Long Life and Health
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Aging

Living Longer and the Importance of Taking Care of Your Health

Living longer is something that most people hope for. It seems, though, that many forget that living longer is made more enjoyable when you have good health to go along with it. Better health enables you to enjoy a better quality of life as you age.

Although someone may have good health when they are younger, the things you did or did not do back then to maintain good health will often come back to haunt or help you when you get older. It is why it pays well to stay healthy when you are younger.

Many surveys and testing have helped to discover the secret of longevity. In the Blue Zones, where people around the world live the longest and have good health much longer than most other people, they practice healthy habits nearly all their lives.

Many people, men in particular, do not understand how long they will live after they reach 65. The average life expectancy for American men is 75, and for women it is 80. However, it expands when you reach 60. It means that if you live to 60, you will likely live to 82 if you are a man or 85 if you are a woman.

The longevity factor not only means you need to save more money than you may think for retirement, but it also means unless you take care of your health, you may need to spend more money for doctor’s visits and hospital stays. Protecting your health while you are younger can help prevent chronic diseases.

Your goal should not be just to live longer but to stay healthy as long as possible at the same time. People who practice basic health habits can add years to their lives, 8 to 10 years more than those who do not practice them regularly.

Practicing basic health habits enables a longer and healthier life. Studies have shown that men and women often stay healthy for more than 30 years longer than those who do not practice them.

The key habits are eating healthy, exercising regularly at a moderate level for about 150 minutes per week, not smoking, staying at a healthy weight, and minimizing alcohol consumption – one glass for women and up to two for men. All five of these habits showed an equal benefit.

These healthy habits and lifestyles influence the human body more than genes. Genes and any negative factors they reveal are not as important as maintaining health through good habits.

In addition to the above five habits already mentioned, here are a couple more things you might want to add. Reduce stress, which can increase your risk of death by two or three times. Aim to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night. Getting more or less sleep regularly is also unhealthy, and either extreme can shorten your life.

You also may want to add drinking coffee or tea to your menu. Both drinks are beneficial to having better health. They can reduce your risk of cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. They can also reduce your risk of early death by 20 to 30%.

Even though eating things like fast foods and lots of sweets are more tasty and probably what you are used to, healthy foods really can help you live longer. At the same time, add the five healthy habits to your life, and you are apt to find that each one increases your longevity and lets you enjoy it more.

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