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March 13, 2020 3 min read

Did you know that people in the United States have a life expectancy of approximately 78.9 years?

 

Life expectancy today depends on a wide variety of different factors, from genetics to diet, lifestyle, geographic location, and more.

 

When it comes to the precious gift we call life, we truly never know what tomorrow may bring.

 

However, the good news when it comes to life expectancy is that a large portion of the control is in our hands.

 

You have a great deal of power over how many years you will live, and most importantly, how many active and healthy years you will experience.

 

Research now shows that by practicing a few key healthy habits, you can extend your life expectancy by up to a decade, or even more!

 

 

#1. LIMIT YOUR ALCOHOL INTAKE

Although it’s all right to have a glass of wine at a meal or a beer with a nice steak, too much alcohol can ruin your health. It’s a neurotoxin and it can cause nerve damage, heart disease, cancer and cirrhosis of the liver, and strokes.

High alcohol intake impairs memory skills and negatively impacts mental health, as well as raises cholesterol levels. Experts say that for every additional 10g per day of alcohol, the risk of breast cancer skyrockets 7-12%, and bowel cancer by 19%

In other words, take it easy on the booze!

 

#2. QUIT SMOKING

Or even better: never smoke in the first place. It’s no secret that cigarettes are packed with harmful chemicals (over 7000) and carcinogens, which are directly linked to cancer. Smoking damages your alveoli (the small air sacs in your lungs) and can cause cancer almost anywhere in your body.

And it’s not only harmful to you: second-hand smoke affects the people around you, too. Since 1964, approximately 2,500,000 non-smokers have died from health problems caused by exposure to secondhand smoke.

 

#3. EXERCISE AND WATCH WHAT YOU EAT TO MAINTAIN A HEALTHY BMI

Maintaining a healthy body mass index and getting enough nutrients through your diet is key to longevity. Be mindful of your BMI. 

To shed a few pounds, try to make sure you’re eating whole, healthful foods and that your calorie intake equals to less than your calorie expenditure. To do this, you have to find your basal metabolic rate.

For example, a 50-year-old, 200-pound male with a slightly active lifestyle will need to consume 2482 calories to maintain their weight. To lose weight without increasing his activity levels, he’ll need to cut down his calorie intake to 1986. Of course, the more you move, the more extra calories you can consume.

Quick tip: Remember to rest and let yourself indulge in your favorite food sometimes for a “cheat meal.” Extreme diets almost always backfire.

 

#4. GET YOUR 8 HOURS OF SLEEP EVERY NIGHT

While you’re sleeping, your pituitary gland releases the growth hormone, which is responsible for healing and repairing your body while you sleep.

Getting enough sleep is essential to health because it:

🌿  Strengthens your immune system
🌿  Helps with calorie regulation
🌿 Helps with weight management
🌿 Improves productivity and concentration
🌿 Decreases your chance of developing diabetes
🌿 Decreases your chance of developing depression
🌿 Improves your overall mental health

To improve your sleep patterns, avoid blue light (light from your screens at least two hours before bed), and consider taking melatonin supplements if you have issues with wakefulness at night.

 

#5. NURTURE YOUR RELATIONSHIPS

Too many people these days are feeling isolated and find it difficult to connect with people. Loneliness is fast becoming one of the worst epidemics in the modern world. And It’s not only detrimental to your mental health; it also affects your overall physical health.

Loneliness increases cortisol in your body, which is linked to inflammation, heart disease, and cardiovascular problems. Too much cortisol is also linked to mental illnesses like depression and anxiety.

Take time to make friends and interact with them in real life. Join groups or communities that have the same interest as you to make new friends. Keep in contact with your family and/or old friends as much as you can.

Remember, no man is an island.

 


 

 

FINAL THOUGHT

The key to longevity seems to be mindfulness, movement, proper nutrition, and balance. Take care of yourself, take care of your relationships, and you’re almost guaranteed to live a longer, happier, healthier life.

 

And don't forget... It's about you. It's about your health. It's about reconnecting.

 

All the best,


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