre for Geriatric Care in Toronto says that people who do more of these things in old adulthood tend to develop dementia at a lower rate.
Source: Reader's Digest Best Health
To sum up, cultivate good health habits at a young age itself to live a long and healthy life. It is believed that genetics also plays some role in determining your lifespan. However, we should make an effort to live a healthy life. Try to live in a peaceful and natural surrounding to boost your mental health and lifespan.
ShailaSheshadri (author) from Bengaluru on November 17, 2016:
Thanks a lot, Janellegems. You inspired me with your good comment. Let us increase our life span by doing good things.
Pennington on November 16, 2016:
Excellent ways to increase our lifespan. Great Job!!! I am glad you did not only state that exercise and eating healthy are the only ways to increase lifespan, but other things as well. I do believe when we get involved in helping others, in social activities, and just being with people that it helps us emotionally and is absolutely good for our health. Thanks for Great Hub.