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Most of us dream of living long and healthy lives. Reaching one’s 100th birthday, however, is easier said than done! Maintaining the right attitude and habits can play an important role in boosting our longevity. In addition to standard beliefs regarding health and wellness, certain less conventional practices have been shown to elongate the average lifespan.
Do you dream of becoming a centenarian? Follow these tips to extend your life while aging gracefully!
Don’t Eat Quite So Much
Japan’s Okinawan populace is known for having some of the lowest obesity rates and longest lifespans in the world. Locals are known for eating until they feel just 80% full, a practice that researchers believe has led to improved health and increased lifespans. Research has shown that animals’ longevity can be boosted by reducing their food intake by up to 33%. By resisting the urge to stuff yourself, you can reduce the overall strain placed on your metabolism and, in turn, your entire body.
When highlighting the factors that may have contributed to their prolonged lives, centenarians around the globe often credit their levels of physical activity. 110-year-old Duranord Veillard, for instance, continues to do at least five pushups every day. Jogging for just 60 minutes per week has also been shown to increase longevity in healthy older adults. Any physical activity, such as walking, gardening, lifting weights, or doing yoga will promote a longer lifespan. Avoiding long periods of sitting is crucial to boosting your health, too. Every hour spent sitting and watching TV, for instance, has been shown to reduce adults’ life expectancies by roughly 22 minutes. By replacing sedentary activities with active hobbies, your odds of living a longer life will be greatly improved.
Indulge in a Vice or Two
Most of the world’s longest-lived people have indulged in a few habits that run contrary to conventional longevity recommendations. Jeanne Louise Calment, a wealthy French woman who died at the jaw-dropping age of 122, smoked two cigarettes daily for 100 years and regularly indulged in Port wine and chocolate. Christian Mortensen, who passed away at the age of 115, lived a clean and simple life, save for his enjoyment of Danish cigars. Multiple other centenarians claim that weekly sips brandy or whisky kept them in good health. Others savored filling breakfasts of bacon and eggs or coconut milk porridge. In short, the longest-lived individuals aren’t necessarily clean-eating, healthy-lifestyle teetotalers. Enjoying one or two of your favorite vices can be good for the soul, leading to less stress and better health.
Strive to Be Conscientious
After over eight decades of research, the individuals behind Stanford’s Longevity Project discovered that conscientiousness is the personality trait that most significantly influences our lifespans. Organizational skills, persistence, and sound judgment are some of the traits that define a conscientious individual. Researchers believe that conscientious individuals tend to make better choices, resulting in greater overall life satisfaction. Being prudent and utilizing your rational problem-solving abilities will increase your chances of living a longer and more fulfilling life.
Be Reasonably Optimistic
Research has shown that optimists tend to live more than a decade longer than pessimists. Optimists also suffer less along the way. Positive-minded individuals are more likely to engaging in regular health check-ups and maintain higher levels of immunity against viral infections. In short, a sunny outlook on life can translate into concrete benefits for the body.
It is important to note, however, that wildly positive thinking isn’t associated with greater longevity. Overly-optimistic individuals may struggle to cope with life’s biggest challenges. Maintaining a more tempered and grounded outlook is the best way to achieve optimal health and well-being.
There are dozens of other ways in which you can increase your chances of living a longer life. Maintaining strong social connections with friends and family members, for instance, has been widely shown to keep the brain and body young. Eating lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, and fish will also aid you in your quest to live a century or longer. Having a sense of purpose in life, participating in charitable causes, and having spiritual beliefs were all associated with longer lifespans, too.
Simply put, strong social bonds, a healthy mind, and a strong body are crucial to improving the quantity and quality of your days on this planet. By living a smart and optimistic life, perhaps you too can live to see your 100th birthday!
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