Many of us aspire to live a long and healthy life. If not for ourselves, we wish to see our children and grandchildren grow up. Some of us wish to see the world. Some wish to just enjoy the retirement years.
According to the World Health Organization, the average life expectancy in India (as of 2015) is 66.9 years in men and 69.9 years in women.
Compared to Japan and the United Kingdom, we fall tremendously short. In Japan, the life expectancy is around 81 years. It is the same in the United Kingdom.
5 Simple Ways To Live Long And Healthy
#1 – Eat Healthier Foods
India is blessed with a variety of foods. We have fried foods, sweets, boiled foods, baked items and so many more kinds of food that it is impossible to sit and list them here. We also now enjoy the fast food industry offerings a lot more.
Consuming unhealthy foods on a regular basis not only reduces our life span; it also increases your chances of developing diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and heart disease.
While choosing healthier foods, make sure you have your meals on time. Skipping breakfast can be bad for you, and always remember that your breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
While listing out all the healthy foods available is near impossible, remember to keep your salt intake low, oil intake to a minimum and eat out less.
Enjoy fresh fruits, salads, steamed vegetables, lean meat and egg whites. You could still have your favorite curry. Just use less salt and only a touch of oil.
Memory loss is a common problem as we age. Eating oily fish has been shown to enhance memory and prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Omega 3 fatty acid supplements are also useful.
Keep your carbohydrate intake to a minimum. You can enjoy brown rice, broken wheat and chapattis. Avoid polished white rice if possible. Cutting it out of your diet can help you reduce weight and help you live a long and healthy life.
#2 – Walk Regularly
Currently, the American Heart Associated recommends 150 minutes of moderately intense aerobic exercise a week. That is equal to 30 minutes of exercise 5 times a week.
But for Indians, this may not be sufficient. Some experts now recommend at least 60 minutes of exercise daily.
A brisk walk is a moderately intense aerobic work out. Make sure you get your 60 minutes a day without fail.
One way of ensuring you are getting your regular walk in is to count the number of steps you take ever day. In our article on walking 10,000 steps daily, we highlighted how important it is to walk that many steps daily.
You don’t need to count it manually of course!! You could use a simple pedometer or even an app on your phone.
#3 – Lose Weight
If you are overweight, then you increase your risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, joint problems, skin problems, indigestion, gall stones, stroke, high blood pressure and many other illnesses.
The list is HUGE.
Clinical studies have shown that by reducing your body weight by just 5% to 10%, you can significantly reduce your risk of all these problems.
Losing weight is not an easy task. It requires a positive mental attitude, a strict dietary discipline and level of restraint that can be quite frustrating.
However, the end result is always rewarding. You will live a life that is less affected by health problems. In other words, you will live a longer and healthier life.
#4 – Reduce Your Stress Levels
We all have some degree of stress. Be it work related, financial stress or even your love life, stress has a significant impact on both our mental and physical health.
If stress is spread out over the years, it can start to have an impact on how long you live. Studies have shown that it can affect cognition and mental abilities from a young age.
It is easy to reduce your stress levels.
All you need to do it keep a positive attitude, meditate regularly and perform yoga. Cardiovascular fitness plays an important role in stress management, so make sure you walk or run regularly.
There are some great books on relieving stress the natural way. Take a look at some of the best ones here.
#5 – Get Your Sleep
Sleep is an important part of your daily routine. If you do not get sufficient sleep, you are putting your health at risk.
The lack of sleep does not just affect your physical health. It also slows down simple mental process, affecting concentration and cognition. Insufficient sleep can also lead to depression.
The lack of sleep has also been shown to increase blood pressure due to the stress it causes. Not just that, if you don’t get enough sleep, you could increase your risk of developing heart disease and irregular heart rhythms.
Have you noticed your skin is a lot more wrinkled and you now have fine lines on your face? It is probably because you have not been sleeping enough.
The lack of sleep can affect ageing of skin cells, speeding up the process and making you look older (and more tired) than you really are.
Finally, if you fail to get enough shut eye, then you could begin to gain weight. This is clearly not a good thing.
In a nutshell, just make sure you get a good night’s rest. Not only will you feel refreshed, you will be a lot more productive, efficient and healthy. And yes, it will help you live long.
Here is cool infographic on how to lead a healthy life.
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There are many ways that you can make sure you stay healthy and happy. What I have listed are just some of the important ways that are easy to do.
Go on, live long, live healthy!