Everyone desires a healthy and longer life. Yet when it comes to make good choices that will lead us to this goal, many of us stumble.
People find it hard to sacrifice current pleasures for future benefits. Giving up smoking, unhealthy diet, lack of exercise etc… doesn’t it worth the price of dying prematurely, not having the chance to raise our kids, depriving our children from the parental love, and not seeing our grand or great kids? We need to weigh out the price and the benefits, for me I think it’s worth doing the sacrifice.
1. Unhealthy Diet
Unhealthy eating is a major contributing factor to reduced quality of life and several health problems. Obesity, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, strokes, high cholesterol, dementia and many types of cancer are closely related to an unhealthy diet.
In fact, in the U.S., dietary factors, high body mass index and physical inactivity cause more health loss than alcohol or drug use.
To improve your health, include organic fruits and vegetables, fiber-rich foods, whole-grain products, low-fat dairy items and healthy fats in your diet.
Also, limit your processed food and salt intake. Plus, avoid caffeine. A healthy diet is incomplete without drinking an adequate amount of water throughout the day.
In addition, do not skip breakfast and eat 3 small meals and some healthy snacks in between.
2. Being a Couch Potato
Lack of physical activity is the single most important factor that affects your longevity. A 2015 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded that lack of physical activity has long been associated with an increased risk of early death, independent of a person’s body mass index (BMI).
Physical activity boosts your immunity, improves cardiovascular and respiratory functions, slows the loss of muscular strength, increases bone mass, improves digestion, promotes sound sleep and prevents depression.
Even if you are busy, it is important to make some time for some sort of physical activity in your daily routine. Just 30 minutes of exercise a day, five or more times per week, can help extend your life.
Go for a walk or run for 20 to 30 minutes daily, enjoy aerobic exercises a few times a week and opt for swimming, bicycling, trekking or other sports on the weekends.
3. Not Getting Proper Sleep
The amount of sleep you get daily can affect your lifespan. A 2007 study published in the Sleep journal showed that both a decrease and an increase in sleep duration are associated with increased mortality rates.
Sleeping less than six hours at night makes you more likely to die prematurely than people who sleep up to eight hours.
Regular poor sleep puts you at risk of serious health problems, including obesity, heart disease and diabetes. On the other hand, a good night’s sleep can help ward off stress, depression and heart disease.
On average, an adult needs around eight hours of good quality sleep each night to function properly. As a rule, if you wake up feeling tired and look for opportunities to nap, it is a sure sign that you are not getting enough sleep.
To help enjoy good sleep, eat a light dinner, keep your bedroom dark and distraction-free, meditate, drink a glass of warm milk before going to sleep, enjoy a warm bath at night and keep the temperature in your bedroom on the cool side.
…..9. Negative Thinking
Negative thoughts limit your potential to live a fulfilling, purposeful life. They also have a harmful effect on your health by increasing your stress level.
Other effects of negative thinking include anger, frustration, irritability, anxiety and depression. In addition, a negative emotional state can lead to eating disorders – from over-eating to a complete lack of appetite.
Stay positive by finding a purpose in your life. This will help you feel better about yourself, increase your productivity, reduce stress and ultimately help you live longer. It also helps you cultivate healthy relationships, which surely affects your health in many positive ways.
To reduce negativity in your life, be grateful for everything you have, laugh more, help others who are in need, meditate and surround yourself with positive people.
10. Avoiding Regular Medical Check-ups
Even if you have close family members who have lived long lives, you cannot rely solely on your genetics. Environmental and lifestyle factors play a major role in your longevity.
Therefore, it is essential to take charge of your health by seeing your doctor regularly so that you can get needed screenings and examinations in a timely manner.
When it comes to health problems, prevention is always better than the cure. Early detection ensures better treatment and recovery rates. It will also be less expensive.
Some of the important screenings and tests include breast examination, cholesterol and high blood pressure testing, bone density testing, colorectal cancer screening, dental check-ups and so on.
When visiting a doctor, you need to be truthful about your lifestyle and health symptoms. At the same time, take your doctor’s advice seriously.