People know that healthy habits affect longevity.
Scientific evidence shows genes play a small role in living longer.
Factors such as diet and lifestyle affect longevity more than genes.
“If someone wants to lose weight, choosing a diet means you are taking your very first step in the wrong direction. No matter which named diet a person chooses, they have missed the boat on the best option: learning how to eat better forever.” states Georgia Fear, Registered Dietitian & Sports Nutrition Specialist.
Below are 10 healthy habits connected to longevity.
Exercise and Remain Physically Active – Healthy Habit for Longevity
It may not take very much for a person to reap the benefits of exercise. 15 minutes each day can add up to three years to the average person’s life, says The Lancet.
“Yoga can dramatically increase your flexibility and strengthen your core like never before all with minimal joint impact. With dynamic resistance, you constantly engaging muscles which jacks your heart rate up to get the blood to the muscle.” states Dallas Page, Owner of DDP Yoga.
Sometimes all it takes is a little support to stay on track with fitness. The weight-loss app Noom, is clinically proven to help men and women lose more weight and, it comes with fitness and exercise tracking.
Eating Nuts – Improve Health and Wellness
Nuts, packed with nutrition, contain protein, antioxidants, fiber, and many beneficial compounds, writes BBC Good Food.
The Last Word: Simply adding a few nuts to your daily diet can ensure good health and may even increase your longevity.
Plant-Based Foods – Promoting Long Life and Healthy Habits
There is a possibility those who consume a good many different types of fruits, nuts, seeds, whole grains, beans, and vegetables may prolong their lives.
Maturitas states that these effects are the result of the rich nutrients and antioxidants the plant foods contain. These nutrients also include folate, Vitamin C, polyphenols, and carotenoids.
The reason the findings tend to support the idea that those who consume more plant foods are healthier is may be because vegans and vegetarians have a tendency to be more health conscious.
We cannot dispute one fact: eating an abundance of plant foods is more than likely to have beneficial effects on health and lifespan.
Do you know if you’re getting the best nutrition from your plant-based diet? Food tracking is essential to ensure you’re getting the vitamins and minerals you need. Noom offers an extensive food database managed by nutritionists.
The Last Word: Those who eat an abundance of plant-based foods are more likely to live longer and avoid many common health issues.
Put Down the Fork – Don’t Eat More Food Than You Need
There is currently lots of interest in the link between the number of calories an individual consumes and longevity.
There has been some recent research in the Science Journal on animals that has shown that reducing calorie consumption by 10-50 percent may increase the maximum lifespan.
According to Live Science, The Daily Mail, and The New England Journal of Medicine, studies that were conducted on humans that are known for their longevity have also shown links between a lower caloric intake, and longer lifespan.
It’s important to keep in mind that trying to restrict calories over an extended period is not usually an attainable goal and quite often results in negative side effects that may include low body temperature, increased hunger, and a reduction in the sex drive, states research in Molecular Aspects of Medicine.
It is not yet understood whether restricting calories in humans extends their lives or slows the process of aging.
The Last Word: While there is a possibility reducing the number of calories you consume may help you live longer and increase immunity, more research is necessary to confirm whether this is true for humans.
Smoking – Major Deterrent to Longevity
Are there any healthy habits? It’s never too late to quit.
One study reported that smokers who gave up the habit by the time they turned 35 years old could increase their lifespan by as much as 8-1/2 years.
Even if you quit smoking in your 60s you can add nearly four years to your life, according to the American Journal of Public Health and the Archives of Internal Medicine. It can be beneficial even for those who don’t quit until their 80s.
Making and keeping healthy lifestyle habits is what changes lives. With Noom, a weight-loss and lifestyle app, you’re connected with human coaching and an active virtual community to help you keep your new healthy habits.
The Last Word: When you put out that last cigarette it can add years to your life. There are always benefits to quitting no matter at what age you choose to do so.
Reduce Stress – Healthy Habits Adding Years
The existence of stress affects longevity. Are there healthy habits to reduce stress?
“Stress is often referred to as the silent killer and causes many harmful, often overlooked effects, which can introduce pain and strain into your daily activities, including work, school, friendships, relationships and even sleep habits. It can result in physical suffering as well and can manifest as a headache, upset stomach or back pain. Stress can reduce the ability of your immune system to fight off colds and other illnesses the body would normally be able to fend off.” states Dan Buettner, founder of Blue Zones.
“It is possible to be vital and healthy, to feel better about ourselves and to feel attractive in whatever body we inhabit. It is possible to achieve a healthful weight by dumping the diet rules and trusting internal mechanisms, such as hunger, appetite and satiety. The new paradigm – Health at Every Size – champions happiness and health for people of all sizes — and trusting that our bodies know best how to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Decades of research make it clear: biologic safeguards prevent most people from maintaining weight loss, despite vigilant dieting and exercise. Research also shows that the body has a built-in regulatory system to maintain a healthful weight, if only we’d trust it.” states Linda Bacon, PhD.
Laughter and optimism may be two key parts of the solution to feelings of stress.
The Last Word: “Women in midlife in particular are more susceptible to the negative effects of stress thanks to all else going on with hormones. Quality food and quality exercise become key factors for optimal energy and weight management. A body under stress holds on to weight. It’s a form of self-preservation. When you eat less than the body wants, that’s stress. When you exercise that’s also stress. Even healthy exercise is stress. If you do it with slow progression and you recover between sessions it does make you more resilient but during exercise you’re fighting the desire to be at rest!” states Debra Atkinson, Founder of Flipping Fifty.
