In the 20th century, the average life expectancy increased by more than 30 years.
But even with medical advances and our increased lifespan, many people are searching for the magic solution to longevity. Before spending a lot of money and time on methods that may not work, consider some of these evidence-based solutions.
Here are our top tips for living a healthier, longer life.
Researchers at St. Louis University have found that eating less slows aging. Limiting the amount of calories you eat in a meal reduces the amount of T3 — a thyroid hormone that slows down your metabolism and increases in production with age — released into your system. The healthier you eat, the better your body can break down foods, which helps control your weight and prolongs your life.
Stay out of the sun
Preventing sun exposure can prolong your life, not to mention keep you looking younger and fresher. Sun damage causes wrinkles and saggy skin, so using lotion with an SPF 30 (or higher) keeps you looking younger longer. Protecting our skin from the sun’s rays can actually do a lot more to prolong our lives than most other quick-fix remedies. And don’t forget to hydrate often with water.
Make friends … lots of them!
Research shows social isolation and loneliness can be as life threatening as obesity. Making and keeping connections with other people is integral to our mental and emotional health. A truly healthy person considers the physical, mental and emotional aspects of their lives and makes any needed adjustments in order to stay balanced and healthy.
“We believe social and emotional health plays an important role in maintaining overall physical health,” said Shiloh Sorensen, activity director at Parke View Rehabilitation and Care Center. “At Parke View Rehab, we are always providing opportunities for residents to interact and socialize with each other. Social interaction and relationships are important factors in a person’s well-being. It’s a need one never outgrows.”
Having a good set of friends that you can rely on in any situation will help you to stay healthy and will actually help you live longer.
Exercise is proven to increase your lifespan. A 2011 study discovered that people who reported low levels of physical activity lose up to 1.5 years of their lives as compared to those who have reported moderate levels of physical activity. Researchers also discovered that those who increased their levels of activity for just 30 minutes a day were healthier and lived longer. Exercise — or any level of physical activity such as walking or biking to work, etc. — can increase your longevity and keep you healthier and happier.
Find a purpose for your life
Do you feel like your life has meaning? Studies have shown that those who believe their life has direction and purpose live longer and happier lives. Whether you find purpose through religion, volunteer work or through your relationships with friends and family, make sure that you do find something worth living for.
Sitting for too long is one of the worst things you could possibly do for your long life. In recent years, sitting has become a natural state for many people. We go to the office, sit for at least eight hours at a time, then we go home and plop down on the couch and turn on the TV. Well, that action alone isn’t doing anything to help you live longer. Instead of choosing to sit on the couch and watch Netflix, choose instead to take a walk to your local cafe and get some food or go for a quick jog instead. For every hour you spend sitting after age 25, you lose up to 22 minutes from your overall lifespan.
Forget the fountain of youth! An increased lifespan starts with avoiding overeating, staying out of the sun, making friends, exercising and remaining active, and finding a purpose for your life.