We all get a little bit older every day; however, not everyone ages in the same way. Some people become old before their time, while others live to be 100 and still seem to have as much energy as when they were young adults. While genetics do play a role, the following longevity tips can also help you slow down or even reverse the aging process.
#1. Maintain a Positive Outlook
You’re only as old as you feel is more than just a slogan, as it is also one of the best longevity tips. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, those who associate aging with wisdom are 40 percent more likely to recover from a disability. One study showed that people with a positive attitude about aging were more independent, had better physical fitness, and were more socially active. The Mayo Clinic reports that people with a positive attitude are also more likely to make healthy lifestyle choices such as avoiding smoking or drinking alcohol only in moderation. Read more about positive motivation techniques here.
#2. Get Daily Exercise
Remaining physically active will help you avoid some of the aches and pains that many people experience as they grow older. That’s not all, as a study published in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience shows, increasing physical activity can reduce one’s chance of developing dementia by 25% for those who are already suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. It is also associated with the first longevity tip of maintaining a positive attitude, since those who work out on a regular basis tend to have fewer negative thoughts than others.
#3. Consume a Healthy Diet
A healthy diet can slow down the aging process and give you more energy. Dr. Jeffrey Benabio of Kaiser Permanente Primary Care recommends a low-glycemic diet that includes lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains. One such plan is the Mediterranean diet, which has been shown to increase longevity, improve neurological, and cardiovascular health, and strengthen bones. This diet emphasizes eating plant-based foods, substituting unhealthy fats for healthy ones, and reducing salt intake.
#4. Manage Stress Levels
This is one longevity tip that applies just as much to younger people as it does senior adults. Endurance athlete and coach Christopher Bergland reports that chronic stress speeds up cellular aging by affecting DNA telomeres, weakening their structural integrity and making it more difficult for them to divide. Shortened DNA telomeres were shown to increase premature death during a study at the University of California, San Francisco. To prevent stress from prematurely aging you, eliminate triggers as much as possible, and learn coping skills to help you manage any taxing situations you cannot avoid. Read about 21 simple ways to drastically reduce stress here.
#5. Maintain Good Social Relationships
Having good social relationships makes it easier to maintain a positive attitude and reduce stress-two other longevity tips that are essential for healthy aging. PLoS Medicine published a study showing that individuals with strong social ties had a 50 percent chance of living longer. The right relationships are key according to author Margaret Manning, founder of Sixty and Me. She advises seniors to cut off “toxic” connections and step outside of their comfort zone to make new friends who share common interests.
#6. Meditate a few Minutes Daily
Some studies show that meditating for ten minutes each day reduces blood pressure. Scientific evidence also suggests that routine meditation may boost your memory and concentration, while helping you ward off anxiety and depression. Meditation may even reduce cortisol levels, which is important because increased cortisol levels could make you more susceptible to developing metabolic syndrome or atherosclerosis (hardening and narrowing of the arteries).
#7. Get Adequate Sleep Each Night
No list of longevity tips would be complete without mentioning sleep. Chronic sleep deprivation has been associated with numerous health problems ranging from heart disease to cancer. Chiropractor Robert Oexman, director of the Sleep to Live Institute, claims that sleeping longer each evening is associated with better health, and that most people require between 7 and 9 hours. You’ll know you are getting adequate sleep when you can wake up easily each morning and avoid feeling fatigued throughout your day.
You probably know people who never seem to age no matter how much time has gone by since you last seen them. Chances are, those folks follow at least a few of the longevity tips listed above. Implement a few of these tips into your routine, and you too can enjoy greater health and vitality. Who knows, you might even be able to add a few years onto your lifespan in the process.