8 Habits to Help You Live Longer
Do you want to know the key to a longer life? That one key food which will fix everything and mean you can eat whatever you want the rest of the time? Unfortunately, the key to a long life is not a trick or a single food or way of living. It is a combination of habits and diet which ultimately leads to the years being added or taken away from your life.
The ‘gold medallists’ in combining winning ways of living for more life have been tokened the blue zones. These zones are areas within several countries which live healthier and longer lives than the rest of that country and in comparison, to the rest of the world. Without boring you with the endless varieties of different diets in each country these are these 8 key points in your life to add healthy years to your life:
- Whole Grains Deserve A High Five!
The primary food group in most of the Blue Zones can be seen to be whole grains. A 2016 meta-analysis study found that those who ate the most whole grains (at least 30g of whole grains a day) had 16% lower risk of death from any cause, 18% lower risk of dying from heart disease, and 12% lower risk of death from cancer compared to those who consumed little whole grains.
To achieve 30g of whole grains a day you need to eat:
- ½ cup cooked brown rice
- 2 slices of 100% whole grain bread
- 2 - 3 serves of Corn Thins™ Original or RICE THINS™ Wholegrain cakes.
To convince you of the worth of whole grains even further, another study found those who consumed them as part of their diet had better brain function and health. In addition to this less likely to suffer from diabetes, chronic diseases and respiratory problems.
- Do Not Try to Feed Your Vegetables to The Dog.
Your mum was right when she hassled you as a child to eat your vegetables. Each vegetables variety has different colours which protect your body in different ways. Your body is constantly exposed to stresses and vegetables help reduce and minimise these stresses on your body to keep your cells healthy. The composition of vegetables, being high fibre and low energy means they are friends to your waistline. Soon it is predicted obesity will be the leading cause of cancer in the world and is more important that having the summer body. The key is to eat your vegetables in their whole form compared to processed ways like in juices.
- It’s Time to Move.
Moving has an array of health benefits from improving your mind’s ability to function as well as to keep your body taught trim and terrific. It is also an essential part of living longer. 30 minutes a day is the minimum here, but more is a definite plus. Good news is you do not need to get all this in one go but can spread it out during the day. Try walking further from your car, stopping a few more stops back on the bus, offering to do the coffee run or use your lunchtime to do a fun fitness class at your local gym.
- Know Your Purpose.
Does your job give you purpose? Do you work to live or live to work? There is a need for balance in both but whatever you do and spend most of your week doing try to find purpose and drive as without purpose it may not only be boring you to death but shortening your lifespan. Try making goals for your work and different parts of your life to give you focus and drive and make progress in your life.
- Learn to Relax.
If you are like most of us there is always a list of things to do which can make you feel bogged down. Find strategies which take you back to the present moment and declutter your mind from stress. Try yoga or meditation, taking a walk, deep breathing or my favourite is exercising.
- Eat until 80% Full
Mindfulness is key here. Being present in your eating will allow you to fully be aware of how much you are eating. If you are a TV dinner type of person try switching off during dinner and take the time to appreciate your meal. It takes time for your stomach to process fullness so taking your time to chew and between mouthfuls is a useful habit to prevent overeating.
- Join A Community and Be Social
Find your tribe and love them hard! Do you enjoy chess? Join the chess club! Are you a member of a gym? Group fitness is a community which can benefit your mind and body and being accountable by having friends in your regular classes will be wonders for many aspects of your health.
- Connect with Your Family
The most important tribe you will ever have is your family (be it chosen or the one you were born into). Keep this community close to you and keep communication lines open so it does not matter where you live you are connected.
Take home message: You can choose to live longer. Actions speak louder than words and the above 8 habits can start you in the right direction to a healthy and long life.
- Zong G, Gao A, Hu FB, Sun Q. Whole Grain Intake and Mortality From All Causes, Cardiovascular Disease, and Cancer: A Meta-Analysis of Prospective Cohort Studies. Circulation. 2016;133(24):2370-80.
- Gopinath B, Flood VM, Kifley A, Louie JC, Mitchell P. Association Between Carbohydrate Nutrition and Successful Aging Over 10 Years. The journals of gerontology Series A, Biological sciences and medical sciences. 2016;71(10):1335-40.