HOW CLEAN, HEALTHY LIVING INCREASES YOUR LIFE EXPECTANCY
It was once thought that someone’s genes held all the cards when it came to life expectancy, that you lived as long or as little as your genes had pre-programmed you to.
Science now teaches us that genes do play a much smaller role than originally believed. It has now been discovered that a healthy lifestyle can improve someone’s life span by as much as seven years.
This means that there is a distinct correlation between living a clean and healthy life and living longer, all other things being equal.
According to a recently study published, people who work to maintain a normal weight, do not smoke, and who drink alcohol only moderately add years to their life, and not just any kind of years. They add healthy years, meaning that the extra years that they do have over the general population is spent in relatively good health.
Paring it down to figures
The study of which we speak analyzed data for 14,000 people and made the following discoveries:
People who have never smoked before and who were not obese lived 4 to 5 disability-free years longer than the general population.
People who consumed alcohol moderately and who didn’t smoke and were not obese lived seven more disability-free years than the general population.
The conclusion of the study was that even a moderately healthy lifestyle is enough to get the benefits of a longer life.
So how do you live a clean, healthy life
While a perfectly healthy diet is not a full guarantee for health and longevity, it does give you a better fighting chance, because diet can affect longevity powerfully, and it is not difficult to get and see exciting results from simple dietary changes.
To live a healthier life, these are tips for you to implement, starting from today:
Eat a balanced diet: This is the building block, the very foundation of any healthy living. A balanced diet is a diet that is designed to give your body all the nutrients that it needs to work properly. A balanced diet focuses on both quality and quantity, and incorporates a daily intake of calories from fresh vegetables, whole grains, fresh fruits, nuts, legumes, and lean proteins. Eating a balanced diet means choosing from all five main food groups, in the right quantities. This is incredibly vital because our tissues and organs require correct nutrition to function well. In the absence of good nutrition, our bodies are more susceptible to disease, fatigue, infection, and poor performance.
Drink lots of water: When you drink water in the right quantity, it ensures that you are properly hydrated, promotes cleansing, helps maintain healthy skin, and flushes toxins. It also reduces constipation and decreases the stress on your kidneys.
Eat more nuts: It is said that nuts are nutritional powerhouses, rich in fiber, antioxidants, protein, and beneficial plant compounds. They also provide the human body with several vitamins and minerals such as copper, potassium, folate, magnesium, niacin, and vitamins B6 and E, all of which have beneficial effects on high blood pressure, inflammation, diabetes, heart disease, metabolic syndrome, belly fat levels, and even some forms of cancer.
Be physically active: We cannot talk of longevity without talking about physical activity. It is said that as little as 15 minutes of daily exercise has immense health benefits, which includes an additional three years of life. In fact, a recent study observed a 22 per cent lower risk of premature death in people who exercised. Some research also connects energetic activity to a 5 per cent greater reduction in risk compared to people who did low- or moderate-intensity activities.
Do not smoke: Federal Health authorities have always linked smoking to disease and early death. Their warnings are not designed to put cigarette companies out of business but rather to increase the life expectancy of people. Studies show that people who smoke may lose up to 10 years of their life and be thrice as likely to die prematurely than those who have never smoked in their lives. This does not mean that you are already condemned for life if you currently smoke. You can make the decision to quit smoking, as a study reports that people who quit smoking by age 35 may prolong their lives by up to 8.5 years, while those who quit smoking in their 60s may add up to 3.7 years to their lives.
Drink sparingly: If you are a heavy alcohol consumer, you have a higher risk of having liver, heart, and pancreatic disease. All these, and an overall increased risk of early death. It is thus advised that you do all that you can to lower your alcohol consumption to the barest minimum. And you need to favor wine above beer and other hard liquors, as wine is considered particularly beneficial because of its high content of polyphenol antioxidants.
Lower your stress level: Women who are chronically depressed or who suffer from anxiety are reportedly more likely to die from stroke, heart disease, or lung cancer twice as much as their non-stressed counterparts, while men suffering from the same level of stress and anxiety are thrice as likely to die from such diseases. So, whatever you do, do all that you can to lower your stress level. Find what makes you happy and do it. Go for long walks. Disengage from technology every once in a while, and let peace and quietness wash over you. Identify the stress triggers in your life and then work to avoid them. Don’t stay in relationships that stress you out. And always remember to laugh often even when you don’t very much feel like it.
Get enough hours of sleep: Developing a good sleeping pattern is key, and sleep is important to regulate your cell function and to help your body heal from its daily functions. Too little sleep increases the risk of early death while too much sleep also does the same, so you need to get the hours of sleep just right. To maximize the benefit of sleep for longevity, aim for 7 to 8 hours of quality sleep every night.