How to Live Longer & Healthier?

Our elders always bless us with these words “Have a long life”, “Stay Happy”. But these blessings cannot be complete without the third one and that is “Stay healthy”. Long disease-free life is indeed a blessing, so as to get this blessing; there are a number of things you can resolve to live a long, healthy, disease-free life. Do you think that you have missed the train? No, it is never too late to start. What say, shall we start our journey towards good health now?

Lose Weight if you are towards Heavier Side

Life becomes much easier when you come in the normal BMI range. Apart from having less incidence of lifestyle diseases, lesser weight puts less pressure on knees and other weight-bearing joints decreasing the risk of inflammation or arthritis.

Processed Food / Junk Food Should Not Be Part of the Daily Diet

This is one of the most important dietary shift that has been observed among various nations. People are shifting to convenience, ready to eat, packaged, processed foods instead of the fresh produce. Processing robs our foods off certain nutrients like fibre, B-complex vitamins and in order to preserve the processed foods, manufacturers tend to add preservatives, sugar, salt, etc. These foods apart from being low in nutritive value are high in sodium, saturated fat, trans fat and regular consumption of these can lead to a higher incidence of cardiovascular disease, hypertension, cancers & diabetes.

Recent data on salt intake levels in India show consumption of salt is around 11 g per day, higher than the World Health Organization’s recommended intake of 5 g per day.

Read the labels. It’s important to be aware of what is in your food as manufacturers often hide large amounts of sugar or unhealthy fats in packaged food, even food claiming to be healthy.

Add more Fruits & Vegetables to your Diet

Fruit and vegetables are low in calories and nutrient-dense, which means they are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fibre. Focus on eating the recommended daily amount of 5-8 servings of fruit and vegetables. These will naturally fill you up and help you in cutting back on unhealthy foods.

Be Physically Active

Sitting is the new smoking. Sitting too much and for too long leads to health problems which include obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and also cancers. If you are into a desk job try to find reasons to get up from your chair walk few (read 250) steps and come back. Try to inculcate a habit of walking / cycling / swimming / playing any sport on a regular basis.

If you Smoke… Then STOP

As soon as you quit smoking, your risk of getting cancer decreases every year thereafter. Smoking plays an important role also in the development of various conditions such as dementia, osteoporosis, diabetes, peptic ulcer, gastro-esophageal reflux, alterations of hearing and skin. Smoke compromises not only life expectancy, but also the quality of the life,

Follow a Routine of Sleep & Wake up Cycle

The amount of sleep you get can affect your lifespan. In various studies, sleeping too little (less than six hours) or more (over nine hours) has been shown to put people at a higher risk of death. Having a relaxing and restful sleep can help you stay away from various diseases. So it is very important to follow a pattern and listen to our biological clock.

Do not IGNORE your Mental Health

Steer clear of negative emotions like Anger, Hatred, Frustration, Jealousy. Getting these thoughts / emotions once in a while is ok but getting them all the time – is bad for your physical & mental health. Like negative emotions, stress too takes its toll on your body and may actually shorten your life.

Try and find destress techniques that work for you: listening to music, dancing, running, working out, writing, sketching. Anything that makes you forget your worries for the time being.

Try to be near your Loved Ones

Staying in a close-knit society can be a good longevity booster, mostly by helping you manage stress and by strengthening your immune system. Most longevity studies found out that people living in close-knit communities had long disease-free lives.

Stop Blaming your Genes

My parents are obese so I am definitely going to be one. I have diabetes in my family that is why I have it. Good news: It is not just genes, your environment and lifestyle (diet, physical activity stress, pollution or toxins) everything plays a very important role in ageing. You cannot change your parents but you can certainly change the way you eat, sleep or live.

It is rightly said that “Genetics loads the Gun, lifestyle pulls the trigger”.

Last but not the least STAY POSITIVE!!!

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