Turmeric – The Longevity Spice
Turmeric is the most popular spice with anti-aging properties. This may be because it contains the compound, curcumin, a compound that is highly bioactive.
In spite of this lack of information, turmeric is regularly used in India and is considered safe for the most part.
Healthy habits include adding a little extra of the spice to prepared foods.
When you find just the right recipe that blossoms with turmeric, calculate the total calories, carbohydrates, proteins, fats and more with the Noom app. You can add each ingredient so you have the complete look at the nutrition.
The Last Word: Curcumin is the primary bioactive compound in turmeric and includes both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. According to some animal studies, it can increase the lifespan.
Ensure Longevity and Good Health – Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Sleep is essential for maintaining cell function and helping with body healing and one of the major healthy habits.
According to a recent study in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, there is a link between longevity and regular sleeping patterns. This means retiring and waking up at approximately the same time every day.
The duration of sleep is a factor in longevity with both too little and too much being unhealthy.
Researchers are of the opinion lack of sleep can cause inflammation and increase the risk of the developing obesity, write the National Health Service and The Daily Mail. All of these conditions are linked to fewer years of life.
The Last Word: The healthiest sleep pattern includes 7-8 hours of sleep every night. Developing this pattern may increase your lifespan.
Is Drinking Alcohol in Moderation a Healthy Habit – Yes
It is believed wine is quite beneficial because it contains a significant amount of polyphenols antioxidants.
The recommended amount of alcohol to consume to be classified as moderate is 1-2 units or less daily (maximum of 7 units a week) for women and less than three units daily (14 units per week) for men, The Medical News Today states.
One thing to keep in mind is there is no reliable research to support the premise the benefits of moderate drinking are any more substantial than those derived from not consuming any alcohol.
What this means is you shouldn’t start drinking for the possible health benefits if you don’t already drink.
If you’re tracking calories to lose weight, remember to add your wine when logging food. With Noom, the food database is managed by nutritionists so you know you get the right nutrition facts the first time.
Drink Coffee/Tea – Healthy Habits
The Last Word: Moderate consumption of both tea and coffee may provide benefits for healthy aging and prolonged life.
Conscientiousness – Mindfulness Improves Longevity
Healthy habits and being conscientious means a person can be efficient, self-disciplined, organized, and focused on goals.
A study in the Journal of Health Psychology was conducted that involved following 1,500 boys and girls into old age. These kids were considered disciplined, organized, and persistent, and the data from the study showed they lived 11 percent longer than those who were not as conscientious.
“Losing 1-2 pounds a week is a safe rate of weight loss. The best part of this sustainable weight loss is that it does not require a complete overhaul in your diet. This can be achieved by cutting down about 500 calories a day through simple changes. Swap your salad dressing: Two tablespoons of ranch dressing adds an additional 145 calories and 15 grams of fat. Swapping this for balsamic vinegar (hold the oil) provides only 30 calories and 0 grams of fat. Swap soda for water: One 12-ounce can of soda has 140 calories. Replace it with a glass of ice water or seltzer this has zero calories, making it the ideal choice for hydration. Add slices of citrus fruit, strawberries or cucumber to make the flavor more appealing, which may help you drink more.” states Alyssa Rothschild, RDN, CDN.
“Mindfulness has been found to be effective for dealing with emotional eating and weight loss. Mindful eating is the practice of slowing down, engaging all of your senses, pausing between bites to take breaths, and building awareness of our internal landscape. When we become more aware, we can begin to better understand our emotional triggers and stress response, and shift our behavior to make healthier choices.” said Chrissa Santoro, external communications director and yoga teacher at Omega Institute for Holistic Studies in Rhinebeck, New York.
The reason for this is because those who are conscientious are not as likely to take risks and have negative reactions to stress but are more likely be successful professionally and make responsible decisions about their health.
Conscientiousness develops at any stage of life and begins with simple things and moves forward.
The Last Word: “People always think there is a quick fix: a cleanse, a detox, a smoothie, a shot, etc. The reality is: nutrition change is s-l-o-w. Sustainable habits take months and even years to create and sustain. Nutrition change is changing a little piece of who you are; it’s important to honor that.” states Monica Auslander Moreno, MS, RDN from Essence Nutrition.
What Users Are Saying
“I am sure doing exercise will extend the life because it pumps our heart and maintains body fat and removes unwanted cholesterol from our body. But another thing we must also eat healthy green foods and high content protein..”
“I’m not sure why, but I’ve found that higher quality nuts that I buy at specialized stores or market stands do not only taste better but also are way more satiating in small quantities, as opposed to nuts I buy from the supermarket. Bit more expensive but it works against unintentional grazing for me.”
“Abandoned Plant Based Diet After 6 Months – It wasn’t working for me. Initially, I felt it worked well, but over time I realized I was hungry all the time especially in the evening. I have recently gone back to eating a portion of meat at dinner with no meat for breakfast or lunch. I find it helps balance cravings so much better. I actually think its a healthier diet in the long term for me. I think a plant based diet can work for some, but for me I actually started to gain weight and yo-yo a lot. I found myself binge eating healthy foods, but I realized something was off. I did not experience low energy, but overall it wasn’t optimal for me.”
Final Take on Healthy Habits Connected to Longevity
Although genetics is partly responsible for longevity, a substantial part of the way you live is still under your control.
Follow these tips if you have a desire to reach old age.
Summer Banks has researched over 5000 weight-loss programs, pills, shakes and diet plans. Previously, she managed 15 supplement brands, worked with professionals in the weight loss industry and completed coursework in nutrition at Stanford University.