Living to be 100 years old plus is not such an exclusive club anymore. Advances in health education, disease prevention, and natural health treatments have paved the way for this dramatic increase in longevity. What you may not be aware of are the everyday habits you may be doing right that do influence how long and how well you will live. Here are some signs of what you are doing right plus tips on how to stay on track:
1. If you are drinking tea every day, you are doing something good for your heart. Both black and green teas contain concentrated doses of catechins which are substances that help blood vessels relax and protect the heart. Adding milk can eliminate tea’s protective effects, so learn to drink it with some lemon or honey for maximum benefit and make sure it is brewed fresh. Ready-to-drink teas do not offer the same benefit.
2. Walk at least 30 minutes per day and do what you can to get as fit as possible.
3. Are you still drinking soft drinks? Science cannot begin to list the endless side effects that soda does to the body. Regular or diet? It doesn’t matter. Both increase your risk for high blood pressure, elevated insulin levels, excess body fat, heart disease and diabetes. Switch to tea if you need a caffeine boost or try sparkling water with a splash of fruit juice. You can add longevity by controlling blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes and of course, not be smoking.
4. Weight train – this will help you with good balance, strength, flexibility, and endurance and as you get old, the risk of falls and injuries can increase leading to declining health rather quickly. Do what you can to stay strong, especially in your legs. Pilates, Yoga, and other strength training exercises can be done 2-3 times per week for maximum impact.
5. Do you enjoy red wine? Grape Juice? Blueberries? They all contain polyphenols which are compounds that have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease and may even help protect you against Alzheimer’s disease. These powerful antioxidants can help blood vessels and arteries stay flexible and healthy.
6. Choose your friends wisely – it is important to associate with people who have similar goals and enjoy being healthy and doing healthy activities. Join a gym, fitness class or workout facility, train with a friend for a charity walk or run, meet friends at the park for a walk with your dog.
7. Stay away from grilled or smoked meats. Having a hamburger or hot dog once in great while is ok, but do not make it a habit. When meat is grilled, smoked or cured, carcinogens are formed which are harmful to the body.
8. Find meaning in your life – find your passion! Those who do what they love tend to live the longest and enjoy life. Spend time with family, friends and nurture your spirit. It is time to take care of you.