For generations people have tried to find ways to live a long life full of happiness. While the following list is not the missing fountain of youth, it is filled with plenty of information that can help you keep your body and mind in top shape to help promote longevity and quality of life. From healthy eating to staying in physical and mental health to staying safe, you will find suggestions you can use. You can even find advice from some of those who have lived to see their 100th birthday.
Make sure you are engaging in healthy eating habits to help your body and mind stay healthy.
- Eat small meals. Eat small meals several times throughout the day rather than one or two big meals. The constant nutrition feeds your body all day and reduces the blood sugar swings, which is easier on your body.
- Eat breakfast. Don’t skip the most important meal of the day. Even if you just eat a piece of fruit and a handful of nuts, you are giving your body the nutrients to start your day.
- Cut calories. Eating fewer calories may help your body produce important chemicals that help promote longevity in mammals.
- Increase proteins. Increasing specific proteins, especially when coupled with cutting calories, has been shown to increase longevity by 30-50%.
- Don’t overeat. Eating too much food not only causes weight gain, but it puts stress on various systems in your body such as the cardiovascular system and your bones and joints.
- Avoid fad diets. These diets usually are not a healthy way to eat and weight lost on these diets typically comes back after you stop the diet. Instead, readjust your ways of eating to include healthier, more natural food in appropriate portion sizes.
- Go natural. Select only the best foods for your body. Don’t depend on prepackaged foods, instead, take the time to learn how and why you should eat naturally.
- Organic. Eliminate unnecessary chemicals by eating organic food. Check out resources such as Organic Guide for news, recipes, and more.
- Eat balanced. Get a balance of several fruits, vegetables, grains, and proteins in your diet rather than relying on just one or two staples.
- Reduce fast food. The unhealthy oils, preservatives, and quality of fast food will not promote your longevity, so reduce the amount you eat or give it up altogether.
- Eat slowly. Savor your food and eat slowly so that you can give your body time to digest as you go. This will help prevent overeating.
Good nutrition is key to longevity as you need the best food and drink to fuel your body. Find out below some great suggestions for good nutrition.
- Drink water. Opt for water rather than sodas or juice and make sure you are getting at least 8 glasses a day to keep your body hydrated.
- Reduce processed foods. Processed foods include unhealthy fats, artificial colors, and preservatives, all of which work against the health of your body and provide no nutritional value.
- Add superfoods to your diet. Superfood are foods that are packed with plenty of nutrition that helps you fight off illness and increase longevity. Check out this list of foods you may want to make sure you include on your next grocery list.
- Drink red wine. Some studies indicate that drinking wine in moderation can increase longevity. Red wine, especially, shows promise with reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke.
- Eat garlic. Garlic is thought to reduce blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and is also an antifungal and antiviral agent.
- Mediterranean diet. Following a Mediterranean-style diet can reduce your chances of cancer and heart disease, according to at least one study.
- Fish oil. This nutrient, either obtained through eating fish or taking a good-quality supplement, not only increases overall physical health, it also helps boost your brain power.
- Antioxidants. Eating fruits and vegetables that are high in antioxidants helps combat the overproduction of free radicals, tiny molecules that can destroy cells and tissue in the body.
- Okinawa Food Pyramid. This way of eating is a balance of nutrition from the Japanese region that boasts the most documented centegenarians in the world.
- Eliminate white sugar. Using natural sweeteners in place of refined sugar keeps blood-sugar levels at a even keel, which helps promote a healthy cardiovascular system, and helps reduce cholesterol.
- Green tea. Full of antioxidants, green tea is an excellent drink to have every day and one used for centuries in Asian cultures.
- Kombucha. Try this fermented tea for a health elixir that many claim provides a plethora of health benefits from detoxifying the body to boosting metabolism to aiding digestion.
Exercising every day will help your body stay in top working order, which will help you live a longer life.
- Take the stairs. This is an easy one to do any time you see an elevator. If you are only going one or two floors, take the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Yoga. Not only is yoga an excellent low-impact form of exercise, its benefits also extend to mental well-being.
- Do something every day. Whether you take a walk around the block, work in the garden, or go to the gym, do something physical every day even if time is an issue.
- Motivation. Find a reason to keep moving. This list offers great ideas to keep you motivated for physical activity.
- Low cost. If not having a gym membership is your excuse for not exercising, then find ways to exercise with little or no cost involved. Not only will you be doing your body good, but you can reduce the stress of financial expenses as well.
- Ride a bike. You are never too old or too young to enjoy riding a bike. Not only is it great exercise, you can also enjoy the company of others while you do it.
- Work in the yard. If you love gardening or just want to mow the grass to an acceptable level, working in the yard not only provides exercise, but you will finish your task with a sense of accomplishment you can see.
- Sex. Enjoy safe sex with your partner. Not only does it make you feel good and bring you closer to your partner, it has also been shown to improve your health with its cardiovascular benefits.
