Achieving Longevity – Changing Your Habits

Many will argue that our state of health and longevity is determined by our genetics, and in some rare cases, this may be true. Few families are gifted with a superior genetic makeup, while few others seem to be cursed with substandard DNA. However, most of us are truly blessed with the basic genetic makeup that allows us to easily live a long and healthy life. Nevertheless, this is only possible if we maintain a healthy lifestyle.

For most families, their ongoing history of chronic and life-threatening health issues are not always the result of poor genetics. Consequently, it’s usually their poor lifestyle habits and choices that have been passed down from one generation to the next. This destructive lifestyle is often the result of stubborn family attitudes towards life or just pure ignorance. In some cases, it’s the result of traditional and cultural beliefs.

The biggest factor for achieving longevity and reversing the aging process is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. You have been given the gift of life, don’t ignore it, don’t neglect it and don’t waste the precious opportunities to optimize your health.

This article is a basic guideline to get you started in your quest for longevity. However, considering that everybody is different and some may have special conditions, it’s always important to consult your health care provider or naturopath before making any major lifestyle changes.

Eliminate Bad Habits

Bad habits have no value in your life and they jeopardize your health and threaten to shorten your lifespan. Start to recognize and eliminate these habits and behaviors that are affecting your health and longevity. Here are just a few of the most common life-threatening habits.

Drugs Use is by far the most life-threatening habit that exists, it’s highly addictive and usually disruptive to daily living. Additionally, the risks are high for both short-term and long-term effects, many of which are irreversible including the reduction of cognitive function.

Smoking takes more lives than drug use largely due to its high level of social acceptance.  Additionally, smoking doesn’t seem as threatening because its harmful and lethal effects are not as immediate. However, smoking is one of the leading causes of cancer and drastically increases the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and respiratory problems.

Overeating And Junk Food Consumption has been associated with a wide variety of diseases and disorders. Binge eating and non-stop snacking along with low levels of exercise and physical activity are the leading cause of weight issues and obesity. These unhealthy conditions increase the risk of heart disease, hypertension, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and many forms of cancer.

Junk food consumption increases the toxin levels in the body which affect our mental and physical health.  It’s important to avoid junk food especially those containing artificial additives such as MSG, nitrates, artificial colors, flavors and sweeteners. Additionally, keep sodium and sugar consumption to a minimum.

Sedentary Activities should be kept to a minimum especially binge-watching, video gaming and web surfing. We all enjoy these forms of entertainment from time to time, however, they should never consume your life or become all day events.

Alcohol consumption should be kept to a minimum. No more than two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women. While some experts indicate that low alcohol intake may provide some heart health benefits, it’s important to realize that alcohol is a toxin which adds extra strain on the body, especially the liver.

Diet And Nutrition

Longevity-Diet and Nutrition Affluent VitalityTo achieve a true longevity diet, it’s important to keep it real and add variety. Organic food choices are always the best options. Avoid processed foods especially those high in sodium, sugar, trans fat, MSG, nitrates, artificial colors and sweeteners. Additionally, maintaining a well-balanced diet will provide a range of life-enhancing nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, antioxidants including the powerful polyphenols and essential fatty acids like omega-3.

Vegetables and Leafy Greens especially those with vibrant and rich colors are essential in a well-balanced diet. Some of the healthy choices include beets, peppers, tomatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, broccoli, kale, and cabbage.

Fruits and Berries especially those of the dark color variety contain high levels of antioxidants including the essential polyphenols. Some of the healthiest choices are pomegranate, plums, blood oranges, avocado, mango, blueberries, mulberries, aronia cherry, strawberries, bilberries, blackberries and cranberries.

Fish especially the fatty cold water variety such as Salmon, mackerel, herring and sardines provide the essential fatty acids and are rich in protein.

Herbs and Spices are considered potent superfoods which contain a rich source of disease-fighting antioxidants including, but not limited to turmeric, ginger, chili peppers, cinnamon, sage and rosemary.

Nuts and Seeds are also in the superfood category and many contain omaga-3 fatty acids. Healthy choices would include macadamia, pecans, walnuts, almonds, flaxseed, chia seed, sesame seed, pumpkin seed and of course quinoa.

Organic Sprouted Whole Grains are the preferred grain option because they are lower in carbs, contain less gluten and are higher in fiber. Additionally, the sprouting process allows for easier absorption of available nutrients.

