In a recent study, in the US alone there are close to 80,000 centenarians (people aged 100 and above). In today’s age, where people are accustomed to an unhealthy lifestyle in the form of bad diet, lack of exercise and too much stress is shrinking the life out of people. So, how to stay healthy and live longer?
Your personality matters a lot
Yes, you read it right; your personality affects your longevity. In one of the largest research project on longevity, which spanned eight decades found that conscientiousness trait in humans beat all other personality traits when it comes to longevity. “It is the quality of a well-organized, prudent, and persistent, which is a bit obsessive and not that of completely carefree” are the personality traits that help you to lead a long life. It is just that people assume those who are more relaxed lead a longer life but it is the other way around. The thing is conscientious behaviour in people helps them to make better and healthier choices all the time including who they marry, will they drive too fast, whether they will follow doctors’ orders, where they will work and the likelihood they will smoke etc.
Your diet plays a key role
If you want to live long and healthy, then you have to pay close attention to your diet. As mentioned above, there are close to 80,000 centenarians in the US alone and the number is expected to increase significantly in the next decade or so. The secret to the health and longevity of these centenarians is about their diet. Many studies have been conducted by looking at the lives of centenarians and what they eat. An interesting fact is that the percentage of centenarians is more in the Mediterranean region as their diet – which is high in fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, nuts, and olive oil. This kind of diet has helped people to be healthy in their old age, minimal risk of heart disease, and it even offers protection from memory loss.
Proper schooling adds a few years
According to CDC’s report, education is in direct correlation with longevity. Also, people with a bachelor’s degree or higher extend their lives up to nine years longer than people who do not graduate at all. Education is not required just to earn income and lead the race, but to make smart choices down the line. Educated people tend to land better jobs, make healthier lifestyle choices and properly plan for their future. With proper education, you will lead your life better and prolong your longevity.
Work Stress is good for your health
People have a wrong assumption about work stress being bad for their health, but not necessarily. Being a hard worker does not mean that the stress will harm you. The Longevity Study done by Stanford University suggests plenty of hard workers have lived long and healthy lives. “Skeptics might wonder whether hard workers are enjoying their life.” Productive and hard working people even in the old age are not stressed and they do not lead a miserable life. In fact, they are happier, socially connected and healthier than their less productive counterparts.
Being mindful increases your lifespan
Though there are very fewer insights that by being mindful actually have positive effects on your lifespan. But, then one such study which studied people who attended a three-month meditation camp and found that people who meditated had 30% more activity of enzyme telomerase than people who did not meditate, and this enzyme is directly related to aging in our body. Though the findings are minuscule, but it clearly suggests that your mind does have far greater influence on your body.
Eat, Sleep, and Exercise
When centenarians who have lived over 100 were interviewed, one thing that was common in those interviews was to Eat, Sleep and Exercise. Eating right amount of food, getting proper sleep, and exercising on a daily basis are at their top to-do list. Having nutritious and balanced meals, getting eight hours of sleep daily and exercise in the form of walk or hike and gardening once a week were all there in their itinerary. Doing these three things right will help you to maintain a healthy weight all along your lifespan and feel better mentally and physically as well.
Lead a social life
Staying connected by being social is important to lead a long life. As a person if you have a strong social group then rest assured you will live longer. Especially women have far better social networks than men, and that is the reason why women tend to live longer than men. It is in human nature to turn to friends and family for support. By taking care of others, it helps us to take better care of ourselves. Even research suggests that our immune functions better when we are around someone which helps in stress regulation.
Leading a longer life is not rocket science, it is about making smarter choices in your day-to-day activities. With proper diet, sleep and light exercise will help you in determining how long you will live. So, start making better choices today to lead a healthy and long life.