There was a time when living into your hundreds was an idea for science fiction, but nowadays its a common occurrence. People are living longer than ever before, and we can thank our improved health care, security, and quality of life for this longevity. The average life expectancy in the US is just shy of 79 years, and this number has been steadily increasing over the past several decades. (Image Credit: ThuyHaBich/Pixabay)
It is no longer unreasonable to expect you can live to see your one-hundredth birthday, and there are more centenarians than ever before. In the United States alone, there are over 80,000, and this figure is expected to increase to 589,000 by the year 2060. This is good news if you are dreaming of a long life. As long as you stay healthy and active, without putting yourself in undue risk, there is no reason that you can’t live to be 100 years old too.
Here are a few tips to help you extend your life.
It’s no secret that physical activity is essential for maintaining a healthy body and preventing illnesses and ailments in later life. Taking part in regular exercise while you are still young and fit will keep your body strong as you age and protect you against the physical deterioration that comes with growing older. Exercise keeps you healthy by helping you to maintain a healthy weight, build muscle, strengthen bones and boost your immune system.
Just thirty minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each day is all it takes to develop an exercise routine. If this sounds like an unpleasant chore, it shouldn’t have to be. Find a form of exercise you enjoy, and you will never fail to summon up the motivation. This could include running, hiking, cycling, gym workouts, or playing competitive games such as tennis and soccer. An example ideal exercise plan involves five days of aerobic exercise and two days of strength training each week. How your body feels and functions is much more important than how it looks, so don’t get hung up on the aesthetic side of things. Although if you are keen to get a superhero’s body as well as the superpower of longevity, you might want to try these dumbbell exercises for a bigger chest.
What you put into your body determines what you get out of it, and so a healthy, balanced diet is one of the most effective ways to keep yourself in peak physical health for longer. There are several aspects to eating well, but here are some of the most important things to include in your diet each day:
- At least five portions of fruit and vegetables to give your body the vitamins and minerals it needs.
- Two to three servings of protein to repair and rebuild cells and grow muscle after exercise.
- Complex carbohydrates to replenish your youthful energy levels.
- Eight glasses of water to help you flush out toxins and keep your body functioning at peak performance.
In addition, you should limit your consumption of fatty, salty and sugary foods and minimize your caffeine and alcohol intake.
Avoid harmful substances
Illegal drugs are one of the most efficient ways to put an abrupt end to your life or cause serious health problems. Avoid using harmful substances and your body will thank you for it. Alcohol is less dangerous in small amounts, but overconsumption can still be deadly. Limit your intake to no more than one unit a day. Smoking is one of the worst things you can do to your body, so if you are partial to the occasional cigarette, you should stop now. Quitting will dramatically reduce your risk of cancers, heart attacks, strokes, and respiratory infections.
Don’t put yourself at risk
No matter how healthy you are, if you lead a dangerous lifestyle, you are at much greater risk of cutting your life short. Always take precautions when engaging in potentially perilous activities. For example, wearing a seatbelt while driving, using protective equipment when participating in sports or manual labour, and limiting your exposure to toxic substances such as pollution.
Look after your mental health
Stress has many physiological effects on the body, which can increase your susceptibility to all kinds of health problems. Look after your mental wellbeing by reducing sources of anxiety in your life, and taking time to socialize with loved ones, engage in activities you enjoy, and meditate.
Visit a doctor
Even if you feel fit and well, don’t skip your annual checkups. Seeing a doctor regularly can help you identify and treat any health issues before they become too serious.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to living a long life, but by following this advice and living as healthily as you can, there is no reason why you should not live well into your hundreds.