A healthy lifestyle is a key to active longevity

It is no secret that the main basis of a long life is health. And it seems that everything is already known: you need to eat properly, do exercise, follow the daily routine, do not smoke... — this broad definition is familiar to all, it is indisputable and obvious. And yet, if you look deeper, not all "versed" are united in opinion, and often directly opposed to each other. The thing is that a healthy lifestyle for each person is purely individual and depends on many characteristics.

What lifestyle would be healthy for me?

A healthy lifestyle (HLS) has a large number of definitions, but all scientists are pointing to one: this is a way of life, which is aimed at preserving and improving health, both physical and mental. From the definitions it follows that first of all, the person himself is responsible for his well-being: he should have knowledge and skills, as well as be active in achieving the goal of being healthy.

According to the World Health Organization, human health is 50-55% dependent on the lifestyle that you create on your own. The absence of a healthy system will sooner or later lead a person to diseases, early aging and, accordingly, a short life expectancy and will not allow him to realize the internal resources inherent in him by nature.

It is never too late to change the way of life, and it is clear that before developing a system, a person will try many means, analyze their acceptability and effectiveness, select what suits him best. However, why are there so many controversial points in the details of a healthy lifestyle? This is due to two main problems.

First, most people do not see the totality of components associated with a healthy lifestyle, but only those aspects with which they are most familiar. Hence the widely known points appeared: you need to eat properly, do exercise, do not smoke and so on. A sociological survey among Russians showed that the majority of people believe that a healthy lifestyle is Smoking cessation (74.4%), abstinence from alcohol (71.9%) and physical activity (66.4%). This view is not surprising, it is self-evident. But if you touch on issues such as psychoregulation, way of thinking or nutrition, you can literally get lost among the different ideas of people, sometimes incompetent, dubious literature and Intrusive advertising. 

Hence the second problem appeared, that accurate scientifically based recommendations for each of the components that form life haven't been developed. The thing is that the approach to this or that component of the correct way of life is strictly individual and depends on many factors, among which there are two determining — the genetic nature of a person and its compliance with specific conditions of life.

Thus, a healthy lifestyle acquires individual significance, and even if there are general recommendations, its formation takes into account the living conditions and its specific features: for example, personality type (temperament, character, habits, thinking, etc.), age and gender, nationality, as well as social situation (marital status, profession, traditions, life, communication), values, ecology, etc. Based on these data, a person forms his health system by himself.

HLS does not guarantee a full recovery

Despite this focus and the growing fashion for a healthy lifestyle, the majority either partially neglected by its rules or do not adhere to them. For example, a recent study by Mayo Clinic showed that in fact, only three percent of US residents follow the rules of a healthy lifestyle. The behavior of the vast majority of Americans does not meet his criteria. But is there a guarantee that a person does not get sick if he will lead an exceptionally healthy lifestyle "from the cradle"?

Studies of diseases caused by harmful addictions, poor diet, and low physical activity began in the 50s in the United States. So, in 1948, the Framingham study examined the influence of lifestyle factors on the cardiovascular system. In the 1960s, scientists focused on the analysis of chronic diseases, and in 2010 the UN called them "lifestyle diseases". It becomes fixed in people's minds that health depends on what kind of lifestyle a person leads.

And yet some studies show that lifestyle changes do not guarantee a full recovery. For example, since 2001, scientists from the National Institutes of health have monitored 5,000 patients with type 2 diabetes for 11 years. They wanted to know if a proper lifestyle would reduce the risk of heart disease that diabetics develop. As a result, participants lost weight, but not the frequency of heart problems.

Another study also found no improvement in well-being after lifestyle changes in patients with advanced gastroesophageal reflux. 

The idea that lifestyle change can lead to better things is not unfounded — there are too many examples among people who have improved their condition through it. And it seems that you can take full control of your health. But the development of many diseases does not work that way.

