10 Ways to Increase Your Life Expectancy

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Young People - group of women and men - doing sport Spinning in the gym for fitness

While genetics play a role in determining our lifespan, lifestyle choices also impact our health. There are several ways to increase your chances of living longer.

Here are 10 simple steps to improve your overall health and reduce your risk of disease.

1. Eat Right

Eating right is one of the most important things that we can do for ourselves. We have all heard about how eating healthy foods like fruits and vegetables helps us live healthier lives. But did you know that there are certain foods that actually slow down your metabolism? These include:

  • Refined sugar
  • Processed meats
  • Saturated fat
  • Trans fats

These foods cause inflammation throughout the body which leads to weight gain and increased risks of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

2. Exercise Regularly

Exercise has been proven to be one of the best things we can do for our health. It not only improves our physical fitness but it also reduces stress levels, lowers cholesterol, boosts self-esteem, and strengthens bones.

The American Heart Association recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise on 5 days per week.

3. Get Enough Sleep

Sleep is essential for maintaining good health. Lack of sleep causes fatigue, mood swings, and poor concentration. Sleeping less than 6 hours or more than 8 hours each night increases your risk of obesity, depression, and anxiety. Make sure to get 7-8 hours of sleep every night.

4. Reduce Stress Levels

Stress affects our bodies in many different ways. When we experience stressful situations, our bodies release hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones make us feel anxious, irritable, and tired. They also lower our immune system’s ability to fight off infections.

5. Quit Smoking

Smoking damages blood vessels, making them narrower and weaker. Cigarettes contain nicotine, a substance that stimulates cells in the brain to produce dopamine, a chemical that makes people want to keep smoking. Nicotine also triggers the release of catecholamines, chemicals that raise blood pressure and heart rate. Quitting smoking is one of the easiest ways to improve your health.

6. Limit Alcohol Consumption

Alcohol consumption has been linked with an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, liver cirrhosis, breast cancer, and even suicide. If you must drink alcohol, limit yourself to 1 glass of wine or 2 glasses of beer per day.

7. Avoid Drugs & Prescription Medications

Drug use is associated with numerous health problems including addiction, mental illness, and violence. In addition, prescription drugs can lead to serious side effects such as death, stroke, heart attack, kidney failure, and birth defects. Be smart and stay away from illegal drugs and prescription medications.

8. Practice Safe Sex

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are common today because of unsafe sexual practices. STDs weaken the immune system and can lead to infertility, cervical cancer, and other complications. Condoms protect against sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies. Use condoms during sex to prevent pregnancy, HIV/AIDS, and other STDs.

9. Stay Hydrated

Drinking enough water keeps the organs functioning properly and prevents dehydration. Dehydration can cause headaches, muscle cramps, constipation, and fatigue. Drink plenty of fluids daily.

10. Maintain Good Hygiene

Good hygiene plays a big role in keeping your body clean and free from germs. Wash your hands often using soap and warm water. Clean your house regularly to reduce the spread of bacteria and viruses. Keep your home free from clutter and dirty dishes so that you don’t have to touch surfaces with germs.

Conclusion

Healthy living is not difficult if you follow these simple steps. You may be surprised at how much better you feel after following these 10 tips.

Lake Oconee Health produces engaging content in order to be a relevant health and wellness resource for our readers across the region.