- Tai Chi. This ancient form of exercise uses a graceful form of stretching to keep your body and your mind physically fit.
- Swim. This low-impact exercise is one of the best ways to improve your physical health and can be done outside when it’s warm and inside during the colder months.
Physical Health and Wellness
Taking good care of your body will definitely help you reach a ripe old age. From learning breathing techniques to reduce stress, to stopping smoking, these tips will help you stay physically healthy.
- Good genetics. Unfortunately, you can’t do much to change this aspect, but having the genetic component for longevity will certainly give you a boost.
- Learn to breathe. Certain ways of breathing can calm your nervous system and help reduce your stress. Learn breathing techniques and make them a part of your daily life.
- Check-ups. Preventative healthcare prevents major illnesses and promotes longevity, so visit your doctor at least once a year to ensure you are staying healthy.
- Professional teeth cleaning. Neglected dental health can lead to other physical illnesses, so visit your dentist and get your teeth cleaned twice a year.
- Floss. Infections that develop in your gums can quickly spread to other parts of your body, so maintain a flossing habit to promote dental health.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Constantly losing and gaining large amounts of weight puts stress on your body, so keep your weight at a healthy place without the fluctuations.
- Protect your skin. Protect your skin all year round to from damaging rays by wearing sunscreen and protective clothing.
- Massage. Not only does massage serve as a wonderful form of relaxation, it also provides many health benefits as well.
- Holistic approach. A holistic approach to physical wellness takes into account the body, spirit, mind, and emotions and can improve your life.
- Alcohol. Drinking alcohol in moderation is important to longevity and quality of life. Overdoing it can ruin relationships, careers, and safety of yourself and others.
- Stop smoking. Smoking can bring on a whole host of health problems, many of which are very serious. Stop smoking now, or better yet, don’t even start.
Mental Health and Wellness
Being in a healthy state of mind not only contributes to a better quality of life, but it also contributes to a healthier one too. Use these tips to stay mentally healthy.
- Laugh. Laughter keeps you young and healthy, especially if you are sharing your joy with friends and loved ones.
- Meditation. Meditation has been shown to reduce stress and can help you refocus when you feel overwhelmed. Learn some simple types of meditation you can do first thing in the morning, throughout your day, or at the end of the day as a way to wind down.
- Don’t forget your brain. Keeping your brain in top shape will help keep your mental edge sharp as you age.
- Be grateful. Taking the time to reflect on the wonderful aspects of your life and being grateful positively affects physical health.
- Forgive. Learn to let go of anger and grudges rather than dwelling on the negative. Letting go will not only make you feel better, but better enjoy the longer life you will have.
- Confidence. Being confident in all that you do will give you the power to accomplish all that you desire.
- Give up perfection. For perfectionists, it can be difficult to let things go. Don’t worry about perfect, doing good enough allows you freedom from stress and gives you time for enjoying your life.
- Be thankful. No matter how you thank your higher power, be it through prayer or simply acknowledging the gifts of nature, take a moment to acknowledge what you are given every day.
- Flexibility. Learning to be flexible and have an open mind not only teaches you something new, it also helps you stay happy, too.
- Be adventurous. Don’t shy away from the unknown, instead, embrace the opportunity to try new experiences.
- Keep in touch with emotions. Identify your emotions and accept them for what they are rather than pretending they don’t exist to stay healthy mentally and physically.
- Overcome bad moods. If your day started off in the wrong direction, it doesn’t have to shape the rest of the day. Squash that bad mood and life a happier life.
- Think positively. Positive thinking puts you in the right frame of mind to help keep you happy and healthy.
No one can live a long life if they live too dangerously. Heed these safety precautions to help you live a safer, and hopefully longer, life.
- Seatbelts. Wearing a seatbelt every time you are in a car, even in the back seat, reduces your chances of sustaining a life-threatening injury.
- Driving. Practice safe driving habits by becoming a defensive driver to reduce your chances of getting in an accident. If you are aging, learn to recognize when you may need to stop driving altogether.
- Sports helmets. Protect your head every time you participate in activities that could result in head injuries such as bicycling, skiing, or rollerblading by wearing an appropriate safety helmet.
- Safe sex. No matter what age you are, use condoms every time you have sex to make sure you guard against HIV and other STD’s.
- No drinking and driving. Avoid this combination and you will greatly reduce your chances of hurting yourself and others.
- Smoke detectors. Install smoke detectors in each bedroom and in main living areas, then remember to change the batteries each time you move your clock for the time change.
- Lock up. Locking doors and windows when you are sleeping or when you leave your home helps protect yourself from those who might have less than good intentions.
- Avoid abusive relationships. Not only can abusive relationships be detrimental to your mental health, they can be physically dangerous as well. Avoid abusive relationships or find help to get out of one now.
- Handrails. Use handrails on steep stairs or any stairs in inclement weather. Wet or icy stairs can easily cause a fall.
