Okay, I’ll admit it: we haven’t found the fountain of youth.
But with advances in medical science, we might one day be able to keep ourselves alive forever.
Aubrey De Gray, a Cambridge University Research who heads the Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence project believes that we can eliminate aging altogether.
He told LiveScience, “I think it’s reasonable to suppose that one could oscillate between being biologically 20 and biologically 25 indefinitely.”
Well, sign me up. And I bet you’re interested too.
The trick to getting there today is to keep yourself in good health long enough to see the day when this science becomes a reality.
Staying healthy has a lot to do with your lifestyle decisions. If you maintain your body and mind in a healthy state, you’ll add years to your life and ensure you’ll be around for the future when you may be able to live forever.
So, follow these 12 tips to keep yourself healthy and ready for the future.
1. Live an Active Lifestyle
If you stay active through exercise and working out, you’ll benefit both your physical and mental health. Physical activity strengthens your body, allows you to control your weight, and improves your balance and coordination.
Plus, the endorphins released during exercise help you relax and stay in a better mood, which cuts back on your overall stress.
And if you do live to be 100, regular exercise can keep your brain sharp. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that regular exercise could help ward off dementia, which often plagues people in their old age.
2. Rid Yourself of Stress
I know what you might be thinking:
Easier said than done!
But believe me, when you can identify and eliminate the elements of your life that cause you the most stress, you’ll live longer.
A study published in the British Medical Journal in 2012 found that stress led to an increase of 20 percent in the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Another study found that people who had high levels of both stress and depression were 48 percent more likely to die or have a heart attack during the period of the study, compared to a group with low levels of both.
In other words: Don’t sweat the small stuff!
And for some tips on how you can control stress with your diet, check out this blog post!
3. Stay Hydrated
I’ve talked extensively in the past about the health benefits of drinking water, and I’m not stopping anytime soon!
Drinking water daily can help you regulate your digestive system and your weight, keep your kidneys healthy, improve cognition and mood, strengthen your heart, and more.
“Not drinking enough water can be as harmful to your heart as smoking,” said Dr. Jacqueline Chan of Loma Linda University. She and her research team found that drinking five or more glasses of water per day could lower the risk of suffering a fatal heart attack in both men and women.
4. Get Educated
If you stay in school, you just may add a few extra years to your life.
A 2012 report from the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics found that people with a bachelor’s degree or higher lived a longer life on average.
These findings showed that education may be an even bigger factor than race and income in your longevity. People with higher education lived on average nine years longer than others who didn’t graduate high school.
A lot of this has to do with the success generated by education – better jobs, better planning for your future, and healthier lifestyle choices all around.
5. Switch to Whole Grains
It’s time to ditch that white bread you grew up on. It’s nothing more than empty calories that hit you with a blood sugar spike.
Whole grains, though, contain complex carbohydrates that digest slowly, keeping your blood sugar levels steady. They’re also high in fiber, which has been shown time and time again to decrease your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers.
Whole-wheat bread also improves your regularity and helps you feel more satiated, which can prevent you from overeating.
So, try to opt for whole grains at every mealtime.
6. Keep Clean
I know you’ve heard it since you were a kid, but some adults still ignore one of the easiest habits they can use to stay healthy: cleaning themselves regularly and thoroughly.
And I don’t just mean taking a shower every day. I’m talking about washing your hands – and not just before a meal.
Think about every surface you touch during the day. The shopping cart at the grocery store, the pump at the gas station. These objects are covered in other people’s germs and can spread all sorts of sicknesses that can affect your life.
So take the time to wash your hands several times a day – just because.
You should also follow other strict rules, like:
- Maintaining good oral hygiene
- Washing your face daily
- Using an antiperspirant
- Keeping your bedroom and home clean
If you stay clean, you’ll stay healthier. It’s that simple.
7. Stop Overeating
It’s easy to eat everything in sight. It’s much harder to exercise self-control.
So, eat only what you need to eat throughout the day to keep you healthy. If you need to, count your calorie intake and watch your portions. Stop mindless eating as well – which happens when you sit in front of your TV and accidentally eat a whole bag of chips.
Pay attention to your body and its needs and don’t eat until you feel full.
Instead, eat until you’re no longer hungry, and save the rest of your food for your next meal. That’s why Tupperware was invented!
8. Be Proactive About Your Health
Don’t skip doctor’s appointments.
If you do, you’ll increase your chances of overlooking a developing health problem that you could have managed better from the start.
Have at least a yearly checkup. If your doctor recommends more visits, do what he or she says.
If you have a chronic condition, figure out with your doctor the best way to manage it and prevent it from getting any worse.
Figure out what health problems run in your family, and ask your doctor for specific screenings for those issues.
9. Enjoy a Variety of Herbs and Spices
That’s right – making your food taste better can actually help you live longer!
Studies have shown that common herbs and spices may help protect against chronic conditions like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. These flavorings contain high measures of antioxidants that can help you boost your immune system and fight off disease.
Some of these herbs and spices that are great for your long-time health include:
- Chili peppers
So, instead of covering your food in salt and butter, try some of these seasonings instead to help keep you healthy.
10. Stop Sitting
If you find yourself spending a lot of time every day sitting in front of the TV or computer, you might be taking years off your life.
A study published in Circulation, the American Heart Association journal, found that the more time you spend sitting, the greater your chances of dying young.
The study found that each additional hour spent in front of the TV increased your risk of dying from heart disease by a whopping 18 percent, and your overall risk of death increased by 11 percent.
So get up off your behind and go for a walk. Limit your entertainment time, or carry it with you while you exercise. That’s why they call them mobile phones, remember?
11. Protect Your Skin
You may have heard it before, but you need to take this seriously: use sunscreen.
Skin cancer is the most common of all cancers. It affects more than 3.3 million Americans every year.
12. Eat More Greens
There’s no doubt about it: green vegetables are nutrient powerhouses.
The American Institute for Cancer Research published research showing that leafy greens could reduce one’s chances of developing certain cancers. These vegetables include:
- Romaine lettuce
- Leaf lettuce
- Mustard greens
- Collard greens
- Swiss chard
These leafy greens contain a wide range of carotenoids like lutein and zeaxanthin, which seem to prevent cancer by acting as antioxidants that scour the body of dangerous “free radicals.” Some research has found that these carotenoids can inhibit the growth of breast cancer, skin cancer, lung cancer, and stomach cancer cells.
So eat your veggies, grown-ups.
These tips are all part of a healthy lifestyle that everyone should aspire to. And while they might not ensure you live forever, they’ll definitely keep you around longer naturally than you would if you ignored them.
Remember that there are also many obvious things you can avoid entirely to keep yourself healthy. For instance, quitting smoking can add decades to your life, just like staying away from toxic substances like pollutants, pesticides, chemical fumes, and asbestos.
And hey, maybe you’ll live long enough to get the benefits of that awesome future medical science that will keep all of us living healthy forever!
What methods will you use to keep yourself healthy? Let us know in the comments below!
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