Longevity is often at the forefront of many people’s minds–especially as they age. Scientists are constantly working on getting ahead in the battle with aging. And we’ve done a lot to improve things. People have developed modern medicine, which has significantly increased life expectancy.
We have better living conditions and better social security blankets. Society has developed, and, as a by-product, people can enjoy a longer life. Sure, modern society has created some issues that affect living standards. But, overall, there’s no denying that people live better now than ever before. Still, no matter how hard we try, we cannot defeat aging. It’s a natural process, and everyone is bound to experience it. But that doesn’t mean you must be complacent and just let it happen.
There’s a difference between accepting that aging is inevitable and not doing anything to ensure you age well. If you don’t take care of yourself, longevity is out of the question. Instead, you need to ensure you have the best future possible. So, according to doctors, what can you do to increase your longevity and secure a better life for yourself?
How to Increase Longevity?
1 – An Active Lifestyle Increases Longevity
All studies that analyze the impact of an active lifestyle point to one conclusion. That conclusion is that the more active you are, the longer and better you’ll live. However, keep in mind that longevity is always relative. An active lifestyle will allow you to live longer than you would have if you weren’t busy. Research shows that two to three hours of weekly exercise increases life expectancy by five to seven years. Plus, it allows you to age better.
Sedentary people often struggle with mobility issues as they get old. Besides that, they should be concerned with many other problems. From heart issues to digestive problems, they all make your life more complicated as you get older. But, the more active you are, you’ll have to worry about those things less. Not to mention that having an active lifestyle improves your mood and cognitive health.
Studies show active people have a significantly lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease. The best part is that it’s never too late to be active. Nor do you have to become a fitness expert to reap the benefits of an active lifestyle. If longevity is your concern, you must exercise for a couple of hours per week. On the other hand, if you don’t want to do something physically draining, consider taking daily walks.
Even thirty minutes of walking per day can boost your health. If you have a busy schedule, try walking to work more. Or walk when you have to run errands, like when you go grocery shopping. If you want to be more active, consider running, cycling, or going to the gym. Or take up active hobbies, like dancing. After just a few days of being active, you’ll start reaping the rewards. Your mood will immediately improve.
You’ll have more energy, your digestive health will be better, and you’ll overall feel happier. But the real benefits are the long-term ones. The more active you are, the longer and better you’ll live as you age.
2 – Watch What You Eat at Every Age to Increase Longevity
Everyone likes to be comfortable and enjoy a tasty, quick meal. But that frozen pizzas you eat twice a month could be one of the reasons you’ll live less. The western diet is so unhealthy that it can take years off your life. That diet contains a lot of processed or pre-packed foods. It also incorporates a lot of red meats, high dairy, high sugar products, and low vegetable intake.
This diet is one you are probably too familiar with. It’s almost too easy to buy frozen nuggets and pop them in the oven. It can seem like a perfect meal after a long day. But that diet is not something you should strive for. Especially if you are concerned with longevity, you should change your diet and aim to eat healthier.
Researchers have concluded that the optimal diet includes more legumes, whole grains, and nuts. You should also avoid red or processed meats and processed foods. If you want meat, you should consider eating more chicken and fish. This diet could add literal years to your life. For instance, picking this diet up at twenty years old will add ten years to your life.
But even if you pick it up at eighty, it can still add up to three years to your life. Still, this diet is tough to keep up with, primarily because of what grocery stores offer. Most people eat highly processed and unhealthy food. It would help if you tried to shop more at farmer’s markets. But, if that’s not possible, eliminate some foods from your diet. For example, stop eating processed cereal for breakfast.
Instead, swap that with oatmeal or even a couple of apples. And, most importantly, make time to cook at home. This habit will ensure that you don’t have to rely on frozen or pre-packed meals anymore. If you don’t have the time to cook, you should try meal prepping. Every weekend, cook some meals you can pop in the fridge and eat for the whole week. Small changes like these will do wonders in terms of longevity.
3 – Be Social, Especially as You Age
One of humanity’s biggest enemies is loneliness. It’s one of the main reasons people battle mental health issues. A neglected person is much more likely to develop depression than a social person. Sure, almost everyone has people around them. And you even interact with many people daily. For example, you have to interact daily with your work colleagues.
But that doesn’t mean you are socializing the way you should. To live longer, you need to create strong connections with others at every age. Isolated people could face a higher risk of premature death than social people. That risk can be as high as 50%. Some scientists have even argued that social isolation can reduce life expectancy at similar rates as smoking. Isolation impacts people psychologically and physically.
Some believe that a lack of human connection weakens the immune system. This makes people more susceptible to contracting infectious diseases. Isolation impacts longevity. So, to increase your life expectations and well-being, strive to create deeper connections. That doesn’t mean you have to have dozens of friends. Being social in the traditional sense is good, meaning it’s beneficial to be open.
And it would be best if you also tried actively meeting people you can connect with. But it’s not enough to casually get along with the people you must interact with. Many people think they are social because they are on good terms with work colleagues. But that’s not entirely true. It would be best if you strived to find people you could connect with.
It’s essential to have a few friends you can share everything with. Not only will those people always be there for you, but you’ll be able to have fun with them. So, find someone you can talk about your issues with but who is also down to take a spontaneous trip just for fun.
4 – Find Hobbies You Enjoy
When they reach adulthood, many people make the mistake of focusing too much on work. Maybe that doesn’t seem like such a bad thing, but you shouldn’t live to work. But rather, you should work to live. Even if you enjoy your job, it’s still something that creates a lot of stress and worries. Things can get even worse if you resent your job.
If you don’t like what you do and don’t even have some hobbies that cheer you up, your life will be bleak. But the impacts of having no hobbies aren’t just psychological. This could impact your longevity. When you don’t have a way to disconnect from the troubles of your daily routine, your health is affected–especially as you age. You cannot release all the tension, so all that stress builds up.
This can affect your health by leading to serious health issues. In addition, stressed people are much more likely to develop heart issues, amongst other things. But, when you make time for hobbies you love, you have an outlet for all that stress and tension. Not only that, but those hobbies can bring you absolute joy. Some activities prove helpful if you don’t know what hobbies could be right for you.
Reading, cooking, gardening, and even owning a pet–all these activities correlate with longevity. So, you could start by trying some of these out. But the best thing you could do is follow your dreams. So, give it a try if you have always loved dancing but have never taken classes. Even if you are older, that doesn’t mean you can’t do it.
There are special classes for adults you can sign up for. The same goes for any other passion you have. At least give the things you think you’d like a try. Sooner or later, you’ll find the right hobby for you.
Final Thoughts on How to Increase Longevity and Age Gracefully
Longevity is a thing that concerns everyone. We all worry about how long and how well we’ll live. But many people seem to think there’s nothing they can do about increasing their life expectancy. Or, even if you want to do that, you might be unsure what to do about it.
Maybe you worry that you are already too old to improve anything. But that’s not the case. Even older adults can improve the quality of their life by following a few simple suggestions. An active and healthy lifestyle is the most straightforward solution to the longevity issue. You must watch what you eat and devote a few hours per week to physical activity.
You don’t even need to do anything drastic. Even taking daily walks can significantly improve your life. Besides that, you need to take care of your emotional health. It would help if you made an effort to create stronger connections with people. It’s also essential to pick up some genuinely passionate hobbies. Lastly, remember to have fun and truly enjoy your life.