Let's say, for example, someone decided to reduce the risk of cancer and quit Smoking, began to eat properly, stopped drinking and so on. But at the same time, his home is located near the plant, which emits carcinogenic smoke into the atmosphere. This dirty air he breathes constantly, negates all attempts not to get sick.

Too many factors affect the occurrence of the disease, so it is easier to predict the health of a nation than about an individual. And yet, this does not mean that you also need to blame all the troubles on the environment, heredity and give up on your condition. After all, it is better to lead a healthy lifestyle and live as long as possible, than to grow old early and die.

Why is it so difficult to start a healthy lifestyle?

Monday comes again, and again the diet fails, and the gym is postponed until the next salary? A new day brings a new excuse: then a holiday, then a meeting with friends, then there is no money for classes. It would all be funny if it wasn't so sad. Many people remember that it is time to start a healthy lifestyle when they see the second chin in the mirror or can not walk up to five floors without shortness of breath.

One of the most common explanations for why it is difficult to transition to a new lifestyle is the inability to plan. In a complex rhythm of activity, when work alternates with other things, and there is not enough time for yourself, it is difficult for a person to find time for banal training. And shifting is delayed so much that it turns into procrastination. Hence the "eternal" Mondays, the following weeks, and even the following years occur.

Here is worth starting with a simple: with a walk, for example, or with an unlit cigarette at lunch. Such small victories will gradually become a habit, and then you can begin to plan for something more. Do not save time on yourself, because you have a lot of work to do, and you have only one body.

Another reason for perpetual procrastination is a lack of understanding of where to start. But there is also the principle of "start with something small": you do not need to immediately switch to a healthy diet or set a high bar in exercise. It is necessary to gradually introduce healthy foods into your diet or take a monthly subscription to yoga or dancing. Listening to what you like, you can quickly find something to do.

Lack of time, inability to cook or fear that you will be laughed at - all these are just excuses. And once you overcome them, maintaining a healthy lifestyle will not seem so difficult. And if externally no changes have occurred, then inside the process has already started. After a while, you won't want to return to old habits.

Who is responsible?

These and other reasons boil down to the fact that a person simply does not realize: only a reasonable attitude to your health will allow you to keep it for many years to come. Health is not just the strength of mind and body and high performance, it is also the tranquility of loved ones, as well as the viability of future children. Not a doctor will cure all diseases, but the person himself, realizing the degree of responsibility to himself, to family and friends.

Under favorable conditions, the human body can work for at least a hundred years, and if you make some effort, then more. You just need to set a goal. Each has its own, but the variety is still small: it can be the social success, love, wealth, well-being of the family. To achieve any of the goals a person needs to be able to suppress their whims in favor of their natural gift - health because now it is unlikely to be able to catch up later.

What to do?

Many things in a person's life prevent him from being healthy and living longer in harmony with himself. The following principles of a healthy lifestyle will help to cope with the main negative factors that provoke the development of aging and disease.

  1. Clean the air 
  • Install an autonomous air cleaner that will remove not only large particles but also microscopic ones: bacteria, viruses, fungi.
  • Get an acceptable amount of houseplants — they are ideal for cleaning the room from many toxins.
  • Printers, copiers, faxes should be as far away from the workplace as possible, as they emit ultrafine particles comparable in damage to tobacco smoke.
  • Install a radon filtration system if the inspection showed that it penetrates the foundation.
  • Clothes should be ventilated outdoors after dry cleaning to completely clear of carcinogens.
  • Do not smoke in the house and do not let others do it.
  • If the house is located near a plant whose waste is released into the atmosphere, it is necessary to have a special bandage (respirator). And even better is to relocate.

2. Filter the water

Switching to bottled water will not be the best alternative, as 40% of bottled water is from the tap. The only way out is filtration of both the water that you consume and the one that goes to cooking. The filtration system can be installed on the taps in the bathroom — so you avoid getting chlorine into the body through the pores.

