How often do you look at your phone? Do you stay glued to it for extended periods? Can’t resist taking a peek? Well, many of us check our personal devices several times an hour. It’s become a habit for us to check our messages and emails, but what toll does this take on our lives? It’s no secret that real, face-to-face interactions are reducing in favor of virtual contact and devotion to our mobile phones.
If you want to live a long life, interacting with other people has been scientifically shown to be beneficial. So, get off your device and start interacting with real, live people. If you feel this will be difficult to do, start off by delaying your reactions to your mobile’s beckoning. Then, take a device-free day and think about how you feel. It can be quite liberating. The idea is for your devices to take second place to proper social interaction.
There are no two ways about it, but stress is a silent killer that affects the health and well-being of millions around the globe. Even with all of life’s conveniences these days, we seem to simply be getting more stressed than ever before. One of the biggest stresses in life can be financial. Not being certain of whether you can pay your bills is extremely stressful and can lead to illness.
So, it makes sense that avoiding getting into debt might one way of reducing the stress you experience. This involves avoiding taking out loans, opening credit card accounts, and EMIs. The problem with all these types of debt is the interest that becomes payable on these accounts. You can end up paying a huge amount more in the long-run compared with the original cost of the item. Avoid saddling yourself with debt.
Actually, it’s not only the gym, but it’s also exercising in general. If you’ve heard it once, you’ve probably heard it a million times: in order to stay healthy, you need to exercise. Many of us are employed in jobs that require us to sit for most of the day. The problem is, science says that hours of sitting can be extremely dangerous for your health.
If you work in an office where you sit at a desk all day, take a break at least every 40 minutes, even if you just walk around the office. Another way of working physical exercise into your routine is to take a walk at lunchtime instead of sitting. All you have to do to stay reasonably fit is to take a brisk walk or jog for about 30 minutes, a minimum of three times a week. You’ll live longer for it.
One of the most important things you can do to extend your life is to eat a properly balanced, varied diet. But if your diet is lacking, a multivitamin might be an important addition to your daily routine. The vitamins and minerals in some multivitamins are essential nutrients that your body requires in small amounts to operate properly.
If you aren’t eating a balanced diet, you should not take multivitamins for an extended period as they have found it to be harmful. Taking too much can also be harmful. Changing your diet is a first prize for living a longer life, but there are certain people who should definitely take supplements because they are at risk of deficiency. These include B vitamins, Folic acid, Vitamins A, C, and D for children aged 6 months to 5 years, and vitamin D for a large segment of the population who are deficient.
Research has found that people who work in high-stress jobs that are a dead end, with abusive employers can sometimes turn to alcohol and/or drugs to cope, leading to earlier death. So yes, that job could just be killing you if you use this type of coping mechanism. There is an interesting relationship between people’s careers and the length of their lives.
Studies show that conscientious people live longer because they are also conscientious about their health and personal safety. Persistency and the tendency to meet challenges head-on and with a positive attitude are also related to a long, healthy life. But if you think people who take it easy will live the longest, you’d be mistaken. The people who live the longest are those with productive, meaningful careers. These people remain engaged, continuing to set new goals once milestones have been reached. Striving seems to be important to long life.
If you think because Aunty Joan lived to a hundred, and your grandparents are still in good shape in their nineties, don’t be so sure that you’re going to live a long time. In fact, recent scientific research conducted on twins in Northern Europe found that our genes are only responsible for about one-third of the length of our potential life-span.
So, if you don’t have ancient relatives, this will probably come as something of a relief. It means that two-thirds of our longevity potential is down to other factors such as lifestyle and environment. Some of these factors are exposure to toxins, stress, exercise, diet, medical care, and social relationships. The good news is that all these factors can be altered as soon as we want to. There’s no point in focusing on your genes, even if you have very elderly family members. There’s nothing you can do to change your genetic inheritance.
If you constantly set yourself goals that are hard to achieve, you’re always likely to be disappointed and disheartened. That feeling does no-one any good. So, instead of making a radical change in lifestyle, try taking baby steps. Make one small change at a time. For example, if your goal is to eat more healthily, instead of setting yourself up for failure with an all-or-nothing attitude, try getting up just 15 minutes earlier to eat a healthy breakfast or pack a good lunch for yourself.
If you need to get more exercise, try taking a walk around the block – or further – at lunchtime. Your digestion will thank you, and your cardiovascular health will receive a boost. The thing about small changes is that they’re easy to fit into your routine. No massive change is required, minimizing the likelihood that you will fail to reach your goal.
As we age, and even sometimes earlier on, the likelihood of developing chronic illnesses becomes greater. The problem with these conditions is that they seem to creep up on you, adversely affecting your health a little more each day. These conditions are often called ‘silent killers,’ and for a good reason. The changes that come with conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, osteoporosis, and diabetes can be undetectable. So much so that it’s easy to develop something like high blood pressure and be completely asymptomatic.
And unless you fracture a bone, you’re unlikely to know if you have osteoporosis. The answer is to have regular medical check-ups and screenings. If you are conscientious about your health, you’re more likely to catch problems early, making them more likely to be solvable. If you do develop a chronic condition, always take your medication according to your doctor’s instructions.
If your life is all about work and chores, listen up. For your mental well-being, and a consequently happier, healthier life, choosing a healthy hobby can’t be beaten. There’s something about making something with your own two hands that has an extremely positive effect on self-esteem, mood, and overall well-being. Hobbies are great for relieving stress, and they get your mind active. They can also get you interacting with others interested in the same activity or hobby as you. That’s also good news for living a longer life.
If you live in a city or commute to one for work, you’re probably breathing in a lot of pollution. A 2013 study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) found that airborne pollution in China might have reduced the lives of 500 million people by 2.5 billion years. The study found that participants who had had lifelong exposure to 100 micrograms of ‘total suspended particulates’ (tiny particles in the air, e.g. pollutants) per meter of air cubed will reduce a person’s lifespan by 3 years.
Although our respiratory system is designed to deal with these tiny particles, some pollutants can get through the body’s defense systems and cause inflammation in the lungs. This could cause breathing problems, make existing conditions worse, and even lead to death. Other substances to avoid include processed foods. Science shows that these foods are drenched in chemicals that are often harmful to our health.