Living longer is more than idea: it is a matter of instinct. Even so, humans have found an amazing variety of ways to undermine this survivalist imperative, most of which stem from unhealthy habits that slowly but surely sap the life from the body.
Here are 5 proven ways to live longer by trading good habits for bad and getting on the road to a healthier lifestyle. .
Walk Tall: Walking is a low-impact, simple and healthy way to get healthy. People often take it for granted as something too easy to actually be of any benefit, but in truth walking is healthier than many more strenuous exercises because it works the muscles and elevates the heart rate without causing strain on the body.
Studies show brisk walking can be as healthful as jogging and can help people lose weight, improve their mood and lower cholesterol and blood pressure. All it takes is a good pair of shoes, a quick stretch and a few minutes a day to get on the way to wellness.
Calorie Crunch: Restricting caloric intake is probably the most obvious route to a longer lifespan, yet one of the hardest paths to follow. The axiom “eat less, exercise more” has been the commonsense counterargument to every get-thin-quick gimmick that has ever hit the market, and for good reason.
Studies on calorie restriction (CR) indicate that there is more to monitoring eating habits than previously known. New research suggests that CR can extend the maximum potential length of a person’s life, as opposed to simply decreasing the risks of contracting diseases that result in death, and can have this effect without the added benefit of exercise.
Social Butterfly: Solitude has its place in every person’s life, but history and science have concluded with great authority that humans are social beings that are hardwired to work and live with one another, and in fact require at least some social contact to grow and mature.
Now, scientists are uncovering evidence that the establishment and maintenance of social connections has a direct correlation with longer life. Research shows that loneliness can lead to poor health, and disrupt essential cellular processes that can cause a predisposition to premature aging.
TV Timeout: Watching television is clearly not the healthiest of activities, but ongoing research suggests that every hour spent in front of the tube shortens the lifespan of the viewer. One study has even gone so far as to quantify the damage, stating that one hour of TV reduces a person’s life by an average of 22 minutes.
On a cheerier note, there is also a study from the University of Maryland that shows people who watch less TV are happier, and as one may guess being happy is itself a key to living a longer life.
Happy Days: There is a great deal of science involved in the study of happiness and longevity, so much so that it may make one decidedly unhappy (and confused) to contemplate it. Fortunately, it suffices to say more simply that research suggests happy people live longer.
The field of Positive Psychology uses scientific studies to generate a more comprehensive understanding of happiness and its effects on the human lifespan, but more importantly it helps articulate why people are happy and what constitutes happiness.
This is useful because most people would find it hard to just “be happy.” Instead, it’s helpful to consider the root causes of happiness and seek out those things in life. Trying to do that in conjunction with these other tips could very well result in a longer, happier life.
This article was written by James Madeiros, a staff writer for Cascade Healthcare Solutions, an online seller of respiratory therapy supplies.