3. Limit the radiation

We are always under the influence of electromagnetic radiation. Every day we get a small dose from mobile phones, tablets, TV, computers, and other gadgets. It is important to limit the use of gadgets, as well as to observe a distance of at least 50 cm between ourselves and the TV screen, monitor. Also, remember that living near high-voltage power lines and TV/radio/cellular stations is also unsafe for health.

4. Use non-toxic products and items

  • Traditional cleaning products contain toxic substances. Instead, you can use lemon juice, baking soda, borax. Isopropyl alcohol mixed with water in equal quantities is a good household disinfectant. The universal cleaning agent for glass is the white vinegar with water in the same proportions.
  • Check your home for surfaces painted with lead paint.
  • Stop using aluminum cookware and foil. 
  • Use aluminum-free antiperspirants.
  • Eat fish and other seafood which contains the least mercury (anchovy, catfish, cod, crab, crayfish, haddock, herring, lobster, perch, mackerel, etc.).
  • Regular sauna visits and aerobic exercises will help to remove heavy metals and toxins from the body.

5. Watch what you eat

  • Eat organic foods to avoid toxins entering the body.
  • Avoid frequent consumption of fruits and vegetables, which contain large amounts of toxins: bell peppers, spinach, celery, potatoes, peaches, nectarines, apples, strawberries, grapes. Replace them with those that contain fewer chemicals: avocado, corn, cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus, onions, peas, pineapples, kiwi, bananas.
  • Always wash fruits and vegetables with non-toxic products. 
  • Limit calories: there should be more plant food on your plate than animal food.
  • Remove the skin and cut the fat from the meat. When cooking it, always remove the fat that accumulates on the surface.
  • Give up sugar and refined carbohydrates.
  • Choose a diet of calories that will match your level of activity.

6. Observe moderation in the consumption of alcohol

A small dose of alcohol can bring some benefits to reduce the risk of developing heart disease. Also, red wine, for example, contains resveratrol, which helps to prolong life. 

But alcohol is still not a panacea for all diseases. Drinking alcohol increases the risk of cancer of many organs and is also addictive, so it is very easy to cross the line of moderation and start drinking more. 

7. Quit Smoking

Tobacco and tobacco smoke contains 4,000 toxic substances, many of which lead to heart attacks and inflammation in the body. Smoking affects the growth of free radical activity, so it contributes to accelerated aging. This is one of the main causes of cancer and heart disease, and tobacco is very addictive. 

8. Develop the culture of sleep

  • Most people are advised to sleep at least seven to eight hours. 
  • Eat properly. When digestion is normal, sleep also gets better.
  • Do not exercise before going to bed, and in the evening it is better to reduce the activity to a minimum and do something relaxing: reading, meditation, routine.
  • Reduce the amount of caffeine or give it up.
  • Find out if you suffer from apnea (breath retention) — one of the most common causes of poor sleep. It increases the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease. 

9. Cotton to physical activity

Exercise is useful, it has been proven for a long time. Without them, the body ages faster, and the risks of cardiovascular disease and obesity increase. Experts in the field of life extension R. Kurzweil and T. Grossman recommend performing aerobic, strength exercises, as well as training to develop flexibility.

  • Start introducing this practice into your life slowly but regularly. 
  • Don't overdo it: if you feel discomfort in the body, then change the exercise or stop doing it altogether. 
  • Increase the load gradually, there is no need to perform more than your body can. 
  • Let training become a habit. It is important to learn how to plan your day so that you have time to perform exercises.

10. Temper

It will make the body stronger and hardier will help  (unless it is contraindicated by a doctor). Contrast shower, foot cool baths, wiping with a wet towel, pouring cold water are good tempering procedures. In summer, it is useful to walk barefoot in the morning dew, as there is a massage effect of the feet. Extreme types of temper include winter swimming in the hole, but you have to be well-prepared for such practice.

