By Dr. Kaycee Reyes
Is 40 the new 30? Or is 50 the new 30? Either way, living and looking young is not a dream any longer. Advances in health and medicine, industrialization, improved sanitation, better living conditions, more access to food and water, and overall progress have contributed to the increasing life expectancy in humans in the past decades. But then again, living longer does not mean leading healthier, quality lives. This week, learn a thing or two about those who have lived beyond their years but still feel forever young.
Soak up the sun 10 minutes, to be exact! Vitamin D keeps bones and teeth strong, protects from fatal diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. It also avoids depression and insomnia. A short time in the midday sun (without sunscreen) is enough to give you 10,000 IU, more than the daily 600 IU requirement! You can also get this power vitamin from egg yolks and tuna, so add them to your diet, too!
Go nuts! Munch an ounce a day, and you can add a year to your life! Nuts protect the telomere, a part of a chromosome in our DNA that when divided or cut short, can lead to faster aging. Telomeres can also shorten with poor lifestyle choices like smoking, obesity, stress, and no exercise, so watch out on those as well.
Eat all day, but don’t eat all in a day Divide big meals into small, multiple ones. Not only will you feel full longer, you will also avoid overeating or eating junk food. Don’t even try crash diets as they are called such for a reason; you’ll only crash and fail, gaining it all back eventually. Instead, eat what you absolutely love once in a while, but always choose to eat right.
Love your life, every single minute of it Optimism and gratitude go a long way. Not only do older people worry less, science backs them up too; happier people have lower levels of cortisol, or the stress hormone that can weaken the immune system. They also recover faster, sleep better, and are less likely to develop heart disease, diabetes, strokes, and depression. You can start a daily journal and write down the things you are thankful for, or practice the attitude of gratitude!
Move it! 30 minutes to an hour, two to three times per week. Moving can help you move up the longevity scale. You don’t have to do the hardest exercise to reap the most benefits. Exercise is personal, it requires commitment and consistency. Make sure you love what you are doing, whether you are just walking around the block or weightlifting like a gymnast!
More time with other’s lives add more years to yours Giving or sharing has a feel-good positive vibe that can affect your overall health and well-being. Find ways to help others by volunteering in church or signing up in your community drive and see the difference.
Yes, you need a break, too! Sleeping or doing something relaxing for 15 minutes during midday can help release your stress hormones. Answering a quick puzzle, reading an interesting article, chatting with a friend, or doing anything apart from your daily routine helps you get more focused later in the day.
Find your why Knowing what you want to do and why you’re doing can affect your health. Focus and control make people feel better, especially when they set their own goals and become motivated to achieve them. So keep looking, and keep asking.
Then have a drink, too! Wine can be good for your heart! Five ounces of wine or 12 ounces of beer can lower your HDL cholesterol! Remember not to go overboard though, as too much alcohol can only lead to more harm than good!
Today’s generation is expected to live until 80, about 30 years longer than their great grandfathers lived. But aside from genetics, living long still depends on you! What you eat, how you work, your lifestyle, and even your attitude, can ultimately determine how long you’ll live. Follow these tips and start a #lifestylemakeover so you can live through the golden years, or past it!