Well to be honest, there are no tricks for living longer, growing younger and living better; but there are best practices that you can apply to your life immediately. Advancements in medical care and technology is giving us longer lives; but it is our responsibility to take the actions necessary to ensure we do not just live a long life, but a better one. A healthy lifestyle that includes good nutrition, exercise, activities, interaction, and reducing stress are all great steps that will launch you on your way to growing younger and living an active healthy life.
A healthy diet contains a mixture of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meat protein found in fish and chicken, whole grains, and moderate amounts of fats and dairy. All of these foods work together in harmony to create the ideal nutritional balance you need for living longer and growing younger. A healthy diet is not restrictive or miserable; there are creative ways and combinations of foods that will satisfy you. A good first start is to remove the refined and prepackaged foods from your diet and replace them with complex carbohydrates that are rich with vitamins, minerals and fiber. These will help you feel more satisfied after a meal. Switch from high fat proteins to meats with lean proteins such as fish and chicken. Sugary and salty foods should be consumed rarely and reserved for special occasions.
- Exercise Your Body
Exercising your body and getting it moving is one of the best ways to encourage your mind and body in your pursuit for growing younger. Regular exercise has a host of benefits for your mind, body and spirit. It has been proven that regular exercise reduces stress, helps control weight, fights against chronic health conditions and diseases including Type 2 Diabetes, and gives you a boost of energy when you need it. In addition, it helps to keep your bones strong and your muscles flexible. As we age, we become more prone to falling; a body that exercises is stronger and has a better sense of balance than bodies that don’t engage in regular exercise. You don’t have to be marathon runner or a competitive professional athlete to experience the benefits. A walk around your area, a friendly tennis match with a friend, an aerobics class at your gym, or simply anything that gets you moving and your heart rate elevated will help you on your quest for living longer and living better.
- Exercise Your Mind
Our minds need as much exercise as our bodies. Since we are living longer today than our ancestors, it is vital that we keep both our minds and bodies sharp and active. Engage in mental activities that stretch your mind, and your imagination. Do a crossword puzzle each morning with your breakfast, or settle in for an evening of puzzles with your family. Read books that peak your intellectual interest. Have you always wanted to know more about our solar system or about archaeology? Take a class at your local community college or delve into a program of self-guided learning. All of these exercises for your mind are essential for growing young.
- Interact With Others
With the plethora of technology that surrounds us, it can be a challenge to interact and connect with other people, face to face. We all need this type of interaction and connection to mentally and emotionally engage us on our life journeys for living longer. Incorporate friends and family members into your body and mind exercises. Find common interests and strive to include people in your quest for living longer through a healthy lifestyle.
- Reduce Stress
Stress is believed to be one of the most destructive conditions today. Unhealthy levels of stress can cause serious diseases and illnesses including problems in the cardiovascular system, depression, and certain auto-immune diseases. Reducing stress takes practice and deliberate action. Exercising your body will help to reduce stress and when used in harmony with other stress reducing activities you will sleep better at night and be more energized throughout the day. Yoga, meditation, journaling and simple breathing techniques are effective for relieving habitual stressors in your life and one of the keys for living longer. Stress increases stress related hormones in our bodies, which can lower our immune system’s functioning. An immune system that is not functioning optimally leaves us at risk for disease, infections, and chronic conditions. Reducing and managing stress is essential to our longevity and living better.
- Laugh More And Laugh Often
Living longer, growing younger and living better will not be much fun unless you are having a good time. Laughing is a good stress reliever, and it helps to put other things in your life in perspective. We have all heard that Laughter is the best medicine but few realize it is actually true. Laughter is contagious, more so than any strain of flu or a cold; it binds people together and allows us to step away from the challenges of the day, if even for a moment. Laughter physically relaxes the body; your shoulders drop, your breathing adjusts to a calming level and you simply feel better. It also releases essential endorphins that are our body’s way to feel better physically and emotionally and surprisingly studies have shown that it boosts our immune systems because it decreases the number of stress hormones coursing through our body.
Growing younger will not lower the age on your driver’s license; it will however, make you look and feel younger than you have in years. Living longer and living better is achievable when you practice the tenants above. Laugh. Exercise your mind and your body. Focus on eating healthy foods. Interact with friends and family. Reduce stress and learn to manage the stress we all experience. Before long, you will be more energized and feel better. A healthy lifestyle is guaranteed to prohibit all illnesses and disease, but it is guaranteed to make you feel better physically, mentally, and emotionally.