Seven Healthy Lifestyle Habits That Will Help You Live a Longer Life - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Seven Healthy Lifestyle Habits That Will Help You Live a Longer Life

How you live your life can have a huge impact on the quality and duration of your life. Unfortunately, many of us choose shortcuts that can add up to less time spent with friends and family.

If you want a high quality of life for as long as possible, you have to know what lifestyle habits support the kind of life you want to experience into your 70s, 80s, and beyond. They include:

  • Be mindful in the car
  • Develop a healthy relationship with food
  • Move your body
  • Cut out drugs and alcohol
  • Get the right kind of sleep
  • Be social
  • Find your purpose

Be Mindful in the Car

You probably don’t think of your daily commute as having a big impact on your life, other than the fact that it can be frustrating. It is a huge consideration because car accidents are on the rise, and if you find yourself in a car accident, you could suffer serious injuries, or worse.

Fatal accidents in the United States were up six percent in 2016 which amounts to 40,200 deaths. Although there are some things you can’t control, like the fact that there are many young, experienced drivers on the road, some things you can control. One is the distractions you allow in the car while you’re driving.

Don’t eat behind the wheel, stay home a little longer to do your hair and makeup, and never talk or text behind the wheel. You’ll reduce your chances of experiencing a life-shortening accident.

Develop a Healthy Relationship With Food

You have probably heard a million times how important eating right is to your overall health. That includes eating more fruits and vegetables, controlling portion sizes, and limiting sweets, but it means much more than that if you want to live a long and healthy life. You have to focus on your relationship with food.

Intuitive eating can help you cue into your body’s natural hunger signals, and over time, you’ll be less likely to binge on unhealthy food and restrict important nutrients. It’s much better for your overall health and happiness than spending a lifetime on and off diets, and it’s much gentler on your body than losing weight and gaining it again.

Move Your Body

You have also heard that exercise is important to your health, but just like eating well is more than just what you eat, getting exercise means more than spending hours at the gym.

Exercise doesn’t have to be strenuous. To stay healthy, all you have to do is look for ways to move your body more—no gym membership required!

A few tips include:

  • Walking while you’re talking on the phone
  • Work at a standing desk
  • Go for a short walk while on a break
  • Park further away from work and businesses
  • Take the stairs
  • Work out while you watch TV

Cut out Drugs and Alcohol

You know you probably shouldn’t be doing hard drugs if you want to live a long and healthy life, but it also includes legal drugs.

Having a glass of wine with a special meal isn’t a problem, but prolonged, addictive drinking behaviors can be disastrous for your health. Smoking is also bad. One study has shown that it can take at least 10 years off of your life.

Unless you’ve been prescribed marijuana for pain, it’s also something that shouldn’t become a daily habit, and the same is true of vaping. It can be very hard on your respiratory system, which can make breathing difficult or nearly impossible as you age.

Get the Right Kind of Sleep

You know you need to get more sleep, and you’re right! Prolonged sleep deprivation can decrease your quality of life, and over time, can leave you susceptible to medical conditions like stroke and diabetes 2. However, it doesn’t matter if you spend 10 hours in bed if the quality of your sleep isn’t good!

The quality of your sleep includes how long it takes for you to fall asleep at night, how many times you wake up at night, and how long you’re awake before you fall back asleep. If you wake up a lot or have a hard time getting back to sleep, you will want to consider cutting out electronics before bed, developing a more relaxing nighttime routine, and possibly scheduling an appointment with your doctor to make sure you don’t have a sleep disorder.

Be Social

It’s not just what you do for your body that can have a huge impact on your lifespan. What you do for your mind matters too!

Loneliness is a huge problem in today’s world that can leave people susceptible to both mental and physical illnesses. It’s important to maintain your friendships well into old age.

Call to check in with an old friend or ask a coworker if they want to grab a cup of coffee. Even starting a conversation with someone in line at the grocery store can make you feel more connected to the community, which is important to your health and happiness.

Find Your Purpose

Many of us go along with our days but find at night that we feel unfulfilled. It’s easy to develop mental illnesses, like depression, and feeling unfulfilled can leave you more susceptible to physical illnesses as well. It can make you feel unmotivated, which can cause your physical and mental health to decline much more quickly than they otherwise should.

Finding your purpose is important, but it doesn’t have to be overly complicated. Spend time thinking about what you enjoy and what energizes you. Something that helps others is a popular way to feel like you have a purpose. When you feel motivated to get out of bed in the morning, you’ll do it well into old age.

Want to live a longer life? It isn’t as hard as you think! From revamping your relationship with food to finding ways to be safer in the car and calling a friend, there are plenty of ways you can increase your lifespan as you age.


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