Image: Baddie Winkle via Jessica Tezak
Not everyone gives much thought to old age except knowing that we don’t want to get there. But if the morbid thought of death seriously scares the shit out of you, then there’s things you can do to reduce the chances of that happening for a long time.
Some stuff is obvious like excessive smoking and drinking aren’t going to do your body any good and the same can be said for too much stress but there’s also things you can be doing on a daily basis to ensure you live a long and healthy life…
1. If you Eat, Exercise
Unless you’re seriously unfortunate, chances are you eat everyday. And because you’re eating every day it’s important to get some kind of exercise in every day too. You don’t have to go all out on a high intensity, sweat-inducing gym session but you should at least try something like a brisk walk, a body weight training session or a gentle swim into every day of your life. The human body is not designed to be sat all the time so make sure you get yours moving.
2. Swap Mochas for Matcha
The sugar high you get from a creamy mocha each morning may get you through the day but it’s doing nothing for your body. Switching up those mochas for matcha green tea means you’ll get a huge hit of anti-oxidants instead of an overload of sugar and caffeine. If matcha tea isn’t for you then even regular tea is a better choice than a syrupy sweet coffee. It’s about making consistent healthy lifestyle choices and avoiding strict diets.
3. Bask in the Sun
More people than ever are vitamin D deficient due to our indoor sedentary lifestyles. When the sun is out, embrace it, and let that vitamin D work its magic. Without a good vitamin D level, you’re at risk of everything from osteoporosis to heart disease and all it takes is 10 to 20 minutes in the sun, without sunscreen, to help boost your levels. Even Cancer Researchers are recommending getting out in the sun so there is no need to worry about burning, if you keep it to that 20-minute window.
4. Appreciate Sleep
Do you stay up watching shit TV just because it’s a habit or stay up late in bed on your phone browsing pointless feeds? Cut it out and your body will thank you for it. Even an extra hour’s sleep a night can add years to your life and your body will soon start feeling the benefits. Getting a good night’s sleep gives your body time to repair and relax and will help control and regulate your blood pressure not to mention the your moods will be more positive.
5. Surround yourself with Love and laughter
Close friendships are key to happiness and happiness plays a big role in living a long life. An Australian study of people aged 100 and over found a good friendship network is key to reaching such an impressive age. With emotional support and feeling content and loved, our bodies produce dopamine and oxytocin which promote a healthy brain which combats ageing.
6. Dump the Junk
Having the odd pizza night isn’t going to kill you but consuming too much processed food on a regular basis can really reduce your life span. Being overweight has serious health implications so try swapping your naughty snacks for healthy snacks. Again, it’s all about realistic lifestyle choices. Treat yourself every now and then but be consistent with your health options.
7. Control the Booze
Research is always telling us red wine can be great for tackling heart disease and other drinks have other health benefits too. This is true but most studies recommended limiting your intake to one or two units a day and any more than this and you’re heading into dangerous territory. Alcohol causes liver disease and also plays a role in some cancers including throat and breast cancer. Enjoying a drink is great but controlling your intake is also essential for a long and healthy life.
8. Have an Annual MOT
Checking in with your GP once a year can help put your mind at ease and keep you on top of your health. Certain things such as your blood pressure and cholesterol levels should be regularly checked so you can control any issues and going in for your annual MOT will help alert you to any changes you need to make for a healthier future. High blood pressure is one of the biggest killers.
9. Quit Now, Not Later
If you have an excessive habit you want to quit, from smoking, to binge drinking to over-eating, but can’t quite seem to kick it, don’t be surprised if that’s the very thing that causes you health issues when you’re older. The damage you’re doing now could have an impact in the long-term and so committing to quit isn’t something to save for the New Year or when you’re ‘ready’. Do it now.
10. Have More Sex
Experts recommended sex at least twice a week for a long and satisfied life. Just like good food and exercise, a healthy sex life will work wonders on your body reducing stress and even giving you that healthy glow.