- Repetitive injury. Any repetitive head injury considerably elevates the chances of long-term brain injury. Use caution if you participate in activities such as football, soccer, and boxing.
- Home safety. Practice smart safety around the house such as using a sturdy ladder rather than a rickety one or having a fire safety plan.
The way you live your life has a direct connection between your health and happiness. Take these tips for ways you can improve your style of living from better sleep to less stress to finding spirituality.
- Have a reason to live. Whether you have a partner, children, a great job, or a special cause that is important to you, always have a purpose in life and a reason to get up every day.
- Manage stress. Keep your stress at a manageable level. While some stress can be good for you and work as a motivator, chronic stress at high levels takes its toll on your body and mind.
- Travel. Traveling has been shown to increase longevity in the elderly by providing benefits for the mind and body.
- Sleep. Not only should you get the right amount of sleep, you should make sure your sleep habits are healthy ones by following such tips as sticking to a regular bedtime and having an evening routine that promotes good sleep.
- Have friends. One study suggests that having good friends goes a long way to promoting longevity.
- Own a pet. Pet owners not only live longer, they live happier lives. The bond between a pet and its owner can also open up avenues for social connections as well.
- Voluntary simplicity. Lose stress and live more slowly by learning to live without all the trappings of society with voluntary simplicity.
- Build relationships. Don’t ignore the people in your life or wait for them to come to you. Learn ways to build relationships so you will always have a circle of friends and family in your life.
- Be spiritual. Spirituality, which may or may not include religion, is an important component to a healthy and happy life. Find ways to incorporate spirituality in your every day life.
- Manage your money. Stress over money can reduce your longevity and quality of life significantly. Learn ways to improve your finances and get rid of this unnecessary stress.
- Be alone. Spending time alone gives you a chance to think through problems, consider what is important to you, and also gives you some important time to decompress from the day-to-day grind.
- Balance work and family. Finding the right balance between these two important elements of your life will enhance both of them and lead to a better, and hopefully longer, life.
Stimulate Your Creativity
A creative mind keeps you on your toes mentally and helps improve your quality of life by allowing you to find the bright spots when others might not be so inclined. Learn ways to stimulate your creativity with these suggestions.
- Take a class. Sign up to learn how to do something you’ve always wanted to do, whether it is cooking, photography, or learning sign language.
- Sculpt. Pick up some modeling clay and play with some simple sculpting or sign up for a formal class to learn how to sculpt.
- Aromatherapy. Learn about the benefits of aromatherapy to incorporate it in your life for ways to improve your health and well-being.
- New food. Try a new type of food, especially if it is a different ethnic food than you are accustomed to eating to expand your world.
- Learn a language. Learning a foreign language has long been associated with brain development, plus you will be able to better communicate when you take advantage of the benefits of travel.
- Concert. Listening to music, whether it’s a small chamber music ensemble or a full-out rock show, will improve creativity as well as brain function.
- Yarn art. Play with yarn or thread as you learn to knit, crochet, or embroidery.
- Crosswords. Get crossword puzzles online or from your newspaper to enjoy a fun game that can also teach you how to think in creative ways.
- Video games. Playing video games isn’t just for kids. Strengthen eye-hand coordination in addition to learning new ways of problem-solving while playing video games.
- Hobbies. Start a new hobby or take up an old, forgotten one to get your creative juices flowing.
Advice from Cetegenarians
Who better to learn from than those who have actually lived a very long life. These folks, most of whom have reached their 100th birthday, all have something to share about longevity and quality of life.
- No problem for centegenarian Eric!. This British gentleman offers advice on how he lived a long life, including being athletic and enjoying his job.
- No big secret to centegenarian’s success. Playing down her longevity, this woman includes good genes and lots of fruit as reasons she has lived long.
- Grandmother celebrates 100th birthday be becoming world’s oldest paraglider. Not only does this woman’s love for adventure keep her young, she just may not stop trying it all.
- 106-year-old voter shares hopes, secrets. Being cheerful is among this woman’s secrets for longevity that she shares.
- Fairvern resident turned 100 on Nov. 19. Find out what to what this woman credits her long life in this short article about her birthday celebration.
- Young at Heart Chorus. While these folks haven’t quite made it to 100 yet, they are well on their way with this unusual method of staying young.
- 100-year-old celebrates her birthday by smoking 170,000th cigarette. And here’s proof that there is always an exception to the rule.
- At 100th birthday party, woman looks back on a life of milestones. This amazing woman still walks every day, one of the activities she claims has helped her stay young.
- Family helps ‘Nanna’ celebrate 100th birthday. Religion and not worrying about the small things helped this woman live a long life.
- Iowa Man Celebrates 100th Birthday with Wings and Women at Hooters. Find out if this is what kept this man alive for so long.
- Bob Hope: a million laughs, a singular talent. While Bob Hope died after turning 100, his life was full of laughter and giving to others, as this article shows.