Genes have been studied for some time to see what role they have in longevity. It is known that they play a part in how long you will live, but recent research indicates the role may not be as important (about 23%) as other factors – at least until you are about 70. In the meantime, your focus for longer life should be on the following eight things.
- Get enough exercise
Health experts recommend that you get about 150 minutes of moderate-level exercise each week. Although less time spent exercising can also provide you with some benefits, 150 minutes provides greater benefits if you are able. It will help you stay healthier, improve your mood, give you better sleep, and more energy.
- Avoid smoking
Smoking is one of the worst things you can do to yourself if you want to live longer. When you stop smoking, there are several benefits you will get from it. Your breathing will be improved and your risk of cardiovascular disease will be reduced. Your risk of cancer of the throat and mouth is reduced, as well as other cancers.
- Eat healthy
Building a strong and healthy body – and keeping it that way – requires plenty of the right nutrients. You need to eat more vegetables and fruits, nuts, whole grains, and less red meat. Also, eat fewer processed foods and fast foods. Research has recently revealed that a combination of exercise and a healthy diet can protect your genes and help increase your longevity.
- Take care of your teeth
One aspect of health that is often neglected is oral care. Serious gum disease (periodontitis) is widespread among adults over 30 in the United States and many people have no idea how serious it is. When it reaches this stage, inflammation spreads from the gums into the bloodstream, which can lead to more than 100 diseases – many of which can be fatal. Brush, floss, and see a dentist regularly to ensure healthy teeth and gums.
- Limit your alcohol intake
People who consume a lot of alcohol regularly have a much higher risk of dying early. They will more likely develop heart, liver, and pancreatic disease, cancer, and more. Even more moderate drinking increases your risk of dying early by 20 percent.
- Reduce stress
Stress can be extremely harmful to your health if allowed to persist over long periods. It will affect many aspects of your life, giving you some of the following problems: high blood pressure, chest pain, headaches, aches, fatigue, digestive issues, and sexual problems. It will also increase your risk of cancer, disease of the lungs, suicide, and more.
- Take time to socialize
People that maintain an active social life often live as much as 15 years longer than those that are lonely. Isolation is unhealthy and may increase your risk of health problems such as cardiovascular disease, obesity, high blood pressure, depression, decreased mental faculties, Alzheimer’s, and more. These conditions increase the risk of early death by as much as 50 percent. Getting married can increase your longevity. Attending religious services more than once a week strengthens your immune system.
- Recover faster from injury
Although some injuries or surgeries take longer to heal, you should aim to seek to be up on your feet and active as quickly as possible to increase longevity. If prolonged, being idle while recovering can have many potential side effects which can shorten your life.