Despite recent medical and health advancements, it’s safe to say that the United States doesn’t win any medals when it comes to life expectancy. With an average lifespan of around 79 years, America doesn’t even come close to the top countries in the world, whose citizens enjoy a lifespan of up to 85 years.
Of course, if you’re hoping to break past the national average—and to be healthier for longer as you do it—there are plenty of things you can do. Here’s what to know about how to live a long and healthy life.
Get More Nutrients
When it comes to living a healthy life, it’s worth remembering that food is what fuels you—so make sure you’re picking foods that will help you stay stronger for longer. There are several key ways to do this:
Stop Eating Processed Foods
We all know that processed food is bad for your waistline, but don’t forget that it’s also bad for your long-term health. The added sodium, saturated fat, and sugars in processed foods can lead to a host of problematic conditions. These include cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension, and cancer.
Eat More Whole Foods
Whole foods—meaning natural foods that are high in key ingredients—can be a huge help when it comes to boosting your overall health. This is especially true when it comes to nutritional powerhouses like nuts, legumes, and vegetables. A plant-rich diet can lead to a lower risk of premature death, and it can even lower your risk for conditions like heart disease.
Get the Right Nutrients
If you’re still struggling to get the nutrients you need, you might want to consider getting your hands on supplements. Products from companies like Sage Nutrients can help you boost your long-term brain health, which can increase your long-term quality of life. If you’re not sure what nutrients you need, check with your doctor to see whether they can run tests to check for any deficiencies.
Sedentary lifestyles can have a huge impact on our health, both in terms of short-term postural issues and long-term health concerns. If your normal work schedule or daily activities don’t allow much room for movement, make sure you’re making time for it on a regular basis! At an absolute minimum, following the CDC’s guidelines for cardio and strength training can help.
Making a conscious effort to work more exercise into your day might sound like a hassle, but this is a habit you won’t want to pass up. Even small amounts of exercise can have a major impact! Research shows that exercise can extend your lifespan, with overall fitness associated with a longer life.
Stop Smoking and Moderate Your Alcohol Intake
Quitting can be tough if you’re a smoker, but it may also be the single best thing you can do to increase your lifespan. Research shows that tobacco use can increase your risk of cancer, and it can also wreak havoc on your blood pressure and circulation. Worse, secondhand smoke can impact the health and wellness of those around you.
While alcohol usage doesn’t have the same negative effects, moderating your intake may be worth a shot if you tend to reach for a bottle often. Heavy alcohol consumption can lead to liver, heart, and pancreatic issues in the long-term. Lowering your intake and switching to wine—which has beneficial antioxidants—can help.
Be More Social
Staying social isn’t just a temporary mood booster. It’s also a great way to increase your long-term longevity! Because socialization can help manage stress, it can help strengthen your immune system and enhance your outlook and mood.
Staying connected might not always be easy, especially as you age or move away from family and friends. However, there are plenty of ways to connect with loved ones or create new relationships. Volunteering, joining local meetups and clubs, and connecting on social media can be great options.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep
If you’re short-changing yourself when it comes to sleep, you might be hurting yourself in the long run. Sleep helps to heal the body and mind, and it’s a crucial factor when it comes to living longer A lack of sleep can make you lose focus, pay less attention during the daytime, therefore it is essential to have a good night’s sleep. A good night’s sleep can equip you to better deal with stress, and it can also help ward off heart disease and depression in the future.
Take some time to reconsider your sleep hygiene, and work on building habits that help you get a more restful sleep. From a fixed schedule to putting your phone down early, even small changes can help.
Address Your Stress
Stress is a major issue in terms of healthy living, as it can take a toll on your mental and even physical well-being. The same is true of chronic anxiety.
However, there are plenty of things you can do to lower your stress on a regular basis. Meditation and mindfulness habits can help, as can journaling on a regular basis. Other tactics on this list, like exercise and socialization, can also help lower stress.
Know How to Live a Long and Healthy Life
It’s safe to say that knowing how to live a long and healthy life is one of the most important things you can do to increase your lifespan. Equipped with the knowledge above, you’ll be able to work new habits into your daily routine and adjust your lifestyle as needed. Start with small steps today, and you’ll be rewarded with a healthier outlook down the line!
Want more tips to help you make the most of your health and fitness? Be sure to check out our other posts for additional insights.