If there’s one big, fat, juicy secret you may want to listen in on, it’s how to add more healthy years to your life. Of course, there can always be uncontrolled obstacles along your journey that can negatively impact your plan, like genetics, illness, or fate. But there are plenty of things you can control, and we are here to share seven foolproof ways to lead an incredibly healthy lifestyle, according to science. If that intrigues you, read on.
The big secret to living a better, longer life consists of adopting seven simple, healthy lifestyle habits. The greatest key to succeeding in keeping these habits is consistency. It’s one thing to know what positive changes you need to make; it’s another thing to actually bring them to fruition. The reward will be worth every bit of time and effort you put into your journey. Not only will you look and feel much better as you age by leading an incredibly healthy lifestyle, but you will also be able to enjoy your family, friends, hobbies—whatever you choose—for a greater length of time.
Harvard researchers reviewed two studies of 123,000 women and men for a 30-year period and approximated the life expectancy of the participants who did not live with a healthy routine. They estimated the lifespan for 50-year-old women who did not follow a healthy routine to be 79 years old; for men, it was 75. For those participants who kept a regular healthy routine and maintained some key habits we are about to share with you, life expectancy increased dramatically. Drumroll, please! For 50-year-old women, life expectancy skyrocketed to 93 years old, and lifespans for men increased to 87 years of age. Pretty astounding, don’t you agree? Although the study was observational and cannot guarantee you live longer, the researchers observed that even adopting just one healthy habit can greatly decrease the risk of early death.
Dr. Frank Hu, senior author of the study and chair of the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health points out, “It’s never too late to make positive lifestyle changes. Even for those who are 70 or older, following a healthy lifestyle such as eating a healthy diet and being physically active can add more years to life.”
If you’re ready to implement positive changes and increase your life journey, let’s get to it right away! Read on to learn more about the foolproof ways to lead an incredibly healthy lifestyle, and next, don’t miss The 6 Best Exercises for Strong and Toned Arms in 2022, Trainer Says.
Exercising offers an extraordinary number of healthy benefits. Working out each day can lift your mood, strengthen your bones, and prevent a ton of chronic illnesses, including heart disease, diabetes, and so much more. Aerobic activities are extraordinarily healthy for your heart; even walking each day can make such a difference in your overall well-being.
Ready to lace up those sneakers and kickstart your cardio? Research shows that you should get in a minimum of 3.5 hours every single week with a level of moderate to vigorous activity (via National Institutes of Health). Sure, you can start small and work your way up. But the point is to get moving every single day, and by doing so, you will give yourself the gift of enjoying many more of days to wake up in the years to come!
Related: What Science Says About the Exercise Habits That Slow Aging
You are what you eat. Kick any bad habits of consuming empty or unhealthy calories to the curb. Instead, be sure to fill your meals with the recommended amounts of fruits, veggies, whole grains, nuts, omega-3 fatty acids, and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Limit your intake of processed and red meats, in addition to any drinks that contain added sugar, sodium, and trans-fat (via National Institutes of Health).
Make it a habit of reading labels when you shop, too. To make it much easier, If the ingredient label has enough items listed to make your head spin, chances are, it’s not all that healthy.
Simply put, upholding a healthy weight will extend your life. What’s healthy? Your body mass index should fall between 18.5 and 24.9 (via National Institutes of Health). Women should have a waist of less than 35 inches, and men should have a waist less than 40 inches, according to AARP. Anything higher puts you at a higher risk of getting ill. Although it’s easy (and normal) for weight to creep up on you at 50, it’s not healthy.
AARP explains that as you get older, you require fewer calories. The problem is, some people keep eating the same amount of food. You’re not going to like hearing this, but if you’re 50 and keep eating as though you’re still 40, you can put on over a pound of fat every single month. Dr. Nancy Rodriguez, professor of nutritional sciences at the University of Connecticut, explains, “It’s simple, really,” adding, “If your calorie burn goes down and you don’t change the way you eat, then you’re going to put on weight.”
What to do about it? Once you turn 50 years of age, it’s time to think about the 200-calorie rule. Just try eating 200 less calories each day. But even better than focusing on consuming less calories? Consume better calories. By choosing snacks with protein and fiber, you can cut 200 calories off of your intake in just about no time at all.
Related: The #1 Workout To Lead an Incredibly Healthy Lifestyle, Says Trainer
Not getting enough sleep has been related to serious chronic conditions, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity, leading to a shortened life. Getting enough sleep is as much of a healthy ingredient to your overall wellness as getting exercise and proper nutrition, so don’t skip out on those Zs!
What’s a long life if you can’t enjoy it, right? Okay, we didn’t say to not drink at all. All we’re saying is to drink moderately. That typically means one drink on any given day for women and two drinks in one day for men should be the maximum, according to AARP. Anything more than that can shorten your longevity.
One trick that could make it easier to consume less alcohol is to use a white wine glass (which is slimmer) when you’re drinking red wine. Another tip? If you pour wine into a glass while it’s placed on the table (rather than holding it in your hand to pour), you will tend to pour less, according to Brian Wansink, director of Cornell University’s Food and Brand Lab.
Smoking does so much harm to your body. In fact, according to one study, each cigarette you smoke can apparently take 11 minutes off of your life. And that’s just one! Each time you puff, carbon monoxide (a toxic gas) elevates in your bloodstream, bringing on damage to just about every single one of your organs.
The final key habit that’ll help you lead an incredibly healthy lifestyle is staying in touch with those you love. Friendships are good for the soul. Research has proved that having strong relationships can lower your risk of death by as much as 50%. Those who are lonely increase their risk of death by 26%.