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Growing older naturally comes with its own specific health concerns as the body slows down and doesn’t function quite as well as it used to. With life expectancy in the U.S. still hovering between 78 and 80 years, however, your overall longevity is still very much in your hands, so read over the following small changes you can adopt which will make a big difference to your aging body.
#1. Exercise Regularly
First and foremost, general fitness is the most obvious way to keep your body running beyond its years. Your cardiovascular system will strengthen, you will fortify a strong metabolism, you’ll combat high cholesterol and hypertension, and you will burn unwanted calories. Furthermore, physical activity also does wonders for your mental state, encouraging the flow of endorphins and other feel good biochemicals that help ward off depression. No matter what your current age, you need to do anything you can to switch on those muscles, whether it be a gym routine, joining a sports team, going for a brisk walk, or simply taking the stairs.
#2. What to Eat
Many researchers have linked the Mediterranean diet to a much longer lasting physical body, as it lowers the risk of heart disease and Alzheimer’s. Stock up on fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, fish, eggs, whole grains, and healthy fats, while consuming your meat in moderation.
#3. What Not to Eat
The list of foods to avoid may be lengthy, but it’s also easy to follow when utilizing your common sense. Anything which is fried (most fast foods), heavily processed (including meats and refined wheat flour), or sugary are usually connected to an array of detrimental health effects, such as high cholesterol, obesity, and diabetes.
#4. What to Drink
Good news! The link between coffee consumption and living longer has been proven again and again! It has been suggested that the antioxidants in coffee, black tea, and green tea are responsible for lowering the risk of heart disease, strokes, and even type 2 diabetes, so enjoy your morning cup in the name of good health!
#5. What Not to Drink
Alcohol should only be enjoyed in moderation, as this intoxicating liquid is usually loaded with calories, leading to weight gain and bad decisions. Often worse than alcohol, however, would be soda. The problem comes with the added sugar, which is not only excessive but is also misleading because the brain doesn’t register it as a mass calorie intake. As a result, your bloodstream glucose can spike rapidly, potentially leading to diabetes, heart complications, and obesity.
#6. Stress Less
The negative repercussions of stress on your health have been widely reported, and include ill connections to the immune system, cardiovascular system, respiratory system, cancerous cells, depression, and just about everything else. You can escape these pressures by maintaining a social life, practicing meditation, or attending yoga classes, which is a perfect option for tranquility and core strengthening for all ages.
#7. Use the Sun Carefully
In small doses, the sun can be a major asset to your wellbeing, especially in regards to bone strength thanks to its natural vitamin D properties. However, too much sun is known to accelerate your skin’s age by causing wrinkles and reducing its elasticity. Furthermore, the risk of skin cancer is a very serious concern for those who love to expose themselves to these harmful rays. Always use sunscreen and consider taking vitamin D supplements.
#8. Don’t Smoke
It goes without saying that if you smoke, you are potentially shedding years off of your life. Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable deaths in the U.S. and has been firmly connected to lung cancer, heart disease, skin problems, teeth discoloration, and many other undesirable physical reactions. It’s never too late to quit, so keep trying and seek help if you are struggling to kick this terrible habit.
#9. Have More Sex
Sexual activities are known to bring much joy into one’s life, but there are also other health benefits associated with the act. According to certain studies, there are proven links between sex and a healthier cardiovascular performance as well as an improved immune system. Not to mention that a lengthy session can burn off quite a few calories, and afterward, you may drift off into your dreamworld much easier.
#10. Sleep the Recommended Hours
Finally, an adequate amount of sleep is essential in rejuvenating the mind and assisting cell regeneration. By skipping hours, you are not only hindering your ability to focus as well as irritating your overall mood, but this deprivation is also a contributing factor to obesity and cardiovascular disease. Develop a routine which includes the recommended 7 – 8 hours, and then stick to it like your life depends on it.