Everyone wants to be healthy and live longer; however, many people are under the impression that they must drastically alter their lifestyle in order to benefit. The truth is that even small changes can have a profound effect, and here are a few healthy habit tips anyone can adopt to boost their longevity.
#1. Improve your Attitude
A study performed by the English Longitudinal Study of Aging showed that happy people are three times less likely to die during a given period than those who are unhappy. Optimistic people have lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol, and are also less likely to suffer from high blood pressure.
#2. Drink more Water
Drinking six to eight glasses of water each day is a healthy habit that people often ignore. Your organs cannot work efficiently when your body is dehydrated, and inadequate fluids also makes you susceptible to a variety of illnesses and diseases. Some recommend drinking a glass of water upon waking up, as well as just before bedtime.
#3. Consume more Fruits and Vegetables
Studies show that people who live the longest tend to eat fruits and vegetables 95% of the time. Fruits and vegetables provide plenty of fiber to help you eliminate toxins from the body and fight off conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Snacking on fresh fruits and vegetables is a healthy habit that can also help you lose weight – just watch the sugar in fruit.
#4. Get Eight Hours of Sleep
During sleep, growth hormone is secreted, and your body recovers from the work it performs during the day. A full eight hours of sleep will reduce your risk for chronic illnesses, while also providing you greater energy and focus. Did you know it’s actually possible to die from a lack of sleep?
#5. Exercise for at Least 30 Minutes
At least 30 minutes of exercise each day will help keep your heart healthy. Exercise also wards off depression, which can bring about a number of health problems including high blood pressure and obesity. The type of exercise you perform really doesn’t matter, so long as you are up and moving for at least a half-hour daily.
#6. Avoid Toxins
Toxins are found in everything from chemical-based cleaning products to health and beauty items. Many of them are known to cause everything from organ failure to cancer, and should therefore be avoided whenever possible. Consider one healthy habit by making your own cleaning products from vinegar, baking soda, and lemon, and use only natural soaps and shampoos instead of the commercial brands you typically buy.
#7. Cut Back on Sugar
More sugar is probably added to your food during processing than what you realize. The Centers for Disease Control report that the average American consumes between 13 and 20 teaspoons, which is far higher than the recommended maximum amount of six to nine teaspoons. For optimum heart health, sugar should make up no more than ten percent of your daily caloric intake. Be careful not to substitute sugar for sucralose or other artificial sweetners as they have their own negative associations.
#8. Enjoy some Sunshine
Vitamin D from sunlight slows production of renin, a protein that raises blood pressure. It also strengthens the heart muscle, and stimulates the skin to produce nitric oxide and help the blood vessels relax. You may also need a 2,000 IU supplement during the winter or on days when you cannot spend at least 30 minutes outdoors.
Even small changes such as these can make a significant difference. The healthy habits on this list can not only help you live longer, but better enjoy the life you do have.