11. Reduce the stress level

  • Start laughing more. Laughter will reduce the level of stress hormones-cortisol and adrenaline. And the mere presentiment of laughter already gives a similar effect. 
  • Eat chocolate. 40 grams of dark or milk chocolate will cheer you up.
  • Make a plan that will help you to distribute the tasks by level of complexity and estimate how much time you need to spend on each.
  • Keep a family budget. Stress over money is one of the most frequent. It is worth planning expenses, so as not to get into a financial hole.
  • Get rest. Change of activity is good for health, and the energy spent needs to be compensated.
  • Read books (good literature). This is one of the most effective ways to relieve stress. When the mind concentrates on literary vicissitudes, the tension in the muscles, including the heart, decreases.

12. Use breathing exercises to adjust your mood

Breathing has a great effect on mood. If you exhale longer than the breath, you can relax and calm down. Dr. U. V. Scherbatykh, a specialist in psychology and neurophysiology, recommends the following technique:

  • Stand up. On a one-count take a deep breath and push clenched fists to your chest, hands should be stretched.
  • In "two-three-four-five" exhale peacefully and relax hands.
  • In "six-seven" make a breathing pause and focus on the sensations in the hands.

The pace of the arithmetic is selected individually by each.

13. Meditate

To come to mental balance and improve the emotional state, it is enough to meditate two or three times a day for 10-15 minutes. 

  • Find a quiet place and take a comfortable position. Close your eyes.
  • Take two or three slow deep breaths. Relax with each exhalation. 
  • Pay attention to how your body feels: how do you breathe, how does the heartbeat if anything hurts.
  • If you are distracted by disturbing thoughts during the process, do not worry — they will come and go. Go back to the awareness of sensations. 
  • If you decide it's time to finish, slowly return to the current time and place. Take a few deep breaths.

14. Train your mind

Training for the brain should include both logical tasks and tasks that cause an emotional reaction. The choice is very large: from the board games, chess, crosswords, puzzles to learning to play a musical instrument and writing poetry. Start attending educational courses, travel, talk to interesting and smart people. Build interpersonal relationships and social connections. 

If you want to live longer, then find something to do for many years, which will bring satisfaction, joy and other positive emotions. It can be gardening, creativity, charity and other social activities — all the things that give life value and meaning.

15. Trust yourself

You can't go through life with your hands down. The basis of a long and happy life in a good mood firstly is self-belief. The feeling of inferiority can greatly hinder the realization of plans and hopes. Self-confidence, on the contrary, promotes personal growth and success. Listen to your inner voice. Let the new ideas come into your life.

16. Do not be afraid to consult with a specialist

Many people come to the doctor for a comprehensive preventive examination when they have no complaints and a history of current disease. In this case, they just want to consult and keep their health. This is a perfectly normal case. Do not be shy about applying for special help: the doctor will conduct a medical examination, take tests and give instructions on how to improve health indicators to prolong life for many years to come.

Similar articles:

Purpose in life as a factor of longevity

Every man should have something to get up for in ...

The Need for Better Aging Biomarkers

As human life expectancy has increased throughout the 20th and ...

Art prolongs life and helps maintain health

Visiting museums and performances, contemplating paintings, participating in theatrical productions ...

Physical activity for a long life

Exercise is the most important component in the formation of ...

These 22 Geroprotectors Are the Best Anti-Aging Supplements

Geroprotectors are substances that support healthy aging, slow aging, or ...

The effect of telomers: how to take aging under control?

A new section of biology that studies the withering of ...

An international team of longevity scientists publish first online database of geroprotectors

Geroprotectors are interventions that aim to prevent, slow, or reverse ...

Geroprotectors: A Unified Concept and Screening Approaches

Aging is a complex biological process affecting molecular, cellular, tissue ...

Purpose in life as a factor of longevity

Every man should have something to get up for in ...


Our site collects information using cookies to be more convenient and customized to your needs interests. The purposes of the use of cookies are defined in Policy the processing of personal data .If you agree to continue to receive cookies, please click the "Accept" button. If you don't agree or want to resolve this issue later, please change your browser cookie settings.