It’s never too late to start adopting new habits to make your life better. When you consciously make changes in the things you do, then you can better protect yourself from developing serious physical and mental health problems. We all want to live longer, and some habits can help accomplish just that.
Taking action to start a new habit can take time. However, if you stay patient, focused, and motivated, then you can see the positive effects of your efforts. But what kinds of habits must you adopt in your life so that you’ll be able to enjoy this longer? Here are some suggestions below.
Here Are 12 Simple Habits That Make You Live Longer
1. Get your annual check-up from one doctor every year.
To maintain good health, it’s important that you undergo a physical checkup every year. This is not just a preventive health measure but it also reinforces a healthier lifestyle. After all, you have a responsibility to your family and loved ones to take good care of your health.
Visiting your doctor annually will also foster a good and positive relationship with your health provider. But according to a study from the experts at the University of Exeter, you should consistently see just one doctor instead of several doctors for your annual medical examinations. This way, you can receive individualized and specific guidance about your health based on your medical history, especially if you are considered a high-risk patient.
You could be high risk if:
- You smoke and drink alcohol regularly
- You’re overweight or obese
- You have a history of chronic diseases in the family
- You’re a sexually active woman
- You’re over 50 years old
2. Start wearing more comfortable shoes.
It might be time to consider scaling back on those stilettos and high heels if you’d like to live longer. Though such footwear may make you look fashionable and stylish, switching to comfortable flat shoes will allow you to control your physical activities better.
- If you’re used to wearing comfortable shoes, you will be able to walk 10,000 steps each day without breaking your back or causing pain in your feet and legs.
- Walking these many steps daily satisfies the recommendation from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to do at least 150 minutes of moderate workouts every week.
- There’s plenty to gain from walking because this can cut your risk for stroke by 20 percent.
- It can also aid in your weight loss efforts so you won’t develop diseases caused by excessive weight.
3. Gain more sleep, especially during weekends.
You’ll live longer if you give your body enough time to rest, recuperate, and recharge. You can do this by sleeping longer or sleeping in during the weekends. Time and again, experts have associated better health to longer sleep hours. But with so many things to do, most people are actually sleep-deprived and don’t realize it.
- If you’re always feeling tired, or out of focus, or getting sick, then it’s best to listen to the cues that your body tells you.
- Perhaps it’s time to develop a proper bedtime routine and better sleeping habits.
- You don’t necessarily have to have nine hours of sleep every night.
- Some people can regularly sleep for fewer hours, but make sure the quality of your sleep is optimal and uninterrupted.
4. Don’t be a couch potato.
Try to cut back on your vegging time on the couch so that you’ll live longer. As much as possible, spend only a maximum of two hours watching television. Don’t make a habit of turning your sofa into your bed no matter how comfortable it might make you feel.
According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, people who spend a maximum of two hours watching television on the couch can extend their life for 1.4 years more. When you sit too long, you deprive your body of physical activities that can trigger disease development like diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. It is, without any doubt, a lot better to limit your sedentary lifestyle.
5. Take exercising seriously.
Exercising was always easier when you were younger because gym class was part of school requirements. But it could be a struggle now that you’re older. Additionally, you don’t have as much time to go to the gym with your work responsibilities and other obligations.
But if you value your health, you need to take exercising seriously. Perform workouts as often as you can. You can’t slow down with the physical activities, especially if you’re pushing 40 because your body needs more exercise to stay healthier.
- If you’re having a hard time setting a goal to exercise, why not enlist with a group of friends?
- When you’re motivated to work out with other people, you’ll have better chances of achieving something that will be good for your health.
- Eventually, you’ll get the hang of exercising even if you’re alone.
6. Learn to eat more healthy fats.
Fats from the food you eat are not entirely bad. Your body needs fats for energy so you shouldn’t completely avoid them. Instead, you should learn to distinguish the healthy fats from the bad fats if you want to live longer.
Eating higher amounts of monounsaturated fats from foods like avocados, nuts, olive oil, and vegetable oil can reduce your risk of premature death by 16 percent, according to Harvard Health. Occasionally, you should also get fats from animal sources like red meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products. Balance this with fat sources from plants to reduce your death risk by 25 percent.
7. Understand how your gut works.
Experts at the McGill University revealed that the secret to a long life is knowing how your gut works. The trillions of organisms thriving in your digestive tract can determine your longevity. Eat more probiotic foods like yogurt, cultured vegetables (sauerkraut and kimchi), apple cider vinegar, and miso soup to foster a good and healthy gut. You’ll want to maintain a good balance of the bacteria inside your digestive tract so that your body will be able to:
- Properly digest your food
- Boost your immunity system
- Distribute nutrients to your vital organs properly
- Make good use of the proteins that will help prevent inflammation and blood clots
Scientists are still learning more about the health benefits of maintaining healthy gut bacteria. But several studies have found links that make gut bacteria crucial to weight management and the prevention of chronic illnesses. The gut microbes are also crucial to your brain structure and functioning so it can also affect your mental health and even the aging of your brain.
8. Hydrate well to live longer.
The human body is mostly made of water. If you’re not hydrating enough, you’ll easily develop a lot of symptomatic illnesses like headache, skin dryness, disorientation, tiredness, and fatigue due to dehydration.
You’ll deprive your body of the nutrients the organs need to function well when you regularly fail to drink enough water. If your organs aren’t working right, you’ll risk developing serious diseases at a younger age. Drinking water regularly enables your body to:
- Energize your muscles
- Ease the wrinkles on your skin
- Protect your kidneys
- Regulate your colon’s function
Besides drinking water, you can also hydrate your body by eating lots of fruits and vegetables.
9. Develop a healthy time outdoors.
Your body needs vitamin D for a healthy, long life. This nutrient is crucial to boosting the health of your teeth, bones, and muscles, especially if you are aging. But there’s no richer source of vitamin D than the sun. Your brain and mental health also receive a proper boost from sunlight because sun exposure increases the development of serotonin, also known as the happy hormone.
Because the sun’s radiation can be harmful to the skin, some people avoid being under the sun; it may increase the risk of developing skin cancer. Unfortunately, you can’t get the best benefits from vitamin D if you’re always indoors so you need to develop a healthy time outdoors.
Ideally, you should get some beneficial sunlight in the early hours of the morning. Try to do your morning exercises outdoors before 10 a.m. If you’re afraid of skin cancer risks, always put on sunscreen before you head out.
10. Do housework and organize your cabinets regularly.
There are plenty of benefits to doing housework and organizing your items regularly. It keeps you active and gets you up and off the couch so that you reduce your risks for cardiovascular diseases. It also helps maintain a cleaner environment in your house when you know where everything goes.