10 Healthy Habits For A Longer Life

By MaryAnn DePietro, CRT. May 7th 2016

The habits you have now may affect your health in the future. Both good and bad habits can affect maintaining a healthy weight, your risk of developing disease and your emotional well-being. While most people know living a sedentary lifestyle, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption and eating high fat foods are unhealthy habits, they may not be aware of all the healthy habits that can contribute to a longer life. Consider adopting some of the healthy habits listed below to increase your chances of living a longer life.

Floss Your Teeth Daily

Daily flossing will not only help you maintain good oral health, it can actually reduce your risk of heart disease. According to The University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC), periodontal disease is linked to heart disease. A lack of flossing can lead to gum disease, which causes inflammation of the gums. The inflammation may eventually cause the arteries to narrow, which can lead to cardiac problems. For more information, see The Link Between Gum Disease And Heart Problems.

Buckle Up

One of the easiest habits you can adopt in order to live a longer life is buckle up in a car. Motor vehicle accidents are one of the top causes of death for people of all ages and the leading cause for people between the ages of five and 34-years old. The seat belt should fit low across your hips and the shoulder belt across your chest.

Spend Time With A Pet

Pets provide unconditional love and are a great source of companionship. Pet therapy is used for good reason. Spending time with a pet can lower stress hormones in the body, such as cortisol. In addition, chemicals in the brain responsible for mood, such as serotonin, are increased. Whether you’re a dog person or a cat person, play with your pets, take them for a walk or just sit and relax with them by your side. For more reasons on why you should spend more time with a pet, read 7 Nifty Health Benefits Of Pets.

Eat At least 3 Servings Of Fruits And Vegetables Each Day

Fresh fruits and vegetables provide many of the essential nutrients your body needs to live a long life. Make it a habit to eat a fruit or vegetable at every meal. Try eating a variety of fruits in order to get different vitamins and minerals. When eating vegetables, think color; select vegetables that are red, dark green and yellow.

Drink Green Tea

Green tea has several health benefits, which may lead to a longer life, such as reducing the risk of certain cancers including colon, bladder and breast cancer. According to Harvard Medical School, studies indicate drinking green tea regularly may also help raise levels of good cholesterol and help lower blood pressure. Considering drinking a few cups each day. Let the tea steep for about 15 minutes to get the full benefits.

Keep Moving

One of the best things you can do for your health and to help increase longevity is exercise. According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), exercise is essential for living a healthy life. Exercise reduces your risk of heart disease, certain cancers and diabetes. 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise each week is ideal.

Get Enough Sleep

Continually not getting enough sleep can take years off your life. Although an occasional sleepless night will likely not have lasting ill effects, chronic sleep deprivation can lead to health problems. According to Cornell University, sleep deprivation can increase your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and mood disorders. Most adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep a night for good health.

[Related: 10 Negative Effects Of Sleep Deprivation]

Hang Out With Friends

Spending time with family and friends is not only enjoyable, but it can help you live a longer life. Studies indicate that people who are lonely are at a greater risk for heart disease. Although the hectic pace of life can sometimes make it difficult to carve out family time, make hanging out with friends and family a priority. It’s good for both your body and mind.

Stop Eating Before You’re Full

Sometimes less is more, and that may be true when it comes to eating and living longer. Eating until you feel full may mean taking in more calories than your body really needs. By making it a habit to stop eating when you don’t feel hungry anymore, but before you feel full, you can reduce the amount of calories you eat every day. Although additional research is needed, some studies in animals indicate eating 40 percent fewer calories can increase life span.

Do Volunteer Work

Doing volunteer work helps you live a longer life in a few ways. It can give you a sense of purpose, combat loneliness and increase your general sense of well-being. Find a cause you care about and get involved. Not only will you make a difference in other people’s lives, but you may improve yours.

Breaking unhealthy habits takes time and so does developing healthy ones. Stick with these healthy habits and remember even small changes can increase your chances of living a longer life. Keep in mind, healthy habits improve not just the quantity of your life but also the quality.


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