Americans are living longer. But what is the point of living longer if you are not happy and healthy in those extra years? This is the important distinction between what longevity experts like to refer to as “lifespan” versus “healthspan.”
Here are seven ways they suggest to not only live longer but make those extra years your best years!
- Don’t skip catching up with your doctor. Regularly check in and get blood tests annually to catch any potential health issues. Make sure you have all other regular diagnostic checkups, like heart health and cancer screenings.
- Cut down or eliminate sugar. We cause our bodies a lot of problems and make it age faster when it must deal with the consumption of too much sugar. Too much sugar in the diet can lead to obesity, diabetes, and any number of other issues that negatively affect healthspan.
- Eat a “heart-healthy” diet. In addition to cutting down on sugar, avoid junk foods, and stick to a Mediterranean diet or plant-based diet, with meat occasionally for extra protein.
- Sit less: Sitting is bad, standing is good, so consider a standing desk while you work, or at least get up and walk around every so often.
- Exercise often. Walk every day if that’s all you can manage but aim to exercise at least 30 minutes a day.
- Remember to hydrate. Generally, healthy people should drink four to six glasses of water each day. Consult your doctor if you aren’t sure how much water you should be drinking daily.
- Practice gratitude and mindfulness. Gratitude, mindfulness, and a great social circle have been shown to add years, if not a decade, to your life.