Top 12 Ways to Live a Longer, Happier Life

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No matter our differences, at our most basic level, we all want the same things. Everyone wants to live a long, happy, stress free and healthy life. Although Western medicine has helped us to live longer, it’s fairly safe to say that the quality of life leaves something to be desired. Although some of us have a great quality to our lives, we won’t live very long for various reasons, usually of our doing.

So how do we capture both? How do we live the long life but keep ourselves feeling as young as possible? We have a list of the top 12 ways you can manage both.

 

1. Find Ways to Reduce Stress

Stress is a word that everyone loves to throw around but it doesn’t get taken all that seriously until someone has a meltdown. Stress is perhaps to blame for as much as 80 percent of all visits to doctors. It can be the real underlying cause to some of our worst ailments. Stress will usurp our body’s regulatory systems, which will lead to almost every single age related problem you can think of. Stress plays a vital role in heart problems, skin issues, neurological problems, emotional issues, and gastrointestinal problems, according to the National Stress Institute. Do whatever it takes to manage your stress issues. Change jobs, change your family life, get therapy, practice meditation or take up yoga. Take care of stress before it takes a toll on you.

 

2.  Get a Furry BFF

It’s a well-known fact that those who have pets (goldfish and tarantulas don’t count, sorry) have lower stress levels and are much less likely to develop depression that those who don’t. If you have a pet, spend more time with them. If you don’t, consider adopting from your local shelter. Even if you don’t have much space, almost everyone has room in their life for a cat, ferret, toy breed of dog, or even a pet rat or hamster.

 

3. Eat a Healthy Diet

Eating a proper diet is one of the main things we can do to ensure a long and healthy life, free from disease. Unfortunately, due to our polluted environment, eating healthy isn’t as simple to do as it used to be.

For the healthiest diet, choose foods that are raw, clean, and organic. Eat plenty of raw, organic fruits and vegetables of all colors. Eat plenty of naturally fermented foods such as sauerkraut and kimchi. Eat unrefined, whole grains. Add some nuts, seeds, and legumes. Eat only grass fed organic chicken and beef, along with wild caught, cold water fish. Eat raw dairy products. Read more about worst mistakes of the modern day diet.

 

4. Take a Hike

Or go for a walk. Even if you are 50 years of age and have never done much, if any, physical activity, walking for about 30 minutes, three times a week will reverse your physiological age by at least 10 years. In a three year study of more than 220 retirement age men, half of which did not exercise and the other half were told to take brisk walks 30 minutes per day, three times per week. After one year, the group that exercised showed a 12 percent increase in their aerobic power and a 10 percent increase in strength and flexibility. This is the same amount they would have lost over a 10 year period had they not done any exercise. So, get moving. Even just taking Fido for a walk will keep you young. So, go get that leash!

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Happy People Eating Organic Apples in Autumn Garden.Healthy Food

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5. Improve your Immune Function

Your immune system is your main defense against cancer, not to mention a variety of bacterial, fungal, and viral infections. As we age, our immune systems tend to decline, which increases our vulnerability to the diseases that tend to affect the aged.

 

6.  Lift Some Weights

At one time, scientists thought that there was nothing that could be done to prevent the loss of muscle tone as we age. However, in 1990, a study showed that there was a group of aging athletes who had maintained the strength of men who were half their age. Those men were weight lifters. This study was published by the August Krogh Institute of Denmark. Even more studies done at Tufts University in Boston showed that bone loss, as well as muscle loss, can be stopped, and even successfully reversed by lifting weights. Postmenopausal women in their 50’s and 60’s made significant gains in bone density and had strength scores similar to women in their 30’s after lifting weights just twice a week for one year.

 

7. Detox

Your body has several different systems that help to remove toxins from your body, including your liver, intestines, kidneys, and skin. However, when your body becomes overloaded with poisons, it accelerates the aging process. Toxic buildup can also impair the functioning of our hormonal and immune system, which also leaves us vulnerable to disease. Our modern environment is simply loaded with all sorts of toxic chemicals so it’s important that we do regular detox programs.

 

8. Challenge Your Mind

Learning new, stimulating mental activities such as playing bridge, playing chess, learning a foreign language, or learning a new hobby, will help to keep you mentally alert as you grow older. It’s been proven in study after study that learning new things or doing mentally challenging games will help you to avoid age related brain decline.

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Photo credit: bigstock

Photo credit: bigstock

9. Be a Happy Camper

No, you don’t have to go buy a tent, we mean be a positive, optimistic, look on the bright side type of person. New studies show that people who have a more positive outlook on life live longer and have a lower chance of developing dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. One study showed that persons, who see the glass as half full, live about 7.5 years longer than pessimists. So, look on the sunny side of the street and enjoy living more years there!

 

10. Balance Your Hormones

When your hormones are imbalanced, they can cause you a world of problems and completely interrupt your normal life processes. An impaired hormonal system wreaks havoc on all of your body’s systems, which increases your chances of developing an age related disease.

 

11. Take Your Supplements

Deficiencies in some vitamins and mineral can result in dementia and memory loss. No matter how healthy you think you might be eating, it’s still recommended that you take supplements that will ensure your body is getting the vital nutrients it needs. Take a good quality multivitamin that contains vitamin D, B12, folic acid, calcium, and vitamin C in order to cut your risk of developing diseases that come from vitamin deficiencies. See more information about supplements.

 

12. Stay Young with a Little Help from Your Friends

Social engagements keep people younger, it’s true. Studies show that people who had close friends and went to social functions, such as church related programs or those who get together to share a hobby, lived longer than those who lived with very little social interaction. So keep your friends and keep your life longer and richer at the same time.