Green Tea and Red Wine (moderate consumption) also contain a rich variety of antioxidants and anti-aging properties. Both beverages are known to reduce the risk of multiple forms of cancer and help prevent a range of heart-related diseases including congestive heart failure and high blood pressure.

Drink Plenty Of Pure Water

The most essential element for optimum health and extended life of any living organism is pure water. Our body cannot function without it and we age rapidly when we continually live our lives partially dehydrated.

Water serves as a lubricant for our joints and cartilage, as well as aides in digestion and other internal processes. It regulates our body temperature and removes harmful toxins and waste through several methods of excretion.

Our blood consists of 92% water and is responsible for transporting nutrients and oxygen throughout the body, supplying all cells and organs.

By drinking sufficient amounts of water daily, we can reduce the risk of colon cancer by 45% and bladder cancer by 50%. Therefore, by constantly staying hydrated, we reduce the risk of illness and undue strain on the body’s systems and functionality.

Detoxify Your Body

Whether we realize it or not, our bodies are inflicted with elevated levels of toxic stress due to environmental and dietary pollutants. Our bodies are designed to expel toxins through the kidneys, lungs, intestines, lymphatic system and the skin. However, with the increased levels of toxins that we are exposed to daily, our system often becomes overwhelmed. This results in added strain on the body as well as a buildup of harmful toxins lingering in our system.

Multiple studies have shown that toxicity is the major cause of many of today’s chronic symptoms. These symptoms include fatigue, lack of vitality, mental fog, headaches, sleep disturbances and memory loss. Other symptoms include hormone imbalances, metabolic syndrome, and weight gain. Consequently, these conditions threaten the duration of our health span and in turn shortens our longevity.

Detoxification is any process by which toxins are removed from the body including the cleansing of the blood. Many types of detox can target individual organs such as the liver, colon and kidneys. There are also complete body detox programs which are the most beneficial but requires a greater commitment.

Detoxification can be achieved by either stand-alone detox recipes or more involved detox programs. Many experts recommend a yearly detox to effectively maintain low levels of toxins in the body. However other experts suggest a total detox lifestyle in order to achieve and maintain an extended health span and longevity.

Many simple detox diets include a total fruit and veggie detox, smoothie and juice cleanse or herbal supplements. Always consult with your health care provider or naturopath before starting any type of detox program.

Physical Activity

Longevity-Physical Activity Affluent VitalityModerate exercise and physical activity on a consistent basis significantly contribute to our overall health and quality of life. Additionally, physical activity will prolong both our health span and longevity. Moderate-intensity activities include brisk walking, water aerobics, bicycling, raking leaves, ballroom dancing and other activities that noticeably increase your heart rate.

Sickness And Disease

Regular physical activity reduces the risk of sickness and disease that range from debilitating to life-threating. These life-altering conditions include, but are not limited to, stroke, type-2 diabetes, heart disease and peripheral vascular disease. Being overweight or suffering from obesity also significantly increases the risk of these life-threatening health conditions.

Weight Management And Strain

Regular exercise and physical activity also help to maintain a healthy body weight while improving overall endurance, muscle strength and energy levels. Reducing body fat to the ideal body weight helps reduce strain on the body. Additionally, increasing muscle mass provides added support for the bones and joints. This results in better balance, increased mobility and quicker response time which all reduce the risk of injury and allow for a fully active lifestyle.

Psychological Well-being

Those who consistently engage in physical activity experience positive mood elevations and an increased sense of motivation and confidence. Being physically active also improves cognitive function such as memory, learning, thinking and decision making. Additionally, physical activity has been proven to reduce anxiety and depression as well as assist in managing stress levels.

The controlling of these psychological functions and emotions create an increased sense of self-awareness which further promotes a self-improvement mindset. This in turn, encourages positive health choices and habits that support longevity.

Maintain Oral Hygiene

Maintaining good oral hygiene is more than just maintaining an attractive smile and fresh breath. It also reduces the potential for heart disease, stroke and atherosclerosis (clogged arteries). This is especially true for those experiencing gingivitis or advanced periodontal disease. The bacterial plaque associated with gum infections can migrate into the blood stream. Once in the blood stream, these bacteria then attach to the heart lining, heart valves and blood vessels causing inflammation, infection and blockages in the arteries.

Change Your Habits And Start Living Life To The Fullest

Start extending your health span and longevity by replacing your life-deteriorating habits with life-enhancing habits. As you slowly start transforming your habits and behaviors your health will start improving significantly and you will begin to feel more energized and alive. This is your life, optimize it and enjoy it to the fullest.